TL;DR: A survey was conducted among the Training Team Faculty members to gain insights into their experiences and perspectives. Based on the responses, main takeaways are to recruit and/or train more Administrators, increase engagement on the team blog, and continue to focus on improving communication, collaboration, and processes. Next steps and plans for improvement on the program will be shared in an upcoming post, after reviewing additional comments and suggestions on this post.
As we approach a year since launching the Training Team Faculty program, a check in with all Faculty members was conducted to gain insight into their experiences and perspectives on the Faculty program. This also included asking their estimated amount of contribution hours they could dedicate to Faculty tasks, so we could determine if there was a need to train new Faculty members.
Faculty check-ins were accomplished by sharing a check-in survey with Faculty members. This post serves to share the findings and insight from the survey.
Training Team Faculty at a glance (as of 28 February, 2023):
- Number of Faculty members: 32
- Number of completed surveys: 28
- 2 Administrators
- 11 Content Creators
- 5 Editors
- 11 Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
- 6 Faculty members work to progress the needs of all roles
*Note: Some Faculty members fulfill more than one role on the team, which is why the numbers add up to more than the total number of Faculty members.
Let’s explore what our Faculty members had to share. Please read on for more details!
Question: How many hours per month do you estimate that you contributed to the Training Team in 2022?
An average of 43 hours per month in 2022 was estimated among Faculty members. Note that this includes 6 full time sponsored volunteers; self-sponsored and part time sponsored volunteers average 15 hours per month. Huge thanks to all the volunteers that contribute to the Training team!
Question: How many hours per month do you think you can contribute in 2023?
An average of 42 hours per month was estimated among Faculty members for 2023. This leads to the conclusion that most respondents are able to maintain the same amount of contribution time as the previous year.
Question: Was/is the Faculty documentation clear enough for you to get started in your role?
Answers: Yes – 20, No – 8
While there have been improvements to the documentation and onboarding process, some faculty members still report challenges in engaging with their roles and navigating the project’s organization.
Some reported feeling confused about their role, or feeling underutilized or ineffective. They cited issues with not being pinged for help, confusion in the GitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/ repo, unclear project board organization, and difficulty identifying priority items.
WordPress Project Contribution
Question: Which other WordPress Make teams do you contribute to?
The largest number of Faculty members (11) also contribute to the Core Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. team. Community, Photos, TV, Test, and Marketing teams follow as the most popular Make teams for Faculty members to contribute to.
Question: How many hours total do you contribute to those other teams each month?
An average of 16.5 contribution hours per month to other teams was estimated among Faculty members.
This leads to the conclusion that most Faculty members focus most of their contribution time on the Training Team.
Training Team Contributions
Question: In which ways have you contributed to the Training Team in 2022?
The largest number of Faculty members (19) reviewed or edited content. Other top contributions included:
- Participated in Faculty meetings (either video or async blog posts) (17)
- Created or contributed to an Online Workshop (14)
- Triage in GitHub (11)
- Created or contributed to a lesson plan (10)
Lowest numbers of contributions included:
- Online Workshop/Tutorial application vetting (5)
- Faculty application vetting (4)
- Hosted a Training Team meeting (4)
- Welcome wrangler (4)
Other contributions were mentioned, such as working on onboarding documents, development work on the site, and being a team rep A Team Rep is a person who represents the Make WordPress team to the rest of the project, make sure issues are raised and addressed as needed, and coordinates cross-team efforts..
Question: In which way do you think you will contribute to the Training Team for the rest of 2023?
The responses to this question varied slightly from their 2022 contributions. The largest number of Faculty members (18) answered “participate in Faculty meetings”. Other top answers included:
- Review or edit content (17)
- Create or contribute to an Online Workshop (16)
- Participation with a project working group (14)
- Triage in GitHub (12)
Interest was also expressed in working alongside the Marketing team on analytics and campaign strategies.
Question: Estimate when is the last time you have:
- Attended a Training Team meeting
- Posted or commented on the Training Team blog
- Worked on an issue on the Learn WordPress GitHub repo
The answers to this question revealed that most faculty members participated in these contributions within the last 2 months. However, posting or commenting on the Training Team blog is quite low in comparison to the other two contributions, and it is apparent that there are fewer faculty members working on Administrator tasks.
Faculty members largely prefer to continue with the same types of contributions they did in 2022, and there is an increased interest in participating in a project working group.
Impact of Contribution
Question: As a Faculty member, where do you feel your contribution is most impactful?
The general trends in the responses show that faculty members feel most impactful when they are:
- Creating and reviewing content
- Mentoring and supporting new contributors
- Working on website features and improvements
- Collaborating with other teams
- Sharing their expertise
A few respondents answered that they weren’t sure or didn’t think their contributions were impactful.
Question: What can the Training Team Reps do to better support your work?
Overall, the Training Team Reps are seen positively, and respondents generally feel well-supported. A focus on continued improvement in documentation, collaboration, and mentorship opportunities will further enhance their support.
Suggestions for team reps include:
- Continue to document details (e.g., cross-linking every GitHub issue to live post and Edit Flow comments back to GitHub issues)
- Continue connecting with other team reps to better understand how all our teams work together, and find opportunities to collaborate with other Make teams.
- Establish a clearer pipeline for ongoing dev work
- Pull individuals in when they are needed to help with specific items (e.g., release specific, Site Editor specific)
- Send more motivational memes 🙂
Question: Are there any blockers in your contributions to the Training Team?
While many respondents report no blockers in their contributions, the trends in blockers to Faculty members include:
- External commitments and events, such as WC Asia or WCEU, temporarily limited some Faculty members’ available time.
- Some faculty members desire more collaborative opportunities in content creation.
- Time-consuming tasks, such as running meetings, have impacted contribution time for some.
- Unclear processes have been a challenge for some, but the ongoing improvements in processes and handbook pages are helping.
- Limited time due to day jobs affects some Faculty members’ ability to contribute more.
Overall, a majority did not report any significant blockers in their contributions. For those who did, time constraints, external commitments, and a desire for more collaboration were the primary factors. Continuing to make improvements on processes and encouraging collaboration can help address some of these concerns.
Improving the Faculty Program
Question: Do you have any suggestions on how we could improve the Faculty program?
Some suggestions from Faculty members to improve upon the program include:
- Implementing monthly retrospectives for Faculty members to share experiences, blockers, and obstacles.
- Encouraging more social interactions among Faculty members to foster collaboration.
- Focusing on engaging active contributors and clearly defining expectations for different roles within the program.
- Making the Faculty Slack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. channel public to improve accessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) and communication.
- Maintaining regular contact with Faculty members to provide ongoing support.
- Encouraging and increasing collaboration with other Make teams.
- Enhancing the onboarding process for Faculty members, building on existing materials and tailoring them to specific roles.
- Making onboarding materials more interactive, such as converting handbook pages into short courses.
By focusing on communication, collaboration, and a well-structured onboarding process, the Faculty program can further improve its effectiveness and support its members. Do you have more suggestions for improvements for the Faculty program? Please share in the comments.