Volume 7

Volume 7, Number 69

July 2, 2009

9 pages894 K bytes

Open Source and Freeware – Strategic Resources for IS Pedagogical Endeavors

Julian Matthew Scher
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Newark, NJ 07102 USA

Abstract: Freeware and open source resources can provide significant value to the pedagogy of IS educators, but are often overlooked in curricula decisions. Freeware and open source titles broaden the repertoire of learning objects available to the IS educator and may significantly enrich the learning environment, and provide new vistas of opportunity, at nil to minimal cost to the institution. Open source Learning Management Systems, such as Moodle, provide comparable functionality to their commercial counterparts, including WebCT, Blackboard and Webboard, but without the investment, upgrade and replacement costs normally associated with the commercial entities. Open Source and freeware titles, though not advertised and often spread by word of mouth, are available to supplement off-the-shelf software titles used to teach various courses in Information Systems, and are gaining in popularity amongst numerous budget-conscious academic institutions. In this paper, we shall explore the invaluable world of freeware and open source, provide key definitions of the relevant terminology, identify several places where freeware and open source software titles may be discovered and are available for distribution, examine some of the motivations of freeware authors, relate some of our experiences with Moodle, a particular open source Learning Management System, and provide examples of how we have integrated the concepts of freeware and open source into our instruction in some specific Information Systems courses.

Keywords: freeware, open source, Learning Management System, donationware, adware, public domain, shareware, Moodle, MySQL

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Recommended Citation: Scher (2009). Open Source and Freeware – Strategic Resources for IS Pedagogical Endeavors. Information Systems Education Journal, 7 (69). http://isedj.org/7/69/. ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2007: §2334. ISSN: 1542-7382.)