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Establish a robust presence for Mozilla education in Europe via a proposed course in Mozilla technologies combining classroom instruction, online instruction, and student projects.


Thus far we have had minimal activity with Mozilla Education activities in Europe. However there is strong interest from Mozilla Europe in jumpstarting Seneca-style Mozilla education in the EU, and we have had some institutions express interest in participating in a Mozilla-related education initiative, chief among them being the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, a relatively new public university with an existing competence in open source (through the GSyC/LibreSoft group). We are currently working on a draft proposal for a Mozilla education initiative in cooperation with Mozilla Europe and URJC.


With this project we can test two theses, a) that we can run a successful Mozilla education initiative in Europe, and b) that a combination of face-to-face and online instruction can be as effective as the more traditional approach based primarily on classroom instruction.

Desired outcomes

  • 20-25 students have a quality learning experience and gain a solid grounding in Mozilla technologies and development.
  • URJC instructors acquire solid experience in creating and teaching a Mozilla course.
  • Mozilla Europe establishes a productive working relationship with URJC, with Mozilla mentors able to assume a role vis-a-vis URJC similar to that played by the Mozilla Toronto office vis-a-vis Seneca.
  • We gain validation of the ability to re-purpose Seneca instructional material (to the extent it's re-used) and possibly a new set of instructional material as well.

How it will work


The initial on-site portion of the class would cover the following topics:

  • General
    • Introduction to Free Software, licensing, etc.
  • Mozilla project
    • Introduction to the Mozilla project
    • Introduction to Mozilla products
  • Mozilla technologies (18 hours)
    • Introduction to Mozilla technologies
    • Gecko, SpiderMonkey, XPCOM, XULRunner, plug-ins...

For the on-line portion of the course students would select a student project to do, based on their own interests and the advice of the instructor and mentors.


The general approach proposed is to combine an initial "sprint" period of intensive classroom instruction with a subsequent longer period of online instruction combined with student projects. The course would total 15 credits under the ECTS system, with credits divided between the three parts of the course as follows:

  • 3 credits for on-site instruction (20%)
  • 3 credits for on-line instruction (20%)
  • 9 credits for student projects (60%)

Note that under the ECTS system a 15-credit course corresponds to approximately 375 hours of effort on the part of a student.

The class would be taught in English.

The overall class calendar would be as follows:

  • Week 1: On-site class at URJC in Madrid
  • Week 2: Proposal of projects (and mentors) by Mozilla and GSyC/LibreSoft
  • Week 3: Selection of projects by students
  • Week 8: Intermediate deliverable by student
  • Week 12: Final project (grading)

Teaching methodology:

  • Based on Moodle
  • IRC for real-time synchronous communication between students and mentors
  • Subversion repository with sources
  • Publicly available instructional materials, with the aim of being reusable
  • Lessons:
    • Theory: slides, exercises, auto-evaluation, forums
    • Practice: project proposals, on-line support on IRC

Products / stuff we'll create

  • xxx

Use cases

Student at university

  • xxx
  • <elaborate>

Independent learner

  • xxx
  • <elaborate>


  • xxx
  • <elaborate>

Mozilla contributor

  • xxx
  • <elaborate>


Things we have

  • xxx
  • what else?

Things we need

  • what's missing? what do we need to build?


Categories of expenses:

  • Travel expenses for Mozilla mentors for on-site portion
  • Travel expenses for students for on-site portion
  • Instructor time and URJC administrative overhead
  • Supplies

Expenses would be covered by a combination of Mozilla Foundation funding, Mozilla Europe funding (for mentor-related expenses), and student fees.


Q1 2009


Q2 2009


Q3 2009


Q4 2009