Online Learning Update

January 30, 2017

8 Lessons Learned From Open Source Development

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:06 am

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technologies

When Harvard kicked off OpenScholar six years ago, little did it realize the impact the website creation project would have on the university — and the academic world at large.The story of the creation of OpenScholar would be familiar to anybody who’s ever tried to fix a specific problem by addressing the broader underlying need. Gary King, director of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, would get requests from faculty and staff for help to build websites, which would end up costing thousands of dollars—”sort of ridiculous,” he said. So members of King’s team began studying scholarly websites. What they learned was that the websites were “structurally identical,” even if they did have unique looks. “They all have a CV; they all have a list of classes; they have a list of papers; they have a picture and a bio. They’re all exactly the same,” King explained. Yet every faculty member would want his or her own look and feel, graphic design and URL.

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