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Connexions Consortium - Open Access Textbooks


									                                      Connexions Consortium

What is Connexions?

Connexions is an open source platform and open access repository for open education resources,
enabling the creation, sharing, modification, and vetting of open educational material accessible to
anyone, anywhere, anytime via the World Wide Web. Since 1999, Connexions has pioneered
digital education. Connexions global knowledge ecosystem where anyone can create materials is
free of charge. Connexions modular interactive information is in use by universities, community
colleges, primary and secondary schools and life long learners worldwide. Connexions materials
are available in many languages including English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Vietnamese, Italian,
French, Portuguese and Thai. Through its partnership with innovative publisher QOOP,
Connexions is part of an exciting new distribution system that allows for print on demand and
accelerates the delivery of educational materials into classrooms worldwide.
Visit Connexions at
Connexions: Create Globally, Educate Locally

What is the Connexions Consortium?

The Connexions Consortium (CNXCNS) is a group of organizations, including the world's foremost
leaders in education, who work together to advance open source educational technology and open
access educational content. Members join CNXCNS to work and exchange ideas with other
members. More information about the consortium can be found at

Who Can Join the Connexions Consortium?

Connexions Consortium (CNXCNS) Membership is available to all organizations and individuals.
If your organization is investing significant resources into educational technologies — either by
developing educational content, using educational technologies as an enabling medium for your
work, conducting research on education, and/or developing educational products — then your
organization should be a CNXCNS Member. Adoption of the Connexions platform (Rhaptos) and
use of the Connexions repository in the field of education continue to grow. Those who participate
in the work of the Consortium have a unique opportunity to shape the Connexions platform and to
leverage it to create new markets, expand existing markets, and participate directly in the revolution
that continues to change the way the world of education works.
                                        Member Benefits

-- The opportunity to interact and work directly with the leading companies, universities, schools,
curriculum developers, organizations, and individuals in the digital education world;
-- Right to submit proposals to be considered for future Consortium work;
-- The ability to provide strategic direction to the Consortium through review of Connexions
proposal submissions and operational policies;
-- Participation in CNXCNS Working Groups, where specifications and guidelines are developed,
and in CNXCNS Interest Groups, where discussions are conducted;
-- Participation in CNXCNS Workshops, frequently the catalyst for new technical work within the
-- Sponsorship and marketing opportunities within the CNXCNS;
-- Access to the ‘Members’ area containing early information on emerging technologies, software,
events, forums, news and announcements;
-- Access to Members-only mailing lists, hosting discussions on work underway in the Consortium;
-- Access to the CNXCNS news service. Updates on CNXCNS activities, announcements for
meetings, workshops and conferences, the calendar of events, and Team information are sent
directly via email to CNXCNS Representatives and posted on the Member site;
-- The right to use the CNXCNS member logo on your Web site and to participate in press releases,
often through testimonials.
-- A 10% discount for one member individual at Connexions Conferences.
-- An Organizational account on .
-- Branding on .

Tier One Member benefits also include:

-- Tier One members are entitled to 1 vote for the Tier One Seats on the CNXCNS Board
-- Tier One members are entitled to 1 vote for the At-Large Seats on the CNXCNS Board

Tier Two Member benefits also include

-- Tier Two members are entitled to 1 vote for the At-Large Seats on the CNXCNS Board

Membership Tiers and Dues are defined as follows:

Tier One membership

Non-profit organizations over $50,000,000 annual budget (all sources)     $10,000
Corporations over $50,000,000 in annual revenue $20,000

Tier Two membership

All others    $2,500

Sharing Knowledge and Building Communities
Knowledge is a dynamic continuum stretching           Connexions has been under development at Rice
across disciplines and constantly redefining          University since 1999 and is attracting the atten-
educational boundaries. Recent technological          tion of a growing number of educators worldwide.
advancements make it possible to develop and          Its hallmarks include:
deliver quality, up-to-date educational materials      • A content commons of diverse educational
that acknowledge this flow of interrelated                materials that span the knowledge continuum,
concepts. With a community-driven, collabora-             are modularized for easy reuse, and are avail-
tive approach to creating and refining knowledge,         able free-of-charge to anyone in the world;
education can be considered from new perspec-          • Visualization and navigation of the “connex-
tives that ignite in students a love for learning.        ions” among concepts, courses, and curricula;
                                                       • High-quality materials, thanks to an iterative
What is Connexions?                                       development process and an inherent quality
Connexions is an open source/open content                 assessment mechanism;
educational project that offers a fresh alternative    • Rapid, collaborative authoring of the materi-
to current modes of developing and sharing                als by global communities of authors;
knowledge. In combination with powerful                • Flexible, dynamic construction of customized
software tools, Connexions gives worldwide                courses and curricula, enabled by a coherent
learners of any age free access to educational            format (XML) and delivered in a variety of
materials that can be readily explored and                forms, from Web pages to e-books to paper
manipulated to suit individual learning styles.           texts;
The free software tools also foster the develop-       • Separation of content and presentation for
ment, manipulation, and continuous refinement             flexible customization of look and feel; and
of educational material by diverse communities         • Content MathML for interfacing with
of authors and teachers.                                  advanced mathematical software packages.






                                                                                 course, book, collection


                                                                                 course, book, collection


Connexions is collaborating with Creative Com-         This system has a number of advantages: it is cost
mons ( to develop its              effective and time efficient, lowers the barrier to
open-content licenses.                                 entry into the author community and thus fosters
                                                       diversity of opinion and subject matter, and
Visit the Connexions website at                increases the quality of the resulting materials.

Connexions Software Tools                              As of March, 2010, the Connexions Content Com-
The Connexions architecture and software tools         mons contains more than 16,000 modules and
have been designed to support the development,         950 collections. These support one-third of the
management, and exploitation of the Content            core undergraduate courses in the Rice Depart-
Commons. In a nutshell, the Connexions tools           ment of Electrical and Computer Engineering
can be introduced using the “factory” analogy in       (ECE); Rice courses in computer science, bioin-
the figure on the opposite page.                       formatics, and mathematics; an ECE course at
                                                       the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign;
A global community of authors continuously             an ECE course at Ohio State University; two ECE
converts “raw knowledge” from the continuum            courses at Cambridge University; music appre-
into small, self-contained modules of informa-         ciation, music theory, and botany. Additional
tion, the equivalent of a page or two in a textbook.   contributions have come from Georgia Tech and
Modules can be imagined as special Web pages           Polytechnic University. New material is being
with hyperlinks pointing to prerequisites, appli-      developed in emerging areas such as nanotech-
cations, and supplementary material. Modules           nology, history, and anthropology.
are placed in a database repository (the Content
Commons) to be used, reused, updated, and              Connexions' major support has come from Rice
adapted. Instructors use a Collection Composer         University, the William and Flora Hewlett Foun-
software tool to weave modules into customized         dation, the Maxfield Foundation, and the
collections that can be placed on the web,             National Science Foundation. Connexions has
presented in class, or printed as a paper text.        also received support from National Instruments,
Students and other learners access web collec-         Open Society Institute, the Hewlett Packard
tions or the repository directly using special visu-   Corporation, Texas Instruments, the Vietnam
alization and navigational tools designed to high-     Education Foundation, and the Class Founda-
light the non-linear “connexions” among                tion.
concepts both within the same course and across
courses and disciplines.                               To get involved with Connexions, see the Web site
                                                       or email
All software tools are free and open source
licensed. The result is a coherent system for
course development, organization, and delivery                      
that mutually benefits students, instructors, and

Connexions Content Projects                                        Rice University is a private, independent institu-
In Connexions, content is developed collabora-                     tion dedicated to the advancement of letters,
                                                                   science, and art. It is located just a few miles from
tively by a community of authors under an open                     downtown Houston, Texas. With about 3,000
content license. All materials in the Content Com-                 undergraduates and 2,100 graduate students, Rice
                                                                   is consistently ranked one of the top universities in
mons are thus freely available to worldwide com-                   the country. A small student/faculty ratio and top
munities of authors who can collaboratively                        quality research program are hallmarks of Rice.
create, expand, revise, and maintain them.

                                                       With support from
       CONTENT EXAMPLES                                 Rice University

Galileo’s Telescope
                    A brief history of Galileo's
                    telescope, its predecessors,
                    and the “telescope race” it
                     inspired. In a 150 or so years,
                     telescope makers like Galileo
                     started with a collection of                            ®
                     eyeglass components, solved
                     several major technical

                                                                                     Create Globally, Educate Locally
hurdles (and discovered major physical principles
in doing so), and ended up with the telescope
design we still use today.

Freshman Engineering Problem
Solving with MATLAB
This course, originating
at Arizona State Univer-
sity at the Polytechnic
Campus, is intended to
introduce freshman
engineering students to
problem solving using an
m-file environment, such as MATLAB, LabVIEW
MathScript, Octave, etc. It is designed for the
novice programmer, and covers the most
commonly used features of the language.

Collaborative Statistics
                  Written by faculty at De Anza
                  College in Cupertino, California,
                  this textbook is intended for
                  introductory statistics courses      E-mail:
                  being taken by students at two-
                  and four-year colleges who are        Postal Address:
                  majoring in fields other than            Connexions
                  math or engineering. The book          5615 Kirby Drive
was developed over several years and has been               Suite 350
used in regular and honors-level classroom              Houston, TX 77005
settings and in distance learning classes.

       FIND INFORMATION                                       CREATE CONTENT                                   ENDORSE CONTENT

Our brains are not linear                             Authors create and collaborate,                   Trusted sources / experts
Information is often presented to us                  making the addition of                            Connexions’ content filtering feature, Lens,
linearly, but the way we learn is most often          information into Connexions as                    enables both organizations and individuals
by making connections between new                                                                       to give a stamp of approval to reviewed
concepts and things we already know.
                                                      easy as 1, 2, 3                                   content in the Connexions repository.
                                                                                                        Expert vetting of content allows user-
                                                                       1. Go to
Connexions links information together in                                                                driven quality control on Connexions
                                                                          and set up an
unique ways that work for individual                                                                    modules and collections.
                                                                          account. Log in to
learners by serving content in two formats:
                                                                          your workspace.
                                                                                                        Clicking on a lens link (endorsement or
   Modules: small “knowledge atoms”                                                                     affiliation) takes you to a page about the
   Collections: groupings of modules                                   2. Create a module from          lens and the person or organization that
                                                                          scratch or convert it         created it. This page also lists other content
Finding the information you need is a snap.                               from a Word                   in the specified lens.
Go to                                              document.

Search for content:
                                                                       3. Publish your work,
                                                                          sharing it with the

                  ... or ...
1. Browse:                                            People don’t live in a vacuum
   • Subject           • Title                        Collaboration helps knowledge grow more
   • Author            • Keyword                      quickly. Connexions promotes
   • Popularity        • Language                     communication between content creators,
   • Institution       • Revision Date                advancing the possibilities for new ideas
   • All Collections                                  from which we all benefit.
2. Refine: the parameters of the search
3. View: exactly the educational modules or
collections you want to see

                           To start creating, search for modules/collections or for more information, go to

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