TOS Happenings at SIGCSE!

If you’ll be at SIGSE, make sure to attend these Teaching Open Source-related sessions (use this quicklink while you’re there for easy reference:

Time: Thursday 10am
Activity: Demo Session #1
Title: Teaching “Blinky Flashy”:​ ​Best Practices and Helpful Tips for Teaching eTextiles to a Wide Range of Students
Location: Exhibit Hall
Speaker(s): Gina Likins (Red Hat, United States)
Abstract Electronic Textiles, or eTextiles, are textiles that directly incorporate conductive fibers or elements. eTextile projects are engaging and hands-on, and can serve as an introduction to computing, electrical engineering, and the Internet of Things. In addition, evidence suggests eTextile projects are especially well-suited for girls and young women, and may help improve their overall attitudes and confidence about computing.

This demo will prepare instructors to lead a successful eTextiles workshop. Attendees will learn by doing – up to 20 participants will experience the fun of eTextiles by adding an LED sequin to an article of clothing they bring. In addition, the demo will cover: what information should be included in an eTextiles workshop — and what can be skipped; variants to accommodate experience and knowledge levels; and how instructors can ensure that workshops go off without a hitch.

Time: Thursday 2:35 – 3:00 PM
Activity: Paper
Title: A Survey of Instructors’ Experiences Supporting Student Learning using Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software Projects
Location: Room 319
Speaker(s): Heidi Ellis (Western New England University, United States), Lori Postner (Nassau Community College, United States), Gregory Hislop (Drexel University, United States)
Abstract: Studies have shown that Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS) projects provide a rich learning environment for students, allowing them to gain a range of both technical and professional skills. Although there have been a number of studies on student attitudes toward learning within HFOSS projects, little has been documented about instructors’ experiences supporting their students in the classroom. This paper examines survey results from 26 faculty members who participated in an NSF-funded Professors’ Open Source Software Experience workshop with the goal of incorporating HFOSS into their curriculum. The survey was designed to identify barriers to using HFOSS in the classroom, to understand the type of classes where instructors incorporated HFOSS, the successes attained and challenges faced by instructors, and to understand instructors’ future plans. The data gathered was used to enhance semi-structured interviews that are currently being analyzed. This paper focuses on the hurdles reported by faculty members, the cross-section of uses of HFOSS in the classroom as well as factors that may influence one’s ability to integrate HFOSS into the curriculum. The results of the survey demonstrate that faculty have successfully incorporated HFOSS into a wide range of courses across all four years of the curriculum with both large and small classes. The major hurdles are time to prepare materials for one’s course as well as finding time within an existing course to integrate HFOSS material. This paper discusses possible ways to address the hurdles as well as future directions for the work.

Time: Thursday 3:45 – 4:10 PM
Activity: Paper
Title: A Multi-Institutional Perspective on H/FOSS Projects in the Computing Curriculum
Location: Room 323
Speaker(s): Grant Braught (Dickinson College, United States), John Maccormick (Dickinson College, United States), James Bowring (College Of Charleston, United States),
Quinn Burke (College Of Charleston, United States), Barbara Cutler (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, United States), David Goldschmidt (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, United States), Mukkai Krishnamoorthy (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, United States), Wesley Turner (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, United States), Steven Huss-Lederman (Beloit College, United States), Bonnie Mackellar (St. John’s University, United States), Allen Tucker (Bowdoin College, United States)

Time: Thursday 6:30 – 7:20 PM
Activity: BoF
Open Source Student Clubs
Location: Room 318
Speaker(s): Darci Burdge (Nassau Community College, United States), Gregory Hislop (Drexel University, United States), Joanna Klukowska (New York University, United States)
Abstract: Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is interesting to many students and provides an excellent opportunity to observe and practice many aspects of software product development and management. There is an active community of faculty fostering student participation in open source within computing curricula (see However, the opportunity to add coverage of FOSS varies considerably from institution to institution, and there are always limits to what can be done with existing computing curricula. One approach to solving this limitation is for students to learn about and participate in FOSS projects as an extra-curricular activity. This BoF will provide a forum for faculty members to discuss open source student clubs. The Mozilla Foundation has been developing a program to support open source clubs. The initial clubs were primarily located in Asia, but Mozilla started an effort to expand the clubs to the U.S. during the current academic year. The BoF will include discussion of this effort and the materials developed by Mozilla. (See:

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