Forming a Drupal in Higher Edu Consortium

btopro's picture

I've been having a conversation via email with a bunch of higher EDU drupal developers which I'm sick of just talking about so let's make it happen: A Drupal in Higher Education Consortium. The goal of this isn't some kind of bloated, formal relationship but instead a series of lightweight tools across different websites (this one included) in order to help each other through problems we face. Even though we are at different colleges, universities and institutions often times we have similar needs: Department / college / lab websites, intranets, student management, learning management, faculty listing systems and general website management all at significantly larger scale then k-12.

Especially in times of budget crunch, let's take the 5 minutes it sometimes can take to ask / answer questions and help all of us continue to move forward and innovate. I've started an IRC channel at #drupal-edu and would ask any education developers to hang out there and answer questions of passers-by / each other. We're also starting to talk about how we can setup some sites that would be linked off of here and elsewhere to help make people aware of where to look for answers. and drupal.{universityname}.edu exist at an increasingly larger number of universities. If you are starting one or plan to, I recommend having a block on the homepage that displays other member sites. If you are interested in joining, post a link here that we should all reference and we'll start building from there. Also if your in the k-12 crowd your more then welcome to stop by, hang out and ask questions.

Eventually we'll have a site but that's still very early in discussions, but the idea would be to use ELMS, scholar, commons and other distributions to not only promote drupal but how we've been able to use them in education. Scholar could be used for us to talk about our "scholarly" work in drupal, ELMS to design instruction and training materials to help others get up to speed on topics, and commons for the social networking side of things. These are just some early ideas and I more then welcome additional input. But to kick things off:

Member institution: Penn State
Drupal hub site for member:
Primary contact: btopro
Institution IRC: #drupal-psu


Teach 'em Drupal

fen's picture

I've reached out to @leoburd (VoIP Drupal) at MIT to see if we can get on board...

George Washington University

gwmalbert's picture

GW is going live with our first Drupal site in the next few weeks. We would be very interested in being part of a Drupal Higher Ed Consortium.

We've be happy to have GW,

btopro's picture

We've be happy to have GW, MIT, and anyone else interested. or are decent places to start if you're looking to an example of what you build off of. I also have taken the site and packaged it up using seedling ( so you can get going that much faster (

Eastern University

mhoff's picture

Busy at a conference but I think this is a great idea, one that I gave thought to in the past. I contacted Rutgers University about three years ago with a similar idea. I'll check in here when I have more time.


chyatt's picture

I applaud this effort but wanted to point out that there are usually at least 10 people or so on #drupal-highered (as opposed to #drupal-edu). Why not consolidate on one or the other? I don't particularly care which, but I think it makes sense.


I agree. Didn't know the

btopro's picture

I agree. Didn't know the highered one was there. I'd suggest edu cause that can be education in general. Yes the higher edu space is where most people play but I'd hate to alienate the k-12 peeps / others who don't fit into highered specifically

Hey there. I am the developer

SamRose's picture

Hey there. I am the developer of based on Drupal. We're bringing it to Drupal 7 and a new release in the coming months! I'd love to stay connected with you all, and see if there are ways we can connect and share with you all. socialmediaclassroom is in use in a number of Higher Ed spaces, including UC Berkeley, Stanford University, and UOC in Catalonia

Is it features based? the

btopro's picture

Is it features based? the next version of ELMS will be features based and expand the platform drastically in what it's able to do. Heard of social media classroom awhile ago but haven't looked into it recently. Drop me an email, i'd like to talk more down the road.

Definitely will be features

SamRose's picture

Definitely will be features based. I learned from my visit to U of Wisconsin Madison Drupal Camp that most Edu users are using and benfiting from features. It will also be drush/drush make based, with an install profile, following the innovations found in Open Scholar and Open Atrium

One of the big resources that

SamRose's picture

One of the big resources that educators are finding valuable (in addition to the Drupal technology) in the social media classroom project is the sharing of ways in which people are using it, which is happening at And, syllabus and curriculum suggestions Howard Rheingold and other Digital Media and Learning Scholars are assembling at

In addition to collaborating around the development of Drupal for higher ed, I'd like to humbly suggest that we also advocate that educators think about sharing data, methods and successes around using the technology for effective engagement/education.

Is there already some kind of

dominikb1888's picture

Is there already some kind of feature repo or even a feature server ( for educational modules? It would very interesting to have, since many use-cases are very similar across institutions.

Great Stuff...

markwk's picture

Great stuff. I've been in meetings and conferences for the last month so not much dev time.

I'm pushing the Chinese university (Southwest University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China) I work at to start moving their sites towards Drupal (still a mashup of static html, coldfusion, .net and custom php). We'll probably be doing a couple test sites in the coming month or two, then be training some site maintainers / builders for a larger migration in 5-6 months depending on money/energy/cooperation.

I've also got a major reworked AtriumED I'm working on (thinking end of August for a developer release), which aims at the collaborative learning dynamic.

@btpro: thanks for sharing your drupal community site, I'll have a look at it and see if I can squeeze a multilingual Chinese / English version from it.

Individuals, too?

mathieso's picture

My institution is not Drupalish. I can't say that "we" would like to participate. But as an individual prof using Drupal in courses, I would like to participate.


Kieran Mathieson

At the risk of stating the obvious

bonobo's picture

At the risk of stating the obvious, I'd be down for this as well.

Bryan - you've been advocating for this for years; it's definitely an idea whose time has come.



Count MIT in

mpearrow's picture

Hi all,

Count MIT in for this - my group is part of MIT's main IT department ( - also a Drupal site, btw) and does Drupal site development for MIT departments, labs and centers that don't have in-house Drupalists. I know that the MIT Media Lab ( also is involved in Drupal, particularly Leo Burd and the VoIP Drupal group. The MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab ( is also a Drupal shop, and Drupal has generally gotten a lot of traction on campus.

With our group officially supporting Drupal now, we anticipate usage to increase, so we are very interested in participating in an ed/higher ed forum.


Definitely interested

dcolburn's picture

I'm just finishing putting the first Drupal community hub together here at St Lawrence College in Kingston Ont. and starting on a second this month (given our budget, the first relies heavily on Acquia's commons install profile). It's great to finally be moving it out of just my classroom. With two universities and one college in the city there's a growing momentum here.

I'm starting to plan a drupal camp focused on the academic, support staff, and students involved in content creation. And, yes, to help bring along the various IT people who need to be brought into the fold. As those plans progress I could really use the advice and guidance of people here.

I'm on board

jwjwj's picture

I am working to implement Drupal at UCLA for Summer Session and some other programs, and will keep an eye on this group! We're still in an early stage of learning Drupal, but would be interested knowing more, say, about Shibboleth and Drupal.

Want To Participate

jbriar's picture

We are just getting started with Drupal at California State University Northridge and are very interested in working with other institutions to promote usage and share best practices in the Higher ed space. We have a pilot looking at Open Scholar and an enterprise project to move all of into Drupal 7.

SF State and CSU Monterey Bay are sister campuses that have more experience in Drupal who we are partnering with now.

Let me know how I can help...

@markwk -- I need to check

btopro's picture

@markwk -- I need to check with the guy that ported the theme with that site to make sure we can send the theme along, current version is basically just the information architecture. Also w/ AtriumED once i release the next version of ELMS ICMS I think we should talk. The visions will start to align pretty heavily I'm hoping. Though as long as you're developing to Kit spec then people could switch between them either direction w.o. issue (hopefully) :)

@mathieso -- Are you teaching Drupal or teaching using Drupal? Either way it's great to have people involved at every possible level. I'm hoping as part of this we can get instructors and learning designers more involved and that this can be a hub for learning materials about Drupal. Best way to train on Drupal in my mind is by example and demonstrating what Drupal can do while using Drupal would be great.

@bonobo -- Bill, as always thank you for the vote of confidence. You've been able to get so many more people using Drupal at all levels of education thanks to your company's work, your work on and your book (on my shelf in the office :) ). I know Voicebox could be show-cased there and many have questions about how best to use feature server (myself included) which could help mobilize a lot of other people from a code / sustainable systems perspective.

@mpearrow -- That VoIP project looks interesting, I'd be curious to see in action how they are using that. The idea of mico-polling in a classroom using Drupal would be an awesome way of bridging offline content review by the learner with in-class, interactive lecture immediately came to mind. I'm sure training and support are increasing questions now and they are starting to pop up at PSU too so any way we could help offload those concerns globally would be a great point of collaboration.

@DBC -- excellent! Don't downplay using Commons, I talked to another College just last week about the work they are doing with Commons in order to get their college into more of an educational social networking kind of world. Glad to hear Drupal is taking off there in any way it does! One thing I really hope to provide with a consortium is even just visibility. I know that consulting groups do a good job of saying 200+ institutions use Drupal and have a big list but that kind of gets lost among other marketing materials. The transparency in terms of sheer numbers that we could provide to not only our colleges / universities but the ones currently on the fence would be epic. In terms of planning, I know that getting approval from a college to use building space to help lower the cost of Drupal Camps works really well. Also providing a hub like also has helped to make others aware of just how big this movement really is at a local level.

I'm really glad to see the positive energy here towards this idea. We'll be talking more about it in IRC / here / email as to what people want to see in this but I know the following ideas have been floated around to have a site that lists everyone, put some training materials there, showcasing usage of distributions in an educational context, allow people to add in their college / university's RSS feed about Drupal related things (essentially an education only drupal planet). Cross linking to each other's sites and this group on g.d.o. are imperative to growing this community. We don't want to stop using this space or silo training materials in any way, we just want to help Drupal spread and help build an even greater case for others currently having the discussion with management that a lot of us went through in the past of "Why Drupal?".

Using Drupal in courses

mathieso's picture

Are you teaching Drupal or teaching using Drupal?


Teaching Drupal

Students use Drupal to build things for local companies and nonprofits. I teach them Drupal first, though not very well. I can do better.

Teaching with Drupal

I teach intro Web tech, using to deliver materials, exercises, feedback, etc.

CoreDogs follows learning science principles. It has features that don't appear in LMSs or automatic tutoring systems. Like a rockin' feedback system. Those features are in modules I wrote, but they aren't ready to share. I'm going to rewrite them for D7 - maybe it would be a good community project.


Kieran Mathieson

Oh no, I didn't mean to sound

dcolburn's picture

Oh no, I didn't mean to sound negative about Commons. Acquia is doing great things and I really appreciate what they've given us. I've built sites similar to that install profile previously and the time saved by using it is a great thing! The budget limitations mean we're using a very slightly modified child theme of the base theme rather than crafting our own -- if I sounded a little unhappy that's why.

I'm really grateful to everyone who has added to the Drupal community knowledge. Their contributions make it possible for a site meeting our needs to be up and running in a very short time.

@Kieran oh yeah! Sorry,

btopro's picture

@Kieran oh yeah! Sorry, forgot about coredogs, we've talked before; very cool. A reason you want to upgrade those components to D7? ELMS is still D6 and it would be awesome to have a feedback system as an optional feature. Check out the Kit specification and then we can develop things cross platform.

@DBC -- Oh I knew what you ment, I just ment using Commons doesn't make you any less of a Drupal use or the effort any less critical to overall success :). I'm very big on the idea that everyone knows / does about 15% more then the person behind them and about 15% less then the person ahead of them. Budget limitations is a huge reason for an effort like what we're talking about so while they are unfortunate I think this is a great way to overcome.

I agree with you completely

dcolburn's picture

I agree with you completely BT. I need to mention Bill Fitzgerald too. His book gave me a huge lift up in my skill and appreciation for working with Drupal.

Now if we can help other people discover these ideas...

Learning science modules

mathieso's picture

Sorry, I gave the wrong impression.

The eventual goal is to help individuals and small groups of faculty write high-quality virtual textbooks, which they can sell at low cost or distribute freely. "High quality" means student performance: students should be able to do X, Y, and Z at the end of the course.

Learning science identifies the student, teacher, and author behaviors that promote student performance. Things like:

  • Design courses backwards
  • Deep learning - less content, more what-to-do-with-the-content
  • Fast frequent formative feedback
  • Metacognition, e.g., what to do when you don't understand
  • Personal attention from an expert

I'm imagining a Drupal distro that helps authors create books with these characteristics. CoreDogs is a nascent form of that.

I wrote the CoreDogs modules for my own use, not for other book authors. The modules need to be redone. For the long term, D7 seems the way to go. Because:

  • D6 will be unsupported when D8 comes out. That will be in maybe two years. Not a long time at the speed I work on this stuff.
  • D7 has things like entities and fields in core. I can create an entity called "exercise solution" with relatively little code. Then attach fields to it, letting core do the heavy lifting with widgets, formatters, etc. Make the entity available in Views, if I can figure out how.

Sorry to be long winded. More than you wanted to know.


Kieran Mathieson

using drupal in web dev course

dugh's picture

I'll try to follow along although my university (utah state university) isn't using drupal. I created a drupal-based site for my department, but after a year it was replaced with our university's proprietary cms. Also I'm working on a browser-based application and considering using drupal as the backend.

I teach a web development course and try to introduce students to content management systems (drupal). Switched to drupal 7 this summer, but a lot of the modules are still pretty buggy (calendar/date are the big ones I use a lot), so this fall I'll probably just have them try out instead. But anyway here's the bash script I used to quickly create drupal sites for students in my class:

I'm interested in seeing what happens

redndahead's picture

I work for the University of California, Merced. We use drupal for most of our departmental websites (if they aren't it's because they haven't been migrated yet). We also use OpenScholar for our graduate student websites. Our next project is moving our main website to drupal which we should hopefully have done in the next month. Then we'll work on getting faculty websites moved to OpenScholar,

I'd be interested in seeing what type of things can come out of this. I'm not a teacher/professor so it's hard for me to see the benefits to the education of students of some of the distributions, but it would be nice to hear what other people find successful.

Academy Scholars Project About

tora34's picture

This is my project The aim of my project is to create a platform for the World academicians. In this way, all academicians will be able to communicate with each other. I would like to learn your opinions concerning this project.


Thats a great project!!!!

steevejason's picture

Thats a great project!!!!

Thank you.

galindes's picture

Thank you. You saved me

Academy Scholars Project About

tora34's picture

This is my project The aim of my project is to create a platform for the World academicians. In this way, all academicians will be able to communicate with each other. I would like to learn your opinions concerning this project.


@SamRose -- I'll be spending

btopro's picture

@SamRose -- I'll be spending this week "featurizing" elms and sticking to the kit spec. though I might go a step further and name space things out specific to elms or a university. We have something called the Open Studio which will be making a guest appearance in alpha 5 but I'd hate to take the name-space "studio" across all educational name-spaces with all the distros about to bubble up. We'll see, still kicking things around. One nice thing (of the millions) with features is that it's pretty easy to spin up a "psu_studio" vs a "studio" feature. We'll be (finally) getting more collaborative with things so I'd really like to see social classroom have some features that could be cross platform :)

As for showcase, I think part of the point of this consortium would be to showcase what people are doing with not only Drupal but the platforms built on top of Drupal. I know that has been successful even just in pointing people to different Drupal sites and showing just how many different things it can be. That combined with an approach like seedling where you take a site and package it as a point release (more or less) can really get people up to speed that much faster as they can tinker with the guts of your site on a local machine.

@DBC -- The best way i've found to spread these ideas is to pay something forward to who ever is interested. People have asked why I seemingly answer questions day and night on demand, it's cause I know this platform and community are awesome. If it takes 5-10 minutes to point someone in the right direction so that they can have that 'ahah' moment then that's more then worth the investment. Look at what's forming right now in this discussion thread as a result of saying let's have a conversation. Go out and engage others who you know could benefit from this and spread the ideas further. My 2-cents :)

@Kieran -- I agree with what you're saying about developing for D7. Only issue I have with D7 right now is that Features / Spaces / Purl platform hasn't been ported yet. Once that happens I can start thinking about porting (and will) but for the time being the D6 platform as a whole is just way too stable to skip ahead and deal with the early adopter pain-points in some module ports. Hopefully the D7 to D8 API changes will be minimal compared to D6 to D7 w/ the entity system and database layer :)

@dugh -- You might want to look into a Spaces / OG based system. This way you could control what students can setup and modify, at least for the early lessons. Once you get into views tinkering I completely understand more of a drupalgardens approach. I really want someone here to adopt Aegir cause an Aegir setup with all the distros we've been throwing around preloaded into it would be the way to start rapidly developing college / university wide.

Also I still stick to D6 because of the bugginess you speak of. It's nothing against D7, education just needs to lag a bit behind in adoption because of our scale and need to do a lot with little resources.

@redndahead -- "benefits to the education of students of some of the distributions" -- What I see happening is your IT staff is rolling out Drupal for department / faculty / staff sites. What's happened here is we rolled out early builds of ELMS for course content creation. That got faculty comfortable with it and then they started to say "hey why doesn't _____ system work that way" and we've slowly started to see Drupal seep into every aspect of the web at psu. ELMS is trying to tackle the e-text creation / instructional design issues in developing online so that faculty and IDs can make better courses for students. Then, because it's Drupal and it's a very community focused platform, we can take the fact that they are comfortable using the text-book creation side of things and leverage that in the augmentation of their classrooms to make them more social. We've done this in the past with projects like the Open Studio and will be rolling that student collaboration side of things into ELMS soon.

@tora34 -- Looks like Open scholar but at a global scale? I like the community idea, finding the hardest thing with getting community platforms going is often times less about the features and more about adoption (personally). It looks like a good community you're starting to connect there though!

Great energy here!

here at UC Santa Cruz

peterm95018's picture

We've been integrating Drupal into many layers of the organization. While we chose not to use Drupal for our "enterprise" CMS, we're also just about to release our official campus template to the large contingent of existing Drupal sites on campus that need functionality beyond what our enterprise system offers. That's buying us good consistency across sites (common navigation, look and feel) and meeting functional reqs across diverse needs (nothing new to higher ed).

From an applications perspective, we're using Drupal for to meet business needs in various areas such as a new (D6, OpenLayers, CCK, Views), Online Grocery (prototype using Ubercart), supporting emergency management (D6, CCK, Views, Managing News), general collaboration (Atrium), etc.

I look forward to seeing the idea of a consortium continue to develop.


Very interesting idea! I

dominikb1888's picture

Very interesting idea! I would join the initiative for the information systems I ( at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU). We're using only Drupal 6 (Pressflow on Aegir) and a wealth of modules for both research project and educational websites. We have contributed an API and connector to Mendeley ( lately: I am sure this is interesting for anyone dealing with publication lists of multiple distributed users. Contact me if you're interested.


This is great news. I'm glad

techczech's picture

This is great news. I'm glad things are picking up. I proposed a session on this theme for the London DrupalCon but it did not get accepted.

I would be happy to host a webinar for people to discuss these issues (in addition to all the communications mentioned here).

Dominik Lukes

Great News

gmak's picture

I've been using Drupal for our Course for a number of years and advocating within our University. It'd be great to get some 'success' stories from across the sector in order that we can build a strong case for Drupal (and open-source generally).

Count me in

Drupal is a social movement

btopro's picture

I made a post in reference to what's going on here as well as where I think the community needs to focus going forward --

@fen - completely agree. I view what we're building with elms as part of the mission of education, create tools that people can use and empower themselves. Much in keeping with FLOSS and I wish there were philosophy courses on the subject in education at all levels.

@peterm95018 - Consistency is a cool side effect. While I don't want things to be completely the same, it's good to have people working of a consistent framework because it can provide an overall more refined experience for students / staff. No more "why does this work different then xyz site on campus!". BTW, That interactive map is fantastic! Any chance of getting a seed of that? ;)

@dominikb1888 - some kind of case-study / write up on getting aegir / pressflow going as well as that Mendeley plugin. Would be good to see both in action in an edu context!

@techczech - Any tool of choice for that? I'm looking at using to do large scale, live, distributed screencasting tutorials. I think it would be awesome to use something like it to do Drupal User Group meetings on a global level. Pick a time that works for multiple institutions to jump in and have 1 place host the tutorials / sessions for that 2 hour block. I'd be open for whatever tools but I think we could help train cross-institution this way and ask questions at the time of presentation and get different perspectives.

@gmak - Success stories would be a great tab on the site to allow people to talk about how Drupal has helped improve courses, colleges and universities.

Also, the more you stick to "the drupal way" the more applicable these success stories can be to other people. It's great to say "we used drupal to do X" but to capture me as an outsider looking in at this community I'm given the "yeah but how do I make that". The more we can give back to others and give them business cases through things like Seeded websites (how ever you accomplish that, not pushing my project here) the more people we can get on board. At Drupal Camp PSU we got two other colleges talking about using Drupal as their web platform because we presented the concept of Seedling and released several sites to the community to dissect and learn from hands on.

Where's PITT? CMU? RNU? Duquesne?

fen's picture

I'd like to see more of Pittsburgh represented in this discussion.

Anyone have some connections they can ping?

Pittsburgh Filmmakers / Center for the Arts

akanik's picture

Hey, I am currently redesigning the Pittsburgh Filmmakers / Center for the Arts websites. A major part of the organization is providing higher education for adults and college students. In addition to offering classes to non-college credit students, we collaborate with CMU, Pitt, Duquesne, Point Park, and many other universities in the Pittsburgh area to offer photography and film classes to their students.

If you visit the Pittsburgh Filmmakers ( and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts ( sites now, you will see that they are in dire need of some 21st century web design and functionality. They were also in need of some identity control, because as it stands now, the two building blocks of their organization (the once separate Pittsburgh Filmmakers and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts) do not appear to be linked in anyway. I used the domain access modules to give each institution their own space, because they are separate buildings who serve different demographics, while still allowing for a unity of design and information sharing. The new sites are set to launch this Monday, August 8.

Anyway I won't ramble here, but I just wanted to contribute to this post and offer my assistance/experience with Pittsburgh and the higher education drupal development!

@fen I am a partner in a

SamRose's picture

@fen I am a partner in a Pittsburgh based business, that collaborates with CMU and other PITT schools. Will check with them. I am sure many schools are using Drupal in PITT..

Individuals Welcome?

teaguese's picture

I was just on a contract at NC State Libraries to get their site redesigned and up on Drupal ( Since my contract ended, I'm unfortunately not doing much Drupal work - boo :( - but would still love to help out on this effort. I'm currently at the largest higher ed institution in CO and would love to see us move to the Drupal realm - :)

Individuals are definitely welcome

bonobo's picture

Individuals within/connected to organizations are how these changes happen.

Come one, come all!



I see that is a good idea,

mierebucovina's picture

I see that is a good idea, but I think we need someone experienced to put it into practice. I think these ideas from some young people must be reflected in a sort of academy, to have and recognition. Those who will use what they discover in this project should ensure that it is something real, not a bunch trying to revolutionize the world. So we need a brand to ensure that these results are fine. Every innovation, and any initiative needs a "protective umbrella" under which to develop. Should such a brand sought to guarantee and supervise us, that because things do not get out of control.

University of Northern Iowa here

bneil's picture

I'd be glad to contribute to this consortium. We've been deploying Drupal 6 on campus since fall of 2009 and have started building Drupal features for campus. We're also running a feature server and use a vanilla Open Atrium install for basic project management.

Even on campus, between two primary Drupal development units, we vary on our processes - it would be great for us to get feedback from others in education.

Wiki page?

jasonh's picture

Really exciting thread to watch develop!

Just a thought, those of use in local/state/federal government have put together a wiki page to list each others' projects. It's been a really useful tool to learn what's been done and to get in contact with each other to learn how to start up similar projects. Maybe it would make sense to do similar for the higher ed (and maybe k-12 too?) Drupal projects?


This is a good idea. We

ferdi's picture

This is a good idea. We should probably focus more on joining forces to actually build products that are needed in education space, improving existing distributions and most important make them interoperable. I think that will take care of marketing part. We will be hanging out in #drupal-edu and would love to discuss more about the details of this initiative.

Definitely interested in this thread...

jakedimare's picture

On a side note...has anyone used the classroom module?

Definitely needed - for new or seasoned drupal devs

bobmct's picture

While I'm relatively new to the Drupal scene (9 months and counting) my employer has been on Drupal for several years now. Our main site is and we have about 5,000+ internal/external facing pages.
I find that inheriting a Drupal site seems much more complicated than building one from scratch as one has no idea what the original develop did and/or how it was architected. And (of course) with NO written documentation... you know.

I look forward to learning as well as contributing where I can.

I feel your pain

fen's picture

In the course of my work at CivicActions I've helped help many organizations transition from ugly, undocumented Drupal (and other platform) sites to modern, flexible (and documented!) platforms they can grow with. And as you have concluded, it is usually our recommendation to start fresh.

But then there's the data migration, and that is a task not to be taken lightly, as often the databases have grown organically over time with people adding ad hoc columns and tables, and always (it seems) with no documentation. Sometimes tools like the migrate module can help, but inevitably lots of drush scripting will be needed. And check out Google Refine - it's awesome for cleaning crufty data tables!

Examples of Curriculum Library

monalisa_ny's picture

I'm a freelance PM and do a lot of edu-related work. Would love to be kept in the loop!

Currently putting together RFP for a user-submitted curriculum library (profiles/permissions, form submit, ratings, comments, etc.) Anyone know of a good example of one in Drupal?

Exciting to see this...

Monica-Lisa Mills

Start of a consolidated wiki page

jasonh's picture


I took a stab at consolidating this information into a single wiki page here at under the "Drupal in Education" group. I hope this is helpful! Also, there's a lot of copy/paste here, so apologies in advance if I misquoted your project - it's a wiki page, so feel free to edit (or PM me and I'm happy to make the change).

ps - thanks to whoever added Eduglu and EthosCE!


yep we were editing it at the

scottrigby's picture

yep we were editing it at the same time :)

I didn't add to the list of Universities using Drupal. Isn't there already a long list somewhere? Either way, I think that should be it's own page because… once that list gets going it will be super long!

Also didn't add our LMS modules like certificate and course, because I'm also guessing that list will start to get long soon. But on second thought, maybe not.

To me it feels like a drupal book page (with sub-pages) might be good for consolidating Edu-related info – but what do you think?

Agree on universities but add the modules

btopro's picture

Add the modules, I think if they are specific to education that would be great. I started this page awhile ago with some ways you could use modules in education -- . I think what will end up happening with this idea is that these types of posts that no one can seem to find but all find useful will get put in a drupal in education handbook type of thing. Still liquid with the idea but I'm going to make a wiki soon as to what is wanted in a consortium in terms of some info / ability to participate and then cross link with the wiki started about who's involved and projects you can use.

Unless someone knows of

SamRose's picture

Unless someone knows of something that exists already, one of the new components that I am now making for Drupal profile will be an "e-portfolio".

Going to follow the "features" route on this, and create it in way that it can be used in any Drupal site. I am also looking at how I can use Feeds module so that users can import stuff as nodes from commercial or other websites of any type, then an export API with plugins for various ways of exporting (for example PDF, odf, RDF-XML, Mediawiki format, CSV, perhaps straight to google docs, etc.

If others are interested in collaborating on this, I am definitely game! I'm also hoping to get all of SMC up on this time around. I am creating Social Media Classroom itself in Drupal 7, but if there is enough interest in any given feature or specialized module, I would consider investing in creating a Drupal 6 version of it in parallel as well, as a contribution to this community.

Given enough time I will be

btopro's picture

Given enough time I will be making an e-portfolio. I was mocking up an e-portfolio aspect to ELMS because students can submit assignments there / collaborate. It would be awesome if there was the ability in ELMS for a student to dump their portfolio of work to a feed which could be sucked in by SMC. There's an html export module in elms alpha 4 for writing to html. Right now that's my solution to "how do we get stuff out of here" as HTML can be placed in any environment without having to think about it. It's not perfect but right now it grabs what the user can see within the group the command is executed in and dumps it and all files needed to html. If you look for profiles/elms_content/modules/elms_core/elms_export_html is the module if you want to dissect it or anything.

Managing News?

niccolox's picture

can i suggest you set-up a kind of Drupal Planet - but focussed on higher ed - and use Managing News ?

@btopro: For the Aegir

dominikb1888's picture

@btopro: For the Aegir writeup, I'll see what I can do. We we are currently developing a platform for user experiments with various feature configurations. This is based on Aegir and may be interesting. The plain admin story is quickly written. I'll setup a blog and let you know. For the Mendeley Plugin: We are using it in a faculty context as the backend of a drupal-based publication database. Once that's out officially I'll wrap it up for you in a post as well.


@niccolo Starting to nail

btopro's picture

@niccolo Starting to nail down which platform to use (Drupal) for the site, this one definitely goes into the queue. I'll recommend that to the people i've been talking to about hosting this initiative site. Haven't played with Managing News but wanted a big aspect of it to be aggregation of this site and training tutorials from around the globe coming out of higher education. I do some little video tutorials on our site and UVA also has started some tutorials at . I know there are others out there generating training materials and we're overlapping big time from some that I've seen even just on campus.

@dominikb1888 awesome! If you have a blog that you start assembling these on we can aggregate them into the site that'll be built out as a result of this discussion.

As an aside I'm also posting on twitter with #drupaledu. I'm not sure who has @DrupalEdu but it's not really used or the link that the account points to at but the website definitely looks like it was hacked or something. Anyone know who operates either of those?

Wisconsin strategy

jct's picture

Drupal started here at Madison on a very grassroots level, and we've taken a similar strategy with reaching out to the Drupal community. For the last 3, we've made an effort to reach out to the midwest Drupal community and have spent a bit of funds to bring in great speakers on Drupal and Drupal-in-higher-ed. We benefit from having great Drupal-ers visit campus, and they benefit by having a cheap place to meet in.

A colleague recently launched I'm not sure what he would say, but to me, this is a means to show how individual departments across campus have invested in Drupal. It also is a great way to forge some community on and across campus.

Distributed .edu sites and the IRC channel are great, but I'm inclined to agree with @niccolo -- we need a site to aggregate what I hope will be some great posts across the Drupal in edu landscape. It also might be a way to start fostering community for sub-interests like:

  • Getting started
  • Development
  • Theming
  • Teaching and Learning
  • eduDrupal consulting

ATM, people involved in these areas are likely working on their own, reworking problems that have long since been solved. I think more cross-campus community on this level will help us all excel in what we're trying to do with the Drupal platform.

Keep up the great work!

I'd be interested in getting

nflowers1228's picture

I'd be interested in getting involved with this. We've been using Drupal at Yale University for almost 2 years now and have pretty good success. Our biggest challenge has been getting people on board and up to speed to work with Drupal. We have our materials at Our How to Guide ( is geared toward the content maintainer and generic administrative tasks, although we do have some tutorials for more advanced topics. Figured there was enough out there for the development types. Nick Silkey gave a presentation at our DrupalCamp (

Nancy Flowers-Mangs

Higher Education Drupal Summit

fen's picture

This year BADCamp (the Bay Area Drupal Camp in Berkeley, CA) will host the first ever Higher Education Drupal Summit.

For more info, see

(This is the last week for submissions, but they'll probably accept case studies whenever.)

Hi-Ed Drupal Summit @BADCamp

Shawn DeArmond's picture

Hi folks,

I'm organizing the Higher-Education Drupal Summit at BADCamp next month. It will be from about 9:30am-6pm on October 21, 2011.

What do you think about using #drupal-edu as the official back-channel during this event? Would those of you who are not going to make the event be interested in watching/participating in the chatter?

I just think that this would be a good opportunity to promote the channel as a useful communications tool for Drupal in Higher Education.

Let me know what you think!

I tweet so it seems

Todd Zebert's picture

I tweet so it seems reasonable to me to have one.

I think for ease of use I'd avoid the - so it's either #drupaledu (could be confusing with just education about drupal), or #drupalhed (as in h-igher ed-ucation), or simply #dhed

I meant IRC

Shawn DeArmond's picture

I was actually referring to the #drupal-edu IRC channel. The naming convention for Drupal IRC channels is #drupal-SOMETHING.

However, we had also discussed an official hashtag. We might have the hashtag be more BADCamp specific. We'll see how that goes.

Any objection to using the #drupal-edu IRC channel during our event?


scottrigby's picture

using this for backchannel discussion would be perfect

Hyphen won't work in a twitter hashtag

xjm's picture

A hyphen won't work in a twitter hashtag, unfortunately. Only alphanumeric characters work.


scottrigby's picture

I meant #drupal-edu IRC channel.

BTW, people can always access IRC even in a conference or university setting that blocks ports, from a browser using Freenode's embedded webchat:

I think it's a great idea to

btopro's picture

I think it's a great idea to use #drupal-edu on IRC and #drupaledu on twitter. I try to populate both as best I can :)

Great to see you taking the

coderintherye's picture

Great to see you taking the lead on this and looking forward to seeing you there!

I'd like to discuss - The California Higher Education group, and who would be interested in taking the lead on it since I have now officially stepped out of my higher education role.

See you there.

Drupal evangelist.

I've started a wiki for us to

bneil's picture

I've started a wiki for us to start determining the requirements for the higher ed consortium websites that were mentioned in the initial post:

Just saying a big hello...

one_hoopy_frood's picture

I've been working on replacing a number of scholarship application processes in our small department at the University of Pittsburgh. Only been working with Drupal for 6 months (with no prior CMS/php experience) and now that I'm beginning to get the hang of it ... it's really keen.

As a note, I turned to Drupal at the urging of a friend in order to build a basic 'application system' - wanted $18K/year just to handle 300 applicants which was entirely out of the budget. It was a beastly learning curve for the inexperienced like me ... but I'm now amazed at what you can create (though I'm still very new to this).

While I'd like to see more side-projects that handle some of the common tasks of applying for scholarships etc (managing letters of recommendation, etc) it's difficult to identify a single set of tools or modules that would make this more straightforward - each application process seems to be very specific:

  • We use a two-stage review process
  • Every applicant must be reviewed by two people
  • Well, we require 3 letters of recommendation ...

That said ... there are commonalities ... and I'm willing to bet that, having made 3 sites, I've reinvented the wheel three times already.

If you need help...

joel_osc's picture

Let me know you want a bit of help understanding how to go about implementing a site with that kind of workflow (yes, use the workflow module!). I have a few Drupal sites running at a local university that manage their Management Consulting Project processes - which has multiple roles (mentor, professor, project admin) for the project review and grading process.

Also, I am currently putting together a D7 LMS which I hope to roll out to a University class that I am teaching. I should have a demo site available shortly - it is a fairly slick implementation using OG, Quiz, Views, Panels and some neat features using Collapsible Text, Table of Contents, Draggable Views modules. Also, since I teach Math the site uses MathJax and the Fmath Tiny MCE plugin.

North Carolina State University using Drupal

usaussie's picture

Just wanted to say that you can add North Carolina State University to the list of schools using Drupal.

While we're still a pretty distributed campus, there's a lot of pockets using Drupal. I'm the main Drupal person working in the central IT office, and I provide Drupal services to anyone on campus who is interested.

Here's a quick list of sites using Drupal here: (our features server for NCSU modules/themes)

...and those are just a few of the sites I helped create or maintain.

Let me know if you want any other information about what we're doing here at NC State. I'm usaussie on irc and hang in the drupal-edu and drupal-nc rooms all the time.

George Washington University

gwmalbert's picture

George Washington University went live with its first Drupal 7 site from our centrally managed installation profile back in September 2011. Since then, a number of sites at the university have been created and are in production or pre-production states and it is anticipated that over 100 sites will be in Drupal 7 by the end of this summer. This August, the main university website will be brought up in Drupal as we retire our Vignette CMS.

Some of our Drupal 7 sites:

highed ed drupal

here is a cool one

joel_osc's picture

Here is a cool site that I worked on with LiquidCMS which allows students and professors to collaborate during the web publishing workflow, so project images can be uploaded by students and then showcased by professors.

Very cool indeed

el_pirata's picture

I assume this site uses a custom theme....?
Wanna get me some of that!

Drupal and education. Very

Semel's picture

Drupal and education. Very interesting. Thanks to author!

I recommend having a block on

Alexzander44's picture

I recommend having a block on the homepage that displays other member sites. If you are interested in joining, post a link here that we should all reference and we'll start building from there. 70-410 dumps

Higher Ed Support

NancyatOST's picture

We train at Universities around the country and are very familiar with the Drupal needs in education. Please let us know how we can support this effort. Our blog and video pro tips are regularly updated with valuable content for your members to access.

Higher Ed Support

NancyatOST's picture

We train at Universities around the country and are very familiar with the Drupal needs in education. Please let us know how we can support this effort. Our blog and video pro tips are regularly updated with valuable content for your members to access.


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