Education and Information Technologies

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 381–397 | Cite as

Enhancing software engineering education through open source projects: Four years of students’ perspectives

  • Pantelis M. Papadopoulos
  • Ioannis G. Stamelos
  • Andreas Meiszner


This paper presents the results after four years of running of an instructional method that utilizes free/libre open source software (FLOSS) projects as tools for teaching software engineering in formal education. In the last four academic years, a total of 408 juniors majoring in Informatics (in a 4-year program) participated in the study, assuming the roles of requirements engineers, testers, developers, and designers/analysts. Students appreciated the benefits gained by the method and identified aspects that require further improvement. In the paper, we present (a) the details of our method, (b) students’ opinions as recorded through a questionnaire including both closed and open ended questions, and (c) conclusions on how the use of FLOSS projects can be applied, and be beneficial for the students.


Software engineering education Open education Open source Online learning Learning community Project-based learning 



This work was partially funded by the European Commission in the context of (A) the OPEN-SME Open-Source Software Reuse Service for SMEs projects, under the grant agreement no. FP7-SME-2008-2/243768, (B) the OpenSE project under the grant agreement no. 503641-LLP-1-2009-1-PT-ERASMUS-ECUE, (C) the FLOSSCom project under the grant agreement no. 229405 - CP -1-2006-1- PT - MINERVA – M, and (D) UNU-IIST and Macao Science and Technology Development Fund, File No. 019/2011/A1, in the context of the PPAeL project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pantelis M. Papadopoulos
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ioannis G. Stamelos
    • 1
  • Andreas Meiszner
    • 2
  1. 1.Aristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.United Nations University-MERITMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.United Nations University-IISTMacauChina

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