Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Open Source Software in Higher Education

The higher education sector is quite unlike other industries. Most commercial proprietary application vendors develop their applications focused on a wider domain spread across industries. The success of community developed open source software is quite well established. Through the course of its formative years, the open source community based approach in education has developed several alternative models.
Community Source Model
The adoption of open source in higher education seems to suggest otherwise. FLOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source Software) communities are thriving well in learning environments too.In a community source project, multiple institutions come together to partner in the project. The initial focus of community source projects is on collaboration between institutions. Most community based open source projects slowly migrate to open source in the later stages.Kuali Financials was borne due to the lack of open source solutions Enterprise applications in the higher education sector are comprised of a mix of some proprietary application vendors and some key open source community initiatives.
Economic Models of Open Source
The community approach has proved sustainable as in the case of the Sakai project. Rob Abel notes how open source is a "great fit for higher education". The study, based on an analysis of open source projects in education, opines that the community-based approach is an interesting model that also helps reduce the inherent risks in adopting an open source approach.Applications like the Sakai and Kuali have proved beyond doubt that open source applications offer great configurability.
Source by ezinearticles.com

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