Students will be responsible for regular reports on their open collaboration with outside projects in light of the practical and theoretical topics addressed in the class.
These reports are due at 5pm on Tuesdays.
The reports will be blog entries to this website. Reports will be handed in using Github Pull Requests to the course website repository. Students will need to sign up for a Github account.
Students are encouraged to update their blog posts over the course of the semester as they get insight and evidence from their experience. Grades for assignments will depend largely on their state at the end of the course. This means students will have the opportunity to respond to student and teacher feedback.
As the final project of the course, students will combine their reports from throughout the semester into a single collaborative report surveying the open collaboration. This report will be made available on the web and, if we agree on it as a class, submitted for publication.
ASSIGNMENT 1: Report on your experience contacting and explaining your intention to contribute to the community. Did you follow a 'script'? Was it a formal or informal process? Did you face any barriers to participation? Do you think your experience was personal or general? Please include in your post links to opening conversations with the open project. Include any relevant mailing list posts, wiki edits, and forum/issue tracker contributions.
ASSIGNMENT 2: Report on the history, infrastructure, and demographics of the project.
Feel free to ask the community directly about these questions. There may be historical archived records of conversations about these decisions. Please provide links to any evidence you use in this report.
ASSIGNMENT 3: Blog post about community participation. Incorporate links to your project participation and engage the readings. Do they generalize to your experience? Or not? How?
ASSIGNMENT 4: How does your community make tough decisions? What is it's governmance model--for example, is it a benevolent dictatorship, or consensus driven? How did it get to be that way? Do you think this governance model is conducive to cooperation on your project? Are there hidden power dynamics in your project that influence decision-making but are not explicitly part of the governance model? Think critically about the social organization of your project: could you improve on it? Where possible, link to your community's policy documents and examples of community behavior.
ASSIGNMENT 5: With your classmates, finalize the survey that you will be using for the class report.
ASSIGNMENT 6: Where does the funding for you community come from? Is there corporate sponsorship? A foundation that backs it? Do users donate? How does this affect the community's cooperative dynamics? Are there competing projects? How would you describe your project's role in the greater technical ecosystem?
ASSIGNMENT 7: Does your project's community mirror the technical modularity of the project? How does it structure its collaboration--synchronously? Asyncronously? How does it get work done?