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Xerte Sandpit - what next?

jisc techdis logo 2012As a result of the Jisc TechDis service closing the TechDis Sandpit will no longer exist.

The TechDis sandpit has played an important role in providing practitioners with the power to demonstrate potential and persuade IT teams to install toolkits on local servers.

TechDis are keen that organisations or individuals new to Xerte Toolkits know how they can now get started with Xerte and grow into fully fledged installations.

The main options available are listed below:



Recommended for

A trial area free to try Xerte for a month.


Although the TechDis sandpit is closed host a Dutch version of Xerte Toolkits with an optional English interface. In the UK may also provide a short trial period for free by arrangement. (See contact details for both below)

Organisations where your IT team can’t support installation and maintenance.

Users who want to try making resources with the option of making them permanent if they like Xerte.

Individual author accounts on a shared (external) installlation.

This is the cheapest for individuals or a small number of authoring accounts.

The disadvantage is that the limited number of accounts reduces the benefit of use across an organisation. Ideally all staff (and all learners) should be able to create learning resources on Xerte toolkits.

  • Individuals (eg teachers, consultants, or hobbyists) wanting to create resources for others to use.
  • Small teams with limited or no access to IT support.
  • Small department in a larger organisation with unresponsive IT/network team..

Multiple accounts on a dedicated external installation.

This provides a whole organisation solution where maintenance and upgrades are covered. Although no IT expertise is needed to set up the installation for you it might be useful for your IT team to be in touch with the Xerte service provider about authentication and login options.

  • Any organisation wanting to empower all staff/learners to create Xerte resources.
  • Organisations with limited IT skills or over stretched IT teams.
  • Organisation with outsourced IT on a non-flexible contract.

Your own IT team install Xerte toolkits for free on your own server.

This is the cheapest and most desirable long-term option. It can cheaply and easily provide access for all staff and learners.

Minor troubleshooting support can be provided through the Xerte community list. More significant support can be bought in.

  • Organisations with proactive IT teams.
  • Organisations wanting to actively engage with the Xerte developer community.

Your IT team provide the server but buy in expertise to install and/or maintain.

This is an ideal solution for stretched IT teams. They have full control over the servers and the system but don’t have to worry about learning how to set up Xerte or install upgrades.

  • Organisations with over stretched IT teams.

All these services are currently available from the following:

Based in UK:

Ron Mitchell
Email: ronm ( at )
Tel: 07961 104424
or contact via: and

Based in Netherlands

Inge Donkervoort
Email: info ( at )
Tel: +31 73 5226195
or contact via:

Jisc TechDis is proud to have been associated with Xerte toolkits from its early days. Although Jisc TechDis is disappearing, Jisc’s commitment to accessibility, inclusion, teaching learning and assessment means that Xerte will continue to be a formidable tool in the toolkit.

The Higher Education Academy has sponsored excellent student centred work with Xerte toolkits and the Manchester College is actively exploring ways of installing Xerte toolkits in its large portfolio of prison contracts.

Xerte’s acceptance into the Apereo Foundation confirms its status as a serious and sustainable project alongside tools like the Sakai VLE. Xerte has grown up and doesn’t need the sandpit like it used to.

To see samples of Xerte learning objects and find links to downloadable resources and guidance videos visit

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