Open Source Pedagogy, Research + Innovation (OSPRI) Lab (2018-2019)


OSPRI (Open Source Pedagogy, Research + Innovation), a Duke-Red Hat partnership, applies open source principles and methodologies to teaching and learning, communicating and creating within and beyond educational institutions. OSPRI is jointly housed in Duke’s Social Science Research Institute and Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative.

Project Description

This Bass Connections project addresses the gap between how learning occurs outside and inside academic settings—between the participatory, social, crowdsourced, self-directed learning students authentically engage in beyond the classroom, and the industrial-era, one-to-many, hierarchical-driven teaching occurring in many classrooms.

The vision for OSPRI Lab is to develop, iterate and scale an open source pedagogical model focused on student-generated open source content (such as open source education technology products and open source curricula and educational resources) and personalized, collaborative learning. The Lab will serve as a prototype for future broad-based infrastructure and curricular innovations at Duke and other colleges and universities. It has the potential to have significant impact on the critical societal issue of preparing students for 21st-century learning. The Partnership for 21st Century Learning defines these skills as creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration. Students will develop these skills via learning within the open source pedagogical approach framing the project.

OSPRI Lab will include two teams, Open Source Education Technology and Mobile Citizens.

Open Source Education Technology

The key activities of the Open Source Education Technology team will be to research and share knowledge about open source principles and methodologies within educational contexts; cutting-edge education innovation focused on personalized, collaborative learning; and the current education technology landscape. Team members will also conduct research (including focus groups and surveys) to identify a critical education technology product need at Duke and work closely with a team of student developers from COMPSCI 408 (Delivering Software: From Concept to Client) to prototype and iterate on an open source education technology product.

Mobile Citizens

Mobile Citizens, co-founded by two Duke undergraduate students (Tanner Johnson and Carter Zenke) in Spring 2017, works to engage middle-school students who are traditionally underrepresented in computer science classrooms and fields. Mobile Citizens iterates from to design a community-centered, open source computer science curriculum tailored to meet the needs of local learning communities. Duke undergraduates teach this curriculum in Durham Title I middle schools. Learn more about Mobile Citizens in the Duke Chronicle.

The key activities of the Mobile Citizens team will be to mentor students at a local Durham public school using the Mobile Citizens computer science curriculum, and to build this curriculum and prepare future lessons. Team members will also research and share knowledge about best practices for near-peer mentorship, and analyze data and publish research on the efficacy of the Mobile Citizens model.

Anticipated Outcomes

Viable, scalable and replicable open source pedagogical model prototyped; open source curricula and educational resources published; open source education technology product prototyped; articles submitted to open access publications; applications submitted to participate in academic conferences; storytelling platform launched to share project’s work


Summer 2018 – Spring 2019

  • Summer 2018: Master’s student RA conducts literature reviews and case studies of personalized, collaborative learning and the education technology landscape.
  • Fall 2018: Begin full team meetings. Open Source Education Technology team conducts and shares research and identifies education technology need at Duke. Mobile Citizens team mentors middle school students and builds curriculum.
  • Spring 2019: Open Source Education Technology team conducts user testing and iterates on open source education technology product. Mobile Citizens team develops best practices for near-peer mentorship and analyzes data and publishes research on the efficacy of the Mobile Citizens model.

See earlier related team, OSPRI Lab: Open Source Education Technology (2017-2018).

Faculty/Staff Team Members

Aria Chernik, Social Science Research Institute*
Robert Duvall, Arts & Sciences-Computer Science
Michael Greene II, Center for Instructional Technology

Graduate Team Members

Bozhena Etin, Liberal Studies-AM

Undergraduate Team Members

Judyth Estrada Salinas, Computer Science (BS)
Scott Heng On
Melody Jiang, Mathematics (BS)
Shanjiao (Amy) Jiang, Public Policy Studies (AB)
Jie Liu, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE), Economics (BS)
Eliza Paradise
Yeon Ju Suh
Nicholas Turecky
Carter Zenke, Program II (AB)

Community Team Members

Red Hat
Tanner Johnson, Atlassian

* denotes team leader