How do I contribute to the eduCommons project?

There are several options for getting contributing to the eduCommons project.

  • For those familiar with eduCommons, one way to give back to the eduCommons project is to offer answers in the eduCommons Q&A forums. This is a great way to contribute back to the community, and it doesn’t take a lot of time.
  • Developers are welcome to join the development email list. We are always interested in new collaborations and partnerships with those who can contribute new features to eduCommons.
  • There is an IRC channel at #educommons. Jump in and chat with us!
  • For those with questions about translating eduCommons we encourage you to join the localization email list. We can always use help verifying or updating our eduCommons translations.
  • For any other questions or comments about how you can help with the eduCommons project please contact us.

Where can I find documentation for legacy versions of eduCommons?

Here are links to our previous release documentation through eduCommons 3.2.1-final:

  • eduCommons 3.1.1-final
  • Installation Instructions 3.1.1
  • Migration Instructions 3.1.1
  • Version Changes 3.1.1
  • eduCommons 3.0.2-final
  • Installation Instructions 3.0.2
  • Migration Instructions 3.0.2
  • Version Changes 3.0.2
  • eduCommons 2.3.0-final
  • Installation Instructions 2.3.0
  • Migration Instructions 2.3.0
  • Version Changes 2.3.0
  • eduCommons 2.2.0-final
  • Installation Instructions 2.2.0
  • Migration Instructions 2.2.0
  • Version Changes 2.2.0

eduCommons 2.1.0-final

  • Installation Instructions 2.1.0
  • Migration Instructions 2.1.0
  • Version Changes 2.1.0

eduCommons 2.0.0-beta

  • Installation Instructions 2.0.0
  • Migration Instructions 2.0.0
  • Version Changes 2.0.0

What are the recent changes in eduCommons?

Also available via CHANGES.txt in eduCommons distribution documentation.

Changes in version 3.2.1

Simplified installation have been added, including buildout scripts and Windows installers.
Expanded IMS Import
eduCommons can now import from IMS Common Cartridge, IMS Content Package, MIT course downloads, Blackboard IMS, WebCT Vista, WebCT 6.1/7.0, and Moodle Backups.
Improved IMS Export
eduCommons can now export to IMS Common Cartridge, IMS Content Package, and IMS Package for Moodle.
WordPress Import/Export
Support has been added to import pages from a WordPress site as well as export eduCommons content directly to WordPress pages.
Static Site
It is now possible to publish an entire eduCommons site to static HTML.
Expanded RSS
Additional RSS have been added to create an RSS feed of most recent items.
OIA-pmh and Improved Metadata
Support has been added for additional metadata in rdf/rss views as well as OAI/pmh.
OpenSearch Support
Support has been added for OpenSearch, including the Firefox OpenSearch widget which allows a search of a specific eduCommons site directly from the browser’s search window.
Unit Tests and Selenium Acceptance Tests
A Selenium testing buildout has been added, as well as numerous acceptance tests and unit tests. More information is available at

Changes in version 3.1.1

Further stabilizes the 3.1.0 release, and includes fixes for RSS and skinless view.

Changes in version 3.1.0

“Download Course” Additions
Moved “download this course” into a “Reuse Course” portlet. The course downloads now include IMS information. Using a portlet will also allow for additional formats, such as Common Cartridge, to be added in the future.
Display License and Caption for Embedded Objects
Using the Kupu editor, eduCommons can now display separate licenses and citations for image objects embedded in a page, distinct from the overall page license.
Captcha integration
We now integrate captcha on the registration page to prevent spambot submissions.
Lingua Plone 2.0 Integration
LinguaPlone 2.0 has been implemented into eduCommons 3.1.0, allowing users to localize content and support multiple languages on a single OpenCourseWare site.
Add accessibility check
This is intended to help institutions who want to include accessibility check into their workflow.
Enable Javascript/Page-specific CSS and embed tags by default
We have enabled Javascript and page-specific CSS and embed tags by default.
Documentation for Adding Small Widgets
Add eduCommons-specific documentation and examples for adding Plone 3 portlets.
Add “Remix this course” functionality
This feature is designed to allow courses from MIT OpenCourseWare (pending implementation by MIT OCW) as well as other eduCommons OCWs to be easily imported into OpenOCW (or another eduCommons site if specified, but OpenOCW will be the default). On published eduCommons OCW courses that have been packaged, a “Remix this course” link appears. This allows unauthenticated users to send the entire course to OpenOCW (OpenOCW login credentials must be provided).
Update “download this course” to improve handling of large courses
“Download this course” is no longer auto-generated when a course is published or changed. Instead, a new “Package course” button appears in the contents view of the course once it has been published. The “Download this course” .zip file now includes IMS information. It now appears in its own portlet, along with the “Remix this course” link.
Other updates
Updated eduCommons to exclude new content from showing in the left nav by default (including zip imports). Improved IE 6 and 7 compatibility.

Changes in version 3.0.2

Fixed bugs in 3.0.1 migration release

Changes in version 3.0.1

Added migration support for from eduCommons 2.3.1

Changes in version 3.0.0

Added full support for Plone 3.0
Inline editing Working Copy support Link and reference integrity checking Automatic locking and unlocking Easy collaboration and sharing Versioning, history and reverting content Upgraded visual HTML editor
Added OpenOCW Functionality
Simplified Workflow Refactored Security Eased Production processes
Simplified Course Building
Course Builder Widget allows ‘one step’ production of Division, Course, and templates Course objects (syllabus, etc).

Changes in version 2.3.1

Added Migration from 2.2.0
The migration process has been improved and simplified.

Changes in version 2.3.0

Added i18n Support for Spanish, Dutch, French, and Chinese
Translations are now available for the aforementioned languages.
Added Support for MOCSL Tools
The Folksemantic AddOn Product allows for seamless interaction with Annorate, Make A Path, and Send2Wiki.
Fixed Metadata Bugs
The Citations were presenting incorrect metadata; now pulling in correct metadata per object.
Added Course Wide Instructor Metadata
A flag is now available to note if the Instructor of the Course is also the principal creator for objects within the course.
Added MIT CP Import Support
Via the IMS Transport Tool, an end user can now import IMS Content Packages. eduCommons will strip the package of it’s chrome and import content, navigation, and metadata.
Added Zip File Download for Courses
End Users can now get a Zip File download of a course object, stripped of eduCommons chrome and ready for reuse
Extended RSS Feed Support
Departments and Courses now have configurable feeds per object, and the ability to turn feeds on and off
Added Recursive Copyright Clearance
Folderish Objects may now recrusively clear or revoke copyight

Changes in version 2.2.0

Front end UI Enhancements

Auto-citation generation (from metadata) displayed inline with documents and included in skinless content. Simplify conformance with Attribution terms of Creative Commons licenses for those who build derivative works.

Social Bookmarking Dropdown. Help users bookmark and later find OERs hosted in eduCommons using popular social bookmarking services.

Integration with MyOCW (pending MyOCW release dates).

Expanded support for IMS Content Packaging, including a transform engine that can translate from popular IMS CP formats to and from eduCommons.

Updated internationalization support, with translation updates for a predetermined set of languages.

Finalized support for content translation using the LinguaPlone product.

Changes in version 2.1.1

Updated Internationalization Files
Updated internationalization files to reflect the latest eduCommons changes.
Added Support for Inline Translations
Integrated the LinguaPlone product with eduCommons, making it now possible to have multiple translations of content within the same eduCommons instance.
RSS Feeds on front page, and RSS feeds for departments
RSS feed icon now appears on the front page of eduCommons, as well as on the courses listing page. A new RSS feed now appears for departments, which lists the latest published courses in a department.
Added Support for Social Bookmarking Services
Added support for bookmarking services, starting with Support for more to come.
Added a Skinless View for Documents
eduCommons now provides a skinless view of documents, making it both possible and easy to reuse content.

Changes in version 2.1.0-final

A new IMS Transport Engine
A refactored IMS Content Packaging engine that provides a more robust import and export functionality. On import eduCommons will identify where required tags missing in the manifest file, if it is not able to read it directly.
IMS Content Packaging Documentation
This version ships with detailed documentation on how to write out an IMS Content Package that eduCommons can consume. The documentation is provided in raw text, web based, and in a standalone (PDF) file.
A New Content Licensing Engine
eduCommons now allows a default content license and a rights holder to be set sitewide. It also includes the ability to license an individual piece of content, should the need arise to publish content under a license different to the site wide one.
Copyright Bylines
Content is now published with the appropriate copyright byline, including the ability to specify copyright dates, the rights holder, and the license itself. The license includes a hyper-link to the legal terms of the license as well as an icon (if the license includes one).
Creative Commons License Support
eduCommons now includes a license selector that integrates with Creative Commons Licenses (, allowing eduCommons to remain flexible with the latest CC offerings.
Support for Other Licenses
eduCommons supports other licenses, including the traditional all rights reserved, and GNU Free Document Licenses, as well as allowing content developers to input their own license.
RDF and machine readable Creative Commons License Support
eduCommons will publish by default any metadata for a content object in embedded RDF format. eduCommons will also publish machine readable creative commons licenses, that can be read and processed by search engines.
Content Licensing Product for Plone 2.5
The content licensing features in eduCommons are shipped in a standalone product that can also be used in a default Plone 2.5 instance.
Native Support for Plone 2.5
This version of eduCommons supports the latest version of Plone (2.5), with some functionality now taking advantage of the new Zope 3 component architecture.
Improved HTML Validation/Fixing Engine
The HTML Validation/Fixer Engine has been updated, and now displays a detailed report of problems within the body of an HTML document, and provides a simple method to fix most problems, and identify remaining ones that need extra attention. This functionality works when a content developer’s editor is not set to use the FCKeditor.

Changes in version 2.0.0-final

Human Readable URLS
URLs are human readable, instead of being based on an auto generated id.
Recursive Folder Change State
Can change workflow state recursively on content in subfolders.
Native Support for Plone 2.1
Integrated eduCommons custom skin files with new Plone 2.1 functionality. Content objects are now based on ATContentTypes. Substantial changes across the code base. eduCommons is currently based on Plone-2.1.2 and Zope-2.8.6.
Content Status History on Object Views in Edit Mode
The content status history of an object is now available in the view from a history link at the top of the page while in edit mode.
No Redirect on Front Page
Front page no longer redirects to an ECIndex folder, but renders directly.
Removed Forum Support
Forum support is being replaced by new social software in the future, which means that the old OLS code base is no longer being maintained. If you require forum support it is recommended that you use the excellent zForum ( plone product until the new software is in place.
Improved IMS Content packaging
Workflow status history is now written in the IMS content package instead of being stored in a binary blob.
eduCommons Custom Skin Support
eduCommons can now reskinned in release mode without requiring eduCommons to be restarted.
Courses Object Removed
The courses object has been removed, and departments are now put in the root of the site. This simplifies the UI and removes confusion over what the Courses object is/was.
Improved Default Templates
Default templates for the front page, FAQ and about pages propagate the eduCommons site title, making it easier to customize default site text.
Department and Course IDs
Departments and Courses now support the display of ID’s in front of their titles. Courses also support the display of the year and semester that the course was taught in.

Changes in version 1.6.1-final

eduCommons Document HTML Fixer
Implement an HTML engine that can fix HTML mistakes automatically in ecDocuments.
RDF Headers/Metadata
Add RDF headers to ECDocuments implementing the RDF/Dublin Core standard.
Support for Plone 2.1.1/Zope 2.8.2
Implementing support for the latest Plone (2.1.1) and Zope (2.8.2) code bases.
Support for Default Templates
Support for adding default templates for commonly used pages within eduCommons.
Review and Revise IMS Export Rights
Changes in the UI to only present IMS import/export to administrators and managers. This is necessary because producers do not have rights on content that is not in the “In Progress” state, which prevents producers from being able to import/export content not in the appropriate state.
Zip export (non-ims)
Allow a producer administrator or manager to export course content in a zip file format.
Creative Commons metadata header
Add a metadata header to ECDocuments for the creative commons license.
Removal of “Courses” link in bread crumb
Remove the “Courses” link in the breadcrumb due to the fact that is is confusing to users.
XHTML Validation of an Entire Course
Adding the ability to do validation of XHTML across a course, while reporting errors in a log file.
Add Folders to Course Contents
Add folders to course content pages so that objects which externally link to other objects will retain their links with out having to rewrite them.
Migration from 1.5.2-final
Implement the ability to migrate existing 1.5.2-final sites to 1.6.1-final.

How is eduCommons licensed?

This software is Copyright (C) 2004-2009 Utah State University. All rights reserved.

eduCommons is an extention to the Plone content management system ( and is developed by the COSL group ( at Utah State University. Development of EduCommons is funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA

How do I get support with eduCommons?

There are several options for getting support with eduCommons.

  • The eduCommons forums are a good place for users can to questions and search existing responses. The community is friendly and responsive.
  • Developers are welcome to join the development email list.
  • There is an IRC channel at #educommons.
  • For those with questions about translating eduCommons we encourage you to join the localization email list.
  • For-fee consulting, training, and development is available for eduCommons through enPraxis. More information is available at
  • For any other questions or comments about the eduCommons project please contact us.

What is eduCommons?

This FAQ applies to: eduCommons 3.2.0

eduCommons is an OpenCourseWare management system. It is designed to help universities and other educational establishments publish open educational resources, and participate in the OpenCourseWare movement. eduCommons is an Open Source project, and is licensed under the GPL.