Floss As A Learning Environment

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This presentation was prepared for the OpenLearn 2007 workshop and is aimed to provide a basic overview on learning related aspects within open source software communities.

This presentation was prepared for the OpenLearn 2007 workshop and is aimed to provide a basic overview on learning related aspects within open source software communities.

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  • 1.                       Learning the Open Source Way FLOSS as a learning environment OpenLearn 2007 conference Milton Keynes, UK – 29.10.2007
  • 2. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Free / Libre Open Source Software - FLOSS FLOSS communities are today known for producing good ● quality software using a different development approach than proprietary software producer. FLOSS is built by a community of volunteers and might be ● backed by companies that generate their revenues by providing services related to the software. In more recent years FLOSS communities also gained attention ● for their community production and support models and regarding their way of knowledge creation and learning. FLOSS communities possess many characteristics that ● educational settings seek to apply.
  • 3. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Floss Communities as Learning Environments Open and inclusive ethos: everyone can participate, no charges, no ● deadlines, life long participation ●Up to date content; everyone can add, edit and update the content ●Materials are usually the product of many authors with many contributions from people other than authors ●Frequent releases and updates where product features and community structures are the result of a continuous re-negotiation / reflection process within a continuous development cycle ●Prior learning outcomes and processes are systematically available through mailing lists, forums, commented code and further instructional materials (re-use) ●A large support network; provided voluntarily by the community member in a collaborative manner nearly 24/7 ●Free Riders (lurker) welcome paradox – the more the better ●New ICT solutions are adapted early by the community
  • 4. Learning the open source way – the floss approach So, how is it in FLOSS? And what might be relevant?
  • 5. Learning the open source way – the floss approach The community factor Apache community – Source Faz.net, Author unknown
  • 6. Learning the open source way – the floss approach A large variety of information spaces – outside FLOSS Community Places (source http://innovationcreators.com/wp/?p=70
  • 7. Learning the open source way – the floss approach A large variety of information spaces – inside
  • 8. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Individual learning, community support,... Learning is happening...
  • 9. Learning the open source way – the floss approach ... product development, or off topic socialisation spaces ... in a larger context...
  • 10. Learning the open source way – the floss approach ... provided by and for the community ... and a larger community 117 new members within 4h41m
  • 11. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Community support services User help user; a double gain where both learn; lurkers welcome
  • 12. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Where community support meets content production Providing support leads to the production of knowledge bases that serve as a base for the production of instructional materials and help in definition of product requirements and improvement
  • 13. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Where community support meets content production
  • 14. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Where community support meets content production Don't produce if you can re-use!
  • 15. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Where community support meets content production The different roles of bugs: nasty evil and community builder
  • 16. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Where community support meets content production The value of feedback and discourse – anyone asked for further bugs?
  • 17. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Developer the small core of the community
  • 18. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Types of content – it's not only bugs ... but it seems to be simple and yet working out
  • 19. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Types of content – it's not only bugs ...and it's not about state-of-the-art technology, but...?
  • 20. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Types of content – it's not only bugs ... and it's produced by the help of EVERYONE
  • 21. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Types of content – it's not only bugs ... and under current reconsideration of processes and structures
  • 22. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Types of content – it's not only bugs ... but it records and displays the most basic questions, answers and the way towards them – so they can be re-used by others
  • 23. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Re-use – benefit from what others did and experienced ... code, materials, templates, tutorials, discussions, reflections, problem solving processes and solutions, ...
  • 24. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Reviewed by peers ... for core contributions, individual modifications or on other occasions
  • 25. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Core, modularity and 3rd party add ons Users do have the option to develop their own modules, or to discuss and suggest new features
  • 26. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Modules, extensions, add-ons... Modularity allows participation at a low entry level
  • 27. Learning the open source way – the floss approach ... to enhance the core product Where modules might even have 3rd party sub-modules
  • 28. Learning the open source way – the floss approach
  • 29. FLOSS Principles for formal education?!? So what does this show? Content is not something static but dynamic ● Learning resources are manifold ● Users are also active creators ● Support and learning resources are closely connected ● Open and transparent structures foster re-use and discourse, ● but also continuous improvement and evolutionary growth Existence of a wide range of possible activities to engage at ● around the core product Self-studying and learning from what others did are the pre- ● dominant form of learning
  • 30. Learning the open source way – the floss approach Thank you! Further information at: www.flosscom.net Contact: andreasmeiszner@spi.pt or A.Meiszner@open.ac.uk