Open Source Communication Activity

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Open Source Communication


Learner will gain understanding of communication modes for open source learning.


Familiarity with concept of open source: Intro to FOSS (Activity)

Learning Objectives After successfully completing this activity, the learner should be able to:
  1. Identify the communication modes being used by the open source community of choice
  2. Describe communication characteristics and culture within the community
Process Skills Practiced


The goal of this activity is for you to become familiar with the communication modes of an open source project. For more information please see Intro to FOSS (Activity).

In addition, there's a nice [video] on "how to communicate with your community" by Brian Proffitt at Red Hat -- the first couple minutes are about channels like IRC, mailing lists and forums and how they are used in open source communities.


Locate the IRC channel your open source project uses. Monitor that IRC channel for one week (7 days) or until there is at least 400 lines.

Please provide the following pieces of information about your open source project:

  • Name
  • Website
  • Description
  • Project Goal
  • Communication Modes (find all modes of communication i.e. IRC, website, etc.)

Write a reflection on the culture of the community, the professional behaviour, challenges with non-synchronous communications, different time zones (if applicable).


Text document


  • How will the activity be graded?
  • How will learning will be measured?
  • Include sample assessment questions/rubrics.
Criteria Level 1 (fail) Level 2 (pass) Level 3 (good) Level 4 (exceptional)
The purpose of the project
Why the project is open source


What should the instructor know before using this activity?

What are some likely difficulties that an instructor may encounter using this activity?

ACM Body of Knowledge
Area & Unit(s)
ACM Topic(s)
Level of Difficulty
Estimated Completion Time

Observation and Research time is one week; active time is 60 minutes

Environment / Materials

Internet connection and browser


Meilani Conley




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

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Suggestions for Open Source Community

Suggestions for an open source community member who is working in conjunction with the instructor.

Personal tools
Learning Resources
HFOSS Projects