Connexions is a dynamic digital educational ecosystem consisting of an educational content repository and a content management system optimized for the delivery of educational content. Connexions is one of the most popular open education sites in the world. Its more than 17,000 learning objects or modules in its repository and over 1000 collections (textbooks, journal articles, etc.) are used by over 2 million people per month. Its content services the educational needs of learners of all ages, in nearly every discipline, from math and science to history and English to psychology and sociology. Connexions delivers content for free over the Internet for schools, educators, students, and parents to access 24/7/365. Materials are easily downloadable to almost any mobile device for use anywhere, anytime. Schools can also order low cost hard copy sets of the materials (textbooks).
Information is often presented to us linearly, but the way we learn is most often by making connections between new concepts and things we already know. Connexions content is modular for easy remixing. This makes it easier and more cost effective to update and adapt content. Modular content varies in length at the author’s discretion and typically consists of a single idea or topic. These modules or ideas are woven into collections. Collections can be textbooks, courses, journals, etc.
The Connexions architecture and software tools have been designed to support the frictionless remixing of the content repository. The knowledge in Connexions can be shared and built upon by all because it is reusable:
- technologically: all modules are save in a simple and standardized XML format. Connexions XML data structures make the content easily remixed within Connexions or distributed via any platform and remixed with other content. We have built in accessibility features to our XML languages to ensure all content in the repository can be read by everyone.
- legally: the Creative Commons open-content licenses make it easy for authors to share their work - allowing others to use and reuse it legally - while still getting recognition and attribution for their efforts. The content in Connexions repository is all licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). CC-BY is one of the most open licenses available, allowing Connexions content to be freely mixed with all other types of content. The Connexions software maintains attribution to the original author for you, making remixing of content a cinch.
- educationally: We encourage authors to write each module to stand on its own so that others can easily use it in different collections and contexts. Instructors then use a collection editor/creator to weave modules into customized collections specially designed to meet the needs of their students.
- collaborative: A global community of authors continuously converts and adapts information in the Connexions repository. Connexions promotes communication between content creators and provides various means of collaboration through author feedback and shared Work Areas. Collaboration helps knowledge grow more quickly, advancing the possibilities for new ideas from which we all benefit.
Connexions delivers complete sets of educational course materials and textbooks in many different formats. Materials are available for students to access 24/7/365. Students can:
- view over the internet for free
- download free PDFs to use off-line on their computers
- download free EPUB versions of the content for use on e-readers and mobile phones
- order low cost hard copy sets of the materials (textbooks) as well.
Anyone can contribute content to the Connexions repository. Once content is entered, Connexions’ lensing system provides a mechanism by which trusted/knowledgeable vetters review and endorse content. Users can then view content through vetted lenses, which provides a simple means of quality control, yet allows for the capture of the intellectual capital of the world. More information can be found under the Lenses tab.
Learn about other ways to join our growing community or contribute to development: join us!
If you want to get started using Connexions, visit the Help tab for up to date references, tips, and information for learners, teachers, educational institutions, and more. Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org/