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World Innovation Summit for Education recognizes Connexions as leader in education - 2011-09-27

(September 27, 2011) – Rice University’s Connexions project has been recognized as a leader in education by the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), an initiative of the Qatar Foundation.

Connexions, a popular online education site that attracts nearly 2 million visits per month, was chosen from hundreds of projects as one of the six 2011 WISE Award winners.

The annual WISE Awards are designed to identify, showcase, and promote innovative educational projects from around the world with the goal to spread best practices and build the future of education. The theme of this year’s WISE Awards is “Transforming Education: Investment, Innovation, and Inclusion.”

Connexions is an open education initiative founded in 1999 by Richard Baraniuk, the Victor E. Cameron Professor of Electrical Engineering at Rice University. Connexions is a global repository of small “Lego-block” like modules. Modules can be used and reused to create customized learning materials like e-textbooks and courses. Connexions currently houses nearly 20,000 modules organized into over 1,100 free courses that are available for free online and at a very low-cost in print.

Open Educational Resources (OER) Webinar Series - 2011-07-15

Connexions is co-sponsoring a new webinar series, partnering with SoftChalk, IMS Global, and MERLOT, that will focus on the Open Educational Resources movement and its expanding scope. There will be four webinars, the first called “Defining OER: The WHAT and the WHY,” to happen on Tuesday, July 19, at 2 pm EDT. The series will also show demos of several OERs in action, with Connexions as one of those featured. This will provide the perfect opportunity for anyone who is curious to learn more about OER: what it is, why it’s effective, and how it can be implemented.

Read on to find out more about the other three webinars and Connexion’s involvement.

Facebook and Twitter buttons - 2011-04-05

You can now like and tweet content directly from Connexions. When viewing a module, use the buttons at the top or bottom of the page. (You will be prompted to log in to Facebook/Twitter if you are not already logged in.) To like or tweet an entire collection, use the buttons on that collection's "Start" page.

You can learn more on our blog post.

Google Summer of Code - 2011-03-28

Starting today, students can apply for Google Summer of Code projects. Connexions has been selected as a participating organization and we have two projects students can apply for. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 8.

Connexions Conference 2011 - 2011-01-31

Connexions will be hosting our annual conference at Rice University in Houston, TX on February 9th, 2011, followed the next day by a Connexions code sprint.

Hal Plotkin, senior policy adviser in the Department of Education, will be the keynote speaker for the Connexions Conference 2011. A veteran journalist and commentator, Plotkin is a leading proponent of the open education resources movement and a former president of the board of trustees of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District in Silicon Valley. He will speak at 9:15 a.m. February 9th, in Duncan Hall's McMurtry Auditorium.

Conference attendees will learn how Connexions is expanding its content base to more effectively engage mainstream educational institutions. They'll get the latest updates on the enterprise version of the Connexions software, Enterprise Rhaptos. And they'll also learn how lens-based branding allows Connexions Consortium members to brand content with their own logo and branding.

You can learn more about our conference, as well as watch archived webcasts of our previous conferences, here on our website.

IEEE-SPS Endorsement Lens is released - 2010-12-06

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. Signal Processing Society has announced the IEEE-SPS endorsement lens in Connexions highlighting free, high-quality lessons that practicing engineers can use to further their signal processing education, and engineering instructors can use to build custom courses and textbooks.

The IEEE is the world's largest technical professional organization; it has more than 350,000 members worldwide. The IEEE-SPS represents the technical interests of its more than 15,000 members in 148 countries. It is widely known as a publisher of archival journals and sponsor of major conferences across the broad landscape of signal processing science and technology.

This is a great example of the power and use of endorsement lenses in Connexions. The IEEE-SPS lens highlights quality vetted content that can be easily found by Connexions users on the Lenses tab in Connexions. IEEE-SPS also sees the benefits, thus: "While quality assurance of content was a key issue for us, Connexions offers other tangible benefits for our members," said SPS President Mos Kaveh. "Compared with traditional publishing, Connexions is much faster, has global reach and is perfectly suited for the rapid pace of change in our field."

Check out this news release with more information about Connexions lenses, and the IEEE-SPS lens in particular.

Dr. Anthony Brandt wins National Endowment for the Arts Grant for Connexions Course - 2010-11-23

"Sound Reasoning" is a course designed to introduce listeners to classical and modern music. Music appreciation is usually taught in a historic, style-centered way. "Sound Reasoning" takes a new approach: It presents style-transcendent principles, illustrated by side-by-side examples from both traditional and contemporary music. The goal is to empower listeners to be able to listen attentively and think intelligently about any kind of music, no matter its style. Everything is listening based; no ability to read music is required. Technical terminology is kept to a minimum. "Sound Reasoning" was funded by grants from the Ken Kennedy Institute and the National Endowment for the Arts. The site can be accessed at or on Connexions here.

Last summer, Dr. Anthony Brandt developed a new portion of "Sound Reasoning" called "Hearing Harmony." This, too, takes an unconventional approach: Instead of teaching chord recognition, it trains listeners to listen for harmonic structure--for instance, when the music is diatonic vs. modulating. Dr. Brandt commented, "Hearing Harmony" isn't quite finished; I've still got to the add the modules on modern music." So, make sure to keep an eye out for new content in the future!

Dr. Brandt "was drawn immediately to Connexions," because "it was an opportunity to present an innovative approach in an innovative format, with the musical examples interpolated directly into the text". "Connexions' free access also gave me the chance to reach a far greater audience than through commercial print."

If you would like to train your ear with Dr. Brandt's course, visit!

Lessons from an open world - 2010-11-18

Allyn Radford has written an article discussing the role that open education plays in meeting the demands created by opening up higher education to an increasing number of people. Connexions is discussed as well as other OER initiatives. It's been published by the Australian Computer Society in their very stylish "Information Age" magazine here.

Learn about Connexions through hands-on sprints - 2010-10-13

Learn more about Connexions and Rhaptos software at upcoming sprints. The next one is October 30th in Bristol, UK.  Find out more here.

Introducing Express Edit -- Quickly checkout content - 2010-05-17

Connexions releases new feature, Express Edit that lets you quickly check out or derive a copy of content you are viewing. Express Edit was developed by Connexions Consortium member, Siyavula, to help teachers in South Africa quickly share and adapt teaching materials. Luckily, their contribution of this new feature benefits all current and future Connexions authors.

Two Connexions textbooks accepted in CA Free Digital Textbook Initiative - 2010-05-06

Congratulations to Connexions authors John Hutchinson, and Barbara Illowsky and Susan Dean!

Their books were successfully reviewed and accepted to California's Free Digital Textbook Initiative, and have been posted online by the California Learning Resource Network (CLRN) for use by educators worldwide.

John Hutchinson submitted Concept Development Studies in Chemistry, which takes a constructivist approach to learning chemisty. He redirects the focus of learning away from memorization of facts and models, and instead develops each concept by analysis of experimental observations using scientific reasoning.

Barbara Illowsky and Susan Dean submitted Collaborative Statistics, already adopted in many classrooms. This book is intended for introductory statistics courses being taken by students at two- and four-year colleges who are majoring in fields other than math or engineering. The book focuses on applications of statistical knowledge rather than the theory behind it.

New York Times articles feature Connexions and author Catherine Schmidt-Jones - 2010-04-19

The New York Times Education Life section for April 18th has a full discussion of the open education movement, "An Open Mind", of which Connexions is an active participant. It includes extensive commentary by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and discussion of the open course ware movement, interactive online learning, and several projects to learn online with peers . Pullout sections offer a look at Connexions, "How to Learn Sometihng for Nothing", and feature notable online courses, including the suite of music education by Connexions author, Catherine Schmidt-Jones, "The Music Lesson".

Rice University Press highlighted for digital publishing of scholarly works, openly available on Connexions. - 2010-03-16

The Houston Chronicle highlights Rice University Press for its digital publishing of scholarly works, all of which are openly available on Connexions. While other university presses are exploring digital options, the article says that "Rice goes further: Every book may be read online for free; none are printed until an order is placed, with the payment covering the cost of printing and delivering the book. There is no sales staff, nor warehouses to hold unsold books." The fully digital options allow the press to support unique projects that don't fit into standard marketing categories or are too expensive to produce using traditional processes. You can read about the press's latest projects in the full article, and you can see all the Rice University books available through Connexions by visiting their lens (

Archived presentations from CNX2010 - 2010-02-16

The presentations from the Connexions Conference 2010 have been posted here. The videos taken of the talks have been web-archived here.

Connexions ranks highest in third-party ranking of OER repositories - 2010-02-16

Norm Friesen has written a short article at discussing "open source materials that may be of significant strategic value to schools, universities and to other organizations with educational mandates, such as museums and archives".

After an explanation of different license types and their restrictions, he concludes that there are few repositories with the two characteristics that make them optimal for use by educational institutions: a non-restrictive license, and quality assurance (through peer reviews, or other methods).

Here at Connexions, we are committed to using the CC-by license, which is as non-restrictive a license as possible while still recognizing and attributing work to the author. In the past year we have also rolled out several ways to vet content:

  1. Individual users can rate modules on a 5-star scale.
  2. When browsing or searching content, you have the option to sort by Popularity, which is based on the number of page hits a module receives. This lets you quickly find content that is viewed often.
  3. Most powerfully, users and organizations can create Lenses to highlight useful material. Organizations can create Endorsement lenses (peer-reviewed content, vouched for by the organization) or Affiliate lenses (content associated with the organization in some way, but not necessarily peer-reviewed). All other lenses are Member Lists, which allow you to pull together content that you deem to be of value; content of good quality, content all in the same subject, or simply content that you like. Finally, lenses also allow users to provide their own tags and commentary for all content within the lens.

With these qualities, it is no surprise that Norm Friesen ranked Connexions at the top of all the OER repositories he looked at, with a ranking of 14 out of a possible 15 points. The criteria he used were licensing flexibility, quality, stability, and fitness for purpose.

Austin KVUE News recommends Connexions - 2010-01-19

KVUE News in Austin has some suggestions on how to get more textbooks for less. Among their top picks are free online resources, with Connexions first on their list.

Sidney Burrus to present about Connexions at FAST 2010 - 2010-01-03

Dr. Burrus and Dr. Molad will be presenting a talk in March at the fifth annual Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology conference entitled "Open Educational Resources (OER): Connexions for FAST".

Sidney Burrus, Connexions Senior Strategist and advisory board member, has been involved with Connexions from its inception in 1999 and has been a driving force behind the project.

Connexions is top choice for Siyavula Project - 2009-12-19

Mark Horner reflects on why he chose Connexions as the platform for Siyavula, a project that supports K-12 education in South Africa and aims to provide curriculum resources for all communities, teachers, and ethnic groups in South Africa.

The key features of Connexions that cemented his choice were: the ability to import existing materials, the ability to enhance and reorganize those materials, the ability to flag content as approved by either an individual or organization, and the ability to provide printed copies of materials.

Read Mark's blog entry here:

HPCWire touts winners of HPC Education Cup and newly republished textbook, "High Performance Computing" by Charles Severance. - 2009-11-16

The results of the Open Education Cup 2008-2009 have been announced in a press release on HPCwire. Congratulations to Tim Stitt, Ph.D., of the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) and Kenneth Leroy Busbee of Houston Community College, the winners of this year's cup. The winning modules can be found in the High Performance Computing Open Education Cup 2008-2009 lens:

Also within the lens you will find the collection High Performance Computing, authored by Charles Severance. O'Reilly originally published "High Performance Computing" by Kevin Dowd and Charles Severance in 1998, but after the book went out of print, OReilly assigned the copyright back to the authors. This is a valuable contribution to the store of knowledge on Connexions.

See Charles Severance's blog post about the new life of his book in Connexions.

Connexions updates interface, adds support for Google Analytics - 2009-08-19

Connexions is happy to report that we've rolled out an updated content-viewing interface. These changes were designed to improve the page by providing a clear, clutter-free experience. In particular, you may notice that we've eliminated the "Content Actions" box and moved several features to the top of the page, including links to download module and collection PDFs, bookmark your Favorites, and add content to custom lenses. In addition, module ratings have been relocated under the module title along with a link to e-mail the authors.

A few specific changes have taken place for collections. You can now order a hardbound copy of the collection by clicking the "Order printed collection" button. This link is now located on the right-hand side of any page within the collection. The "Previous" and "Next" links available while browsing a collection have been moved under the "Order printed collection" button.

Along with these interface changes, Connexions is also excited to announce that we now support the use of Google Analytics to track your content. Authors now have the option to add their Google Analytics tracking code to their contents' metadata page, allowing them to keep track of how their modules and collections are being viewed by others around the world. For more information on this feature, please see our Google Analytics help page.

Author Kenny Felder participates in CA Free Digital Textbook Initiative - 2009-08-11

Congratulations to Connexions author Kenny Felder! His book, Advanced Algebra II, was submitted as part of California Gov. Schwarzenegger's Free Digital Textbook Initiative. The California Learning Resource Network (CLRN) has just announced that this text was successfully reviewed and will be included in a list of free textbooks available to California schools this fall. This is great news for the open education movement, and an excellent example of how individual contributions can make a huge difference for learners and educators worldwide.

See the full press release here.

Be sure to check out Advanced Algebra II, and let's all give Kenny a much deserved round of applause for his efforts!

Connexions, Free Textbooks Featured in KHOU's "School Zone" Report - 2009-08-04

Connexions was featured this morning on KHOU's 11 News This Morning Early Edition as part of its ongoing "School Zone" series. Connexions Executive Director Joel Thierstein was on camera to explain how the open education movement can lead to powerful changes not only for the higher education market, but also for K-12 education as states look to find ways to provide affordable education for all students.

For those of you who missed it, click here to view the report (link opens in new window).

Connexions' founder wins the World Technology Award for Education - 2009-07-29

Congratulations to Dr. Rich Baraniuk, founder of Connexions, on being on being a World Technology Award winner!

From Rice University's press release:

"It was a great honor to receive the award, especially since it will bring more attention to Connexions and our globe-spanning community of users," said Baraniuk, who also presented an overview of the state-of-the-art of education technology at the World Technology Summit event held in New York City July 15 and 16.

The World Technology Network awards this prestegous prize to individuals and businesses that make a lasting impact in their field of work or study.

Connexions blog launched, Twitter and Facebook pages online - 2009-07-01

In order to help meet the needs of our vibrant and rapidly growing community of authors, educators, and stakeholders, the Connexions team has been hard at work creating a number of new community-oriented features. We are pleased and excited to announce the official launch of the Connexions blog (, a semi-official source of project news, updates, authoring tips, and other valuable insights into the world of Connexions.

Those of you wishing to follow along via RSS can subscribe to our blog feed. You can also follow us on Twitter for updates on the go, or become a fan of Connexions on Facebook to show your support and interact with other community members.

For more information on the latest community development efforts and features, please see our community page at

Connexions unveils MathML Editor, redesigned authoring interface - 2009-06-30

Connexions has released a number of updates, changes, and new features that make authoring modules and collections easier than ever! Most of these changes can be found in the MyCNX area of the site.

  • The Connexions MathML Editor - Users can now create and edit math expressions in a simple-yet-powerful equation editor. The editor produces Content MathML which can then be pasted into modules. For more information about the MathML Editor, check out the MathML Editor Introduction.
  • Show/Hide Sidebars Icon - Editing modules and collections can be a bit cumbersome in small browser windows. To address this problem, Connexions has added a "Show/Hide Sidebars" icon that expands the editing area when activated. You can read more about this new feature in the Editing Modules guide.
  • New MyCNX Home Page - The MyCNX Home Page has been redesigned to make the authoring area easier to use. It now includes links to instantly create modules and collections, a list of your most recently modified items, and more. The MyCNX and the Work Areas module highlights all of these new features.

If you have any questions about Connexions and the latest site features, be sure to check out the updated Connexions Documentation Lens, or e-mail

Connexions updates Lenses feature, introduces module rating system - 2009-05-21

Connexions users can now take advantage of the new Lenses tab to view a list of all public lenses. Lenses offer members and organizations a way to publicly identify, affiliate themselves with, or endorse content by directing viewers to a hand-picked list of top-quality modules and collections. Click here to learn more about lenses.

Members can also provide feedback on a module's quality to other viewers using the new Module Ratings system. By rating a module on a scale of 1 (Poor) to 5 (Excellent), members can share their opinions with others to help identify the best content Connexions has to offer.

For questions about these and other Connexions features, please see the Help section or contact

Connexions Consortium Launched - 2009-04-27

Connexions is pleased to announce the launch of the Connexions Consortium.

The Connexions Consortium is dedicated to the design and development of collaborative, open source code, software efforts and open access educational content that are targeted at supporting education, research and related scholarly activities. The Consortium is a group of organizations and individuals, who work together to advance open source educational technology and open access educational content.

Our mission:

  1. To deliver an application framework and associated collaboration, research, and teaching and learning environment tools and components that are designed to work together for education content management, research support and various forms of collaboration;
  2. To support research, collaboration and community building around the Consortium application framework and associated research and learning environment tools and components that are designed to work together for education content management, research support and various forms of collaboration;
  3. To solicit grants and other funding to permit the development and refinement of the Connexions application framework and associated research and learning environment tools and components that are designed to work together for education content management, research support and various forms of collaboration;
  4. To promote economic efficiencies for IT in education and research settings through cooperation, leverage of shared investments and innovation;
  5. To serve as an effective voice for open and community source software for research, collaboration, and teaching and learning environment efforts in education.

To learn more about the Connexions Consortium or to find out how to become a member, please visit the Consortium website at

Connexions author Ed Doering praised for innovative teaching - 2009-04-01

The Terre Haute Tribune-Star features an article on Ed Doering, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and author of the collection "Musical Signal Processing with LabVIEW". The article highlights Doering's innovation through online instruction using Connexions' modular, open system and National Instruments' interactive LabVIEW plugins. From the article:

“It’s shocking to know that at any minute my voice is being heard in Shanghai [China], Manila [Philippines] or Santiago [Chile]. That’s what makes technology so fascinating,” Doering says. “I enjoy using new technology to reach out to students when they need it most.”
Rose prof embraces technology to expand educational horizons (Terre Haute Tribune-Star) Ed Doering on Connexions

Connexions Introduces CNXML 0.6 - 2009-02-02

HOUSTON -- (February 2, 2009) -- After several years of consideration, design, and development, open-education website Connexions has introduced the latest version of its Connexions Markup Language (CNXML). The new language was officially released on January 29, 2009.

CNXML 0.6 offers a variety of new features that make publishing rich, interactive modules easier than ever. These features include the introduction of new media elements, the ability to add commentary to exercises, and easy citation formatting, just to name a few. Connexions has documented all of these changes in What's New in CNXML 0.6.

For more information on CNXML 0.6, please visit the language section of the site.

Rice-African Partnership is Open-Education Blockbuster - 2008-11-25

HOUSTON -- (Nov. 10, 2008) -- Houston-based Rice University and Cape Town, South Africa-based Shuttleworth Foundation today announced plans to jointly develop one of the world's largest, most comprehensive sets of free online teaching materials for primary and secondary school children. Using their open-education projects -- Rice's Connexions and the Shuttleworth's Siyavula -- the organizations will work to transform South African primary and secondary education with a bold initiative based on open-source software, online educator communities and open copyright licenses.

Ultimately, the group hopes to offer a complete suite of the highest caliber K12 materials online for free. This comprehensive repository of educational resources includes everything from online textbooks to classroom activities, experiments and training materials. Connexions and Siyavula will work together to create the repository, and Siyavula will create an online community of educators in South Africa that will expand, update and use the lessons. The newly created content will reside in the Connexions repository, one of the largest open-education resources (OER) repositories.

An OER pioneer, Connexions is both a platform and repository that lets people create, share, modify and review open educational materials. All Connexions modules are freely accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Because it is licensed under the Creative Commons attribution license, all material in Connexions is available to the world to use and reuse for free. The Connexions platform will be used to distribute the project's content.

"The Siyavula/Connexions project is one of the most powerful open-education partnerships in history," said Connexions Executive Director Joel Thierstein. "We are humbled by the resources the Shuttleworth Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation and the Maxfield Foundation have brought to bear on the issues of global education. The realization of an enlightened, educated world is an amazing thing to be a part of.

"The Connexions platform allows materials to be translated and remixed to make them culturally relevant and thus usable throughout the world," Thierstein added. "Connexions allows instructors to rearrange lessons, reorder chapters and add their own materials, in effect giving each teacher the ability to create his or her own customized textbook. Finally, the Connexions platform makes it easy to print materials, as well."

Siyavula Project Manager Mark Horner said the Rice-Shuttleworth team will create the software that South African educators need to develop and maintain a comprehensive set of educational resources that cover the entire South African school curriculum.

"Siyavula decided not to build its own platform as an excellent solution already existed in the form of Connexions," Horner said. "It is important to collaborate with existing initiatives and not reinvent the wheel. This approach allows the pool of open educational resources to grow at an accelerated rate. Building on a solid, existing foundation is more cost-effective and adds to any initiative's possibility of sustainability."

The number of people using Connexions has grown by 40 percent over the past year, and with peak traffic of more than 1 million visits per month, Connexions is one of the world's most popular OER sites.

"Connexions represents openness in every way," Horner said. "The content housed on Connexions is openly licensed using Creative Commons licenses, the software is open source, and the team is open to collaboration and partnerships with like-minded initiatives. These match the values of the Shuttleworth Foundation in its open-source approach to social development."

Siyavula means "we are opening" in the Nguni family of languages. The Siyavula project is sponsored by the Shuttleworth Foundation, a South African organization that invests in social, technical and policy innovation in the fields of education and technology. The foundation works through active partnerships with local and international organizations.;=11765&SnID;=867303618

Connexions Announces Open Education Cup Competition for High Performance Computing - 2008-11-25

Introduced at the SC08 convention, the Open Education Cup is awarding $500 cash prizes for the best Connexions modules in the area of High Performance Computing (HPC). Awards will be granted in each of the following categories:

  • Parallel Architectures
  • Parallel Programming Models and Languages
  • Parallel Algorithms and Applications
  • Parallel Software Tools
  • Accelerated Computing

In addition to offering cash prizes, organizers will combine the best entries into a Connexions collection (textbook) that will be available through Connexions for anybody to use, update, translate, adapt, and customize. In a field where textbooks are often costly and quickly become out of date, this textbook will offer a free alternative that can be updated in real-time as the state of the art changes and provide students and educators powerful, relevant resources produced by those with a vested interest in promoting the free, open exchange of information.

The Open Education Cup was created to promote awareness of and generate interest in creating Open Educational Resources (OER) in the area of HPC in the hopes that this effort will help the HPC community recognize and embrace the opportunities that OER represent for accelerating workforce development. Effective use of OER can enable educators, instructors and learners to access a rich set of free online teaching and learning materials, eliminating many barriers to providing affordable high-quality HPC education and training programs.

To learn more about the Open Education Cup competition, visit the contest website at

A special thanks to the Open Education Cup sponsors, including BP, Chevron, NVIDIA, Rice University, Sun Microsystems, Total S.A., and WesternGeco, for making this competition possible.

New York Times Explores Alternatives to Expensive Textbooks, Features Connexions - 2008-09-16

This recent New York Times article explores the financial challenges facing students forced to buy increasingly expensive textbooks. Connexions is prominently featured as a powerful alternative, not only allowing free online access to popular textbooks but also allowing for the creation of customized content. Click the link above to read the full text of the article.

Release of "Collaborative Statistics" Textbook Easing Financial Burden on Community College Students - 2008-08-14

Connexions has been making headlines with the recent release of Collaborative Statistics by Barbara Illowsky and Susan Dean. This textbook, used for over a decade in transfer-level community college courses, is now available for free online, with a print-on-demand version available for only $31.95. See what The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed are saying about this important, groundbreaking release.

Connexions Advisors Publish Article on Future of Peer Review - 2008-06-26

Connexions Advisor Christopher Kelty, Senior Strategist C. Sidney Burrus, and Founder Richard Baraniuk have published an article in the June 2008 issue of the Proceedings of the IEEE regarding the future of peer review. The article uses Connexions Lenses as a case study in post-publication peer review. The PDF of the article can be obtained by clicking here.

Journal Article Analyzes Sustainability of Connexions and other OERs - 2008-06-17

A paper in the Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects analyzes the sustainability of several open educational resource (OER) repositories, including Connexions. For the full text of the journal article, please click here.

Connexions Highlighted in Berkman Center Essay on Open Scholarship - 2008-06-17

In an essay on open scholarship written for the Berkman Center, Melissa Hagemann cites Connexions as a leading example among open education initiatives. Hagemann manages the Open Access Initiative within the Information Program of the Open Society Institute, one of the Soros Foundations. Please click through to read the essay in its entirety.

Connexions Founder Wins Berkman Award for Internet Innovation - 2008-06-17

Connexions founder and Rice University professor Richard G. Baraniuk was honored by Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society with its Berkman Award for his role in creating Connexions. The award was presented at the Center's 10th Anniversary Gala. For more details, please visit the Berkman Center's press release.

Connexions Collaboration with CCCOER Featured in Palo Alto Online News - 2008-05-09

Connexions' collaboration with the California-based Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources is mentioned in a recent article in Palo Alto Online News. The piece discusses the effort to develop affordable textbook solutions for California's system of community colleges with the Open Textbook Project. Click through to read the article for more details.

Chronicle of Higher Education Discusses Open Textbook Project - 2008-05-01

The California Community College Open Textbook Project is currently evaluating a number of platforms for providing open education resources in the California community college system. Connexions is among these platforms, as is discussed in a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article. This effort is being funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which provides much of Connexions' own funding. Please visit the Chronicle article for further details.

Connexions Work Mentioned in NY Times Editorial - 2008-05-01

A recent New York Times editorial cites the rising cost of textbooks and calls for universities to adopt innovative new methods for lowering book costs for students. Rice University's efforts to provide texts through Connexions for some of its courses is cited as an example of the new kind of institutional thinking called for by the article. These courses, such as "Concept Development Studies in Chemistry" and "Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering I", are available free online and at very low-cost as printed, bound books available through print-on-demand publishing.

LaTeX Importer Feature Now Available - 2008-04-22

Connexions is excited to announce its newest authoring tool: an importer for turning LaTeX documents into CNXML modules. Not only does the importer produce high quality Connexions markup, it also generates very faithful presentation MathML for the LaTeX mathematics. Geared toward technical authors for whom LaTeX is typically the authoring platform of choice, the importer is based on the open-source LaTeX-to-XML converter Tralics.

To get started using the LaTeX importer, Connexions authors should first have a look at the "Using LaTeX to Create Connexions Modules" overview document. As LaTeX documents can in general be built using arbitrarily complicated packages and macros, this article will guide authors on how to best prepare their LaTeX for import using Connexions' LaTeX document template.

The Institute Highlights IEEE-Connexions Partnership - 2008-04-22

The April 2008 edition of the IEEE Institute highlights the ongoing partnership between the IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) and Connexions as part of IEEE's new policy of encouraging free public access. In the article, past IEEE-SPS president Al Hero, who heads the Connexions initiative, encourages participation of authors by publishing new collections and submitting them to the IEEE-SPS for review using its Connexions lens. You can access the article and read Prof. Hero's quotes by clicking here.

Connexions Featured in Educational Technology Magazine - 2008-02-20

In its November-December 2007 issue, Educational Technology Magazine featured a paper written by Connexions Senior Strategist C. Sidney Burrus. That issue is now available for free download. To read it, please click here and scroll to page 22 of the PDF file.

Collection Printing Feature Now Available - 2008-02-01

Connexions is excited to announce the debut of its long-awaited collection printing feature. Now, in addition to generating PDF files of a individual modules, Connexions users can generate a single PDF containing all the modules in a given collection. We will give a brief introduction to these new features here.

How to Generate PDF Files from Collections

Much as Connexions modules have long sported a "Print (PDF)" option in the "Content Actions" box on their left-hand side, collection home pages will have a "Download PDF (BETA)" option to do the same. This is illustrated in Figure 1. Of course, a collection's home pages is always found at "", where "XXXX" substitutes for the number of the collection in question. The "(BETA)" remark is added to remind Connexions users that this feature is currently being beta-tested, so there may be a few kinks that need to be worked out. When users do happen to run into troubles, we request that they report their problems using the bug-reporting procedure below.

Figure 1: New "Download PDF" option in collection homepage Content Actions pane.

Features of the New Print System

When a collection editor publishes a new collection or a new version of an existing collection, the collection PDF will be available for download within the hour. When modules in the collection change, those changes will appear in the collection PDF within the hour.

A collection PDF contains much more than just the content of the individual modules gathered into the collection. It begins with a title page giving the name(s) of the editor(s) who assembled the collection, followed by the name(s) of the author(s) who created the modules in the collection. Next you will find a table of contents listing all the sections of the collection and the names of modules gathered into those sections along with their page numbers in the printed collection. Following this, the contents of modules will be presented inside of the sections and chapters. References to other modules in the collection will be displayed using a chapter/section numbering system that is consistent across the document. Similarly, references to figures, tables, equations, and references will also have a numbering system that is consistent throughout. Solutions to exercises presented in a chapter will appear at the end of that chapter, rather than immediately following each exercise. At the end of the document, you will find a glossary section of defined terms whose definitions are specified in the markup of each module in the collection. Following this is an index built from the keywords in the metadata and the terms marked up in the body of each module. The printed collection concludes with a list of all the modules used in the collection, displaying the title, authorship, URL, and licensing information for each.

Known Issues with Collection Printing

As the collection print tool is in its beta-testing phase, it still has a few unresolved issues. If you should encounter these problems, please know that we are working hard to fix them. Some of the more common problems are as follows:

  • large tables may flow off the printed page
  • tables within tables are not currently supported
  • tables with cells spanning rows are not currently supported
  • some long equations may flow off the page
  • some long equations may flow outside table cells containing them
  • autoscaling of images to fit the printed page may not always yield an optimal image size
  • some collections will fail to build PDF files; these collections will not have the "Download PDF (BETA)" link

How to Fix Some Problems Yourself

Interested authors can, in certain cases, edit their CNXML to resolve a few of the issues above. For instructions on particular fixes, please click on the links below:

How to Report Problems

If you encounter problems in the print collection process other than those mentioned above, please take a moment to let us know. You can use the "Report a Bug" link in the upper-right corner of any collection homepage (Figure 2), or you can go directly to the bug report form by clicking here. When you do so, please provide us with as detailed a description of the problem as possible.

Figure 2: The "Report a Bug" link in the top right corner of a collection homepage.

Planned Print Enhancements

As discussed, this announcement represents the initial release of a Connexions collection printing tool. In time, we will not only release fixes for some of the issues mentioned above, but we will also introduce a number of enhancements to the printing pipeline. These improvements include:

  • Single module printing incorporating the improvements seen in the collection print tool.
  • A downloadable .zip file containing all the supplemental media for a collection (those non-printable items that currently display with the message "This is an unsupported media type" and a link pointing to an online file).

IEEE-SPS Connexions Lensing Website Online - 2008-02-01

Connexions, on behalf of the IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS), is pleased to announce the launch of, the main website for the IEEE-SPS Connexions lensing project. Here, IEEE-SPS authors can view a brief Connexions authoring guide and submit their Connexions modules for lensing. The site also serves as a home for IEEE-SPS content reviewers, where they can review the Lensing Agent guidelines and submit their lensing reports. We encourage those IEEE-SPS authors with content in Connexions to submit their materials for lensing and those who have not yet contributed to Connexions to do so and then apply to have the IEEE-SPS endorsement placed on their modules and collections. For more information on Connexions lenses, please click here.

Cape Town Declaration and Connexions - 2008-01-27

The recently announced Cape Town Open Education Declaration, calling for commonplace open access to education resources, has made quite a media splash. In particular, the San Francisco Chronicle has published an editorial by signatories Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia) and Richard Baraniuk (founder of Connexions) discussing the Cape Town Declaration and the Open Education Movement.

Also in connection with the Declaration, articles featuring Connexions have recently appeared in such publications as Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Book Tech: The Best of 2007 - 2008-01-07

Rice University Press (RUP) and Connexions are named in an item about publishing highlights of 2007. The piece mentions "Images of Memorable Cases," one of the first titles in RUP's return to publishing after a ten-year hiatus. The book is available online via Connexions' RUP lens and is available in hard copy from print-on-demand service provider QOOP.

Vietnam Launches OpenCourseWare Powered by Connexions - 2007-12-14

The government of Vietnam has just launched a country-wide system, known as Vietnam OpenCourseWare (OCW), to make educational materials freely available to students across the country. Vietnam OCW is powered by Connexions and in its initial release focuses on materials in Electronics, Biology, and Information Technology. To learn more, please visit this VietNamNet Bridge article.

Server software upgrade - 2007-12-12

On December 12, Connexions upgraded its systems to the latest versions of its server software, Plone and Zope. The rollout went smoothly, causing no general site outage. Authoring functions were disabled from midnight through 5 PM to prevent data loss while the system was migrated from one set of software to the other; we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Users of the site, including authors, should notice little or no change to the site from this upgrade. Its purpose was to enable future development rather than to implement new features, though we expect some performance improvements and fewer load-related errors in the authoring interface. If you notice anything different that impacts your usage of the site, please let us know!

Connexions featured in Math Forum Newsletter - 2007-12-11

Connexions is featured in a recent edition of Drexel University's Math Forum news letter. The Math Forum is an online resource dedicated to the improvement of mathematics pedagogy.

Connexions Author Kitty Schmidt-Jones Featured by - 2007-11-12

Kitty Schmidt-Jones, author of popular Connexions courses on music such as Understanding Basic Music Theory and Musical Travels for Children, has been featured in a article on the future of textbook authorship and publishing.

Connexions featured in Educational Technology - 2007-11-06

The November/December issue of Educational Technology magazine, which is dedicated to open educational resources (OER), contains an article about Connexions. The article, "Connexions: An Open Educational Resource for the 21st Century," is written by Rice University's C. Sidney Burrus, the Maxfield and Oshman Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering and former dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering. To read the full article, subscribe to Educational Technology or download a PDF version (Copyright © 2007 by Educational Technology Publications, Inc., used with permission).

IEEE Signal Processing Society Announces Partnership with Connexions - 2007-10-31

IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) President Alfred Hero announced in the November 2007 IEEE Signal Processing Magazine that the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineerings (IEEE) -- the world's largest professional society -- is partnering with Connexions on a major initiative to develop a critical mass of signal processing educational modules and courses that will be available for free access by anyone, anywhere, at any time.

The materials will pass through a careful Society review for quality and content that will earn them the imprimatur of the IEEE brand for quality. Eventually the materials will be available not just in English but also in a number of languages, including Spanish and Chinese.

The project will begin accepting submissions of content for conversion and reviewing in January 2008. If you’d like get started early contributing your own content, see the Connexions author’s guide.

For more information, see the project website at

Introducing Advanced Search with Usage Statistics - 2007-10-31

This month, Connexions introduces an improved content searching interface. This advanced search tool allows users to sort search returns by a number of metrics, expand or collapse details in the search results, and even view usage statistics for Connexions modules and courses.

Figure 1: Access advanced search through the "view statistics" link in a Connexions author profile page.

Search and Browse

This interface can be accessed in a variety of ways. A Connexions user can click on the "view statistics" link in an author profile page (Figure 1). This takes the user straight to the advanced search statistics view for that author's content (see below for more information on this view). Alternatively, to access the advanced search features, a user may search for material as normal in Connexions - either through the content browsing interface in Figure 2 (choose the "Expand this Information" link in the "View" box) or content keyword search in Figure 3. Results are returned in the detail view shown in Figure 4. In this view, Connexions users have access not only to the names and authors of modules and collections matching their criteria, but they can also examine a selection of the metadata associated with each item, such as the it's keywords and revision history. To hide this more detailed information, users can click on the "Compact" link under the "View" heading in the search return box (Figure 4).

Figure 2: Access advanced search through Connexions' content browsing interface.

Figure 3: Access advanced search through Connexions' content searching interface.

Figure 4: Search results detail view.

Sort (by Popularity, Language, Keywords etc.)

Results in the search return can be sorted by a variety of fields using the "Sort by" drop-down box shown in Figure 5. Options for the sort include module popularity, language, revision date, title, and type.

Figure 5: Search results display options.

Get Statistics about Popularity and Viewership

Finally, module and collection usage statistics can be found by clicking on the "Statistics" link under the "View" heading in the search results box. This gives you the view shown in Figure 6. Statistics include total views, views per day, and popularity percentile and rank in the Connexions repository. These statistics can either cover the module or collection's entire history (the "All Time" link under the "Statistics" heading) or the most recent week of activity (the "Recent" option). As already mentioned, this statistics view is also available by clicking on the "(view statistics)" link on an author's member profile page (Figure 1).

Download a Spreadsheet

Additionally, these statistics can be downloaded as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to a user's local machine using the "Download Spreadsheet" link found under the "Statistics" heading.

Figure 6: Search results statistics view.

We encourage Connexions users and authors to experiment with this exciting new search interface to see what all it has to offer.

Connexions featured in "Campus Technology" article - 2007-06-27

Connexions was featured in the Campus Technology article "Open Source Connects Courseware at Rice University" on 6/26/2007 by Linda L Briggs. The article reports "as the Internet rapidly reshapes how scholarly information is disseminated at colleges and universities, an open-source, open-community initiative at Rice University in Houston may portend the future". Read the full article.

Connexions hosts Hewlett Foundation 2007 OER Grantees Meeting - 2007-03-22

On behalf of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Connexions project hosted the Foundation's Open Educational Resources (OER) Grantees Meeting at Rice University in Houston, Texas, on March 27 and 28, 2007. The event included a presentation by Dan Atkins, John Seely Brown, and Al Hammond on their findings on the state and potential of the OER field. Click here to view video webcasts of all the presentations. Click here to view the Web page for the event. Click here to view the press release by Rice News on the event.

New Executive Director joins Connexions - 2007-01-10

Dr. Joel Thierstein joined the Connexions team as it new Executive Director on January 8, 2007. Joel brings to the project a wealth of media and academic experience along with a strong background in telecommunications, media technology research, communications law, establishing international standards, and managing nonprofit organizations.

Joel replaces Dr. W. Joseph (Joey) King as Executive Director, who has joined the Connexions Advisory Board.

KUHF, an NPR affiliate station in Houston, talks about the "Sound Reasoning" course - 2007-01-09

Chris Johnson with KUHF radio talked with Anthony Brandt about Sound Reasoning, the online music appreciation course that Anthony authored in Connexions. They discussed music composition and walked through a portion of the course, complete with some embedded musical examples.

Tech Museum names Connexions a 2006 Awards Laureate - 2006-11-18

The Tech Museum of Innovation, one of the country's leading science and technology museums, named Rice University's Connexions as a 2006 Tech Museum Awards Laureate. The Tech Museum of Innovation, located in San Jose, California, named 25 laureates for its prestigious awards program, which celebrates those who leverage new and existing technologies to benefit humanity. Connexions was one of five laureates vying for the Microsoft Education Award. Other awards the museum presents are the Intel Environment Award, the Accenture Economic Development Award, the Agilent Technologies Foundation Health Award, and the Katherine M. Swanson Equality Award.

IBM awards Rice $700K for shared university research project - 2006-10-06

Rice University and IBM announced that they will collaborate on the development of an open-standards-based, service oriented architecture (SOA) that will help higher education institutions tie together their increasingly diverse academic software applications. Rice University and IBM will collaborate to design an SOA for Rice's Open-CLE. This SOA will allow individual educational and research applications to "talk" with each other. Rice's largest open standards applications today include Sakai - a leading open source course management system; OwlSpace, powered by Sakai and operating as the framework for Rice's web-based Collaboration and Learning Environment; Connexions, a collaborative, educational web-based environment composed of independent teaching modules that can be used alone or connected into larger courses; and DSpace, a digital repository system that captures, stores, indexes, preserves, and distributes digital research material.

The complete text of the announcement is available from Rice University News and Media Relations.

Rice University Press publishes its first document in Connexions - 2006-10-02

Rice University Press (RUP) publishes "Art History and Its Publications in the Electronic Age" in Connexions. This is the first document that RUP has published since becoming a digital press.

Browse content by language - 2006-09-29

Visitors to Connexions can now browse the content repository, sorted by language. In addition to browsing by title, author name, key word, popularity, or date, you can now click the link to the language you want and display content items in that language.

Project Manager joins Connexions - 2006-08-15

Katherine Fletcher joined the Connexions team as its new Project Manager on August 15, 2006. Katherine has worked in both academia and the corporate world and brings to the project a background in educational research, software development and implementation, project management, marketing plans, and budgeting.

System Architect joins Connexions - 2006-07-06

J. Cameron Cooper joined the Connexions team as its new System Architect on June 1, 2006. Cameron brings to the project an extensive background in programming and Web development technologies, such as Plone, Java, Python, and Zope.

Browse Content by Revision Dates - 2006-07-05

Visitors to Connexions can now browse the content repository, sorted by revision date. In addition to browsing by title, author name, key word, or popularity, you can now click the Latest Revisions link and display content items in order of revision date.

Human-computer interaction expert joins Connexions - 2006-05-18

Dr. Manpreet Kaur joined the Connexions team as its new Usability Researcher on March 6, 2006. Manpreet brings to the project an extensive background in usability research, HCI (human-computer interaction) technology, Web interface design, and software development. With a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering and a graduate certificate in Cognitive psychology, Manpreet aims to strike a balance between the human and technological needs of the project. Her professional experience ranges from academic research to usability consulting in the technology, education, finance, and insurance sectors.

Google TechTalk presents Connexions - 2006-04-18

On April 11, 2006, Dr. Richard Baraniuk, the Founder of Connexions, and Dr. W. Joseph King, the Executive Director of Connexions, visited the headquarters of Google™ and delivered a presentation on what Connexions is and how it works. Google TechTalks recorded the presentation, titled Connexions - Building Communities and Sharing Knowledge, and has made it available for viewing on the Google Video Web site.

Web pages introduce authors - 2006-04-03

Click on an author's name in a module display or on the Content tab and the "Member Profile" web page for that author appears. The "Member Profile" gives authors a place to tell Connexions visitors about themselves. Every author has a profile that is automatically generated by the system. Authors can add to their profile easily by clicking the "Edit my Profile" link that displays on their "Member Profile". For more information, please see the Author Profiles instructions on the Connexions Help page.

A new domain name and logo for Connexions - 2006-02-22

Now you can access Connexions at This domain name is a generous gift from McAfee, Inc., the largest dedicated security company in the world. McAfee® delivers proactive and integrated protection with security on networks and systems that provides a comprehensive yet manageable and complete solution.

And Connexions has a new logo that you can see appearing throughout the Connexions Web site.

Connexions visitors surpass 500,000 per month - 2006-02-07

Connexions had 500,740 unique visitors during January 2006. This was the first time the number of visitors exceeded one-half million within a single month. By comparison, Connexions had 264,554 unique visitors in January 2005. This is a 89 percent increase in traffic over one year.

Job opening on the Connexions team - 2006-01-19

The Connexions team is growing and we have an opening for a Senior Software Developer/Architect

If you are interested in applying for this position, please go to the How to Apply Web page and follow the instructions.

Rhaptos 1.5 software released - 2005-10-08

Rhaptos is the code name for the software developed and used by the Connexions project. This software allows students to access a wealth of educational material on the Internet. It also enables authors and instructors to create and organize educational material into modules, which they can select and assemble into collections that are customized to meet their teaching and learning needs.

New, Easier Ways to Edit Connexions Modules - 2005-09-09

Our Word importer makes it easy to create modules from Word documents by transforming them into CNXML. It uses Word's built-in paragraph styles to automatically markup items like sections, links, and figures. You can download a Word document template from Connexions that contains paragraph styles that translate directly into CNXML tags. See the Using Microsoft Word to Create Connexions Modules guide for more information.

Edit-In-Place was originally implemented for small, quick edits to published modules. Now it is the default editor in your workspace and work groups and allows you to perform the following actions to a module before or after you publish it:

  • Add new paragraphs or delete existing ones
  • Add or edit examples, lists, equations, notes, examples, code blocks, and figures
  • Display help text on CNXML tags as you work

Inside Higher Ed calls Connexions a real open source of information - 2005-08-02

Inside Higher Ed, the online news and opinion magazine for higher education, named Connexions as "a model for free, shared information that could be used by faculty members and students anywhere in the world." The article by Scott Jaschik titled "Really Open Source" compared Connexions and MIT's OpenCourseWare.

New Executive Director joins Connexions - 2005-07-05

Dr. W. Joseph (Joey) King joined the Connexions team as its new Executive Director on July 5, 2005. Joey brings to the project an extensive background in telecommunications research, human interface technology, network tools, investment banking, foundation management, and entrepreneurship.

Connexions searchable via OpenSearch at - 2005-06-08

Connexions Search

Connexions now supports the OpenSearch specification. This makes it easier to directly access Connexions content from other search sites. See it at, Amazon's new multi-source search site.

Content from Connexions can be retrieved as a new column in your search results: select "Over 200 more ..." from the "More Choices..." drop-down menu, and type "Connexions" in the "Search Columns:" box.

Catherine Schmidt-Jones named Author of the Year - 2005-06-06

Congratulations to Catherine Schmidt-Jones, who has been named the 2004 Connexions Author of the Year. Catherine is a very active Connexions author -- her modules and courses on music and teaching music are used every day by thousands of people from around the world. Visit "The Basic Elements of Music" course by Catherine Schmidt-Jones or find more content she has authored.

NEA awards grant for Sound Reasoning course - 2005-04-15

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently awarded a $7,500 grant to Composition and Theory Professor Anthony Brandt for additional development of Sound Reasoning, his interactive music appreciation course in Connexions. Professor Brandt will use the funds from NEA to write and implement additional modules in his course, with technical assistance from the Connexions team. These additional modules will address the issues of what makes music intelligible, how musical ideas are prolonged and developed, and how emphasis is created. There will also be a discussion of of the basic elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. The complete course will be available online in fall 2006.

Server Upgrade - 2005-03-24

The Connexions site will be unavailable for about 30 minutes starting at 10:00 PM US/Central this Sunday night March 27th while we upgrade our server to Plone 2. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Missing files or modifications? - 2005-03-14

To correct a server outage that occurred on March 14, 2005, the Connexions database was restored with a backup of the database. This action may have caused the loss of data in files that were created or modified between midnight, March 13, 2005, and 1:00 pm March 14, 2005, Houston time. If your workspace or work group is missing files or file modifications from that time period, or if you requested a Connexions account during that time period and Connexions does not recognize your account, please contact our Technical Support team.

Try the new features on the open beta - 2005-01-31

New module editing features are available for you to evaluate in the Connexions open beta test. The editing features are:

  • Microsoft Word importer - you can import a Word file into a module and Connexions automatically converts it into CNXML.
  • Edit-In-Place in the workspace/workgroup - this is the default view for editing modules. You have to option to edit modules with Edit-In-Place or with the Full Source editor.
  • Edit-In-Place enhancements - you can add and delete CNXML tags using Edit-In-Place.
Please take a look at these features and send us your comments about them.

Discuss Connexions content on-line - 2005-01-28

You and other Connexions users can have on-line discussions about Connexions modules. Each module now has its own discussion forum. Please see the Connexions Discussion Forums module for a description of this feature and an explanation of how to use it.

Search for Executive Director for Connexions - 2005-01-14

Connexions is accepting applications for the position of Executive Director. A job description is available on the Rice University Human Relations Web page. The same information is available in a PDF file. If you are interested in applying for the job, please go to the How to Apply Web page and follow the instructions.

Connexions looking for a programmer - 2005-01-13

The Connexions staff is growing and we have an opening for a programmer. A job description is available on the Rice University Human Relations Web page. If you are interested in applying for the job, please go to the How to Apply Web page and follow the instructions.

Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0 Adopted - 2004-12-17

Connexions began using the 2.0 version of the Creative Commons Attribution License on December 17, 2004. Any modules and courses that were published in Connexions after 6:00 pm (Houston time) on that date use License 2.0. All the modules and courses that were published before that date and time still retain License 1.0. For the purposes of publishing in Connexions, there is no conflict between the two versions of the License. See the Creative Commons announcement for an explanation of the new version of the License. goes live - 2004-12-14

Connexions is proud to announce the launch of our software distribution site. This site will be the primary place to download software released by our development team.

The complete system has not yet been released, but there are several individual components that may be useful on their own.

Altova AUTHENTIC 2005 sp1 released - 2004-12-07

If you are having problems editing Connexions files with AUTHENTIC 2005, please install the latest version of the software, AUTHENTIC 2005 sp1. Service Pack 1 (sp1) contains a fix for a problem that version 2005 has with MathML, which is a part of many Connexions documents. If you experience MathML-releated problems with Connexions files that you exported before December 7, 2004, re-export the files.

Modules and courses get a new look - 2004-11-03

Connexions modules and courses have a new look, which makes it easier for readers to find out more about their topic and about Connexions. This change especially helps readers who access a module through an Internet search engine directly, instead of in the context of a Connexions course. A detailed explanation of the changes in this new look is shown on the Connexions Tech Blog page.

See an example of a module with the new look. See an example of a course with the new look.

Presentation Slides from ECDL 2004 - 2004-09-15

The slides from the presentation "Connexions: An Alternative Approach to Publishing" by G. Henry at the European Conference on Digital Library (ECDL), University of Bath, United Kingdom, September 2004.

Hewlett Foundation awards new grant - 2004-08-23

The Hewlett Foundation continues their support of the Connexions project by awarding a new grant of $1,250,000 for 18 months. For more information, please read the news release from the Rice University Office of News and Media Relations.

Presentations at 2004 ASEE Conference - 2004-05-27

The Connexions team is presenting the following papers at the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) conference:

  1. Peer to Peer Collaboration using Connexions (Session 2258, Tuesday 22 June, 8:30am - 10:15am)
  2. Community Driven Digital Signal Processing Laboratories in Connexions (Session 3620, Wednesday 23 June, 4:30pm - 6:00pm)

Current Developments - 2004-05-27

We are working on many exciting things for Connexions this summer. Be on the look out for:

  • Usability improvements - our team is working with usability experts to make the Connexions Web site easier to use and more user friendly
  • Community features - new communications tools for you, like discussion boards and community pages
  • MS Word conversion - tools to more easily convert Microsoft Word documents into Connexions modules

Server Upgrade - 2004-05-26

The Connexions website, including all content and author tools will be unavailable Friday May 28, 2004 at 9:00 PM during system upgrades. Total downtime should be 30 minutes or less. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Connexions Announces Launch 1.0 - 2004-02-19

The Connexions web site was officially launched on February 19, 2004. See the Rice News Release for the whole story.

New Course Composer - 2004-01-28

The Connexions Course Composer has a new interface and expanded functionality. Please see the How to Use the Course Composer module for a description of it.

Web-based Connexions Tour - 2004-01-14

Curious about Connexions? Take the new Connexions Tour, located under the About tab. This web-based tour explains how Connexions works and what it can do for you.

Edit-In-Place now available - 2003-12-04

The addition of Edit-In-Place to the growing list of Connexions features allows you to make quick, simple edits to your existing Connexions modules. These edits can be performed outside of the Author Interface and you can avoid the module check out procedure.

Connexions presentation at Plone conference - 2003-10-17

Brent and Cameron presented a case study on the use of Plone in Connexions at the first annual Plone Conference

New Website Look and Feel - 2003-10-14

As part of our upcoming launch in January 2004, we have updated our website with a new look and feel. The new interface is based on the Plone Content Management System.

Connexions Server Upgrade - 2003-08-20

Some of you might have noticed that we had outgrown our old server and had been experiencing some small outages and delays. These should now be a thing of the past since is now running on a brand new, much faster machine. You shouldn't notice anything different in operation (other than being substantially faster and more reliable), but if you do run into problems, please email us at

Doug Jones named Connexions Author of the Year - 2003-07-31

Dr. Doug Jones of the University of Illinois has received recognition as our third annual Author of the Year. Previous honorees have been Don Johnson and Bill Wilson, both of Rice University. Thanks for helping make Connexions a success!

CNXML 0.5 released - 2003-06-15

The newest version of the Connexions Project's markup language has been released, with new support for bibliographic references and other useful features. See the release notes for details.

Hewlett Foundation Grants Project $1 million - 2002-10-21

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has approved $1 million in support for the Connexions Project over the next two years. For more information, see the School of Engineering's news article.