Stage 2 Activities/Stage 3 Planning -CompSci1

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Group Participants

  • Denise Ferebee <>
  • Alberto Castro-Hernández <>
  • Matt Magnusson <>
  • Farhan Siddiqui <>

Planning an Initial HFOSS Learning Activity

Please discuss and record your group's approach for an initial learning activity. When you have a good draft description of the learning activity using the sections below, you could create a learning activity page for it by copying the Learning Activity Format with Directions.

Course targeted for the activity

Introduction to Computer Science -1

Brief description of the activity

Code Documentation

Time you expect the HFOSS activity to take

e.g. # classes, # homework assignments, # lab activities, etc.

Activity consisting of two parts - part A and part B. Part A to be completed in a 50-minutes class session (as a group of 2- 3 students). Part B will be an individual activity to be completed as homework.

Relationship of this activity to course goals/objectives

The activity aligns with one of the course goals "Best Practices in Programming"

What students will submit upon completion of the activity

  • Code showing the following
     * clear comments
     * human readable variable names
     * human readable functions/methods

Approach for assessing the student work

 Objective test where students answer questions in reference to is occurring based on comments, variable names, and function names.

Part A: Students can be provided with code that includes checkpoints for inserting comments. Additionally, a document that includes a pool of possible comments is also given to students.

Students need to select one comment from the document and paste at the right checkpoint within the code. A numeric score will be given to each comment placed at the right point in the code.

Part B: This part is to be done as a homework assignment. A different code sample will be provided and students will be asked to insert comments. Assessment will be based on the the number of comments, their description, as well as the correct checkpoints where comments were inserted.

Questions or concerns you have about implementing your activity

  • The activity will show the use of appropriate variable names and comments for code. However, it is necessary to make it a habit. So, this activity consist of two parts: a) the first part is guided by the instructor, b) the second part is a graded assignment. It is also recommended, that future code assignments also require to contain comments and appropriate variable names.
  • Read/understand code in HFOSS projects could be intimidating for a CS1 course student. So, the selection of the appropriate code for a CS1 student level can be challenging. One alternatives is to look for small Open Source projects which may have simpler structures to analyze by the students.

Support you will need to implement your activity

  • Design a few examples to explain the objective of the activity i.e. choose the appropriate variable names and comments for a line of code or function.
  • Design code exercises where students change variables names.
  • Design code exercises where students select appropriate comments for a line of code or a function.

Planning Stage 3 Activities


Specific Tasks

The following are suggested tasks, please add other activities if needed, and choose a task that you would like to contribute.

Tasks to be done:

  • Select a HFOSS/FOSS project, search for pieces of code or functions (methods) which can be used as part of this activity.


<List any resources that you find>

HFOSS/FOSS projects can be searched here:

Other Notes

Prior related POSSE groups, if any:

When creating an activity, remove it from the Formats category.

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Learning Resources
HFOSS Projects