Education/EduCourse/CaseStudies

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(1) Mozilla@Seneca, looking at learning in a large open source community [1]

Please download a recorded conversation with Dave Humphrey about the project from this page: File:DaveHumphrey MozillaAtSeneca 24March09.mp3. The recording is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

These courses take students directly into the Mozilla project and community, teaching them how to cope at scale with complex technology and open source collaboration. Students are taught the skills necessary to become active contributors on Firefox, Thunderbird, etc., and are expected to do real project work (i.e., work on bugs and enhancements chosen in consultation with Mozilla). The approach to teaching Mozilla is to use Mozilla's technology and community platform, from blogs to irc to wikis to bugzilla. This makes it easy for students and Mozilla contributors to blend naturally. Below are some links relevant resources:

  • DPS909 - first Mozilla/Open Source course, and weekly schedule of what we actually do.
  • DPS911, second Mozilla/Open source course, following on with the work from the first course.
  • A paper (pdf) written by my colleague, Chris Tyler, explaining our immersive method of teaching open source.
  • Our student blog planet (currently a mix of students working on Mozilla, OpenOffice.org, Eclipse WTP, and Fedora).
  • A few examples of student blogs that show the sort of work people do in the course. These give a sense of the diversity, in terms of products/tools, types of coding, and areas of work. All of our students work on different projects, and we try to pair them with work that meets their passions.
      • Nino is working on the Fennec Mobile browser (GPS features)
      • Anthony is working on adding BitTorrent support to Songbird.
      • Sid is working on improvements to Mozilla's Mercurial Web interface (basically a portal to see the changes to the code).
      • Tony is working to change how the browser responds to requests from javascript to move/resize requests.
  • A talk (video) I gave at Stanford's Mozilla 24 event, discussing my approach to working in, and learning how to cope with, an open community the size of Mozilla.

(2) David Wiley: Open Education Course at Utah State University [2]

Download the conversation with David about his course. (mp3). Recording is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

The goals of the course are (1) to give you a firm grounding in the current state of the field of open education, including related topics like copyright, licensing, and sustainability, (2) to help you locate open education in the context of mainstream instructional technologies like learning objects, and (3) to get you thinking, writing, and dialoguing creatively and critically about current practices and possible alternative practices in open education.

This course was the first of kind taught "in the open" and was followed by dozens of people outside the university. I'm currently teaching the same course with a new design at Brigham Young University [3].

(3) Jim Groom: Wordpress MU at University of Mary Washington [4]

Please download an audio conversation with Jim Groom about the project (mp3). Recording is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

This project uses WordPress Multi-User (an open source semantic publishing platform) to allow students and faculty author online with minimal overhead. This is the second iteration of a multi-user blogging platform (see the ELS Blogs description below for the first) and it is available campus-wide to any UMW faculty, staff or student who wants to use it. It has grown to thirteen hundred student and faculty blogs during the Fall 2007/Spring 2008 semesters. This web-based publishing space offers the UMW academic community a quick and easy authoring solution that is flexible, elegant, and open. Providing a relatively simple process for creating class sites, e-portfolios, and a whole host of other web-based resources. It's an easily scalable model that let's universities think through digital identities that aren't sharecropped out to 3rd party corporate services.[5]

(4) Wayne Mackintosh: Learning 4 Content Project at WikiEducator

Download a conversation with Wayne about his project (mp3). Recording is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

Learning4Content is WikiEducator's flagship capacity building project designed to enable teachers, lecturers and trainers in developing Mediawiki skills for collaborative authoring of Open Education Resources (OER).

WikiEducator provides free training for educators in return for a small contribution of their knowledge in the form of a donated OER lesson or content resource. L4C is best described as a learn-by-doing project inspired by the North American indigenous proverb: Tell me and I'll forget, show me and I may not remember, involve me, and I'll understand. L4C is likely the world's largest attempt to develop wiki skills for education and this ambitious project aims to:

  • conduct 160 workshops
  • train 2500 teachers/educators
  • develop 2500 lessons of free content.

Learning4Content is global, has the capacity to scale and the flexibility to adapt to changing needs and circumstances given its open content license and use of open file formats.

A longer write-up of L4C as a case-study is at http://www.wikieducator.org/Learning4Content/L4C_Case_study