Open Content Exchange - Specification
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K12 Open Content Exchange - Specification

K-12 OCX is a specification for publishing OER (Open Educational Resources) on the web and packaging that OER for exchange with other parties. Typically the OER will be aggregated into collections of curriculum, content and material (compare with a book or collection of courseware).

This specification comprises the following features:

A content model which is the conceptual model used by K12 OCX to define what is being transferred, and the realization of this model in one more file containing content and metadata.

A manifest with metadata that describe the structure of an aggregate resource, that is specify what are the components that are collected together and their logical and pedagogical ordering into hierachies and sequences. It is an important feature of OER reuse and repurposing that this structure is dynamic, i.e. it may be changed by the person using the aggregated resources.

In-page markup to provide descriptive metadata that aid the discovery and use of OER by providing information about their educationally-relevant charcteristics. Such metadata may be provided for any reasonable level of granularity, from the aggregate resource package as a whole down to individual assets.

The following are also part of the project:

Base implementation (or tool) for packaging and exporting OCX metadata with the OER resources, using Common Cartridge.

An additional set of styling guides for allowing resources to keep visual integrity, or to change themes accordingly to different consumers.

Licenses and IPR

All materials are contributed under the Apache 2 license. This means that any contribution can be used under either license. Materials will be contributed per copyright title to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and all such contributions will be licensed openly per previous sentence.

Any licensing obligations inherited from dependencies (e.g. licenses of OS code libraries used) should be clearly indicated by the partner contributing the software that brings those obligations.


Please contribute ideas, suggestions, error reports etc. as issues.

This project uses mkdocs to build the specs using markdown files. If you clone this repository you can test any branch by running the following from the repository directory

pip install mkdocs
pip install mkdocs-material

mkdocs serve

The current version of the spec master branch is available at If you have write permission to the github repo you can regenerate these using: mkdocs gh-deploy see mkdocs documentation

The HTML for these pages is in the gh-pages branch on github, which should not be edited directly and must not be merged into any other branch!