This semester our team will be contributing our work on Drupal to the 24th Annual Scientific Research Poster Session. The session is an opportunity for students at College of Charleston to display long term research projects that they have worked on throughout their undergraduate career. Below is an abstract I wrote descibing our work and detailing our main goal of the project. This abstract is also being submitted for the poster session. (details here)
Applications of Open Source Software in Computer Science Education
Matthias Burrell, Stephen Davidson, Jennifer Green, James Rajabi, and Tatiana Taylor, Department of Computer Science
Open source software has a wide variety of popular uses within culture today, but education is not one of them. Most schools rely on capstones or smaller projects to teach software engineering techniques and experiences. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate how working on software of a significantly large scale, namely open source projects, provides a better learning experience for the student. This project also exposes the student to a greater variety of challenges and obstacles, much more than standard computer science education methods. Our open source experience came from the use of the website management software, Drupal. By experiencing the open source process first hand, our team was able to collectively show the advantages of open source style eduation in the software engineering fields. The experience we had provided substantial evidence for the benefits of open source. Through community involvement within Drupal, submitting bug fixes and patches, and discussing Drupal issues within the community’s IIRC channels, we accrued a brevity of experience that will be invaluable for all of our team members into the future. We saw this project as proof that open source software is an effective method for teaching student software engineers the core principles of engineering.