Blog and Infographic Project (Activity)

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Blog and Infographic Project


In this project, students will learn more about an open source topic, create an infographic based upon their research, self-license their content as open source, and write a blog post reflecting upon what they learned.

  • You should already know how to post to a blog (see Parts 1 and 2 of Blog_Activity)
  • No programming knowledge is required! Suitable for non-CS Majors (business, IS) with minimal technical background.
After successfully completing this activity, the learner should be able to:
  • Increase awareness of the impact of open source use within society
  • Introduce students to resources available on and within the open source community
  • Introduce students to different open source licensing options
  • Optional Work with someone at to actually publish one or a few of these
Process Skills


Increasingly, infographics are being used to summarize information on a topic in a succinct and visually appealing way. For this project, students will create their own unique infographic based upon research into Open Source Software. You should not just copy an infographic on your topic that you found online. This is an opportunity to use your creativity to experiment with an increasingly popular format for marketing on the Web.

Here's a link that describes characteristics of successful infographics:

This blog describes a number of free tools that will help you to create infographics: Several students have found particular success in using

Notes to faculty:

  • Under the topic description, intentionally keeping this open-ended to encourage students to find interesting research without boxing them in. If the student asks for more direction, please consider in advance how you will answer that question.
  • Infographics typically are high on numeric data. Some of the topics below may be more or less quantifiable. May need to allow for some more like a compacted slide/summary instead of a traditional infographic.
  • Impress upon the students that the Creative Commons licensing procedure fully supports free and open source ideals -- just in case this is not immediately obvious to the students.
  • This assignment is currently written as though it is for individuals. However, one option for adapting this for groups
    • Step 1: Form groups and have the groups select a topic
    • Step 2: Keep it as an individual assignment
    • Step 3: Have students discuss and poll their findings to collectively create the infographic.
    • NEW Step 4: Have each individual student post a reflection on their experience as well as what the infographic means

NOTE TO SELF: Add a source article or blog post for each topic


Step 1: Select a Topic

Choose from one of the following topics:

  • Estimate how much open source software is used by businesses (versus proprietary software; provide specific examples)
  • Why should businesses care about open source software?
  • When you are buying and implementing a software system, what are all the costs associated with it? Compare open source software vs. proprietary. Examples to consider include support, training, consulting, patching security issues, etc.
  • What are the different types of software licenses available? How does each benefit society? What if you use software licenses improperly?
  • Business Model -- what makes open source business modesl sustainable and profitable? Example: Red Hat
  • Why might a major business contribute to open source? For example: allowing paid employees to use work time to work on improving open source software.
  • What are the market and economic pressures that drive business to consider an open source solution? Be sure to consider flexibility of the software, the ability to quickly respond to customer requirements, being able to attract and retain highly qualified technical employees. Source article:
  • What motivates people to contribute to open source software projects?
  • Learn more about a specific humantarian open source project
  1. Ushahidi ( )
  2. OpenMRS ( )
  3. Sahana ( )
  4. Humanitarian FOSS Project ( )

Step 2: Collect and Summarize Data

  • Read the starter article provided above related to your topic
  • Conduct additional online research to find at least 2 additional online articles related to your topic. Recommended sites include:
  • Write a blog posting that summarizes your research that addresses each of the following points:
    • Provides a summary of the articles in your own words. Do not just copy and paste sentences from the article! Clearly label this section as “Article Summary” (at least 500 words)
    • Provide a listing of at least 5 numeric data points about your topic. Examples include statistics about how much open source software is used, a timeline of key activities related to open source software, etc. Clearly label this section as “Quantitative Data”.
    • Include a link to the original articles. Clearly label this section as "Resources"

Step 3: Create Infographic

  • Review background information about what makes a quality infographic:
  • Identify an appropriate story and how best to fit this within an infographic
  • Utilize one of the freely available infographic building tools to create the visual. Be sure that your name is clearly listed as part of the infographic
  • Also make sure that your infographic includes an indicator of the appropriate license for your content.
    • Review the information provided by Creative Commons:
    • Select the license you want for your infographic
    • Put the appropriate symbol within your information graphic
  • Edit the blog post that you created in step 2
    • Include the infographic
    • Include a brief statement on the license you select, what it means, and why you chose it


Blog Post that includes article summary, statistics, resources, infographic with license, and statement about license as described in steps 2 and 3 above


Criteria Complete

10 points

Level 3

8 points

Level 2

6 points

Level 1

3 points

No evidence

0 points

Article Summary


Provides a concise summary in your own words of the most important points. Conveys detailed command of subject. Discussion is insightful and integrates information from multiple articles. Meets or exceeds requirement of 500+ words. Provides a concise summary in

your own words of the several points from the articles; however, may miss 1 or 2 important ideas. Conveys satisfactory knowledge of subject. Discussion is at surface level. Meets or slightly below the 500+ word requirement.

Summarizes the article; however,

takes ideas and phrases directly from the article instead of synthesizing information and paraphrasing in your own words. Conveys inadequate knowledge of the subject. Discussion addresses some portion of the subject but may miss several main ideas.

Conveys little or no

knowledge of subject.

Missing or too short to evaluate.


Provides a listing of at least 5 distinct numeric data points about your topic from the articles. The data selected should provide different information about your topic. Provides only 4 distinct numeric data points Provides only 3 distinct numeric data points Provides only 1 or 2 distinct numeric data points Missing
Infographic & License Section Provides an impactful graphic that drives a relevant story related to the articles and incorporates quantitative data. Creative Commons license is chosen, shown in the graphic and an explanation of why is included. Provides an adequate infographic. Could improve upon the story or incorporation of data. Creative Commons license is chosen, shown in the graphic and an explanation of why is included. Provides an infographic that lacks a coherent story OR incorporates little quantitative data. Creative Commons license is chosen; however, either it is not shown in the graphic OR an explanation of why is not included. Provides an infographic that lacks a coherent story and incorporates no quantitative data. Creative Commons license is not chosen, shown, or described. Missing
Resources and Mechanics No grammatical, spelling,

or punctuation errors. Includes a working link to 3+ articles used under a section clearly labeled as "Resources".

Few grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors. These few issues rarely interfere with understanding. Resources section is present and includes 3 articles. Grammatical,

spelling, or punctuation errors sometimes interfere with understanding. Resources section incomplete or inaccurate.

Abundant grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors interfere with understanding. Resources section incomplete or inaccurate. Abundant grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors grossly interfere with understanding. Resources section missing.
Area & Unit(s)

SP - Social Issues and Professional Practice, GV - Graphics and Visualization


Professional Communication, Intellectual Property (Licensing), Visualization



Estimated Time
to Complete

10 Hours Total - Step 1 - 1 hr, Step 2 - 2-4 hrs, Step 3 - 6+ hrs

Environment /

Internet Access, Blogging platform, Infographic Tool,


Nannette Napier, Nick Yeates


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

CC license.png

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