Over the last two weekly IRC meetings (I could not attend yesterday's but read the scrollback) we have been discussing about setting up IRC "Classrooms".
This is about putting in place a defined and regular timetable when developers can hold "classes" in the virtual world of interwebs and IRC and generate contributions towards their projects. Using mailing lists or IRC for classrooms is not an unique phenomenon by any means. If I recall well, LinuxChix has a "Courses" mailing list and Ubuntu (via Ubuntu Women ?) have IRC classrooms on packaging and the like.
The main idea is to: [i] ensure that there is a scheduled contact with the developers and [ii] create content that can be re-used in the larger context of making a curricula for OpenOffice.org
So, once we have the classroom topic along with an abstract (if possible), the developer would be putting across the intended audience and the required reading before attending the class. If we have a slide deck ready that would really help towards getting a real "classroom" going (moderating the IRC channel means no questions save those asked to the moderator/operators and thus no random chatter). The classroom is not intended to "teach" how to begin coding. But, the classrooms are intended to allow the developer to coach-mentor potential contributors to OpenOffice.org.
Once we do have a fair amount of interested teachers, we would be going public with the plans and program of this. But ideally we should kick off the project before February ends.