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  Welcome to the Open Source Software Research Corner

    At Methodist University

         Identifying a new way of Learning in the 21st Century


IT administrators are dissatisfied with the rising cost and poor performance of proprietary software (Griffith and Courant, 2006). Institutions are spending millions of dollars annually on software customization or new versions of phased-out vendor products.The majority of academic institutions are using proprietary software that requires strict renewal polices, license agreements, and mandatory upgrades at the vendorís discretion. Often commercial products must be tailored to meet the needs of higher education; however, the modifications are usually difficult to install and very expensive. The major concerns of administrators are the consolidation of vendor products that could lead to unfair price leveraging and a further decrease in the control and flexibility of their IT systems (Faber, 2002; Miller, Martineau and Clark, 2004).

Unlike proprietary software, where the source code is unavailable and illegal to alter, an Open-Source Software (OSS) application authorizes the user to edit and recompile the application to meet the specific needs of the institution or organization. OSS applications are either free or purchasable for a one-time fee. The rising cost of proprietary software has motivated many academic institutions to consider implementing OSS.†† Many IT professionals are investigating the advantages and disadvantages of open-source applications in an attempt to mitigate expensive yearly fees, licensures and maintenance costs required by proprietary software vendors. The data collected in the study will represent OSS enabled institutions that are members of the Council of Higher Education and Accreditation (CHEA) Organization. Of the data collected from the institutions, a portion of the information will be set aside for data validation purposes.

The model created in this research will address the OSS concerns in higher education by identifying the experiences, institutional characteristics, and technical systems relevant to the selection and implementation of OSS technology.  This research will simplify the data analysis process by providing a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the user to enter and receive data. The results of this research will allow institutions to specify certain criteria such as highest degree awarded, relevant characteristics, and technological factors and then receive implementation suggestions for adopting OSS technology.


Principal Researcher: Dr. Terry C. House 910-670-9262

Methodist University 5400 Ramsey Street | Fayetteville, NC 28311 | (800) 488-7110 x7416