This article summarizes the experience of offering an online introductory course on geographic information systems (GIS) that utilizes available free/libre and open source software (FOSS). Two primary objectives are to (a) reach students in developing countries and (b) to help move forward the development of an open-content GIS curriculum as part of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo; OSGeo.org) educational effort. Course design, key software (QGIS, GRASS, PostgreSQL//PostGIS), and online delivery methods are described. Results and factors leading to a low course-completion rate are discussed. Contributing factors include (a) a for-credit versus no-credit decision and (b) technical issues. Recommendations for others considering online offerings and for the OSGeo educational effort are provided.
- Geographic Information Systems,
- Open Source,
- distance learning,
- online education
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/charles_schweik/13/