Cyco is built on Drupal

This is a Very Important Thing to Know. Cyco wasn’t built from scratch. Instead, it was built on top of Drupal, one of the world’s best open source content management systems (CMS).

This means a few things to you.

Bazillions of modules

There are bazillions of free Drupal modules available. A module is a software extension that adds features. Since Cyco is Drupal underneath, you can install Drupal modules to add:

  • Forums
  • Annotation
  • A comment system
  • Audio recording
  • Social media links
  • Multiple-choice quizzes (bleh – if you must)
  • Student clubs
  • Room reservations
  • Award certificates
  • Interactive maps
  • Games
  • Polls
  • Newsletters
  • Special areas for instructors
  • Student videos
  • Student blogs
  • Calendars
  • Surveys
  • Lists of useful links
  • Image editors
  • Spreadsheets
  • Mind maps
  • Data sets
  • Slide shows
  • Bibliographies
  • Calculators
  • Data graphing tools
  • Newsletters
  • Tag clouds
  • Voting
  • Ratings (e.g., 1 to 5 stars)
  • Picture galleries
  • FAQs
  • Chat
  • Instant messaging
  • Stores (e.g., sell t-shirts)
  • Advertising
  • Site analytics
  • Notifications (e.g., get an email when there’s a new comment on a page)
  • Let students friend each other
  • Data export (e.g., to spreadsheets)
  • Contact forms
  • Ads
  • Free downloads
  • Paid downloads
  • Recipes
  • To-do lists
  • User points
  • File uploads
  • Favorites
  • Moodle integration
  • Clippy (seriously!)
  • Change all the text on Talk Like a Pirate Day

…and more. Some things, like comments and forums, are already in Cyco, but not turned on. The rest can be downloaded from Drupal.

Bazillions of themes

A theme is a look-and-feel. Cyco ships with about 20 variants of the Bootstrap framework, courtesy of Bootswatch.

Thousands of others themes are available, some free, and some not.

You can customize any theme by creating a subtheme based on it. If you know some HTML and CSS, you can change the look of just about anything.


There are a bazillion books, courses, and standalone tutorials on Drupal. Since Cyco is Drupal underneath, what you learn will apply to Cyco as well.

For example, Cyco has user roles like student, instructor, grader, and author. Users with different roles have permissions to do different things. Authors can edit course pages, but students can’t. Cyco’s roles were created with the standard Drupal roles system. If you want to add a new role (copyeditor, say), find a tutorial on Drupal roles, and you’ll learn how to add the role to Cyco.


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