FLOSScom Summer University: Learning the Open Source Way


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The “Learning the Open Source Way” project is supported through an initial summer university, a 12 week open access session that started at the 3rd of July 2007.

The project's objective is to develop a toolkit on "Learning the Open Source Way". The toolkit is aimed at students and educators who are interested in the open source approach and what it can tell us about learning. The toolkit should assist others who want to create or adapt their educational courses using the principles found in FLOSS communities. It is aimed at providing information about learning in an open source manner.

The “Learning the Open Source Way” toolkit does not exist - we would like to create it TOGETHER WITH YOU during our Virtual and On-Campus Summer University.

If you are experienced in open source, if you are active in their communities, than we would like to learn from you about your experience, the way you learn within the open source environment.

If you are a student or educator with no experience in open source, than we would like to ask you to engage with those people that are experienced in open source and to discuss with them about open source elements that could be applied in educational settings.

And in the case you are experienced in both, open source and education, than we would like to learn from you what you see works out well in the one environment, but not in another.

All of this discourse and reflection should become part of this “Learning the Open Source Way” toolkit. The toolkit (e.g. a manual, or set of guidelines) should allow anyone who wants to create an educational course to adopt some open source principles.

Below we have developed a set of questions that we would like you to complete. By completing the set of questions you should gain the experience necessary to contribute developing the toolkit, and also these pages will act as a resource we can all use in developing the toolkit.

The type of open source principles that might be of benefit for education should have been identified by answering the initial set of questions.

Note: You need to register at this wiki to edit pages. The fastest way to register is here. In the case you are also interested in using Launchpad, like for the Questions and Answers, you might prefer to register at Launchpad. By registering at Launchpad you are automatically able to edit this wiki too.

"Learning the Open Source Way" - Set of Questions

Below is a set of questions that we thought might be useful to be answered first and leading us to a clear idea on what the final toolkit should be like. This is only a suggestion, it is your summer university and ultimately your toolkit, and you are free to develop it however you see fit. After completing the various questions you should jointly develop the toolkit. The toolkit might be only a well illustrated manual, or a “How To” Guide. In any case it should act as a guide for anyone wishing to adapt or develop a course along the principles of a FLOSS community.

How does this summer university and the "Learning the Open Source Way" project work?

Introduction on Learning in Free / Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS)

What are the FLOSS Characteristics?

What is the motivation to participate in FLOSS?

What are the roles in FLOSS?

What does FLOSS learning feel like?

How is FLOSS learning different from ‘normal’ education?

What are the Learning Resources in FLOSS, and who builds them?

Which technology is applied in FLOSS, and what for?

What is the FLOSS support system?

Is there any assessment and evaluation in FLOSS?

Are there any case studies on Learning in FLOSS?

Are there any possible Business Models for FLOSS-like education?

Terminology and Abbreviations

This initial structure should be modified based upon received feedback and is in general open to change

Further resources, like the FLOSSCom website, should be used to include the different types of available content such as documents, links, presentations, etc.

"Learning the Open Source Way" Toolkit

Once the set of questions has been completed we all should have a working knowledge on how a toolkit could look like and what it would need to have to be of use to others

All of the discourse and reflection on answering the set of questions should become part of this “Learning the Open Source Way” toolkit. The toolkit (e.g. a manual, or set of guidelines) should allow anyone who wants to create an educational course to adopt some open source principles.

FLOSS / Open Source like learning checklist

Let’s start here with the basics and let us provide a brief overview on the key characteristics of learning in FLOSS / Open Source. Just to make sure that we know what we are talking about.

FLOSS / Open Source (and alike) learning cases

We would like to collect at this page cases of FLOSS / Open Source communities and how they work as learning environments, plus cases from the education landscape that are similar to FLOSS / Open Source like learning.

The Toolkit

The "Learning the Open Source Way" Toolkit

Live Meetings & Talks

We are frequently having Live meetings and talks. You are invited to participate at coming meetings and talks, or just re-listen to past ones. More about this at the meetings and talks page

Further Resources and Spaces

The FLOSSCom website provides further information on learning in FLOSS. The website has a large document repository, several links, and serves the FLOSSCom project as a general community space.

Additionally the FLOSSCom Space at Launchpad might be of use. This space provides you with a typical open source community environment. Though not designed as an educational space, it might proofs to be suitable as the summer university’s objective is, analogue to open source, aimed to be a collaborative development project.

Reasons to participate

There are various reasons why you should participate. Below are just some of them!

Gain Knowledge and Experiences

Learn about the world of scientific research, collaborate with experts and become a part of the community. Share your ideas and knowledge with people of different cultural background, express yourself, stand out and be recognized. Add a difference to your CV and gain new knowledge and experiences!

Learn about FLOSS communities.You may have heard about open source communities and wondered how a group of distributed individuals can collaborate to produce some of the best software in the world. Now is your chance to participate in such a community, but with the focus on learning and not software.

Contribute towards improving Education

Ever surfed the web and thought it provides you with better information and more support than you receive at the classroom?

If the answer is yes: This is your chance to share your ideas on what might be improved in formal education! Don’t be silent, be active!

Be invited to an International Workshop in Portugal

As a reward for your contribution we will invite 10 students to an International Workshop in Portugal during summer 2008!

Ten students that proved a high commitment to the “Virtual & On-Campus Summer University” will be invited by the FLOSSCom project team. The FLOSSCom project will cover the travel cost to Portugal, accommodation and meals!

For those of you who are not one of the lucky 10 there will still be the possibility to participate at the International Workshop in the virtual world!!!

Get a Certificate

All those who participate in the project and / or “Virtual & On-Campus Summer University” will receive an e-certificate in the name of all FLOSSCom project partners of having participated in the project.

Support & Contacts

If you are looking for support and contacts we reccommend that you have a look here.

Certificate Design Contest

Remember: All those of you who participate at this Virtual & On-Campus Summer University will receive an e-certificate in the name of all FLOSSCom project partners of having participated in the project.

We would like to make this certificate as meaningful as possible so it adds a value to your CV and therefore decided to launch a certificate design contest.


Surveys are one mean of doing research. Since the objective of the FLOSSCom project is to gain a better understanding on FLOSS communities as learning environments we developed a set of surveys, which we will publish here over the time.

A list of our current surveys is available here.

About FLOSSCom

This project is a part of the EU funded FLOSSCom project. The project focuses on identifying the factors that contribute to successful knowledge construction in informal learning communities, such as the FLOSS communities and intends to analyze the effectiveness of FLOSS-like learning communities in formal educational settings.

FLOSSCom and Ubuntu Education

The Virtual and On-Campus Summer University is a joint event that is collaboratively carried out by the FLOSSCom project partners and Ubuntu Education.

It is our common goal to advance education, to leverage lessons learnt from the Open Source sphere, to combine them with modern pedagogical approaches and to foster interaction of the different stakeholders within open source and education.

"Learning the Open Source Way" Partners

Institutional partner and Organizations that participate at this Virtual and On-Campus Summer University and the "Learning the Open Source Way" project you will find here.

Organizational Aspects

Organizational aspects on the summer university.

Actions to be taken to improve the structure of the summer university.


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This site reflects the views of the project consortium, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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