learn.osarch.org (Open Source Educational Resources)

edited July 2021 in General

Hello, World !
_We're launching the first version of an educational project called 'OpenSourceEducation'. The code has just been hosted on github to open up collaboration.
Description of the APP:
With the help of a simple UI/UX, users can navigate through Categories, sub-categories and VideoSeries in order to find relevant tutorials to learn new digital skills.

Purpose of the 'AEC Edition' App:
The strength of the webApp is the database behind it.
If the database is filled with categories useful for the AEC industry, we could have a large respository of tutorials to learn to new software, different workflows, learning paths etc.
I have started to fill the database - based on the AEC Software Directory page. If anyone is willing to help find good tutorials and content makers, you could post them within this discussion.
(Hopefully the users and content creators could be the ones uploading their video content in the future).

Live demo:

Future of the App:
Add features :

  • Add users systems
  • Let users Save TV Series,
  • Let users Track their watched content
  • Let users create notes.
  • Any features suggested by the OSArch community.
  • Improve the UI.
  • Make it responsive on all t


PS: The code may not be perfect, but it should be very simple to follow. The front end is in HTML, CSS ; and back end in PHP, SQL.



  • I think it is interesting this project. Maybe OSArch could run it in its server.
    What about to explore other collaborative configurations? For instance: Trello boards...

  • edited February 2021

    Great! Yes, hosting such a project on the OSArch sever would be great
    We currently have one proposal for a subdomain: #1- learn.osarch.org.
    Any other names we can come up with before we decide on something ?

    I'm not too familiar with Trello, but I think it may be best to keep a lightweight platform that we can design to suit educational requirements. The idea is to organise information and easily retrieve it - but also provide user features for easy learning.
    The platform was heavily inspired from the cs50 OpenCourseWare website - link here :

  • edited February 2021

    @SigmaDimensions said:
    Great! Yes, hosting such a project on the OSArch sever would be great

    Lets see what @duncan @Moult think about. They know what is possible to do in the platform. maybe it could be linked with the OSArch Certification Program...

  • Sorry for the late response @SigmaDimensions . I think this is a fantastic project and a well needed resource for the industry. I reckon if this is combined with the OSArch branding it can reach a wider audience, and complements other outlets like the Wiki. I would be honoured to have something like https://learn.osarch.org/ or https://education.osarch.org/ point to your server. We don't even need to host it unless you want us to - a simple manner of pointing the DNS to your server is sufficient. If you would like me to help host it, I'd also be happy to, which may save you some money on hosting fees.

  • Hi @Moult!
    Definetly agree, this can only work with the current momentum brought by OSArch. I do think it would be preferable to keep it in your servers for better stability and long term peace of mind.
    I'll keep on maintaining and updating the project on github for as long as I'm alive - if anyone wants to help with more features on the website, or with educational content - you're welcome to join.

  • I vote for :

  • @SigmaDimensions sounds good. In that case, how about we organise a time to voice chat and set up an automated build on the OSArch server? I'm available anytime during Sydney hours.

  • @Moult, Perfect! I can do any day between 10AM - 1PM GMT ? Let me know the date and virtual location, looking forward to kicking this off.

  • @SigmaDimensions 10am GMT is 9pm Sydney time, so that's perhaps the best time. How about Saturday 6th, 9pm Sydney time?

  • We can do 7pm Syndey time if it is easier for you? What is the best way to call eachother?

  • @SigmaDimensions sure thing! Confirm either 7pm or 9pm Saturday 6th, Sydney time, and we can meet up on https://meet.jit.si/openbim

  • @Moult , I'm in the chat room. It's now 7pm haha! Appologies for not confirming, I read "Come for either 7pm or 9pm" instead of 'Confirm either".

  • A bump for others interested in this initiative to provide a slick UI to help introduce people to a curated set of learning resources for open source software. @SigmaDimensions and I took a look together at the code. The code had some security issues (unsanitised inputs) which meant that it was not feasible for me to host it on the OSArch server. We rewrote the website to fix these vulnerabilities as well as improve the maintainability of the code. The codebase is still super simple by design. @SigmaDimensions is currently in the process of adding more tutorials as well as cleaning the UI code, which I didn't have time to review.

    Codebase is here: https://github.com/bosonprojets/tmplearnosarch

    Some of the improvements made:

    • UI and logic is now separated (maintainability)
    • Taken code out of the webroot, although it is pretty much a single file still since this site is so simple (security)
    • UI now uses Mustache templates (maintainability + security)
    • MySQL queries uses a lightweight wrapper to PDO called MeekroDB (security)
  • @SigmaDimensions Is it correct I saw a GIS category on the website? If so, you should definitely take a look at htps://courses.gisopencourseware.org/. There are many topics there too.

  • edited March 2021

    @LaurensJN , amazing resources! Will add those courses to the database asap, thank you.
    We're still missing a few tutorials, so we need all the help we can get. You can check what we've already gathered at this link : https://learn.osarch.org - using all the categories/subcategories from the AEC free software directeory.

    @Moult, thank you for your precious help!! I'll by going through the last UI fixes + add more tutorials by end of the week so we can get this up and running! How about this saturday 9.00 AM sydney time to finalize everything?

  • @SigmaDimensions 9am this Saturday Sydney time is good.

  • @SigmaDimensions could yo ushare some thoughts on how this should work together with the wiki? What type of thing do you think should be part of learn.osarch.org ?

  • edited March 2021

    @duncan said:
    @SigmaDimensions could yo ushare some thoughts on how this should work together with the wiki? What type of thing do you think should be part of learn.osarch.org ?

    Now that you mention it, the naming could give the impression of doubling up information. I think the section learn.osarch.org would complement the Wiki's knowledge database, since this is a small portion of the whole : an easy way to find tutorials on the software listed in the Wiki's AEC directory page. I could perhaps edit each subcategory in the software directory page, with a " Find video tutorials here "htttps://....." link ).

    Do you think the naming learn.osarch should be clearer?

    The description of the learn.osarch should be changed to make it clearer : "A database of free courses and openBIM tutorials for AEC professionals".

    Personally, when I start learning new software, I often start with video tutorials, and when I am comfortable with the UI and basic commands, I start to explore things through research and blogs/written tutorials etc. , and that's where the Wiki would becoming handy for someone like me.

    It would be good to consider the bigger picture ( which I am ignoring for now), on how we can integrate all of this with the openBIM Curriculum that was discussed in another part of the forum

  • My impression was that Learn.OSArch is a tailored interface for filtering video-based learning. This complements the Wiki. Wikis are great for text resources, but pretty poor as a video directory. Given that we're dealing with a highly visual industry, I see value in having both. Another difference is that the Wiki hosts original content. Learn.OSArch is simply a catalogue.

  • @Moult said:
    My impression was that Learn.OSArch is a tailored interface for filtering video-based learning. This complements the Wiki. Wikis are great for text resources, but pretty poor as a video directory. Given that we're dealing with a highly visual industry, I see value in having both. Another difference is that the Wiki hosts original content. Learn.OSArch is simply a catalogue.

    A concise explanation. Maybe once this is added to the mainpage and the UI better explains this, it'll become easier to navigate

  • edited March 2021

    We just need to be clear how the two parts compliment each other and how they will be kept in sync. Otherwise we get a mess of information no-one is inclined to clean up later. How easy/hard would it be to transclude text from the wiki into the learn.osarch.org pages? That could make learn something of a more presentable front end to the parts of our wiki content which have videos hosted in other places. I certainly think this deserves a discussion so we can be sure we are making the most of your work and enthusiasm @SigmaDimensions and aligning with the work on others parts of the website. Maybe a themed section of the wiki pages which have content on learn.osarch.org "There are more resources here ..."

    Who'd like to be in on such a chat about this?

    PS. At the moment I can't access the subdomain from my work computer which thinks is a malware site...

  • thanks everyone for this great site. I am currently helping my alma mater to set up a program for student to learn BIM with open source software. This forum is extremely helpful. appreciate.
    want to post a question as well. we plan to set up a cloud based server to host the tools so students can practice and collaborate on the same project. appreciate any ideas, reference or examples in setting up such. thanks

  • @EddieHe what type of tools were you thinking of hosting?

  • @Moult, thanks. we are in planning stage, and appreciate advice from you (and everyone in this community). the preliminary plan is:
    1. a server for students to access remotely. Students are from different majors, architecture, structure, construction management, or even CS programming who are interested in BIM software development. if it works, we plan to open to students from other school as well.
    2. the server will host typical lecture stuffs, homework, software tools, example library. etc.
    3. most importantly, we want to create a work environment similar to the actual production of a design firm or a construction firm so the students can practice and gain real-world working experience. we have support from a few alumni that they will prepare some of their real projects as our teaching material.
    4. the server is mainly built with open-source software and uses IFC as native format. However, we will still have some commercial software and converting tools since we need to prepare student in the real work environment where commercial software is often used.
    5. the platform will also be the playground for students who want to tinker codes.

  • @EddieHe it sounds like you want a git repository. Check out hosting sites like Gitlab, Github, Bitbucket, etc.

  • @Moult . not quite like a repository. our survey (opinion poll) indicates two main groups in terms of needs, 1) Students who are good in software and are interested in tinkering with the program. 2) students who are more interested in learn BIM production as part of their A/E career development, and they are user and not developer of BIM software. The first group can be served with a git repository (they can actually find resource by themselves, and do not need our platform). The second group is the majority and are the group we want to serve. we would like to create an environment for them to do BIM production with open source software and IFC format. also, the platform will be able to allow students from different majors (Architecture and HVAC) can work on the same project cooperatively (sharing the same model, how to resolve conflicts, etc)

  • edited March 2021

    @theoryshaw you'd have some useful advice here.

    As for imitating an AEC office environment I wouldn't get to too caught up in that. Some offices are a complete mess and only have folders on a server with no real way to share and learn (unless you remember what folder things are in). So in many ways a vpn to a server with folders is a quite reasonable place to start for projects. Unless you're going to buy Autodesk BIM360 or Bentley Project Wise you'll probably end up with folders anyway. And now I stop digging this dark hole of despair and wait to hear from @theoryshaw & @Moult how all of this can be solved with git.

    Oh, and @EddieHe for coursework/ resources take a look at edx and noodle as platforms.

  • Not certain adsk vault like (and digital asset managers in general) folder structure is that much more user friendly... /00/ab/24/waxwb.xy

  • Maybe Nextcloud is the way? Synching of Revit central files is always an issue. But if people keep in communication it doesn't have to be so hard.

  • @duncan Thanks. I will take a look at Nextcloud. At this time, we are considering using Speckle as the collaboration tool. I look forward to learning more in the upcoming monthly meeting. thank you for arranging that.

Sign In or Register to comment.