OpenSesame–an ‘iTunes Store’ for e-learning

I might not have been able to make it to DevLearn this year, but that doesn’t stop me keeping my finger on the pulse of e-learning! One of the sponsors of this year’s event contacted me a few days ago about attending a launch and demo of a new e-learning marketplace, and as I think that it’s quite innovative, I thought I’d share it with you.

Now read on…

One of the sponsors of this year’s event is Portland-based OpenSesame, an organization with a timely business model. The company is an open marketplace connecting purchasers of imagee-learning content (e.g. corporate learning officers) with an extensive library of courses provided by a wide range of content creators.  Whether companies choose to commission custom courses or purchase off-the-shelf content, shopping for e-learning courses is costly and time-consuming.

The OpenSesame marketplace will dramatically simplify this process by enabling companies to find, research and purchase off-the-shelf courses in a single place.

According to OpenSesame co-founder and general manager Josh Blank,

OpenSesame allows anyone to buy or sell elearning courses without the headache of complicated pricing and implementation. This community allows content developers and business professionals to connect in a secure environment, with no strings attached.

The founders of OpenSesame developed the concept after many years in the LMS industry listening to customers discuss the hassles involved in obtaining quality content for their training programs.

Don Spear, co-founder and CEO of OpenSesame continues,

Over the past decade, we have developed significant insight into the e-learning industry.  We understand the major pain-points experienced by content developers and purchasers from first-hand experience. Whether you’re a developer looking to publish courses or a training director in need of content for your LMS, OpenSesame makes buying and selling e-learning as easy as downloading a song from iTunes.

The OpenSesame marketplace connects content developers with potential purchasers of e-learning courseware. Developers can sell previously-built or newly-created content to multiple buyers while maintaining security, control and centralized management of their intellectual property. The OpenSesame marketplace enables content developers to connect with new customers, no matter where the buyers are located or what LMS they use.  Additionally, OpenSesame’s proprietary technology ensures that courses cannot be downloaded or re-sold without the developer’s permission.

Buyers can quickly browse courses on a variety of subjects, from workplace safety to specific product training. Pricing for each course is stated up-front and, in most cases, buyers can preview entire courses before making a purchase.  Buyers can effectively create a complete curriculum by purchasing courses from multiple developers while managing everything from a central dashboard. Finally, buyers can distribute purchased courses to employees on any LMS.

“Purchasing one 15-minute course could help an employee,” explains Blank. ”We are excited about ultimately expanding the range of available e-learning content by launching this marketplace.”

OpenSesame will soon feature additional online community elements, including message boards, forums and product reviews. No information about when they’re launching in Europe yet, but I’ll let you know when they are ready to announce something.

For more information, visit Follow @opensesamoenow on Twitter for additional news and insight.

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November 04 2010 03:00 pm | e-learning

3 Responses to “OpenSesame–an ‘iTunes Store’ for e-learning”

  1. Kelly Meeker on 04 Nov 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    Michael, thank you for featuring OpenSesame in your blog. We are excited to serve the content developer community with a new channel for distributing your courses, and we encourage all you course creators out there to upload your courses!

    We also look forward to your feedback. If you have suggestions for site improvements or questions about uploading your courses, please contact me at

  2. Daniela on 18 Jan 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    I am a student currently taking business and finance courses for my MBA and resources like this are great! Using online resources (either free ones or paid ones) saves me so much money on reading materials for my courses. I have never used OpenSesame, but I have been giving it a look. They have a great idea! I have used free sites with open content though. The main one I use I found through purchasing a learning application for my iPad. The same company has released all their business and finance ebooks (the apps are based on these)for free online together with a testing process. I think resources like this together with Wikibooks and Wikiversity are great for students who need easier access to learning resources.

    For anyone interested, the site is I have used it a few times after using the apps I bought from them and its is very reliable.

  3. Michael Hanley on 18 Jan 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    Thanks reading the E-Learning Curve Blog Daniela: I appreciate the tip and the link.
    Best regards,