This post was originally from Sebastian Dziallas' blog, but Movable Type is being grouchy tonight, so I'm posting it on mine by his request.
We are in Doha right now, getting ready for teaching a new experimental iteration of the POSSE curriculum format. We just got back from dinner with Saquib Razak and Affan Syed, who'll be working with us tomorrow - we had a great time, interesting conversations and stories (more to be told at FUDCon) and even ice cream afterwards. For those new to POSSE, it is a week-long workshop for college and university faculty who want to get their students involved in contributing to open source communities. The workshop introduces professors to how open source works, how to make a contribution (tools and culture), and how to fit these sorts of experiences into their classrooms and the context of a school year.
One consistent piece of feedback we've gotten is that a week is too long for faculty travel and can we please shorten POSSE and/or make it remote? We've now taken a stab at that and are gearing up for the following schedule in Doha:
Day 1: POSSE intensive. What we've done is to split the existing curriculum into a one-day one-day in-person kickoff session (~5 hours of instruction), and then require a (remote) curriculum comprised of bite-sized modules. Note that each module is capped at 5 hours of student work (usually around 2 hours of (IRC-based) instruction + 3 hours of exploratory "homework"), for a total of 25 hours for the core modules + 10 hours for electives (a minimum of 2 required). Attendees finish with a "capstone" of attendance at a conference with a significant TOS presence (SIGCSE, FIE, OSCON). Total time required: 40 hours + conference. It'll take more than a week - maybe it'll even take a year - but this might be more flexible and manageable for academics.
Day 2: We're going to create marketing materials for info sessions that faculty can use to explain POSSE and Teaching Open Source at their institutions. We've been getting feedback that these sorts of things were lacking, so we thought we'd take this time to actually make them alongside the Doha attendees. We'll also be incorporating feedback on the POSSE intensive curriculum from the day before.
Day 3: I [Sebastian] am planning on doing some work looking back into Etherpad on this day. My RSI is still acting up, though, so I have the challenge of figuring out how to contribute to Fedora without typing... creative suggestions welcome. I'm thinking I might use this as an opportunity to work on my speaking and presentation skills.
What you can do to help: Look at the POSSE intensive curriculum and let us know whether these classes sound like something you'd be interested in taking (remotely), or classes you wish you could offer to other people getting started in their contributions to open source. Basically, are we on the right track to teaching the right things, and describing them attractively?