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  • Josepha 3:14 am on February 11, 2016 Permalink |  

    Recap of February 9, 2016 Meeting 

    Slack Log (Requires Slack login to view. Set one up if you don’t have a Slack account)

    1. Welcome
      1. @meaganhanes has responded to all the folks who have written in to SupportFlow to get more information.
      2. Beth shared the purpose of our team for the benefit of a few newcomers: We make training materials for use in teacher-led classes, not online tutorials/training materials. Right now we are focused on a specific set of lessons for use with Hack the Hood and other outreach/diversity groups that are out and about.
    2. Lesson plan updates
      1. Note: It’s possible the focus lessons might end up being the final workshop list for the quarter.
      2. Managing Media has some update that Mike will have by next week.
      3. @juliekuehl is done with the drafts of the What is a Theme and Intro to Common Plugins plans and these are both ready for copyediting.
      4. @skarjune has begun work on the Managing Menus lesson plan. Hopes to have Categories vs Tags drafted next week.
      5. @bethsoderberg is almost done with Managing Updates. Will be done by the end of the month.
      6. @melindahelt has volunteered to take on the Choosing and Installing a Theme lesson plan
      7. Our in progress priority plans:
      8. “All tier 1 lessons have a human!”
    3. Overall status update
      1. What You can do With WordPress is ready for copyediting.
      2. Local Install is also ready to copyedit.
      3. @taupecat‘s lesson ACF theme plan is complete.
    4. Copyediting updates
      1. Managing Media is in copyediting.
      2. Waiting to hear back from @jcasabona, who is copyediting Intro to Common Plugins
    5. Tabled Stuff
      1. Lorem Ipsum standards (and checking if there is an existing preference)
      2. Welcome Text progress?
      3. Revisit the Teacher Resources page (to update/confirm purpose)
      4. Need to find a place for the testing process write up


    • Kudos to Meagan for working on SupportFlow and keeping us all posted!
    • Kudos to Tracy for a well-crafted lesson plan!
    • Kudos to Kathy for two feedback submissions during the meeting!
  • Josepha 4:52 pm on February 9, 2016 Permalink |  

    Milestone Update: Tier 1 Progress 

    Last week we talked about how much progress we’ve made on our lessons for Tier 1 and I was reminded that we haven’t done a milestones post about it yet. I have gathered some of the stats for each month so that we have an idea of where we began and how far we’ve come (because I’m a roadmap sort of kid).

    First, the Stats:

    December 1 2015

    • 18 to focus on
    • 3 lessons ready to test
    • 7 lessons started, but incomplete
    • 8 lessons have not been started

    January 1 2016

    • 18 to focus on
    • 4 lessons ready to test
    • 10 lessons started, but incomplete
    • 4 lessons have not been started

    February 1 2016

    • 18 to focus on
    • 9 lessons ready to test
    • 8 lessons started, but incomplete
    • 1 lessons have not been started


    • 26 Tier 1 lessons
    • 14 lessons ready to test
    • 18 Q1 Focus lessons
    • 9 lessons ready to test

    tl;dr or “I don’t like numbers”

    We’ve tripled the number of lessons that are ready to test in the past two months (December and January). That’s halfway to our goal for our current focus! Also, that’s a little less than half for all Tier 1 lessons that we’re wanting to complete in Q1.

    What’s Next?

    What’s next is to knock out our remaining 9 in the focus set. Honestly, if we can get that done by the end of February or early March, then I think that might get us a testable workshop to offer around to groups for some trial runs.

  • bethsoderberg 8:34 pm on February 8, 2016 Permalink |  

    Agenda for February 9, 2016 Meeting 

    Hey everyone! We’ll be checking in on all the usual things tomorrow. Our brief agenda is:

    1. Welcome
    2. Status of priority plans
    3. Other lesson plan updates
    4. Copy editing updates
    5. Any other questions

    Let us know if you’ll be there in the comments!

  • Meagan Hanes 6:49 pm on February 8, 2016 Permalink |
    Tags: supportflow   

    SupportFlow Issues 

    One of our goals for 2016 is to distribute the task of responding to SupportFlow tickets. These are sent by people filling in our various contact forms, lesson plan testing feedback forms, etc.

    A month ago I attempted to answer a few, when @liljimmi noticed she was being CC’d on the emails! I opened a ticket in Meta Trac: https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/1520 and @iandunn is helping us to troubleshoot this problem so myself and others can continue to respond quickly to SupportFlow tickets.

    @liljimmi, did you have a chance to investigate @iandunn‘s response and see if it’s a setting inside SupportFlow that’s been set?

    My goal is to have this resolved by the end of this week so we can respond to the backlog of interested contributors.

  • bethsoderberg 2:13 am on February 8, 2016 Permalink |

    Common Styling Issues in Lesson Plans 

    In last week’s team meeting, I brought up a few common styling issues that copy editors have noticed while editing lesson plans. As promised, I’m expanding that list here. For more details on many of the items referenced in this list, please refer to the style guide.

    Issues we’ve seen frequently include:

    • Lots of different kinds of quiz formatting. The quiz formatting is outlined in the style guide, so take a look at that when writing out quiz questions.
    • Random horizontal rules. We don’t need these to separate major sections (e.g. “Teacher Notes” from the “Hands-On Walkthrough”), but watch out for them because they are included in some plan drafts that were created a long time ago. Please DO use horizontal rules if they make sense to separate sections of content within the hands-on walkthrough section.
    • Capitalizing WordPress specific terms and phrases like “Posts,” for example. Unless a word is a proper noun in general, we don’t need to capitalize it.
    • Absence of punctuation. Sentences should always end with the appropriate punctuation!
    • Misspelling of WordPress. WordPress has a capital “P” and should never ever be spelled with a lower case “p.”
    • Inclusion of random notes. Once you’re done with your lesson plan, make sure you’ve deleted any notes you wrote to yourself as you were working!
    • Absent quizzes. Be sure to include 1-3 quiz questions for your lesson plan. If you’re not sure what the questions should be, that’s ok. In this case, flag that the quizzes are absent before sending the plan to copyediting.
    • Absent exercises. Be sure to include an exercise that would take approximately 5-10 minutes to accomplish. As with quizzes, if you’re not sure what the exercise should be, flag that an exercise is absent before sending the plan to copyediting.

    We’ll be using this list to create a checklist for lesson plan authors to go through before submitting their plans for copyediting and for copy editors to use while editing, so please list any additional items you’ve noticed in the comments!


    • Courtney Engle Robertson 2:26 am on February 8, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Also I’ve found a few plans that weren’t using the approved filler content as outlined in the style guide. Theme Unit Test Data and PlaceKitten.

      I am still hoping to have some clarity on 3rd party plugins approval when just needing to demonstrate how to download and use a plugin for a widget, or other similar purpose. The undocumented policy has been to only stick to plugins made by the user @wordpressdotorg. I’d like to see this documented within the style guide.

      • bethsoderberg 3:00 am on February 8, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        The style guide currently states the following regarding .org:

        The Make WordPress Training lesson plans are a project of WordPress.org. As such, lesson plans should not incorporate content that refers to or details elements of the following unless the Training Team has collectively decided that an exception makes sense:

        • WordPress.com
        • Paid services and resources, including plugins and themes
  • bethsoderberg 2:50 am on February 3, 2016 Permalink |  

    Recap of February 2, 2016 Meeting 

    Slack Log (Requires Slack login to view. Set one up if you don’t have a Slack account)

    1. Welcome
      1. @chanthaboune shared the purpose of our team for the benefit of a few newcomers: We make training materials for use in teacher-led classes, not online tutorials/training materials. Right now we are focused on a specific set of lessons for use with Hack the Hood and other outreach/diversity groups that are out and about.
    2. Lesson plan updates
      1. @juliekuehl is done with the drafts of the What is a Theme and Intro to Common Plugins plans and these are both ready for copyediting.
      2. @skarjune will work on the Managing Menus and Categories vs. Tags lesson plans.
      3. @bethsoderberg is almost done with Managing Updates and will send that lesson plan @meaganhanes‘ way once it is ready for copy editing.
      4. @taupecat and @mrotten finished a first draft of the ACF theme plan and it’s now ready for copyediting.
      5. @coachwp will reach out to @chmchm to see if there is a way to easily help port the information in the local install lesson to include Windows computers in addition to Macs.
      6. @kimwhite and @chanthaboune are connecting on feedback related to the Managing Widgets lesson plan.
      7. @chanthaboune will connect with @amboutwe on feedback related to the What is Yoast SEO plan.
      8. Our in progress priority plans are currently:
    3. Overall status update
      1. We have 16 lessons we’re focusing on and we have 9 that are ready to get into testing (that’s 56%!). Of the 26 that we have for Tier 1, we’ve completed 14.
    4. Changes to our tracking spreadsheet
      1. @chanthaboune rearranged the spreadsheet so that we only have to edit in one place now. All of our lessons are on “All Lessons” and those fields are automatically updated in the User, Themes, Plugins, and Speaker tabs.
      2. @bethsoderberg will double check the color coding for everything so that it’s accurate and will also look out for duplicate content.
    5. Copyediting updates
      1. @bethsoderberg copyedited the Managing Post Formats lesson plan and it’s ready for testing.
      2. @toniaslimm copy edited the Managing Media lesson plan and we’ve got some feedback that we’ll connect with @mikemueller on with this one.
      3. @bethsoderberg and @meaganhanes wrapped up copyediting on the What to do with functions.php lesson plan and it’s ready for testing.
    6. General style tips
      1. The copy editing team has noticed some common issues when copy editing the lesson plans. If folks could keep these in mind as they are working on them that would be great. @bethsoderberg will write a more comprehensive list and post to the P2 before next week’s meeting.
        • Lots of different kinds of quiz formatting. The quiz formatting is outlined in the style guide, so take a look at that when writing out quiz questions.
        • Random horizontal rules. We don’t need these to separate sections.
        • Capitalizing WordPress specific terms and phrases like “Posts” for example. Unless a word is a proper noun in general, we don’t need to capitalize it.
        • Not finishing sentences with punctuation, particularly when they are part of bulleted lists.
    7. Screencasts
      1. We discussed the idea of screencasts as outlined in this post and collectively agreed that they are not a priority right now, nor are they necessary to do testing of the plans.
      2. We all agreed that adding links to currently available screencasts from WPTV as resources to any lesson plans that have appropriate related links is a valuable resource in the meantime. @chanthaboune volunteered to add those WPTV screencasts that are relevant to our plans.
    8. WordCamp Minneapolis Foundation Friday (May 20)
      1. @skarjune is helping to plan this event and is seeking assistant trainers and teaching aids.
    9. Overall timeline update
      1. Our goal is to get the last seven priority plans handled over the next two weeks.
      2. We’re looking for someone to tackle the one-click install plan (@chmchm later volunteered to take this on potentially next week)
    10. Welcome Text
      1. @bethsoderberg is writing a draft and @kpegoraro will provide feedback.
  • Josepha 7:40 pm on January 28, 2016 Permalink |  

    Screencasts: A New Old Visual Asset 

    Way back in 2014, when the make up of this team was a little different, it was suggested that we have screencasts to accompany each of the lesson plans. This was recently suggested again and it raised a lot of questions for us. Here are the big few that I saw/have been asking myself:

    What is the Purpose of the Screencasts?

    It would give us the chance to have a first pass at a lesson for accuracy and flow internally before it gets to testing. It will also be a good way for teachers to get an idea of the intended pacing of the lesson as they prep.

    What Would This Screencast Look Like?

    It would be a very rough run-through of any one lesson. From start to finish, a screencast would be the script and user-driven demo (that’s you, clicking through the actions described in the lesson) with no need for intro or exit language. So it would be your screen that we can see and your voice that we can hear.

    Would It Replace the Need for Screenshots?

    No, it wouldn’t. We could use the screencasts to get screenshots (possibly), but the screenshots will still be needed.

    And my biggest question:

    How Does This Fit in to Our Priority List?

    There are a few ways this works in my mind:

    • Given that the words are Must Have content, we could prioritize that over anything else and call screencasts a Nice to Have (as in, we can add it later).
    • If we think we can use stills from the screencasts as screenshots, thus consolidating a little of our effort, we could call them a Should Have (as in, we can get through copyediting without them, but must have them before they are tested).
    • If we think they are essential to the lessons, or we have scads of people waiting for something to do, then we can put together a little mini-task force just for making the screencasts.

    I’m happy and willing to help us work through any of these options. Let’s discuss what we think is the best fit for our plans moving forward.

    Group Pings: BethChrissieChristina, CourtneyJosephaJulieKathyKimMeaghan, MelindaMicheleMikeScottTonia

    Please also ping anyone I missed in the comments!

    • Mike Mueller 8:06 pm on January 28, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’ve been with the group since WordCamp SF last year. The idea was new to me.

      I do a few screencasts almost every day. For me it’s a better way to communicate answers with my clients. When it comes to one of our lesson plans though…

      I typically see our plans as being used by a person in front of a room with a bunch of students following along with laptops. Having led these in the past, the speed is always dictated by the slowest person in the room. That’s problematic when it comes to a video. Stopping and starting, over and over again. I don’t see them as a priority right now.

      Instead, I see them as a way to get quality instruction out to those that do not have the luxury of attending a meetup. For them, our videos could be incredible help.

      As far as I know, that’s not the focus of Training (or at least right now it is not) but I do see the value in it.

      • Josepha 3:16 pm on January 29, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for the feedback, Mike. It sounds like you would put screencasts as a Nice to Have or even Won’t Have/Don’t Need?

    • Courtney Engle Robertson 1:38 am on February 1, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I also had never heard of previous mention, and at one point had read back through old IRC logs and Slack logs when organizing.

      I will be screencasting my instructions in a high school classroom setting. I will be following the lesson plan topics within the training team site, but modifying them to fit our classroom needs. (For instance, using Desktop Server vs Mamp/Wamp for local installs). I don’t foresee those minor tweaks to be very common. I am happy to share the screencast of my screen along with audio. I will likely use Google Hangouts to record the screen.

      This class will not be reading the lesson plans from the training team site as a script, but rather more demonstration. I can also provide the teacher style lesson plans that I submit to the curriculum coordinator. These are much more of an outline but in a style that is moderately standardized for the education system, along with educational standards that the lesson addresses.

      At this time, this is what I can offer, though it is not specifically what was suggested.

    • bethsoderberg 3:34 pm on February 2, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I too hadn’t heard of the screencasts before and checked in with Courtney O about it – she recalls the conversation on these happening at WCSF 2013, which is why so many of us aren’t remembering.

      It seems to me that screencasts are in the same category as slides in terms of priority level because they would definitely be nice to have, but are not required for a lesson plan to exist.

      I also agree with something Mike alluded to in his earlier comment, which is that even though we would be thinking of the screencasts as a tool to teach instructors how to present the lesson plan, we need to remember that simply by posting these screencasts on the internet the majority of people that watch them will end up being random people who are looking for answers to questions they have. We’ve discussed many times that the purpose of the training team is to create materials for in-person trainings and though everything we make is driven toward that primary purpose, our materials are also used by whomever finds them while they are looking for resources to help with their own questions/problems.

      In terms of level of effort, I’m not sure that we have the people power right now to add screencasts to the docket. We have made major strides in the last two months in terms of completing drafts of lesson plans and getting more and more plans ready to test and I worry that adding a new major piece to each plan at this point would distract from the very real progress we’re making in terms of finishing drafts of plans.

      Sometimes we have made some pretty big adjustments to lesson plans based on feedback received from the tests, so I wonder how much churn we’d have in terms of contributor effort if we ended up adjusting not only the lesson plan itself, but also the screencast multiple times throughout the testing phase.

      If we do in fact have a group of people that have time to contribute, but are not comfortable with any of the current tasks around lesson plans, then I think this is potentially a viable task for them to contribute, but am worried about the potential churn that could happen throughout testing.

      In the spirit of keeping our eye on the prize of completing sets of plans my general reaction to adding screencasts to our set of materials right now is that I’m not sure. I can see it helping to guide testers, but I can also see it distracting from the more immediate larger goal of completing sets of lesson plans.

  • Josepha 7:53 pm on January 27, 2016 Permalink |  

    Recap of January 26, 2015 Meeting 

    Slack Log (Requires Slack login to view. Set one up if you don’t have a Slack account)

    Folks, we were So productive this week. Give yourselves a round of applause!

    1. Welcome!
      • No new folks, but all of our regulars were very lively!
    2. Status of priority plans
      • Categories vs Tags/@brilliantpamela
        • No additional work on this lesson
      • Content Editor Overview/@michelebutcher
        • Working on it this weekend
      • Managing Media/ @mikemueller
        • Ready for copyediting
        • It still needs quizzes
      • Managing Menus/ @chanthaboune
        • Will have by 2/2/16
      • Managing Post Formats/ complete!
        • Did anyone catch this for copyediting?
      • Managing Widgets/ @kimwhite
        • Needs a little more help
        • (Help received!)
      • Managing Updates/ @bethsoderberg
        • Will have by 2/2/16
      • What to do when You Forget Your Password/ complete!
    3. Additional lesson plan updates
      • What can you do with WordPress?
        • Chrissie is still working on it
        • Also tested it and sent feedback
          • There was a technical difficulty that caused the entire lesson to have to be done as a guided demo without a projector. Chrissie said it went well and is going to send in a little more info as a second feedback form!
      • General History
        • Scott is still working
        • Will have by 2/2/16
      • Local install
        • Done except for quiz questions
        • @chmchm, let us know if you would like to pass the relay baton on the quizzes!
      • Finding Help as Your Learning WordPress
        • Kathy tested and will provide feedback
    4. Copy editing updates
      • What is Akismet?
        • Tonia copyediting is complete
        • Ready for testing!
      • What to include in functions.php
      • Managing Comments
        • Copyediting is done
        • Ready for testing!
      • What to do when You Forget Your Password
        • copyedited the new quiz
        • Ready for testing!
      • Managing Media
        • Ready to be edited
        • Tonia will edit
      • Managing Post Formats
        • Ready to be edited
        • “Who will edit me?!” says the poor lesson plan.
    5. Lesson plan amnesty
    6. Open for Questions!
      • @jenmylo has suggested that, after the lessons are complete but prior to testing, we do a screencast of someone (other than the author) reading through the script and following along in the test instance.
        • @chanthaboune – could partially help with the screenshot issues since we might be able to take stills
          • @bethsoderberg – will we get rid of screenshots?
            • No, some people will still need them.
        • @mikemueller is happy to help with this
        • @chanthaboune won’t be started this week for sure, so look for a post on the P2 to weigh in on the discussion
      • Screenshot Discussions
      • Should we continue to avoid all 3rd-party plugins?
        • With the addition of some 3rd-party plugins to the Tier 1 lessons (Jetpack among others), there is some  confusion around whether we’re sticking with the 3rd-party rule and making exceptions or doing away with the 3rd-party rule altogether. @chanthaboune is assigned to this research.

    Tiny Postscript: Remember that everyone gets that Imposter Syndrome feeling sometimes. The important part, and the best way I’ve found to shake that feeling, is to remind yourself that you’re a member of this team because you want to help others learn about WordPress. The size of your contribution isn’t how you should measure yourself. As @bethsoderberg told us, everyone has something to bring to the table. And, of course, perfection is the enemy of progress. Kudos to both Kim and Mike for being brave and sharing they needed help.

    So, get out there and write a lesson plan! Then come back here and proudly show us your progress!

    • bethsoderberg 7:57 pm on January 27, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      hey there! @meaganhanes and I actually caught that the Post Formats plan needed copy editing last week, but apparently forgot to mention in this meeting. It’s on my docket for this week. (Also, love your personification of this plan in these notes!)

  • bethsoderberg 3:56 am on January 26, 2016 Permalink |  

    Agenda for January 26, 2016 Meeting 

    Hey everyone! Tomorrow we’ll be focusing on anything that is needed regarding the priority lesson plans outlined in last week’s meeting. A brief agenda:

    1. Welcome
    2. Status of priority plans
    3. Other lesson plan updates
    4. Copy editing updates
    5. Lesson plan amnesty
    6. Questions on anything else

    Let us know if you’ll be there in the comments!

  • bethsoderberg 2:18 am on January 21, 2016 Permalink |  

    Recap of January 19, 2015 Meeting 

    Slack Log (Requires Slack login to view. Set one up if you don’t have a Slack account)

    1. Welcome
    2. Updates on current lessons
      1. Akismet – @melindahelt is done writing and this is ready for copy editing
      2. Posts and Pages – @c3zh finished the content and @toniaslimm copy edited it
      3. What to do when you Forget your Password – @judylwh finished the quiz and this plan is ready for a final copy edit check
      4. Managing Comments – ready for copy editing and may need some visual assets
    3. Updates on copy editing
      1. Posts and Pages is copy edited and ready for testing.
      2. @meaganhanes and @bethsoderberg are tag teaming to copy edit “What Belongs in Functions.php.”
      3. @bethsoderberg is still working on the new welcome messages.
      4. @bethsoderberg will connect with @toniaslimm and @meaganhanes regarding distribution of the new things that need to be copyedited this week.
    4. Discuss/volunteer for the next lessons to work with
      1. @chanthaboune discussed her astute observation that we have too much content planned for a one day workshop and proposed a new way of approaching what our goal is:
        • For Q1 I’ve pared the lessons down to the feature overview and site management units (14 lessons, 1/3 of the original total) with the intention of adding on installation (2 of 3 are complete) and intro to themes (1 of 3 are complete).
          Intro to plugins is complete and needs one more round of testing to be ready for a workshop.
        • Regarding testing the lessons there is a problem in that each lesson isn’t necessarily long enough to allow it be tested individually. The solution to this may be to lump things into units and offer the units to groups as they become available.
      2. @chanthaboune will update the Lesson Plans to Test page so that it is up to date.
      3. The folks in the chat were generally supportive of this plan and we will vote on the plan in the P2 post about it.
      4. From this plan, the plans that we need to focus on this week are:
      5. If the content edit overview plan needs attention this weekend @melindahelt can take a look at it and @chanthaboune can work on managing menus if no one else is doing so.
      6. @chanthaboune will reach out to lesson plan authors who couldn’t make the meeting to check in on their timelines.
      7. @coachwp, @melindahelt, and @bethsoderberg are all making announcements seeking lesson plan writers at their respective meetups.
    5. Lesson plan amnesty
      1. This is an audit of all lesson plans currently in progress. If you are working on one of the plans in this list, please direct message @bethsoderberg to let her know if you’re continuing work on this plan (and if so, what your timeline is), if you’re returning it to the pool of plans to work on, or if you have other progress to report. If we don’t hear from you this week or next, we’ll return the plans to the pool.
      2. User plans
      3. Theme plans
    6. Questions on any other things
      1. @chanthaboune will take a look at the issue that Skitch is being discontinued and that we need a new screenshot annotation tool this week.
      2. The screenshots are being used for teacher prep, but are sometimes being added to the slides testers have made independently.
      3. Though the lessons were intended to be done like a live demo, what people have done most of the time in testing is lift things from the plans, make slides, and do a presentation, sometimes mixed with a demo, sometimes not.
      4. We should give the testing feedback form a little TLC based on all of the new things we’ve been doing and discussions we’ve been having.
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