Talk:POSSE Doha

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The notes on this page will be taken into account when revising the POSSE intensive curriculum, whenever that happens next. Please add to this page, especially as time goes on and your perspectives and reflections on the day in Doha shift and deepen. --Mel and Sebastian

Who should teach? Young people.

...looking at Sebastian made me think of another way FOSS could help students: maturity. Of the many benefits of FOSS, one thing that I have not seen bandied about is the (quite obvious in Sebastian and Mel) level of maturity that you would normally expect from people atleast 3-5 years older to them. It seems that the FOSS model promotes the sense of responsibility and corresponding achievement in a way that is provided in a very delayed fashion these days, what with Masters as the new bachelors in the job market (or even worse, PhD as the new Masters :) I think this observation alone has made me interested in getting FOSS to undergraduates. --Affan

In addition to 'young people,' we need people who have taught courses using open source. These experienced professors will be able to not just share practical tips on the nuts and bolts of running a class, but older professors participating in the workshops will be able to relate to them better. Let's keep in mind, most of the professors are not 'young people.' -- Bilal

Remote participation: possible, but we haven't figured out the right way to do it.

I thought that even the remote participation (except for the time zones) remains a distinct possibility (if planned into a POSSE). --Affan

The project experience could be much more transformative with proper planning and infrastructure.

[The afternoon project session had] very little of the "lost" feeling that was healthily promoted in the morning. I guess what I really want to say is that I felt there was so much potential for the afternoon session, and what we achieved due to some unexpected events, was so much less than that potential. --Affan

POSSE intensive length: 1 day is too short

About future POSSE, my inclination is for at least a 3 day, if not 5 day, workshop and even then only if 4-5 teachers/faculty can commit to the entire workshop. --Affan

POSSE timing: only during summer break

This would as a corollary argue summers as the right time to hold any POSSE, as otherwise you would lose faculty for a few hours a day for teaching related issues. --Affan

Marketing: we don't do a good job

The one thing I remain a little concerned about is that the POSSE and Red Hat do not have a very crisp argument for Universities to promote FOSS as part of course work.

  • What are the core FOSS ideas/principles that can be used in any existing course? For instance, using SVN/Git for assingment submissions, Wiki's for class room interaction.
  • What specific new courses can be designed with "learning FOSS participation" in the academic topic of interest as their only objective? For instance, what FOSS projects that can contributed to for courses like OOP, Operating systems, Database systems, Distributed Systems, Web design etc (basically CS undergrad courses)? Thinking beyond CS would also remain an interesting area.


We could start with the problems faculty have and recognize, and show how TOS solves these pain points. Here are some I can think of.

  • Students don't care about material
  • Students are not mature enough to be self-directed learners
  • Students "go through the motions"
  • Cheating (and grading in general)
  • Hard to get students experience in shipping a real product
  • Students don't have portfolio material to show off when they graduate

Mel Chua 12:12, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Some constraints the faculty we work with have to work under:

  • Grading has to be deterministic (predictable and repeatable) -- TAs and graders do a lot of grading.
  • Grading has to be 'separable' so individual grades can be assigned to students working in a (large) team.
  • Faculty hates to change course contents, assignments, projects.

-- Bilal


Item Estimated Actual spend Current accounting
Multi-city flight (Hannover to Doha then back to the US), Sebastian Dziallas and Mel Chua (instructors) $3000 $2554.58 $2554.58
One-way flight Dubai to Doha, Sebastian Dziallas and Mel Chua (instructors) $800 $676.30 (C) $676.30
Flight back to Raleigh, Sebastian Dziallas and Mel Chua (instructors) $200 $171.40 (C) $171.40
Flight, Affan Syed $800 $783.08 (P) $783.08
Hotel in Doha - instructors + 1 room scholarship $1500 $910.63 $910.63
Visas, Sebastian Dziallas and Mel Chua (instructors) $100 $54.93 (200 QAR) $54.93
Food and taxis $2000 Not explicitly tracked Not explicitly tracked
Total $6000 $5803.27 $5803.27
Original budget $6500
Remaining $696.73