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Applying Open Source Principles to Collaborative Learning Environments

This paper explores how open source efforts can be used as inspiration for the creation of collaborative learning experiences in a university course.

The author had experiment with course "Designing the Information Society of the New Millennium" given by Gerhard in 2001. The course is a little similar to our DLC class, where there were 11 students, the class used Swiki and students conducted group project. The course demonstrated how open source principles may be appropriate by using concrete public deliverables and loose structure to promote collaborative design in ill-structured domains.

The paper itself is not very related to our independent research. But one table in the paper could be useful if we want to address collaboration technology. We can also learn form the table how to construct questions for the survey.

The table shows how students respond to Swiki. The overall response is quite positive. Questions given to students are shown below as well as the average response from students.(1:strongly agree, 5:strongly disagree)

  • The Swiki was useful,1.6
  • The Swiki is easier to use than email for sharing information with the class,2.2
  • The Swiki is easier to use than newsgroups for sharing information with the class,1.6
  • I liked using Swiki,1.3
  • I have my own page in the Swiki,1.5
  • I was motivated to maintain my own page in the Swiki,2.35
  • My main reason for using the Swiki was to get information from my teacher,3.1
  • The Swiki helped me to perform class assignments,2
  • The Swiki helped me to learn,2
  • The Swiki was used in our group interactions,1.5
  • The Swiki was very helpful for our group interactions,1.8
  • I learned more from other students in the Swiki than the teacher in the Swiki,2.6
  • I would like to use the Swiki in other classes,1.4
  • Reading and updating the Swiki was a chore,3.9

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