Online Communities & Crowds

Online Communities & Crowds
Comm Studies 378
Fall, 2014

Discussion questions #2: Peer production and large scale collaboration

Due: November 2, 2014 (see details below)


Working together, each team should:


  1. How does the GNU General Public License (GPL) (a) advance Stallman's vision of free software; and (b) facilitate software developers' ability to peer produce software?

  2. Hackman lists out several 'mistakes' that teams make in "Why Teams Don't Work", i.e., situations in which he believes teams perform poorly. Select two of the 'mistakes' you think crop up often in a peer production community like Wikipedia, and evaluate a) whether Hackman's concerns are applicable to Wikipedia and b) if so, what Wikipedia does (or could do) to address them.

Evaluation criteria:

The teaching team will read all of the groups' submissions. We will evaluate them using the following criteria:

Please note that all discussion question writeups will be graded on a "check, check-plus, check-minus" scale. A check-plus reflects truly exceptional work along all three of the dimensions listed above. A check-minus reflects work that was completed, but was severely lacking in at least one area (and you should contact a member of the teaching team to make sure you understand where things went awry). A check falls somewhere in the middle. Incomplete or missing submissions will receive a no credit for the assignment.