[Linux-aus] Grant Application: Promotion of FOSS in undergraduate Computer Science, Information Technology and Software Engineering degrees at the University of Newcastle
mark.wallis at newcastle.edu.au
Mon Apr 3 12:36:11 AEST 2017
Please find below a grant application for your consideration. Please feel free to direct any feedback/queries to myself via the list.
Project Name: Promotion of FOSS in undergraduate Computer Science, Information Technology and Software Engineering degrees at the University of Newcastle
Chief Investigator: Dr. Mark Wallis, Distributed Computing Research Group, University of Newcastle (mark.wallis at newcastle.edu.au)
The University of Newcastle currently offers under-graduate Bachelor degrees in Computer Science, Information Technology and Software Engineering. Courses from these degrees are taught from the School of Electrical Engineering and Computing across our Callaghan (Newcastle), Central Coast and Singapore campuses.
There is currently a low level of FOSS software promotion within the course material used to teach these degrees. Worked examples, workshops and tutorial material is strongly Microsoft Windows focused, primarily due to this being the operating system installed in all computer labs at the university. The effect is that students feel less inclined to explore FOSS in UON courses such as Programming, Operating Systems, Compiler Design and Computer Networks.
We propose to undertake a review of the course material being presented in the first 2 years of the above degrees. The review will identify all worked examples, tutorials and workshops which are presenting closed-sourced centric solutions. The outcome of this review will be a course development plan which aims to develop alternative or extended course material that covers alternate FOSS options available to students. The project will hire one undergraduate student to work with the chief investigator to develop the new course content during 2017, ready for students in 2018.
Examples of the course material that will be generated includes:
* Worked-examples under Linux, rather than Microsoft Windows (for example, instructions showing students how to install and configure a compiler)
* Short 5-minute video’s presenting FOSS alternatives to tools presented in the primary course material
* Short 5–minute video’s providing context of how the course relates to Open Source (for example, a case study of Linux Kernel development to be presented during the Operating Systems course)
To comply with pre-existing copyright, any existing course material which is expanded to include content generated by this grant will remain under the existing copyright terms. Any new content, such as the video presentations, will be released under a Creative Commons license.
The primary aim is to promote FOSS earlier in undergraduate degree’s to ensure that students graduate with an increased knowledge of the FOSS environment.
* Milestone 1 - Draft of the course development plan distributed to UON stakeholders (see over) – 1 June 2017
* Milestone 2 - Final course development plan for signoff by UON stakeholders – 1 July 2017
* Milestone 3 - Draft material presented to Course Co-ordinators for review – 1 October 2017
* Milestone 4 – Final material presented to Course Co-ordinators for signoff – 1 November 2017
Between Milestone 3 and Milestone 4 the course material will be iteratively developed with UON students who have previously completed the target courses. Focus groups will be run with these students, asking them to review the material and then complete a short questionnaire that will collect metrics on the following:
* The quality of the material
* The relevance of the material to the course and their degree
* Whether they believe the material will encourage them to personally investigate FOSS in more detail
The results of this survey will be anonymous and used to gauge the success of the project.
Pending approval by the UoN Ethics committee, these results will be made available and be used to gauge the success of the project.
The chief investigator will provide in-kind support of time and expertise for the management of the grant and the co-development of new course material. An undergraduate student will be hired on a casual basis to co-develop the course material and manage the testing/feedback process.
An estimated 22 weeks at 5 hours per week will be allocated to the undergraduate student. The undergraduate student will be employed at HEW 5.1 casual rate of $43.77 per hour. With UON on-costs (16.2%) and indirect research costs (25%) this equates to a total of $6994.
We are requesting a grant of $7000 to cover these costs. There will be no additional costs associated with the project. All costs will be incurred by the 30th September 2017 as per grant requirements.
Project Management and Reporting:
The UON already has in place a reporting structure for all grants. Mid-way and final written reports will be provided to the Linux Australia Council.
The chief investigator for this project is Dr Mark Wallis. Mark is a member of Linux Australia and the Distributed Computing Research Group at UON and has been involved in teaching since 2010. Mark has been involved in various FOSS projects over the years, including the Newcastle Linux Users Group and kernel driver development for the Ralink 802.11 wireless chipset. Mark will be the key person responsible for this project.
The undergraduate student will be hired from our pool of undergraduates that we use for teaching tutorials and workshops.
Key stakeholders for this project include Course Co-ordinators who are responsible for delivery of the courses, Program Convenors who are responsible for each degrees, the Deputy HOS(Academic), Head of School, the School Industrial Advisory Board and student representatives.
Dr. Mark Wallis (Associate Lecturer)
School of Electrical Engineering and Computing
Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment
The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, 2308, NSW
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