Are you interested in creating a Microsite for your organization, state, university, or consortium? The best way to get started is to reach out to the ISKME team for more information.

Here you can find additional information about what comes standard with a Microsite, and some of the different ways you can configure a Microsite to meet the needs of your organization.

ISKME OER Services: Microsite

An OER Commons Microsite is a comprehensive solution for hosting and indexing a unique content library while facilitating collaboration for a specific targeted audience. A Microsite can be located at a subdomain of with custom branding, or at a custom domain “white‐labeled” site. Microsites are user‐centered, inclusively designed and easy-to-use sites, that house their own resource collections and tools, can contain all the features available on the OER Commons site, and can include specially curated collections from the OER Commons library of resources. Additionally, users can personalize the site’s online interface (UI) with the inclusion of the learner options feature set for accessibility.

Platform Technology Stack

The OER Commons SaaS service is built in Django (a flexible and extensible Python framework) and hosted on Amazon’s EC2 Cloud Infrastructure, which enables auto scaling. The platform uses Amazon Cloud Watch to monitor application demand and scale up as usage intensity spikes. Multiple staging instances of the Microsite infrastructure are available 24/7 as backups, in addition to backups provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS server locations (available worldwide) can be specified for Microsite clients.

Microsite Standard Features & Customizations

A Microsite incorporates all of the tools and features found on OER Commons, highlighted according to an organization’s interests and needs:

  • Groups and Permissions: Groups are openly accessible tools for collaboration on a Microsite. Groups can be open to anyone or restricted and allow for users to share and organize OER, as well as to collaborate on the creation of OER. Groups include a threaded discussion board for deeper collaboration around OER.

  • Curated Collections: Curated Collections include high-value OER, selected by digital librarians and subject matter experts, centering on a theme or topic.

  • Metadata and Tagging: OER that is added to a Microsite includes highly structured metadata and tagging tools that help with discoverability and description of OER.

  • OER Authoring Tools: Users can create OER using the OER Commons authoring tools. Open Author allows for easy import of Google Docs, and can be downloaded in multiple formats. The Lesson and Module builders support a sequenced learning experience with both student- and instructor-facing content.

  • Reporting Dashboard: Analytics are available to users with administrative rights, containing information about user engagement with platform content and features.

  • Site Administration: An administrative panel is available to users with administrative rights, for the creation of LTI consumers, user permission groups, hubs, and curated content collections.

Microsite Hubs

Hubs are a customizable set of landing pages on a Microsite where a network or community of users can create and share collections, administer groups, and share news and events associated with a project, topic, or organization.

Single Sign-On & LTI Support

Microsites include LTI authentication support and sign in with Google and Microsoft as a standard feature offering. SAML integrations and other types of IP authentication can be developed as a customized option.

Training Webinar(s)

A series of five 1-hour ISKME-facilitated virtual meetings will be provided to Microsite administrators with an overview of the Microsite’s administrative tools and functionality. Additional training services are available, including online training academies, in person professional development, and webinars.

Help Center

To support the ongoing use of the Microsite, ISKME includes an online Help Center within the site that contains help articles, a community forum, and a persistent “Help Widget” that will allow users to search the Help Center or submit a question on every page. Standard Help Center support includes an ISKME agent as well as an agent on the client side. Clients can also develop their own help articles on different topics, as well as announcements, which will be displayed on the site and in the Help Center.

Annual Service Plan

The Tier 1 service agreement for an OER Commons Microsite is included in the standard Microsite agreement. There are two additional service tier levels, Tier 2 and Tier 3 that are available for clients who require additional supports. Clients can upgrade to another service level at any time.

--- Additional Professional Development Workshops Available ---

  • Introduction to OER Practices. Immersive workshops designed to explore the what, why, and how of OER, showcasing district and state case studies demonstrating successful OER adoption.

  • OER Evaluation and Curation. Hands-on training to support effective search, quality evaluation, and curation strategies.

  • OER Authorship and Creation. Content-specific training aimed at building curriculum design and authoring expertise.

  • Road Mapping Strategies for OER Adoption. Design and implement an OER implementation plan with an emphasis on knowledge of open licensing, content decision-making, advocacy and community building.

  • Cohort-based OER Fellowship Program. Nine-month program for teachers and school librarians to design and implement OER projects that integrate core content and with instructional leadership, providing the opportunity to collaborate with school and district colleagues, share work, and train to become OER leaders in their communities.

--- Additional Services Available ---

  • Content Curation. ISKME’s digital librarians are available to help your organization identify high-quality OER that addresses needs unique to your state and aggregate resources into multiple collections.

  • Content Migration. Organize and tag resources, mapping existing metadata to OER Commons metadata schema

  • Standards Integration. Map learning standards or frameworks to existing OER Commons resources; ingest new standards.

  • Language Translation. With a custom Microsite, ISKME can implement multi-language functionality, including the presentation of the interface, metadata, and paradata into different languages. ISKME works with translation partners to manage translation workflows and processes to bring translated information and resources into OER Commons. Depending on client preferences, ISKME can bring in language translators to provide the translations across the UI, metadata, help center, and paradata, or the client can provide these translations throughout the production phase of the Microsite.

  • Site Permissions. ISKME will work with the Client to establish permission groups related to specific users. Production of new resources and submission of content would be limited to specific user groups defined according to Client needs.

  • Archiving and Harvesting Services. ISKME will work with the Client to establish an OAI-PMH link to their internal repositories. In addition to this, a harvester app within the Django administration panel will be made available to support harvesting of metadata to an external repository. Using a built-in feature of Django admin, ISKME will provide regular snapshots of the complete database which can be included in the University archives.

  • Handle Service. Unique Microsite naming scheme will be translated into handles for each resource indexed on the Microsite.

Sample Timeline*

Microsite Production Tasks
Week 1
Finalize agreement, signed by both parties
Week 2
Kick-Off Meeting - Establish meeting schedule, communication plan, and proposed project plan.
Weeks 3 - 4
UI/UX Customizations - Customization checklist, design treatments (3), preliminary copy, and logos.
Weeks 3 - 6
Content Scan - Review of existing content library, alignment to metadata schema, and taxonomy customizations.
Weeks 5 - 12
Site Production -
·      Front-end production of Microsite
·      Implementation of site design customizations
·      Content ingestion
Weeks 12 - 18
Beta Review Period
·      Release beta version for QA
·      Client testing and feedback
·      Site updates and regression testing
·      Help Center content development
Week 18
Training - A series of five 1-hour ISKME-facilitated virtual meetings will provide Microsite administrators with an overview of the Microsite’s administrative tools and functionality.
Week 20
Site Release

*Note: Customizations of the Microsite beyond the design treatments will extend the amount of time needed to finalize the Microsite.