It's great that you're able to get students engaged, and to make it part of their curriculum.
yes, I guess it will take the students 2 - 4 weeks to really understand
the problem and possible solutions. Then they will keep this list posted
with their insights, proposals and patches and everybody will get a
chance to comment. The plan is to work in 2 week iterations until the
end of June. This will mean about 4 - 6 public iterations.
If I might make a suggestion: understanding the problem and possible solutions is where the cocoon developer community can really help as well. It's how many of us got started here, with initial discussions that ended up with us having the confidence to contribute code. It also stimulates the community, providing diversity and discussion that might trigger other work as well.