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  • bethsoderberg 2:19 am on May 26, 2016 Permalink |  

    Recap for May 24, 2016 Meeting 

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

    1. Welcome
    2. Lesson Plan Updates
      1. @c3zh and @toniaslimm reported progress on the lesson plans they are working on.
    3. Copyediting Updates
      1. @skarjune will resume copyediting later this week.
    4. Other things
      1. @skarjune will pull together a P2 post of feedback related to the trainings that were given at WordCamp Minneapolis.
      2. @melindahelt wrote a wonderfully detailed post detailing feedback from the Tier 1 trainings that were held in Pittsburgh.
      3. @juliekuehl has some suggestions about how to incorporate more in depth code samples in lesson plans, which she wrote up in this post.
     
  • Julie Kuehl 5:24 pm on May 24, 2016 Permalink |  

    Including Code Best Practices in Lessons 

    WCMpls this weekend reminded me of something I’ve thought about before. We do our best to keep our lesson plans and examples simple and easy to understand. They work, but they are not WP best practices.

    I’d like to suggest that we consider adding a section to appropriate lesson plans that has quality code that includes internationalization, accessibility, and security practices included.

    So the meat of the lesson plan would be the simple, easy to teach, and easy to learn code that we are targeting, but an “Advanced” or “Bonus” or “Extra Credit” section includes the same code with the addition of the items mentioned above (and maybe a short explanation of the additions?).

    Since people tend to copy and paste, and these lesson plans will be referenced as from a reputable source, it would be good to include a full-featured example somewhere.

     
  • melindahelt 4:55 pm on May 24, 2016 Permalink |  

    Feedback from Pittsburgh’s Tier 1 Lesson Plan Testing 

    I’m going to attempt to organize this as best as I can. If anyone has any questions or needs more information, just comment and I’ll do my best to elaborate. This is a combination of feedback from several people and I included all relevant comments.

    These notes are a result of a two-part workshop that we ran at our local library with about 6 people who were all mostly new to WordPress. The plan was to cover all of the modules in the Tier 1 package, but due to time and questions and technical issues we were NOT able to cover: Password Recovery, Managing Comments, Changing Themes, Theme Customizer, Menu and Widgets.

    Our feedback includes LP specific ones as well as some overall thoughts on how the training went. Some of the overall thoughts are well outside the scope of our team, but I thought it was worthwhile to share.

    Printing Lesson Plans
    I think we need to explore the options of a printer stylesheet or some other easy to print application for lesson plans. I know we do not want to maintain slides or PDFs or anything like that, but simply hitting “print” on a LP doesn’t provide the most useable document. Given that we encourage teachers to do live demos, it would be much easier to have paper next to the computer as you go.

    LP Specific Feedback and Comments

    Overview (High Level Overview and Basic WordPress Concepts)

    • We went quickly over this and just touched on the highlights
    • Spent about 20 mins on those two plans together, knowing that we’d go more in-depth when we got to the hands on portion
    • I felt the overview time took too much time, and then when we went to hands on it seemed a bit repetitive – repetition tends to be good for learning, but just felt it was redundant

    One-Click Install

    • This didn’t work at all because BlueHost codes didn’t work as anticipated for most students. When we were up and running (had a few people using BH) the LP didn’t match the install process.
    • Bluehost’s one-click install process & cpanel layout is far different than most web hosts softaculous for example allows you to specify a database name and stronger username – also you cannot give someone something “FREE” and then expect them to input credit card information over an open network such as a library.
    • I would recommend everyone get a temporary subdomain on some sort of WordPress.com hosted network that allows lesson plans & teachers to use and site self-destructs after 3 weeks. It should however allow for manual installs, adding themes, plugins, etc. from the directory {so a bit more advanced than default wordpress.com sites}

    Dashboard

    • Spent about 15 mins on this
    • Didn’t like the quiz questions
    • I agree with quiz questions, not very interactive and confusing, would take out completely

    Settings

    • Felt like we needed more examples for reading (static page vs blog) and it was almost too early in the LP to address this
    • Spent about a half hour on this
    • Had some questions about SEO/Tagline usage that we addressed outside of the LP

    Categories

    • LP felt overwhelming

    Content Editor Overview

    • ended up covering this as part of the pages/post LP which was at the end of day one so that students could add content before the second class

    Managing Media

    • Spent a little over a half hour
    • Issues with the quiz questions
    • As we commented in Slack, need a little more for this LP

    Plugins

    • Spent about 45 mins on this but extended into a discussion on backups
    • Wrong quiz quiz questions on this LP

    Overall Feedback provided by one of our TAs (an experienced WordPress User/Developer who doesn’t have experience with the training team)

    • Need to stress more time on backups & updating – this is CRITICAL for new WordPress users to understand
    • I think a PDF or print-out would be useful, or maybe a place for them to view specific videos (with readable transcripts and screenshots) that cover the less plan in more detail for them to watch after the class
    • Also – definitely not enough time for themes & theme customization – I think people generally just care “how do I make it look nice and like my own website?” – spending time on general wordpress settings, how to add posts, pages, etc. could be way more efficient and less time spent on that.
    • Also – did not spend very much time on widgets. Widgets are a good way to add content to your site without nec. Needing code.
    • New WP version came out just a few days before the class, so there were a couple of new features I wasn’t quite familiar with using {ie: the new hover bar/pop-up window for inserting links and media} – easy to adjust to, but was like, whoa! What happened to the link box?
    • I think it would be good that if students all worked towards building the same website…so yeah, everyone would have the same site, but it would be easier to keep the class on track and still teach them all the various features they would need to then make their own site.
    • The class would probably be better done in 1 entire day as opposed to two – so maybe would suggest the training takes place 1 full 8 hour day with 1 hour break for lunch {student’s responsibility} and 20 minute scheduled breaks in morning and afternoon (note – we did two sessions based on the availability of the free meeting room at the library)

    This goes against how we organized things (but again, this was written without background of the team’s objectives) but there’s still some valid information from someone who just picked up the plans to each.

    • This could just be me, but I think I’d like to see the class broken up in these sections:
      • Intro to WP – easy to use, add new content, update, extend features, customize look and feel, etc., Self hosted vs. hosted, etc.
      • How to Install – I would probably either recommend Softaculous or manual. It’s important to understand I think that there is a database in addition to files and they all work together, and you can access through FTP if you ever need to.
      • General vocab overview – define content (posts vs pages, categories vs. tags, media files, define theme, define plugin, define “parts” of a wordpress website – header, menu/nav bar, sidebar, content area, footer, the “loop” – how wordpress will by default loop posts unless you change this in your theme.
      • Step 1: Plan Your Content (this is where you’d get into posts and pages/tags & categories – I think an XML import file would be nice here, but may confuse some, but having content there already makes it easier to figure out when you go to create your own site and also demonstrates the loop}
      • Step 2: General Settings {Would cover not in so much detail – most is self explanatory – would probably focus the most on the date/time, permalinks, and reading/discussion}
      • Step 3: Choose a Theme
        • Since themes vary so widely…this can be difficult to explain to a class. Default 2016 theme is okay start, but people want to figure out typically right from the start what the site is going to look like, and if they want features like a slider or portfolio, etc how to add it. “Refer to theme documentation” might be good – show them how to find the developer name and the read-me file?
        • Understanding Theme Marketplaces & Theme best practices {ie: don’t download from non-trusted site, as it may have malware}
      • Step 4: Theme Customizer, Menus
      • Step 5: Adding Functionality Through Plugins – ie: maybe a contact form plugin {simple contact form seems to be less confusing than the new contact form 7?} – maybe a couple of nice widget related plugins – image widget is a fave that has a lot of uses: https://wordpress.org/plugins/image-widget/
      • Step 6: Widget Areas & Sidebars
      • Step 7: How to Make Automatic Backups {WordPress should probably recommend 2-3 choices for free solutions – VaultPress/Backup Buddy are expensive/out of budget for some. I like UpdraftPlus…haven’t found many others which are well supported that are free} – maybe also share how to do cPanel backups?
      • Step 8: Fear not the update button! Make a backup, click update. 🙂
      • Step 9: Need to provide big resource of trusted places to learn/review items we covered – wordpress.tv & others for example
     
  • Josepha 1:25 pm on May 24, 2016 Permalink |  

    Agenda for May 24th Meeting 

    It looks like this week is mostly a maintenance sort of check-in. Join us to talk about what you’ve gotten done and any roadblocks that we can help with!

    1. Welcome
    2. Updates on in-progress lesson plans
    3. Copyediting updates
    4. Questions & Announcements

    Let us know if there are other items you’d like to add to the agenda in the comments!

     
  • bethsoderberg 2:53 am on May 18, 2016 Permalink |  

    Recap for May 17, 2016 Meeting 

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

    1. Welcome
    2. Updates on in-progress lesson plans
      1. @bethsoderberg updated the master spreadsheet in accordance with the lesson plan amnesty audit that we finished up last week, so that is now accurate.
    3. Copyediting updates
      1. @skarjune will resume copyediting things after WordCamp Minneapolis happens.
      2. @bethsoderberg finished copyediting of the General History plan, which was written by @Becks979.
    4. Discussing team goals for next set of workshops
      1. Last week we discussed that having a more concrete goal of completing the initial workshops for the plugin, theme, and basic-intermediate troubleshooting workshops would be good. Roughly, if we can get these done by the end of September, then we can roll into testing in October. This week, we started to outline the steps to make this happen.
        1. @melindahelt had some great suggestions regarding how to approach Tier 2:
          • “those with assignments keep working on them as we can”
          • “prior to any upcoming contributor days, take an honest look at the assignments and if there are any that are not started, see if the author would like to give those up if someone is able to start/finish at contributor day. That way we have relevant things for people to work on and can make progress.”
          • “If we work backwards saying that we want to test in October, we want all plans completed by September 1 (to allow time for copy editing), and they maybe pick a date that if the author is not in progress by X date then the plan can be reassigned.”
        2. @bethsoderberg suggested figuring out what the theme workshop is going to look like and then focusing on the themes and top-level plugin plans first, with a secondary consideration for the plugin-specific plans and speaker stuff.
      2. Plugin Workshop
        1. List of “parent” lesson plans for this workshop:
          • Adding Additional Fields – assigned
          • Adding Custom Sidebars
          • Adding Forms to a Site – assigned
          • Building a Sitemap for a Site
          • Connecting Your Sites – assigned
          • Editing Plugins – assigned
          • Improve Site Performance with Caching
          • Keeping WordPress Sites Secure – assigned
          • Managing Spam on a Site – assigned
          • Migrate, Copy or Clone a Site – assigned
          • Onsite SEO
          • Plugins: Where to Find Answers – assigned
          • Site Backup – assigned
        2. We talked about the fact that people are having a hard time writing these plans in part because it’s unclear how they should be structured in relation to the “child” plans that will be about specific plugins.
        3. We brainstormed a basic structure that these plans could follow and @bethsoderberg will write a P2 post on this soon for everyone to review and comment on. Basically the structure we identified would intro the concepts related to the plugins and then list the plugins for which we have child plans.
      3. Theme Workshop
        1. We talked about the theme plans proposed for voting in this P2 post from last month and outlined what the individual plans could be as follows:
          1. Basic Theme Configuration
          2. How to Find Theme-Specific Documentation
          3. Font Management
          4. Customizer: CSS Changes
          5. Customizer: Taglines
          6. Customizer: Static Front Page vs. Content Feed
          7. Customizer: Site Icons and Logos
          8. Customizer: Header and Background Images
          9. Customizer: Menus
        2. We discussed the details of what the first two of these plans would contain and decided that “Basic Theme Configuration” would be about what types of things you can change (e.g. an intro to what the customizer is), not the specific instructions for changing things, but a general overview of what you can do. We think the theme-specific documentation plan could cover how to look at the links to the theme profile in the repo, tags in support and things like that, an explanation that different theme authors do this differently, and notes that there may not be documentation at all.
        3. The attendees of the meeting voted unanimously on the 9 plans listed above to be the starting point for the Tier 2 themes workshop.
      4. Troubleshooting Workshop
        1. @bethsoderberg is setting a May 31 deadline for herself to audit what exists already for this workshop.
    5. Questions & Announcements
      1. @melindahelt has a ton of feedback from the Pittsburgh workshops she ran and is going to write a P2 post to share it with the team for comments and creation of new action items.
     
  • bethsoderberg 2:03 pm on May 17, 2016 Permalink |  

    Agenda for May 17th Meeting 

    Last week we talked a little bit about creating a schedule for our goals in the next groups of lesson plans and it would be great to continue the conversation today and make a more clear outline of exactly which plans are part of our goals. As always, we’ll check in on the other things folks are working on as well.

    1. Welcome
    2. Updates on in-progress lesson plans
    3. Copyediting updates
    4. Discussing team goals for next set of workshops
    5. Questions & Announcements

    Let us know if there are other items you’d like to add to the agenda in the comments! I’m looking forward to seeing you all later today 🙂

     

     
  • bethsoderberg 6:10 pm on May 10, 2016 Permalink |  

    Recap for May 10th Meeting 

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

    1. Welcome
    2. Updates on in-progress lesson plans
      1. @toniaslimm asked for feedback on the “Keeping WordPress Sites Secure” lesson plan and @bethsoderberg volunteered to take a look.
      2. Everyone is really busy and hasn’t made much progress. We did discuss that having a more concrete goal of completing the initial workshops for the plugin, theme, and basic-intermediate troubleshooting workshops would be good. Roughly, if we can get these done by the end of September, then we can roll into testing in October.
      3. @chanthaboune met with the HtH folks on Thursday and their expansion (that we didn’t know about) has ended up taking a lot more of their time than they thought. So, they have the curriculum and are testing it on their side as well, but they won’t have a big Weekend Event until this summer. Connecting for Good (a group in Kansas City) is planning on using this curriculum on basically a monthly rotation all summer and into the second half of the year. The… National Digital Inclusion Alliance….or something like that, is happening in Kansas City this year, so we are getting some kudos for our work at that event which is nice.
      4. @chanthaboune reports that hosting, which has been complex, is in the works with Bluehost. Those lovely folks are going to work on a solution that doesn’t include a CC number for us. @skarjune noted that WordCamp Minneapolis will be using Pantheon free accounts with Pantheon’s Drew Gorton assisting.
    3. Copyediting updates
      1. @toniaslimm has been working on editing of the “Creating Your WordPress Talk” plan.
    4. Quarterly Lesson Plan Amnesty Drive
      1. About once a quarter we go through and make sure that all of the lesson plans that are currently listed as having an author really do have an author. If you have a lesson plan listed in this list, it’s simply because we have noted that you are working on the plan. If you no longer can/want to, that is OK – we just want to know! In this case please ping @bethsoderberg over Slack. This week is the last week we’ll be pushing out this last, after that we’ll return any plans left in the list to the pile. (NOTE: lesson plans that were confirmed last week do not appear in the list this week).
    5. Questions & Announcements
      1. @melindahelt shared some of the feedback from the workshop testing in Pittsburgh:
        • “I’m still waiting for the rest of the feedback on our Tier 1 lesson plan (we had two teachers + two TAs and we are all putting our thoughts in Google Doc). Some of the feedback is LP specific, and some is just about overall how we did the workshop. I’m going to keep all of the feedback in the document, because even though some of it is outside the scope of the team, it might be helpful for others who are testing.However, one piece that I thought was a great suggestion (from a TA who has a ton of WP experience but was new to the idea of the lessons): “I think it would be good that if students all worked towards building the same website…so yeah, everyone would have the same site, but it would be easier to keep the class on track and still teach them all the various features they would need to then make their own site.”…I know in our workshop, some people were following along in the sandbox site, others were looking at their own site (which, we can’t control) but if we gave them a zip file of images and greeking but everyone would make the same menu, install the same plugins, etc”
        • @chanthaboune asked if the sample websites are “something that would be easy to add after the lessons are written or would it be best to add as we go?”
        • @courtneyengle mentioned using the theme unit test data, which has the additional benefit of not having “to maintain our theme unit test data xml file ourselves [since] that’d be a lot to account for every feature.”
        • @courtneyengle mentioned “in a super ideal world, it’d be awesome to have a zip file that worked on mac/windows that when unpacked had WP as a local install with all the default themes and theme unit test data ready for students. That is complicated for a few reasons as far as standardizing… and negates them learning how to set up an install…. but it sure helps get things moving to just teach them how to navigate around the basics”
        • In general we liked the idea of having a sample site and are putting a pin in it to think about it.
        • From @melindahelt: “One second piece of overall feedback that I wanted to bring up is the format of the LP pages. I know we have agreed on no slides or PDFs for maintenance reasons (which I agree 100%), but just hitting print on the LP pages was not the best approach as it printed all of the sidebars all of the time, etc. (Yes, I could have exported content and did my own)… can we explore an easy way to print the LPs… a print style sheet or something like that? (I know that’s a big request)”
      2. We talked a bit about which WordCamp Contributor Days we’ll be attending soon:
        1. @chanthaboune will be at WCEU and Boston’s
        2. @bethsoderberg will be at New York City’s
        3. @c3zh will be at the ones attached to the following WordCamps IF they have contributor days: Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal, Rochester
      3. @chanthaboune and @toniaslimm will both be out for next week’s meeting.
     
  • Josepha 9:17 pm on May 9, 2016 Permalink |  

    Agenda for May 10, 2016 Meeting 

    Tomorrow, we’ll have our weekly training meeting. I believe that it’s the last in our round of Quarterly Amnesty, so be sure to come and let us know what’s going on with your lessons!

    1. Welcome
    2. Updates in-progress lesson plans
    3. Copyediting updates
    4. Quarterly Lesson Plan Amnesty Drive
    5. Questions & Announcements

    As always, if something isn’t here that should be here, leave it in the comments.

     
  • bethsoderberg 1:46 am on May 5, 2016 Permalink |  

    Recap of May 3, 2016 Meeting 

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

    1. Welcome
    2. No updates on in-progress lesson plans
    3. Copyediting updates
      1. @skarjune has edited the user management lesson plans and still needs to add some screenshots to it and also has started editing Content Editor Overview, which needs some expansion.
    4. Quarterly Lesson Plan Amnesty Drive
      1. About once a quarter we go through and make sure that all of the lesson plans that are currently listed as having an author really do have an author. If you have a lesson plan listed in this list, it’s simply because we have noted that you are working on the plan. If you no longer can/want to, that is OK – we just want to know! In this case please ping @bethsoderberg over Slack – we’ll be putting this list up in today’s notes and one last time in next week’s meeting. (NOTE: lesson plans that were confirmed last week do not appear in the list this week).
    5. Questions & Announcements
      1. @skarjune asked about testing forms: “Do we need to formally fill out Testing Lesson Plans form in advance? Or can Instructors just do the Feedback forms afterwards?”. @bethsoderberg noted that the one that is for folks who are filling it out in advance is really geared to people who we don’t know yet, but that otherwise you can fill out the forms afterwards.
     
  • bethsoderberg 2:15 am on May 3, 2016 Permalink |  

    Agenda for May 3, 2016 Meeting 

    Hello there! We’ve got a lot of lesson plans in progress at the moment, so let’s take tomorrow’s meeting as an opportunity to talk through any questions people have in regards to the plans they are working on. We’ll also cover all the other usual things too. Feel free to leave anything else you’d like to be added to the agenda in the comments!

    1. Welcome
    2. Updates in-progress lesson plans
    3. Copyediting updates
    4. Quarterly Lesson Plan Amnesty Drive
    5. Questions & Announcements

     
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