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The price of free software: Labor, ethics, and context in distance education


Computers and Composition Volume 23, Number 1 ISSN 8755-4615 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


The use, development, and dissemination of open-source software (OSS) appears to be more in line with the liberatory, collaborative, epistemological ideals of institutions of higher learning than does commercial software. However, our primary and secondary research reveals that due largely to institutional pressures and labor issues, open source software options are often not explored or considered when teaching distance-learning writing courses. In this article, we compare open source and commercial content/course management options and demonstrate the benefits and problems of specific applications. Additionally, we discuss our results from case studies of four instructors who teach distance-learning writing courses. We detail what types of applications they use, the level of institutional support they receive, and the motivations for their choices of applications.


Reilly, C.A. & Williams, J.J. The price of free software: Labor, ethics, and context in distance education. Computers and Composition, 23(1), 68-90. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved December 16, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Computers and Composition on January 29, 2019. Computers and Composition is a publication of Elsevier.

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