Compendium v2

The Design Group have just finished working on the new version of CompendumDS, the concept mapping software we use to capture and communicate design processes.

Over the past 12 months we have been working with colleagues across the OU and with an external consultant to update the platform Compendium runs on and refresh the look and feel of it. The result is CompendiumDS v2 and it looks and feels brand new!

The huge change is that it now uses html 5 instead of Flash, meaning that we can (eventually) run it fully online or as a browser-based app. For now, we have it working in its own mini-environment and the user experience is pretty good (even if I do say so myself). But imagine a collaborative mapping environment which is fully supported in OpenDesignStudio …

The visual refresh makes good use of the OU standard visual language developed for the current virtual learning environment.

Finally, the best news is that CompendiumDS is released under a CC-BY license, meaning anyone will be able to download and use it however they want.

You can find the installers here [Available soon].

Over the next few months we hope to supplement this with example maps, learning designs and other material to support the use of CompendiumDS. We know that it can be an incredibly rich way for students to communicate their work – reading a map is exceptionally simple. The structures of thinking it reveals allow a teacher to engage with how a student thinks, not just what they do (Jones, 2014).

So please feel free to give CompendiumDS a go and let us know how you get on.

Jones, Derek (2014). Reading students’ minds : design assessment in distance education. Journal of Learning Design, 7(1) pp. 27–39. Available at

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