Open Source Methods In Education

Open source is a way to produce, develop and distribute commodities, such as computer software. Regardless of whether it be the role of the producer or consumer of commodities, so the open source commodities may be freely used, copied, modified and distributed without licensing fees and licenses maintenance. I would like to mention the advantages of the independence of product management, it usually means longer software life cycles and improved software compatibilities between various kind of interfaces when they are open.

HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Science’s data processing program has been implemented teaching method where information technology students were offered the opportunity to take part in the study of the open-source software project principles in the spring of 2013. The learning objectives have been to teach different software development methods and skills, which includes empirical studies of software development, continuous learning, testing tasks and working methods, without losing sight of stakeholder collaboration and project management.

Basic principles of Open Source methods are transparency and collaboration. Thus, this set of traditional classroom teaching model implemented the new situation in which open source projects were carried out with partners. These partners were either individual companies, who co-lead the open source project with the students forward. Another alternative partners were the communities that develop open source software. In this case, the students take an overview of potential and interesting software. They develop new features and publish it to everyone, just as the companies had cooperated.

The idea of ​​cooperation with other companies in connection with their studies of information technology is not new. In another aspect of the assignments have been, when there is a tailor-made products to suit individual requirements. In Systemo method, the generated assets (project deliverables) can be  acquired by anyone, and continue to be utilized without restrictions. One of the idea is that students can take advantage and market forward their projects. It is possible to generate the new markets which based on their skills. Therefore programming skills are not usually enough. At HAAGA-HELIA one of the priorities is to develop a sales and service expertise, which is part of studies in this programme.

The open source paradigm has brought new opportunities for teaching practice in addition to the above. Since the adoption of information and knowledge are an essential part of learning, as an open source software has a huge database of documentation and transparency in the delivery of their relationship. Students have the opportunity to see the different approaches of software implementation, as well as to see that all of it does not necessarily have to come up with yourself. In addition, students can improve the existing software, which is probably the most typical career path in software development work for IT developers.

The used model of educational software implementation has offered a lot to learn as to their originators, its associates and supervisors. Such an implementation sets some requirements of its partners. Students must have primarily of interest and basic knowledge of software development and the ability to tell the sponsors needs in sufficient depth. The method of teaching that is flexible and motivated agents that offers a variety of opportunities to market and distribute information skills.

Tuomo Ryynänen

Senior Lecturer, MSc.

HAAGA-HELIA University of applied sciences