IEEE Education Society

IEEE Transactions on Education


Special Issue: Open-Source Software

Submission Deadline: 15 December 2006

The Transactions seeks original manuscripts for a Special Issue on “Open-Source Software for Engineering Education: Pedagogical Strategies Beyond Tools” scheduled to appear in the November 2007 issue.

Free- and Open-Source Software (FOSS) has received growing attention in recent years from various perspectives. The thriving numbers behind open-source software (OSS) adoption and contribution have captured the attention of engineering education researchers that, in the past years, have been trying to decipher the phenomenon of OSS, its relation to already-conducted research, and its implications for new research opportunities that effect classroom instruction.

The current OSS landscape presents a very interesting picture. Although the idea behind OSS date back to the 1960’s and the Unix era in the 1980’s, the official term of OSS was coined in 1998. Since then, the OSS movement has evolved at a very fast pace. Prime examples of successful OSS projects include operating systems (Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD), Web browsers (Firefox, Konqueror), graphical environments (KDE, Gnome), productivity applications (OpenOffice), programming languages and infrastructure (Apache, MySQL), and development tools (GNU toolchain, Eclipse). These widely-accepted OSS endeavors demonstrate that a wide range of OSS applications are available and present a viable and robust alternative to proprietary software solutions.

A great number of applications of free and open software for education are evident. Worldwide initiatives, such as Sakai, and a great number of the so-called Open-Learning Management Systems challenge Engineering Education.

The objective of the special issue is to communicate and disseminate recent engineering education research and success stories that demonstrate the power of open-source software to improve traditional engineering education and e-learning approaches. The purpose of the special issue is to demonstrate state-of-the art approaches of Open-Source Software systems that have had successful application in the classroom and to show how new, advanced, pedagogical models and teaching strategies can expand the learning frontiers in engineering education.

Consequently, manuscripts are sought that touch on these aspects and extend technical and domain knowledge in the classroom. This special issue is intended to initiate a dialog between the pedagogical, human, and technical views of the field that effect the engineering education environment. Novel pedagogical approaches and sound technological FOSS solutions will be expected.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following classroom experiences.

  • Use of Free- and Open-Source Software for Learning Management Systems
  • Use of FOSS for Learning Objects and Learning Design Approaches
  • Pedagogical Strategies for the Deployment of FOSS Tools
  • Case Studies Utilized
  • Open-Learning Management Systems
  • Communities of Learners in Engineering Courses through Seployment of FOSS Tools
  • Collaborative/Constructive Content Authoring for Engineering Courses
Authors wishing to contribute to this special issue MUST refer to the Transactions' Web site at for information relative to the issues that must be addressed in manuscript preparation. Note that submitted manuscripts MUST contain a balance of technical content and pedagogical content to be considered and MUST include meaningful, statistically-sound, student assessment/evaluation data that provides information relative to the strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum content in satisfying the pedagogical issues being addressed. Note that the absence of meaningful, statistically-sound supporting data will be grounds for publication rejection.

Manuscripts must be submitted electronically to the Transactions’ Manuscript Central web site at no later than 15 December 2006, with “Special Issue” being selected as “Manuscript Type” in the corresponding menu.

For further information contact the Special Issue Editors for this issue:

Miltiadis Lytras
University of Patras
Patras, Greece

Walt Scacchi
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, California

Special Issue Schedule:

  • Manuscript Submission Deadline: 15 December 2006
  • Notification of Review Evaluation: 16 March 2007
  • Author Revision Due: 16 April 2007
  • Notification of Acceptance if Major Revision Required: 1 June 2007
  • Accepted Manuscripts Due for Editorial Review: 30 June 2007
  • Manuscript Packet Information Sent to Author: 16 July 2007
  • Manuscript Packet Due from Author to Editor: 17 August 2007
  • Tentative Publication Date: November 2007

document date: 19 August 2006