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[Masterlibre-list] Some notes about the design

From: Jesus M Gonzalez-Barahona
Subject: [Masterlibre-list] Some notes about the design
Date: 12 Nov 2003 00:45:45 +0100

Hi all,

Jaime, Joaquin, Gregorio, Manuel and myself have a preliminary agreement
on the basic strucuture of the master. It goes along the following

- A total of 90 ECTS (or 1.5 academic years)
- 30 ECTS of "core" subjects, compulsory for all attendants, during the
first semester.
- 30 ECTS of "optional" subjects, of 3-4 ECTS each (probably all the
same size, to easy scheduling), during semesters 2nd and 3rd.
- 30 ECTS of a practicum, also during the 2nd and 3rd semesters.

The rationale for having optional and practicum in parallel is being
able of offering optional subjects in both semesters (more easy for
professors), and leaving students with more choices for selecting
optional matters. OTOH, the 30 ECTS for practicum could include a part
for a master thesis, and a part for real experience in libre software
project development or similar things.

Depending on the background of the students, some preliminary subjects
could be included, outside the master, to give them enough background to
follow the master studies.

The proposal for core subjects is as follows:

- Basics of libre software (4 ECTS). This is an introductory subject
which should provide a common ground for all students, covering from
history of libre software to definitions, to legal and economic basics,
to brief notes on most known projects, etc.

- Economy and bussiness (4 ECTS). Economic foundations and bussiness
models related to libre software, including case examples and theories
trying to explain how do they work

- Juridical aspects (4 ECTS). From laws related to libre software
(intellectual and industrial proprierty laws, laws and law proposals for
promoting the use of libre software, etc.) to libre software licensing.

- Sociology and ethics (4 ECTS). From motivation and profiles of libre
software developers to the ethic of the free software movement.

- Tools and environments for libre software development (4 ECTS). Common
technologies used in libre software development, from CVS and make to
Sourceforge and Savannah.

- Project management (4 ECTS). How are libre software projects managed,
how do they evolve, etc. (mainly from a software engineering point of

- Landscape of the libre software world (6 ECTS). Detailed description
of the most important projects, companies, associations, etc. related to
libre software. Using the knowledge obtained in the previous subjects
(which should provide a framework for studing and understanding the case
studies), the studend to get a complete view of the current situation of
the libre software world.

With respect to the schedule of the project itslelf, we are working with
a possible sceneario (consider it just as a "pie-in-the-sky" scenario)
as follows:

- During each semester, three periods. A starting period with all the
students in a given location, where all the subjects for that semester
will start. Then, all students go to their base University, while they
work on the subjects (remotely, professors help and follow up them). To
end, another period of all the studients in a given location, when the
subjects are ended. Exams will take place in their home Unis, as soon as
they come back at the beggining of the follwing semester.

- For a typical subject of 4 ECTS, during the first period, about 18-21
hours of class (including theory and practice) will be taught, and about
9-12 during the third. The rest of the time the student is supposed to
work on the matter remotely, in her Uni.

- During the time that subjects are being taught, two of them will be
taugh in parallel, until both are finished (except for the case studies
one, whcih will be taught alone). With 6 hours a day of classes (3 for
each subject), that would mean about 6-7 working days during the first
period and 3-4 during the thrid one for 4 ECTS subjects. That would mean
about 5 weeks for the first period, and about 2-2.5 for the second.
Should these periods be too large, an scheduling with 7 or 8 hours a day
of classes could be considered, but probably that would be too much

- The starting period for a semester would come right after the ending
one for the previous semester, at the same location. This would mean
that in fact, there will be two presential meetings per year, probably
each at one of the participating Unis.

- This scheduling would mean that professors teaching one subject would
probably have to move to the locations where classes are about 1.5 weeks
during one period, and about half a week 6 months later.

For now, all of this are just ideas. Please comment on them as much as
you may wish.



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Jesus M. Gonzalez Barahona                | Grupo de Sistemas y
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