POSSE 2013-06 Feedback

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What worked, what didn’t

3 Stage Structure

  • The general 3 stage structure seems to be working. Any vote to change from this approach? Any revision to the overall structure?

Stage 1


  • Timing of having POSSE Stage 2 right at end of semester seemed to be tough for some people.
    • Is the issue the timing of Stage 2 or Stage 1? One suggestion was for Stage 2 to be one week later; others seemed to find Stage 1 timing a problem.
    • What alternative would be better?
  • Provide access to materials 8 weeks in advance so that people who want to get a jump on activities can do so.
    • Where would the part A-C deadlines fall?
  • Add more accountability to stage 1.
    • Have more frequent/small deadlines
      • We also got an opposing comment - that deadlines were good, but having flexibility within them was also good
    • Have participants (and foss2serve community) review and comment


  • June appears to work best.
  • Move to second or third week in June
  • Check graduation schedules!!! (GH, DB)
  • Make activities available 8 weeks ahead of time
  • Add some sort of participant review to activities.
  • Keep three deadlines at four, six, and eight weeks
  • Add one more IRC chat in stage 1.B - generating sense of interaction


  • Need to refine some of the activities so that they are more focused and therefore should take less time.
    • In particular the Project Evaluation, FOSS Field Trip and FOSS in Courses Planning activities
      • FOSS Field Trip needs more information about how to find information on SourceForge
    • Also clarify the depth required and indicate that participants shouldn't spend more than 2 hours on any one activity unless they want to.
    • Do we even need the Project Evaluation activity as the projects have already been "vetted"?
    • Better to revamp the Project Evaluation activity to walk through a single example and only have participants comment on pieces rather than try to carry out the evaluation themselves.
      • Seems that participants need the experience in Stage 2 to be able to find and understand all of the information.
    • Or, since the projects are already selected, how about a more direct comparison, rather than evaluation?
    • Evaluate one of the chosen projects, not something unrelated.
  • Clarify the mission/purpose of the Stage 1 activities with respect to Stage 2.
    • Make it clear what participants should be getting out of stage 1
      1. Get up to speed in working on HFOSS projects
      2. Get up to speed evaluating an HFOSS project for use
      3. Preliminary thinking about where HFOSS might fit in their own curriculum (in general)
      4. Preliminary identification of a target course or venue for a first HFOSS activity at their institution (a specific starting point)
  • Shift some content from Stage 2 to Stage 1:
    • Examples of HFOSS in Education, HFOSS in the Curriculum, Understanding Open Source Communities, Pedagogy and Course Management.
    • Idea: Create short video of these topics and ask participants to create list of questions on wiki (group list) that form the basis of interactive activity in Stage 2.
    • Have real "check ins" with other people within the group
    • Divide into two threads:
      • Getting up to speed on the tools
      • Getting up to speed on the projects
      • (GH notes that the above have been one thread. The other thread is pedagogy/course planning)


  • Project Evaluation Activity revision (LP,DB):
    • Revise so that they're lead through a project.
    • Change title to "Project Overview"
    • Make locations more specific. Have them go to a specific location and report back.
    • Or have them go look for something but give them a time limit and report back.
  • FOSS Field Trip revision (LP):
    • Need to update Ohloh and SourceForge
  • Course Planning Activity (HE):
    • Clarify the end product - only light sketch.
  • Need to go back and look at how we're framing each stage (GH)
    • Need to set framework for each stage
    • See notes above
    • GIve more understanding of where participants are and where they are going - context
  • Shifting content from Stage 2 to Stage 1
  • Start Sunday at 3:00? DO a bit more on the first day for more small-group activities on day 2 and 3.


  • It would be helpful to have some sort of visual introductions during Stage 1.
    • Ask folks to post their pictures on foss2serve wiki?
    • Video skype?
    • Google hangouts?
  • It might be nice to have a formal gathering/opening at the start of Stage 1. Not clear what the right technology would be for this though.

Stage 2

  • Reorganize to spend more time in small groups.
  • Add another day purely for small groups?
    • We probably don't have the budget for this. Arriving earlier on the opening day might buy some time though
  • Perhaps move two weeks later in June so people have more time before to prepare.
    • How would we combat fatigue? Would this be productive?
  • Combine the face-to-face with a hackathon or other FOSS activity.
    • Host a hackathon the day before or the day after? With students from the local institution?
    • Host a Random Hacks of Kindness?
    • Some other student event?
  • Have more representatives from the HFOSS projects present.
    • Or Skype in.
  • Try to move some of the lecture material to Stage 1 to allow more time for small group meetings.
    • This is tempting, but will people do more in Stage 1? People already had trouble getting stage 1 done.

Other Thoughts

  • Could we incentivize people to share a room to stretch the funds?
  • Host a hack-a-thon perhaps over the summer? NCC has a budget for shorter workshops and follow-up events to foster and expand the relationship that began at a POSSE.
  • We need a way to connect everyone involved, not just our small groups.
    • Google hangout?
    • TeachingOpenSource IRC?
    • How do we integrate participants back into teachingopensource?
  • How do we encourage the small groups?
    • By being active participants
    • By regular (occasional?) full POSSE meetings on IRC
    • By making each group's activities visible to everyone
      • Wiki page for each group
      • Hold at least some meetings on IRC
Personal tools
Learning Resources
HFOSS Projects