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Wednesday, April 19, 2023

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Open tools suggested by IDOCOS

If you work in higher education and are currently creating or sharing courses online, there are many tools available to help you through the process.

On this page, you find a number of open licensed tools that can be used in the value chain for co-creation and sharing of doctoral (or postgraduate) courses in an online and blended context.

The criteria used to select the recommended tools have been that they: a) have a clear purpose and add direct value to the co-creation and sharing process; b) are open-licensed (with an explanation if not); c) have a free or low initial cost; d) are recommended by a community; e) are tested for usability within the IDOCOS project.

The illustration to the right shows at which stage of the process each tool may be used. If you would like to make a comment about any of the tools, there is a red icon at the bottom of each tool’s description.
Suggested tools

IDOCOS suggested tools

Tool 1
The Handbook
LINK:https://idocos.eu/handbook

This handbook provides essential questions and examples for guidance in the process of co-creation and sharing courses. It aims to increase transparency and guide communication within groups working together through the process. The handbook includes a checklist of basic questions for communication and decisions that can be used step by step in the co-creation and sharing process. Awareness and respect for culture and language issues are emphasized, and the handbook can be used globally and adapted to specific contexts. It was co-created within the IDOCOS project, with funding from Erasmus+. The handbook may also be used within or outside the sustainability framework, and input for improvement is welcome. The content of the handbook is open-licensed and may be copied, changed, and adapted.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this handbook is to provide essential questions and examples for guidance in the process of co-creation and sharing courses, increase transparency, and guide communication within groups working together through the process.

REFERENCES: This handbook was co-created within the IDOCOS project, with funding from Erasmus+.

OPEN LICENSE: The content of this handbook is open-licensed, which means it may be copied, changed, and adapted.

COSTS: The information in this handbook is free.

COMMENTS: Input for improvement of the handbook is welcome. The handbook may also be used within or outside the sustainability framework.
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Tool 2
JITSI Meet
LINK:https://jitsi.org/jitsi-meet/

PURPOSE: Open-source video conferencing platform for virtual meetings and online collaboration.

REFERENCES
  • Tests: Widely used and tested by communities and organizations. 
  • Communities: Active community on GitHub and Jitsi Community Forum. 
  • Papers: Online documentation and user guides are available.
OPEN LICENSE: Apache License 2.0 - allows free modification, distribution, and use for personal and commercial purposes.

FREE: Basic features are free, including video conferencing, screen sharing, and chat.

COSTS: Optional paid plans for additional features and support, self-hosting may involve server costs.

COMMENTS: Jitsi Meet is a popular open-source video conferencing platform that offers secure and privacy-conscious virtual meetings and online collaboration. Paid plans and self-hosting options provide flexibility in choosing features and support.
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Tool 2
Openproject
LINK:https://www.openproject.org/

PURPOSE: Open-source project management software for team collaboration, task tracking, and project planning.

REFERENCES
  • Tests: Positive feedback and testimonials from users on the official website and community forums. 
  • Communities: Active community on GitHub (https://github.com/opf/openproject) and OpenProject Community Forum (https://community.openproject.org/). 
  • Papers: No formal papers, but online documentation and user guides are available.

OPEN LICENSE: GNU General Public License (GPL) - allows free modification, distribution, and use for personal and commercial purposes.

FREE: Basic features are free, including project management, task tracking, and team collaboration.

COSTS: Optional paid plans for advanced features and support, self-hosting may involve server costs.

COMMENTS: OpenProject is a popular open-source project management software with a strong community and customizable options through paid plans and self-hosting.
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Tool 2
BookStack Wiki
LINK:https://www.bookstackapp.com/

PURPOSE: Open-source documentation platform for creating and managing wikis, knowledge bases, and documentation websites.

REFERENCES
  • Tests: Positive feedback and testimonials from users on the official website. 
  • Communities: Active community on GitHub and Discord. 
  • Papers: No formal papers, but online tutorials and documentation are available.

OPEN LICENSE: MIT License - permissive open-source license.

FREE: Basic features are free, optional add-ons and themes available for purchase.

COSTS: Optional paid add-ons, themes, and support services available.

COMMENTS: BookStack Wiki is a popular and user-friendly documentation platform with an active community and options for customization and support.
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Tool 2
OliTorus
LINK:https://oli.cmu.edu/

PURPOSE: Online learning platform developed by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) for providing interactive, research-based educational content in various subjects and disciplines.

REFERENCES
  • Tests: Research-based content and pedagogical approaches developed by CMU's Open Learning Initiative (OLI) research group, published papers on OLI's methodology and effectiveness. 
  • Communities: Active community of educators, learners, and researchers using OLI Torus for online learning, support forums, and community resources on the OLI website. 
  • Papers: Research papers and publications related to CMU's Open Learning Initiative (OLI) and its online learning methodology. 
OPEN LICENSE: MIT License - permissive open-source license.

FREE: Yes, OLI Torus can be self-hosted, allowing users to have control over their own instance and data.

COSTSCosts may occur when self-hosting OLI Torus, including server hosting, maintenance, and technical support, depending on the user's chosen hosting setup and requirements.

COMMENTS: OLI Torus by CMU is an online learning platform developed by Carnegie Mellon University that provides interactive, research-based educational content. It can be self-hosted, but users should consider potential costs for server hosting, maintenance, and technical support.
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Tool 2
OpenShot Video Editor
LINK:https://www.openshot.org/

PURPOSE: Open-source video editing software for creating and editing videos with various features such as trimming, transitions, effects, and animations.

REFERENCES: Positive feedback from users on official website, community forums, and social media, active community on GitHub and OpenShot Community Forum, online documentation and user guides available.

OPEN LICENSE: GNU General Public License (GPL) - allows free modification, distribution, and use for personal and commercial purposes.

FREE: Basic video editing features are free, including trimming, transitions, effects, and animations.

COSTS: Optional paid plans for advanced features and support, self-hosting does not apply as it is desktop software.

COMMENTS: OpenShot Video Editor is a popular and user-friendly open-source video editing software with a wide range of features. Paid plans and the open-source license offer customization options for users based on their needs and budget.
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Tool 2
Moodle LMS
LINK:https://moodle.org/

PURPOSE: Open-source learning management system (LMS) for creating and managing online courses, quizzes, and assignments.

REFERENCES
  • Tests: Extensive testing and development by the Moodle community, which includes educators, administrators, and developers worldwide. 
  • Communities: Active global community of Moodle users and contributors, support forums, online documentation, and community-driven plugins and resources. 
  • Papers: Research papers and publications related to the use of Moodle in educational settings.

OPEN LICENSE: Moodle is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL), which is a free and open-source software license.

FREE: Yes, Moodle is open-source and can be self-hosted.

COSTS: Costs may occur when self-hosting Moodle, including server hosting, maintenance, and technical support. The costs depend on the user's chosen hosting setup and requirements.

COMMENTS: Moodle is a widely used open-source learning management system (LMS) that supports LTI 1.3 and can be directly integrated with OLI Torus. It has an active community of users and contributors, providing extensive support and resources. Moodle is released under the GNU GPL, making it free and open-source software.
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Tool 2
Mastadon
LINK:https://joinmastodon.org/

PURPOSE: Open-source, decentralized social media platform for microblogging and social networking.

REFERENCES
  • Tests: Ongoing development and testing by the Mastodon community, which includes developers and users worldwide. 
  • Communities: Active global community of Mastodon users and contributors, support forums, online documentation, and community-driven plugins and themes. 
  • Papers: Research papers and publications related to the use of Mastodon in social media and communication settings.

OPEN LICENCE: Mastodon is released under the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL), which is a free and open-source software license.

FREE: Yes, Mastodon is open-source and can be self-hosted.

COSTS: Costs may occur when self-hosting Mastodon, including server hosting, maintenance, and technical support. The costs depend on the user's chosen hosting setup and requirements.

COMMENTS: Mastodon is a decentralized social media platform that is based on open-source software and allows for self-hosting. It has an active community of users and contributors, providing support and resources. Mastodon is released under the GNU AGPL, making it free and open-source software. However, users should be aware of potential costs for server hosting, maintenance, and technical support when self-hosting Mastodon, depending on their hosting setup and requirements. Mastodon's decentralized nature allows for more control and privacy, but also requires additional setup and configuration compared to centralized social media platforms.
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Tool 2
OCTOPUS

PURPOSEOctopus is a new way to register research. It is the place to publish the version of record, enabling peer review and quality assessment and allowing the academic community to build upon the latest work.


OPEN LICENCEThe platform itself is published under the open-source license GPLv3.

FREE: Yes, OCTOPUS is open-source and can be self-hosted.

COSTS: Costs may occur when self-hosting, including server hosting, maintenance, and technical support. The costs depend on the user's chosen hosting setup and requirements.
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Tool 2
OBS
LINK:https://obsproject.com/

PURPOSE: Open-source software for video recording and live streaming.

REFERENCES
  • Tests: Ongoing development and testing by the OBS community, which includes developers and users worldwide. 
  • Communities: Active global community of OBS users and contributors, support forums, online documentation, and community-driven plugins and themes. 
  • Papers: Research papers and publications related to the use of OBS in video recording, streaming, and content creation settings.

OPEN LICENCE: OBS is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL), which is a free and open-source software license.

FREE: Yes, OBS is open-source software and is available for free.

COSTS: OBS itself is free to use. However, there may be costs associated with hardware, additional plugins, or third-party services used in conjunction with OBS, depending on the user's specific needs and requirements.

COMMENTS: OBS is a popular and powerful open-source software for video recording and live streaming. It has an active community of users and contributors, providing support and resources. OBS is released under the GNU GPL, making it free and open-source software. However, users should be aware of potential costs for additional hardware, plugins, or services that may be required for their specific use case. OBS is highly customizable and widely used by content creators, gamers, and professionals for various video recording and live streaming purposes.
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