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Experiences with Distributed Open Source Courses
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Experiences with Distributed Open Source Courses

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  1. Experiences with Distributed Open Source Courses Kirsti Ala-Mutka & Tommi Mikkonen Tampere University of Technology Institute of Software Systems

  2. Overview of the presentation • Motivation • Course as a project entity • Open Source Courseware project • Course material bank • Distributed course organization • Experiences on a trial course • Conclusion

  3. Motivation • Rapid development of the field of information technology • Increasing number of students • Lack of teaching resources • Constantly changing teaching personnel • Need to assure the contents and development of courses • All universities face same problems in their software engineering education

  4. Course as a project entity • Each course has an own identity, disk space, loginname, WWW-pages • Course related materials are not personalized to a certain teacher • Course is carried out as a project with regular staff meetings and reports • Experiences have proved this to be a good model if teaching staff changes or the course is transferred to another university

  5. Open Source Courseware project 2002-2004 • Develops a model for co-operative course development between universities • course material bank • course organization model • Helps to develop up-to-date software engineering education • Participants: Tampere University of Technology, University of Tampere, Oulu University • First 4 courses are given on 2002

  6. Course material bank • All materials are produced with Open Source principles (Gnu FDL) • Contains all course materials (transparencies, exercises, model solutions, etc.) • Instructions for material usage • Reports and feedback of previous courses • Courses are divided into subsections for better reusability

  7. Distributed course organization • One university is responsible for lectures and overall course management • Remote universities have staff to take care of local tutoring and administration • Lectures are delivered by videoconferencing, tutorials are organized locally • Regular staff meetings are essential in managing the multi-site course project

  8. Experiences from a trial course • Spring 2002: Programming of mobile devices, 4.5 ECTS cu • 3 sites, 150 students, 10 teachers • Contained lectures, exercises, project work • Student feedback was concentrated in course contents, not technical issues • Also students that work besides studying could more easily take the course • Both students and course personnel considered the experience positive

  9. Exam score distribution

  10. Conclusion • The model supports well traditional university contact education • Cost savings despite of coordination work • Course materials and contents must be planned, documented and archived very carefully good for course development in general • Next year this course will be given again with similar implementation model

  11. Questions? Thank you for your attention! Contact information: kirsti.ala-mutka@tut.fi tommi.mikkonen@tut.fi Tampere University of Technology Institute of Software Systems