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Page history last edited by Don 13 years, 3 months ago

 

 

survey_tux_3.png

 

Learning in the GNU/Linux Community and R

 

 


Introduction

This wiki provides instruction on how to interpret and graph the results of the 'Legitimate Peripheral Participation in the GNU/Linux Community Survey' using R.

 

Study Purpose

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is often at the cutting edge of technology with rapid prototyping, debugging, and release cycles. GNU/Linux is the best known FOSS operating system with an estimated user base of more than five million users who form a successful community of learners. From an educational point-of-view, the discussion of FOSS is underdeveloped. Particularly, it is the framework under which GNU/Linux is used and developed that deserves more attention from the education community.

In contrast to proprietary software, where the user is considered a passive participant whose primary function is that of a consumer, GNU/Linux consists of a community of users and developers who work together to create and improve software. Active participation is encouraged by members at all skill levels. Similar to academia, the FOSS paradigm emphasizes the importance of sharing and constructing knowledge as a community of learners. Furthermore, the FOSS model and the GNU/Linux community exhibit several characteristics of legitimate peripheral participation, a process whereby learning occurs informally as members of a group interact to develop knowledge and skills (Edwards, 2001; Mateos-Garcia & Steinmueller, 2008).

The GNU/Linux community's strong emphasis on learning may represent a resource relatively untapped by educators. Therefore, research was conducted to study the significance and impact of LPP on learning within this community. The data collected highlight educational benefits of participation in the GNU/Linux community as well as the instruction of the FOSS framework in K-16 academic community.

 

Please look at "The Purpose and Theory Behind the Study" for a better understanding of the framework behind the data and the purpose of the graphs.

 

Rationale of this Wiki

One might wonder – what is the purpose of this wiki? Is it to show research results or show people how to use R? Both. If one only wants research results, there is a sample excerpt of findings written as a short academic paper available here. More will be made available later.

In the spirit of open source, it made sense to provide the raw data and let readers reach their own conclusions, or at least provide the steps so that readers could reproduce the findings if they so choose. It is meant as a gesture of gratitude to the 4603 respondents who took the time to complete the survey.

 

Why 'R'?

Initially, the research data was evaluated using the SPSS software package. A combination of factors led to the discovery of R. SPSS was only available at the university labs; the researchers needed custom graphs that were difficult to find/create/purchase in SPSS. A statistician co-worker recommended R and after that SPSS was left behind. Serious scholars all over the world need to complete statistical computations and feel hindered by expensive proprietary software – these scholars and others contribute to the enormous R community and its large repository of free R expansions. Non-statisticians and non-scientists may not go beyond accessing the basic functions of R; however, they may, nevertheless, find a brief introduction to R rewarding. To learn more about the advantages of R see also:http://www.statmethods.net/index.html

 

Please enjoy this introduction to R and please submit comments and suggestions.


Contents:

1. Introduction

1. Study Purpose

2. Rationale of this Wiki

3. Why 'R'?

4. The Theory and the Purpose of the Study

2. Installing R

1. Debian Based Distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Knoppix, etc...)

3. Getting Started

  1. Overview of Steps
  2. Loading a data file
  3. Changing Max Size
  4. Checking Contents
  5. Attaching Data

4. Viewing Data

1. Basic Text - Text only Tables

2. Three Example Tables

3. Saving Tables as Data Sets

4. Correlation Values

5. Beyond Basic Correlation

5. Learning About Packages

1. The Rseek toolbar search plugins

2. The Hmisc Package

3. Finding the R2 Value

4. Finding the adjusted R2 Value

5. Is this less random than a coin toss? Determining Significance

6. Basic Graphs

1. Bar Graphs

2. Pie Graphs - A look at Demographics

3. Colors in R - Please no more pastel!

4. Who took the survey?

5. Exploding Pie Graphs

7. Pretty Pictures: Creating More Appealing Graphs

1. Colors Available for R

2. About Graphs Available for R

3. Not all Respondents are Created Equal / Correlation Graphs

4. Basic Scatterplot

5. GGPlot2

8. Looking at Correlation / Visualizing Relationships

1. Study Hypotheses - Accepted or Rejected?

2. Is there a significant relationship between GNU/Linux community members' participation and learning?

3. Is there a significant relationship between members' identification with the community and learning?

4. Is there a significant relationship between members' identification with the community and their contributions?

5. Is there a positive correlation between members' participation in the GNU/Linux community and identification with the GNU/Linux community?

6. Is there a significant relationship between members' learning in the GNU/Linux community and their recommendation of FOSS?

9. Doing More with GGPlot2

1. Tweaking Heat Graphs with Density Mapping

2. Violin Plots - Music to the Eyes

3. Using Qplot to Create Graphs

10. Other Graphics Libraries

1. Corrgram

2. 3d Scatterplots

3. Corrplot - Many Ways to Visualize Correlation

4. Installing and loading the corrplot package

5. Correlation Circles

11. Using Scripts

1. Creating APA Format Correlation Tables with Stars

12. Glossary of Terms

1. List of Possibly Unfamiliar Terms

2. List of Survey Questions

3. List and Description of the Column Headers

13. References / External Links

1. Bibliography of Academic Sources

2. Web Sites Referenced

14. Appendices - Other Useful Information

  1. Manipulating Data Types
  2. Create a data set
  3. Counting Rows and Length
  4. Emacs - The Added Bonus
  5. Test Your Knowledge - Further Questions

Glossary of Terms

List of Possibly Unfamiliar Terms

List of Survey Questions

List and Description of the Column Headers


References / External Links

Bibliography of Academic Sources

Web Sites Referenced

 

Index      Next--->

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