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h1. Contrib: OpenSyllabus

*Introduction:*

OpenSyllabus (shorthand: OSYL) is a Rich Web Editor used to create, read and edit a syllabus (course outline).
Everyone knows that [syllabi|^Sillabi.PNG] are an universal gateway to teaching and learning in universities.
OpenSyllabus is a valuable proposition for the instructors, the students and the community ([#more details]).

*News:*
* [Google GWT - The right tool for Java men\!|http://www.ongwt.com/post/2008/08/26/Google-GWT-The-right-tool-for-Java-men]
* [New Multimedia Tour Demo|http://neumann.hec.ca/gti/technopedagogie/osyl/]
* [New Sakai GWT Working Group created by Thomas Amsler|http://confluence.sakaiproject.org/confluence/display/GWT/Home]
* [Sakai Solo and OpenSyllabus|http://sakaiblog.korcuska.net/2008/07/18/sakai-solo-and-open-syllabus/]
* [SAKAI community warmly welcomes GWT in Paris...|http://www.ongwt.com/post/2008/07/21/SAKAI-community-warmly-welcomes-GWT-in-Paris] 
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{tip:title=Alpha Version}The OpenSyllabus source-code (alpha version) with documentation will be available here around mid-September.
This is a slighlty improved version of what has been presented in July 2008 at the 9th SAKAI Conference in Paris, France.
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[Multimedia Tour Demo|http://neumann.hec.ca/gti/technopedagogie/osyl/]
{tip}

*Project organization:*

[HEC Montréal|http://www.hec.ca/en/index.html], [Université de Montréal|http://www.umontreal.ca/english/index.htm] and [Sakai Québec|http://www.crim.ca/en/] (Québec-Canada) joined their efforts and brought their expertise to the OpenSyllabus project.
The project management is based on [Scrum|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrum_(development)], an iterative method used with agile software development.

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HEC Montréal contact : for global information, you can contact Emmanuel Vigne (emmanuel.vigne@hec.ca )  Project Director or Pascale Blanc (pascale.blanc@hec.ca ) Project Manager. For technical project information, you can contact Rémi Saias, (remi.saias@hec.ca) ScrumMaster
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*Lead(s):*
* [~j.raynauld], [Product Owner|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrum_(development)#.22Pig.22_roles] (Scrum terminology!)
* [~rsaias], [Scrum Master|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrum_(development)#.22Pig.22_roles] (idem)
* [~sacha.lepretre@crim.ca], Architect
* [~claude.coulombe@umontreal.ca], UI Techlead

*Sakai Conferences:*

Paris - July 2008 - Three presentations were presented at the 9th Sakai conference:
* Open Syllabus : A Prototype Tool to Create Structured Syllabi in Sakai
[Slides|CONF09:Conference Presentations^OpenSyllabus: A prototype tool.ppt]
[Video (RealPlayer)|rtsp://video.cpm.jussieu.fr/Archive/visio/sakai/st080703_3.rm] 
[Multimedia Tour Demo|http://neumann.hec.ca/gti/technopedagogie/osyl/]
* How to Share Electronic Course Syllabi : Open Syllabus, SCORM and IMS-CP
[Slides|CONF09:Conference Presentations^How to Share Electronic Course Syllabi.pdf]
* Sakai & GWT - Toward Improved UX & Easy Web 2.0 Development all in Java
[Slides|CONF09:Conference Presentations^Sakai and GWT.pdf]

Newport Sakai Conference - December 2007:
* OpenSyllabus presentation
[Slides|^OpenSyllabusDec2007.ppt] 

{anchor:more details}
*Description:*

The OpenSyllabus project seeks to adapt to Sakai an easy to use tool to create and publish model-based syllabi that is currently used at [HEC Montréal|http://zonecours.hec.ca/index.txp?lang=en]. OpenSyllabus differs from the actual syllabus tool found in Sakai release 2.4 in three dimensions.

1. For the instructor : contrary to Syllabus which offers no guidance to the instructor, OpenSyllabus is a template that organizes the material and resources usually found in a course outline in predefined sections (introduction, contact information, learning material, assignments, weekly themes or lectures, etc.). Instructors can thus deposit their electronic resources (ppt, pdf, url, etc.) directly to the right syllabus section and qualify their use (reading, exercise. general resource, etc.).
2. For the students: OpenSyllabus offers a unified interface with a standardized vocabulary for easy navigation through the syllabus for all the course material.
3. For the administrative staff and the general public: OpenSyllabus offers a centralized location were all the university syllabi can be found (current and archived ones). OpenSyllabus seamlessly present public or private versions of the syllabi (depending on the viewing rights) and merge information intended for all registered students of a course or for the students attending a specific section. OpenSyllabus shares the openness objectives found in the MIT OpenCourseWare project.

The prototype exploits Google Web Toolkit library ([GWT|http://code.google.com/webtoolkit/]) to provide a quick and friendly user interface.  The structure and the content of the syllabus are described in a structured XML file.  OpenSyllabus/GWT shell can create, display and modify the XML file which is then stored in Sakai.  The XML file also contains the unique URLs to access all the other resources (Power Point, citation, forum, etc.) contained in the syllabus.  The prototype can thus exploit all the resources and features available in Sakai yet can keep the information in a XML format for possible sharing or export.

!ScreenShot OpenSyllabus.png|thumbnail!

*Documentation:*
* [User Documentation]
* [Developer Technical Documentation]

*RoadMap:*

OpenSyllabus Roadmap is a big-picture view of functionality, ideas and hopes we expect OpenSyllabus to include in mid-term and long-term future. This roadmap is based on feedback from current OpenSyllabus developers and Sakai community members. The following items are listed in the order of our actual priorities:
* Course Outline Sharing [(CO sharable content)|http://confluence.sakaiproject.org/confluence/download/attachments/7471527/SharableCO.pdf]
Ressources and texts could be shared among different Course Outlines. For instance, different COs can inherit basic content (resources & texts) from a Master CO. Thus, a course delivered by different teachers could share one Master CO. This allows each teacher to build a different CO from the inherited Master CO. Inherited content could not be edited but new content could be easily added.
* Integration to Academic Information System
* UX improvement
** Drag & Drop Mechanism for syllabus structure tree
** OSYL setting management tool
It is a friendly tool dedicated to SAKAI administrators for managing OSYL configuration.
It allows the setting of different configurations according to :
*** university or department standards
*** different course outline structures
*** specific vocabulary and terminology
* Resources copyright Management
* Resources tagging attributes : available at library, available at bookstore, etc
* Course display format :
** Course Outline Export Format (PDF, XML)
** Global/Lengthy Course Outline View
* Integration to other related Sakai Tools :
Citation Tool, SCORM Player, Forum, Wiki , Exercises, Podcast, new Sakai Portal MyCamTools, etc.
* Mathematical Equations Enabling
* Learning Module Encapsulation and Sharing
* User Feedback Management
* Offline capabilities (Google Gears ?)

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2011-05-30: OpenSyllabus is getting SakaiFriendly
Our current sprint at HEC Montreal is nicknamed SakaiFriendly! Why is that? Well OpenSyllabus has not exactly earned a reputation to be easy to install, nor to be a standard Sakai tool. As our business school is now in full production with Sakai 2.7.1+OpenSyllabus we could finally focus on giving back to the community. You can test OpenSyllabus on a standard Sakai instance at http://osyltest.hec.ca and we'll provide more information in the following weeks about how to get the code. Thanks for your patience!

2009-10-23: OpenSyllabus V9.10 now available
This release features a completely reformatted XML representation (more on this later). We also upgraded the project to GWT 1.7 which means shorter compilation times among other improvements. Our SVN repository is open to anyone kind enough to ask!(smile)

We are getting prepared for a pilot project (starting january 2010 at HEC Montreal) including Sakai 2.6.1 and OpenSyllabus as a replacement for our current Course Outline system (ZoneCours). We are actively testing OpenSyllabus as well as the other tools involved in this pilot (assignment, resources and citations) with the help of 3 new team members (and more to come). Load tests with The Grinder are also being conducted as well as automated functional tests with Selenium. This is getting serious!

2009-10-07: Our Public Test Server now runs OpenSyllabus V9.09
Our public test server at http://osyltest.hec.cais now running OpenSyllabus Version 9.09. This version features a greatly enhanced User Interface inspired from the forthcoming Sakai 3!

2009-05-19: Public Test Server: Version Updated and Address Changed!
Our public test server can now be reached at http://osyltest.hec.ca. It has been updated to the version 9.05 which is not yet available otherwise. The main enhancements are the addition of a direct Z39.50 connection to our library (this is configurable) as well as a Citation Browser as showcased at the Stockholm Conference. Several bugs were corrected too.

2009-04-14: New release of OpenSyllabus (version 9.04)
OpenSyllabus is about to enter its first Beta phase. Usability has been highly improved. In the following weeks, teachers and other users from the user advisory committee at HEC Montréal will start testing the component we call OSYLEditor. Other parts of the project are in a work-in-progress state at an alpha-level (OSYLAdmin, OSYLManager, etc.)

2008-11-25: Release Alpha 3
The latest version of OpenSyllabus is deployed on our demo server. Contact us if you want to give it a try!

2008-11-17: Usability Improvements
We are currently working with usability experts from YuCentrik to improve our user interface.

2008-10-06: Open CourseWare Conference
OCWC Conference - September 22-25, 2008 - Logan, Utah (U.S.A.) Jacques Raynauld on OpenSyllabus

2008-09-16: Alpha Version Released
The first release of OpenSyllabus (Alpha) is now available. This is a slighlty improved version of what has been presented in July 2008 at the 9th SAKAI Conference in Paris, France.

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General information

How to try OpenSyllabus

Technical documentation

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