Project lead: Daniel Williamson, CNX
“OpenStax believes that everyone has something to learn, and everyone has something to teach. OpenStax CNX is a dynamic non-profit digital ecosystem serving millions of users per month in the delivery of educational content to improve learning outcomes. There are tens of thousands of learning objects, called pages, that are organized into thousands of textbook-style books in a host of disciplines, all easily accessible online and downloadable to almost any device, anywhere, anytime.”
OpenStax CNX is a repository of open education content which enables users to create, modify, share and reuse resources. The majority of OpenStax CNX resources are college level text books, however the platform has hosted a wide range of resources including K-12 curricula from South Africa and picture books from India.
Content is stored as both modules, small “knowledge chunks”, and collections, books or courses composed of multiple modules. Content can be downloaded in PDF, EPUB and HTML formats. Most content is created and stored as HTML5, though users can also share PDF and Word documents too. The latest release of CNX does not feature video streaming, however video content can be embedded from YouTube instead. All content is licensed CC BY.
OpenStax CNX has recently undertaken a major rewrite to convert the system to HTML5. Most CNX code is built in house and all is open source and available on Github: Connexions.
Previously CNX used a metadata schema, Connexions Markup Language (MDML), and stored metadata as XML. CNX no longer uses this schema since moving to HTML5. LRMI has not yet been implemented in the new HTML5 platform, however a mapping exists between MDML elements and LRMI properties, which represents CNX core metadata fields. In the future, CNX plan to use selected LRMI properties.
The following metadata is recorded for each resource: name, ID, language, summary, subjects, keywords, license, authors, copyright holders, maintainers, latest version, publication date, latest revision.
Metadata is generated by resource creators and users. There is no metadata cleaning process, metadata is accepted as it is entered. Metadata can only be edited as part of the content, which must be republished if the metadata is to be updated. CNX archives a record of every version of metadata published. The new CNX system encourages resource creators to use existing keywords to ensure consistency.