For some years now, the Community Team has been running the highly successful Community Deputy Program:
Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. and Meetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central Website for all WordCamp activities globally. https://central.wordcamp.org includes a list of upcoming and past camp with links to each.. We make sure that new and returning organizers are not overworking themselves, still are following the code of conduct, and generally are making positive contributions to the open-source project.
In short, Community Deputies are volunteers who contribute time to the Community Team to help keep things running smoothly. These responsibilities relate to meetups, WordCamps, WordPress Foundation events, conflict mediations, and anything else that falls under the purview of the Community Team. It is successful for a number of reasons – primarily because it ensures the workload of the team is spread across more people, and that it serves to decentralise the management of the Community Team programs.
With that in mind, I’d like to propose we introduce a similar program for the Training Team.
Introducing…The Faculty Program
In education, the term “faculty” refers to the teaching and research staff related to a particular field of study at an institution. This makes it an appropriate name for a program of this kind within the WordPress Training Team.
I envision the Faculty Program as a group of people from all over the world who volunteer their time to pursue the objectives of the Training Team. It would function in much the same way as the Community Deputy program, so it would:
- Be open to anyone to volunteer
- Have relevant, but not overly stringent, requirements for acceptance
- Have a defined list of available tasks
- Include training on how to perform the required tasks
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the types of tasks that Faculty members would be able to perform – many of these aren’t new and are already performed by many wonderful volunteers:
- Mentoring and guiding contributors
- Creating lesson plans
- Reviewing submitted lesson plans
- Vetting workshop presenter applications
- Generating video captions and transcripts
- Collaborating on workshop scripts
- Recording workshop videos
- Auditing existing site content
- Publishing submitted workshop videos
- Vetting new Faculty member applications
The program would be managed by the Training Team in an open and transparent manner – Faculty members would be listed publicly, tasks would be as open as possible, training would be publicly available, and reporting would be done on the Training Team blog.
It’s important to note that anyone would still be able to contribute to the team even if they don’t join the Faculty program. Part of the benefit of having a formalised team is that it becomes easier to know who is doing the work and to set targets for getting things done.
What needs to be done to make this a reality?
In order to make this an effective program, it would need to be set up for success from the start. Here are some things that would need to happen before the team can begin reaching out to potential volunteers:
- Define exactly what tasks are available for Faculty members (see the above list to start)
- Write complete documentation on how to do all of the available tasks
- Create training materials (hosted on Learn WordPress) for new volunteers joining the program
- Training materials would be a combination of “how-to” guides (like the documentation) as well as covering the principles behind the work
What do you think about this? Please provide feedback about this along the following lines:
- Does the idea of a trained and dedicated volunteer team for Training Team tasks sound like a good idea to you?
- Can you think of anything else that needs to be done in order to make this a reality?
- Do you have nay other thoughts about how this program could work?