eCornucopia: an open-source authoring tool and curriculum-mapped repository for interactive Open Educational Resources


The purpose of this document is to provide a brief overview of the concept and features of the eCornucopia – an open-source server software that allows teachers and other users to create, modify, share, combine, find and reuse interactive learning resources in HTML5 format. According to UNESCO, Open Educational Resources (OER) are learning, teaching and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license, that permit no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others. Open license refers to a license that respects the intellectual property rights of the copyright owner and provides permissions granting the public the rights to access, re-use, re-purpose, adapt and redistribute educational materials.

The concept map below explains the key concepts related to OER types, OER authoring tools, metadata and repositories. 

System Overview

Web service architecture integrates different components to facilitate the creation, management, and utilization of open educational resources. At the core of the system is the Drupal CMS, which serves as the primary platform for content management and user interactions (create and organize learning materials for teachers and use these by students).

Integrated within Drupal is H5P, an interactive content authoring tool that enables the creation of rich, multimedia learning experiences implemented in HTML5, but not requiring from OER authors any coding skills. H5P provides more than 40 templates such as quizzes, interactive videos, and games, which enhance student engagement and interactivity. Any teacher can learn to use it in 90 minutes. Every H5P template is equipped with tutorial and demo resource that speed up learning to use H5P. 

To ensure that the educational resources align with the national curriculum, the system includes a Curriculum Mapping module. This module allows teachers to tag and map resources according to specific curriculum’s parts, ensuring that all materials are relevant and meet educational requirements.

A repository section stores and manages the collection of learning materials. This repository ensures that resources are easily accessible, searchable, and organized. Users can create collections, which are (curated) sets of materials for specific lessons or topics. These collections function similarly to e-textbooks, providing a structured learning experience.

Key Features

  • Interactive Content Creation: Use H5P templates to create interactive videos, quizzes, and presentations directly within the tool interface (no coding needed).
  • User Management: Role-based access control for administrators/editors, teachers, and students.
  • Content Organization: Categorize and annotate (with tags, keywords, curriculum metadata) educational materials using Drupal’s native taxonomy system.
  • Responsive Design: Ensure that all content is accessible on various devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Track student progress with detailed analytics and reports to identify strengths and areas for improvement (xAPI).

eCornucopia is tailored for:

  • K-12 Schools: Supporting teachers and students from elementary to high school.
  • Higher Education: Facilitating advanced learning for colleges and universities.
  • Private Tutors: Providing tools for tutors to offer personalized learning experiences.
  • Teacher Training: Enhancing professional development programs for teachers.

System Components and Technical Details

Platform: PHP-based content management system Drupal version 10, the second most used online open-source Content Management System globally.
Core modules of Drupal used: User management, content creation, and taxonomy, 
Third-party modules added to standard Drupal instance: H5P module, Curriculum Mapping module, Challenge module (tests) and Analytics (Learning Record Store, LRS).