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Brooklyn College Library & Academic IT | Library Guides | Creating Accessible OER | OER Guide for Faculty

OER and Publishing Platforms: CUNY Commons

Discussion of the features offered by various web platforms useful for Open Educational Resources (OERs) and other types of publishing.

Screenshots / Examples

commons layout example

Commons Templates

The latest commons release features original header art options and three layouts, including this teaching template.

commons group example

Commons Group and Networking

Commons situates each site within an array of possible connections to new users, collaborators, and related material through its group and social networking functions.

commons setup example

Commons Setup

It is simple to manage key options like privacy and layout when setting up a Commons site.

commons plugin packages

Commons Plugin Packages

Rather than sifting through and installing many plugins for different features, Commons provides "packages" of plugins tailored to certain needs.

commons full plugin list

Commons Full Plugin List

Commons offers a full selection of over 300 plugins to activate, for more fine-tuned control.

Commons Intro (repeated from homepage)

This Wordpress platform is managed by CUNY and developed with its community in mind.

Ideal Use: CUNY-affiliated sites in need of versatile yet user-friendly publishing features.


  • Quick setup and publishing of sites geared toward academic content and interaction, including simple privacy and layout controls as well as CUNY-managed hosting and development.
  • Streamlined login/setup for new accounts.
  • Latest release responds to user needs with new templates, plugins and widgets.
  • Large and rapidly-growing social network, with built-in interaction.
  • 40 MB limit for media uploads (BC Wordpress 7 MB).


  • Limitations on what can be installed on top of default features.
  • May be difficult to determine what features or roles to utilize within the broad Commons network.

Resources / Links