National Center for Digital Government Working Paper Series
This SSCORE report summarizes our experience offering an online introductory course on Geographic Information Systems that utilizes available free/libre and open source software (FOSS). Two primary objectives were to (1) reach students in developing countries, and (2) to help move forward the development of an “open content” GIS curriculum as part of the “Open Source Geospatial Foundation” (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 and discussed. Contributing factors include: (1) a for-credit versus no-credit decision; and (2) technical issues. Recommendations for others considering online offerings and for the OSGeo educational effort are provided.