Open Source Communication Activity version2

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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)

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


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 all the communication types (for example, IRC, website, Slack, mailing list, issue tracker, etc) that your open source project uses and list them all with their typical use. (You may need to monitor them for a period of time - at least a week.)

For each mode of communication that you listed, please provide the following pieces of information:

  • Name of the type
  • Purpose of the communication type
  • Direction to access that communication type (could be an URL)
  • URL of the documentation of that communication type

What would be the first communication type from the above list that you would try for each of the following scenarios: (Provide your answer with the reason why you chose that and support your answer with evidence/reference.)

  • You found a bug in issue tracker that you are interested in working on, but it is stale (assigned, but no activities for a while).
  • You got a new idea (like a feature) for the project that you like to work on, and you like to get a feedback on this before starting to work on.
  • You are new to the project and have gone through the codes, but still don't have a big picture/architecture.
  • You want to introduce yourself to the community.

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?

Area & Unit(s)
Estimated Time
to Complete

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

Environment /

Internet connection and browser


revised by 2018 POSSE Team (Bo K, James F, Stoney J, Wei J)



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.