Professors Open Source Software Experience Workshops

POSSE workshops provide professional development for instructors interested in student participation in Free and Open Source Software. The original version of POSSE, POSSE-V1, was founded by Red Hat and workshop facilitators came from Red Hat and FOSS communities. More recently, POSSE workshops have been modified to include instructors as facilitators and have been funded by the National Science Foundation with a focus on Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS). More information about the current POSSE program may be found here.

POSSE-V2 2010 – present

Currently POSSE stands for Professors’ Open Source Software Experience. The current version of POSSE workshops combine an expanded version of the initial POSSE work with a focus on HFOSS projects. The current verion of POSSE also benefits from support provided by the National Science Foundation. The original approach to POSSE has been revised and extended to create a more complete path for instructors. It includes technical topics related to FOSS and also pedagogical and curricular considerations. The approach to delivery uses

  • Stage 1: 6-8 weeks of online activities involving 1-3 hours of effort per week. Faculty members (participants) work independently and also interact with the workshop facilitators and other participants in an online environment periodically. These activities are intended to prepare a faculty member to get the most out of a face-to-face workshop.
  • Stage 2: 3 day face-to-face meeting lead by faculty members and FOSS community representatives. During this meeting, participants members learn how the material that they had been absorbing prior to the face-to-face event is used in actual FOSS projects. Participants also learn ways to incorporate that material into their classes and to identify and/or create actual assignments.
  • Stage 3: Small group interactions to provide participants with support while involving students in an HFOSS project in the classroom. These groups are approximately 6-10 participants and organized around a particular HFOSS project. The idea being that faculty members can work collaboratively on the same project.

Several instructors have shared thoughts on their POSSE experience:

Look for announcements about future POSSEs.

POSSEs held under POSSE-V2 format:

POSSE-V1 2005 – 2010

POSSE began as an outreach effort by Red Hat, Inc. to the higher education community. The goal was to help instructors learn about free and open source software (FOSS) so that they could incorporate FOSS into their courses. POSSE information on the Red Hat site.

The first workshops were held in summer, so the POSSE acronym originally stood for: Professor’s Open Source Summer Experience. The original workshops were five-days and held at local universities. The pages linked below represent historical information about POSSE and some links may be broken.

Historical Information