While packing, I found a few more bits of course feedback from last semester’s FOSS projects class that I don’t want to drop.

  • Needs more ice cream. (I agree!)
  • Have a discussion on how to write controversial (blog) posts. (This is an interesting one - how do we navigate tricky sociotechnical situations? The challenge will be doing it in ways that don’t feel manufactured; I’d like to do this as a response to events as they come up in live commmunity interactions.)
  • 3 week sprints instead of 2 week sprints (It’s a tradeoff between this and the number of iterations you’re able to make, but especially depending on how big a given class is, maybe; it was a rush to engage deeply with every team during a 2-week sprint cycle.)
  • Wider variety of mix-and-match project options. Suggestions included giving points for contributing to other students’ projects (great idea!) and providing more “interactive” options that weren’t just about writing, such as being able to present to a student organization (also a great idea, but I think we’d want to limit this to once or twice a semester for points).
  • Presentation attention norms. (Ooh. I really like this idea; it would make a great class discussion about what it means to pay attention, and the variety of forms this can take.)
  • Let students see each others’ project submissions more easily (which brings me to the department of “tools to keep in mind for next time,” so this is a good transition).

Via my friend Sumana Harihareswara: Tag Team, an open source tagging platform that can be used to tag… things! (Seriously. That’s the point, and that’s the power.) I am curious whether this might be usable for a FOSS-type class to aggregate streams of information, but also possibly whether this might be a good radically transparent research tool in general. Hm.

Also via Sumana, MuckRock is a “lower activation energy and knowledge barriers to making a FOIA request,” which came up in one of our summer discussions about “man, there are these processes that are long and complex; if only a tool could help us through bureaucracy!” What other kinds of processes might benefit from this? (ADA and related violations, I am… looking at you.)