Analysis of FLOSS communities as learning contexts

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Luís Soares Barbosa
António Cerone
Sara Santos Fernandes
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It can be argued that participating in Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects can have a positive effect in the contributor's learning process. The need to collaborate with other contributors and to contribute to a project can motivate and implicitly foster learning. In order to validate such statements, it is necessary to (1) study the interactions between FLOSS projects' participants, and (2) explore the didactical value of participating in FLOSS projects, designing an appropriate questionnaire asking FLOSS contributors about their experience in FLOSS projects. In this paper, we illustrate how this questionnaire was designed and disseminated. We conclude the paper with results from 27 FLOSS projects contributors, determining that, not only they contribute and collaborate to the project and its community, but also that FLOSS contributors see that this type of activity can be regarded as a complement to formal education.