CFP: 1st International Workshop on D4PL at OSS 2009

1st International Workshop on "D4PL - Designing for participatory learning"
Building from open source success to develop free ways to share and learn

Co-located with OSS 2009, 5th International Conference on Open Source Systems
June 6, 2009, Skövde, Sweden


Intentions to submit should be sent until 15th of February 2009!

The Open Source world shows how volunteer collaboration can lead to great products and to great learning. We want to further explore at this workshop what happens using approaches from that community to break barriers between teachers and learners for today's Internet-savvy young people to design and co-construct sites for participatory learning.

The aim of this workshop is to explore the barriers for this type of learning in higher education settings. Content creation, knowledge exchange, community dynamics, and the impact on the boundary between formal and informal education are key subjects of this workshop!

Research in Open Source from an educational perspective indicates that the success of Open Source as a learning ecosystem is less related to state of the art technology used within such Open Source communities, but rather relates to organizational aspects. Many of the technologies and tools featured in Open Source communities are today applied within educational settings. The focus of this workshop will therefore be on the conceptual and organizational side, though new technological perspectives are welcome as long as they fall within this scope.

Workshop Rationale / Background Information

There is an ever growing number of researches conducted in Free / Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS), representing a solid starting base to examine how some of the underlying FLOSS principles might be transferred to higher education. FLOSS communities increasingly influence teaching and learning, and content quality and delivery at a rate unprecedented in the history of both software development and education. From the "FLOSS perspective" it becomes obvious that traditional educational approaches, but even the Open Educational Resource movement falls short in some points related to the opportunities the participatory web provides, in particular related to content, support and underlying tools. Most strikingly, the traditional way of resource creation using the traditional role distribution models that clearly distinguishes between educators as creators and learners as consumer is still predominant. Given the number of research available on FLOSS on the one hand and the growing landscape of initiatives aimed at opening up education and experimenting with novel approaches on the other hand it would be desirable to reflect on ways on how to build upon the lessons learnt from the open source success. The workshop therefore aims at addressing a number of aspects, such as:

* How can traditional education better master the challenges of new learning opportunities provided by the Internet and its communities, such as the open source software community?
* How to systematically combine formal and informal learning within an unfettered informal learning environment?
* Which are suitable approaches to course sourcing that are open in the sense of interaction between students from various institutions and individuals outside of formal education?
* How can principles of decentralised and self-organised learning be applied to Open Educational Resources to create comprehensive, sustainable open and participatory learning ecosystems?
* Which are the challenges and opportunities once blurring the boundaries between formal and informal education?
* How could formal education monitor properly the learning processes and outcomes within such learning environments?

* What might be new higher education revenue models associated to such models? Would e.g. the assessment and certification of free learners be a way to establish self-sustainable business models? Which other scenarios might be considered?
* Computer Science Education & Open Source projects are an obvious candidate for such type of learning, how to maximise mutual benefits and which are the possible application models?