Open Tools

Document created by Employee on Jan 17, 2016Last modified by Kym Schutz on May 22, 2019
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This list is compiled by the members of this group. Click 'edit' (on the right of this document) to contribute additional resources. For more, go to Open Content Providers.


DESCRIPTIONFor Instructors or Students
Office MixOffice Mix is no longer supported. Please read the following for more details: Migrate your content from Office Mix - PowerPoint

RefME is a free citation tool that accurately automates citations, reference lists and bibliographies.


Available on mobile and web, with RefME your students can:

  • Easily generate citations for books, websites, journal articles and more.
  • Choose any style or format including MLA, APA, Harvard or Chicago.
  • Scan book or journal barcodes with the mobile app (iOS and Android)
  • Add notes to citations, both in the app and at
QuizletSearch for and embed publicly available flashcards and question sets from Quizlet. Questions can be embedded directly into content as flash cards, review, or as a study game.
TitanPadTitanPad offers free, public collaborative documents based on EtherPad. Every placement of a TitanPad in your content will result in a new pad being created. Students can also chat while working together on a pad.

SmarterProctoring is a web-based Proctoring Process Management System that transforms the proctoring process by making it organized for faculty, easy for students, efficient for proctors, and free for schools. The system is fully integrated into your LMS and provides organized workflows for all types of proctoring including:



  • On-campus testing centers
  • Professional testing centers
  • Virtual Proctoring
  • Face-2-Face Proctoring

Cerego is a learning technology company focused on human memory.



Cerego gives students and lifelong learners the ability to learn faster, remember longer and manage their memory for a lifetime. As learners study with Cerego, the tool measures the rate of information absorption and memory decay, simultaneously calculating the precise moment to review in order to achieve maximum memory strength.



To date, the Cerego platform has amassed 3.7 million study hours and presented over 1.6 billion items to learners worldwide.

VanillaForumsVanilla is an open source community forum tool that can be run for your institution, department or course. This app allows for auto-login to the Vanilla forum from course content or course navigation.

Badgr is an open-source badge issuing, management, and user achievement tracking platform. With an easy-to-use interface and powerful network features, Badgr is designed to put the power of Open Badges into the hands of instructors and students.


Instructors can define and issue badges natively in Canvas, or use the Badgr API to integrate badging into websites and applications. Open Badges are fully portable and can be imported into external learning collections and portfolios. Badgr also allows students to share badges on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

MaharaMahara is an open source ePortfolio and social networking tool. This app allows for auto-login to the Mahara platform from another system. Links can be added to course content, or optionally as course navigation.
DrupalDrupal is an open source content management system. It’s flexible enough to be used for community sites, Q&A services, forums, standard web pages, etc. This LTI app allows auto-login to Drupal sites from another system.
WebPAWebPA is an open source online peer assessment tool that can be used for course activities. It also allows sharing assessment activities across courses or even institutions.
Question2AnswerQuestion2Answer is an open source Q&A site. You could use it to host course or institution-level Q&A services. This app allows for auto-login to the Question2Answer platform from another system. Links can be added to course content, or optionally as course navigation.
ElggOpen source social networking. You can add a link to your course navigation that will send users to an Elgg network already logged in.
DropThoughtDropThought is an Instant Feedback and Deep Text Analytics SaaS platform that extracts highly actionable insights from unstructured data and presents them in an easy-to-use interface. In DropThought's free product, we capture and dashboard student feedback formatively throughout the course through an LTI integration with Canvas. In our deep text analytics platform we help institutions make sense of the feedback and align it to quality assurance, student success and accreditation reporting efforts. Our Deep Text analytics is unique and well differentiated from competitors in terms of the insights generated, classification accuracy (upwards of 95%), and intuitiveness of the dashboard. Moreover, DropThought is a plug and play solution that does not require our clients to spend resources and time to train the engine, which is a big pain point with current text analytics engines available in the market. We are a strong team, including nine data scientists led by Dr. Naveen Ashish.

Salsa is a web-based syllabus creator developed at Utah State University to:

  • deliver information in a learner-centric format
  • incorporate measurable learning outcomes/objectives
  • meet requirements for web accessibility
  • provide responsive layouts for mobile devices

Salsa is a Canvas Certified Partner that offers direct publishing to the HTML editor in the Syllabus tool through the API. SALSAs (styled & accessible learning service agreements) are also hosted online as HTML documents that meet WCAG 2.0.

Instructors Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation.Both
purposegamesPurposeGames is a web site for learning and having fun at the same time. Good for creating image based study tools.Students
glogsterCreate multi-media interactive presentationsStudents
Storybird - Artful StorytellingSimple tools help you build books in minutes. Let the art inspire and surprise you as you write. Readers will encourage you along the way.Students

Concept mapping tools. Free & easy to use. 

Vue - concept mapping tool

The Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) is an Open Source project based at Tufts University. The VUE project is focused on creating flexible tools for managing and integrating digital resources in support of teaching, learning and research. VUE provides a flexible visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information.

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