Discussion: Bringing accessibility-first approaches into content development

At WordCampWordCamp 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. US 2023, @jominney, @newcomer22 and team published the Training Team Accessibility Checklist 🎉 I’ve recently been considering how we can bring accessibilityAccessibility 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)-first approaches into the team’s content creation/review processes better.

What would it take for the team to be able to say “We’ve given our best effort to ensuring all content on Learn WordPress is accessible” when we relaunch the site with Learning Pathways in July this year? I’ve dropped some thoughts below, but this is just to get the conversation going. Let’s discuss in the comments until March 9th (Friday), and then consider next steps after that.


I noticed the WordPress project’s accessibility statement says:

WordPress aims to make the WordPress Admin and bundled themes fully WCAGWCAG WCAG is an acronym for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. These guidelines are helping make sure the internet is accessible to all people no matter how they would need to access the internet (screen-reader, keyboard only, etc) https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/. 2.0 AA compliant where possible.

  • Question: Is striving for WCAG 2.0 AA compliance a reasonable standard for content on Learn WordPress, too?

The team’s current Accessibility Checklist has some items that go beyond the scope of WCAG 2.0 AA, but is also missing some items within scope. Below is my personal take on what content creators specifically would need to be mindful of in order to create content that is fully WCAG 2.0 AA compliant.

(Note, I’m specifically considering what can be achieved in the content creating process – mostly conducted within the WordPress Editor. There are other coding-related considerations that must be made in the theme etc., which is worth its own separate conversation.)

  • Question: Is the following list an accurate representation of what content creators would need to be mindful of to create WCAG 2.0 AA compliant content?
  1. All non-text content has a text alternative. (Guideline 1.1 – Text Alternatives)
  2. Captions and transcripts are provided for all videos. (Guideline 1.2 – Time-based Media)
  3. Audio description is provided for all prerecorded video content. Or, narration in video content describes all important visual details, including actions, scene changes, and on-screen text. (Guideline 1.2 – Time-based Media)
  4. Instructions do not rely solely on components such as shape, color, size, visual location, orientation, or sound. (Guideline 1.3 – Adaptable)
  5. Color is not used as the only visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element. (Guideline 1.4 – Distinguishable)
  6. Text and images of text have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1. (Guideline 1.4 – Distinguishable)
  7. Unless essential, text should be used instead of images of text. (Guideline 1.4 – Distinguishable)
  8. No content flashes more than three times/second. (Guideline 2.3 – Seizures and Physical Reactions)
  9. The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone. (Guideline 2.4 – Navigable)
  10. Headings describe topic or purpose. (Guideline 2.4 – Navigable)

Points 3 (audio descriptions for video content) is currently not included in the team’s accessibility checklist.

  • Question: In the context of video content on Learn, what would adding audio description to videos look like? Is it possible to publish videos where all necessary content is included in the narration?

Finally, I think it would be great if we could move the accessibility checklist from being a final check made on content to something embedded in content development and review processes.

  • Question: How can we bring accessibility-first approaches into our content development and review processes?

#accessibility

Brainstorm: What trends about Learn WordPress leaners do we want to observe?

The Learning Pathways project was kicked off after an extensive survey of WordPress users and their needs. It was a step by the Training Team to pivot towards a more data-informed content planning strategy.

In order for the team to continue a data-informed content planning strategy, let’s brainstorm what learner trends we should start observing in order to best serve their needs. In the comments below, please note the following:

  1. What data would be relevant for the Training Team to surface?
  2. How would surfacing that data better serve our learners, team, and community?
  3. What considerations would be needed in order to surface that data?

We’ll close the initial round of comments on February 25th and consider next-steps.

Training Team Goals for 2024

You can find our asynchronous discussion on Team Goal Setting for 2024 here.

Vision

In 2024, the Training Team will shift Learn WordPress from theory to outcome/project-based learning, explore new streamlining technologies, improve team processes and increase global community/contributor engagement.

Values

The Training Team’s values are DEIB, Collaborative, Sustainable Growth, Impact, and Empathy. Folks can read more about them on our Team Values handbook page.

Goals to roll over from 2023

Listed below are goals session participants thought would be good to roll over into the 2024 goals.

  • Continue work on Learning Pathways
    • Create a Marketing Campaign for Learning Pathways with Marketing
    • Work with the Community team to promote Learning Pathways
  • Establish monthly recurring onboarding Online Workshops in different time zones for training team roles
  • Continue involvement with the redesign work happening on Learn
  • Audit Handbook

Milestones

The new goals session participants would like to see the Training Team work on this year are listed below. The next step is for folks to volunteer and take ownership.

Q1 – January to March 2024

Q2 – April to June 2024

  • See Learn redesign to completion with Learning Pathways as the focus
  • Create and maintain shared resources that promote the Training Team and Learn
  • Create or update a handbook page that clarifies where people’s contributions to the team will appear/be displayed
  • Any goals rolled over from the previous quarter.

Q3 – July to September 2024

  • Work with the Community team to promote Learning Pathways at Meetups
  • Figure out a method to manage localized content translation
  • Launch Learning Pathways on Learn WordPress
  • Migrate/Deprecate Learn content
  • Run 1-2 outcome/project-based course cohorts
  • Any goals rolled over from previous quarters.

Q4 -October to December 2024

  • Create a system for better surfacing Training Team member’s contributions
  • Audit Handbook
  • Any goals rolled over from previous quarters.

Stretch

Props:

Attendees: Thanks to @bsanevans, @piyopiyofox, @lada7042, @devmuhib, @ardhrubo, @westnz, @sierratr 

Proofreading: Thanks also to @bsanevans and @piyopiyofox for proofreading this summary of the goals for 2024.

#goals, #learn-wordpress, #learnwordpress, #training-team

Discussion: Training’s contribution to the 6.5 release (and beyond)

The WordPress 6.5 release squad has been announced. This next release is scheduled for March 26 and now’s a great time for the Training Team to discuss how we’d like to be involved.

Below is my proposal to kick off the discussion. Let’s discuss this in the comments below until February 5th. Team reps will then summarize the discussion by the team meeting that week.

Prioritize Learning Pathways content

The Learning Pathways project is a priority for the Training Team this year, with a scheduled launch for July 2024. Considering the limited number of content creators we have on the team right now, we do not have enough resources to meet that deadline and create a lot of release-related content at the same time.

Proposal around priorities

  • Continue to prioritize developing Learning Pathways content.
  • Identify no more than 3-5 pieces of high-impact content related to the release and clearly list these in the team.
  • Find opportunities to onboard additional content creators who can assist with this content development work.

Modifying GitHubGitHub 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/ triaging processes

Historically, Training’s focus during releases has included identifying content needing updates as a result of the release. This has been done by reopening GitHub issues and, if the original assignee is unresponsive, re-assigning issues to new assignees.

As the team has started to track and analyze GitHub data (see Training Team 2023 Year In Review), we’re finding this process of reopening issues and changing assignees skews important metrics that represent team health – such as the “time to close” on an issue. To ensure the team can track and report accurate metrics, I propose the following changes.

Proposal around changes to GitHub triage processes

Once again, let’s discuss this in the comments below until February 5th.

#procedures

Proposal: Updating the Contributor Ladder to a five-path model

Last year, the Training Team identified a need to clarify the contributor roles in the team. This post first outlines what improvements have been made over the last 12 months. It then proposes updating the team’s Contributor Ladder handbook page from a linear ladder to a five-path ladder, matching the team’s onboarding and faculty program structures.

Achievements from the last 12 months

Last year, the Training Team identified multiple needs in regards to the team roles. These were summarized in [Discussion] Reimagining the Training Team contributor roles. Many processes have since been implemented in response to these needs, and the team is seeing not just more contributors, but more engagement from contributors, too! Let’s take a moment to celebrate these wins!

Identified NeedImplemented Process
Easing the onboarding process for newcomers and beginners.A structured onboarding program was launched, with an additional Guide Program that new contributors can also sign up for.
Having a few folks who can focus on sorting GitHubGitHub 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/ issues consistently would be beneficial.Weekly dev-squad triage sessions are now being conducted to triage web development issues.
– The content feedback validation and topic vetting processes were revised so that anyone can get involved, regardless of GitHub access.
Translation Coordinators have been onboarded to triage content localization issues.
Increasing membership in the copy editor, reviewer, and auditor roles.Clarified guidelines for reviewing content has lowered the barrier for people to get involved with content reviews.
Assign a point of contact for new contributors to reach out to in each role.The use of SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. groups has made it easier for new contributors to reach out to all faculty members in a specific area of expertise at once without the need to identify and pingPing The act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.” individuals.
It would be excellent to have onboarding videos/lesson plans for each role.The team’s onboarding program walks users through their first contribution, regardless of which of the five areas of expertise they choose.
Continue building the handbook so contributors have more precise guidance.The team handbook was audited, with additional resources added in particular to the How-To Guides section.
Clear guidelines for new joiners, especially for basic and Intermediate-level contributors.In addition to the onboarding program for new contributors, a Quick Contributions You Can Make Now page was also launched to assist intermediate-level contributors.

Proposal: a five-path contributor ladder

There is, however, one identified need which has yet to be addressed:

Better team role implementation, so new contributors will also have a clear picture of their assigned task(s).

The Training Team’s Team Roles and Contributor Ladder, as currently seen in the handbook, were last discussed in 2020. These were laid out in a linear progression to match the structure of the Training Team at that time.

However, as the team has grown, we’ve come to split the areas of contribution in the team into five areas. This is most evident in the five-path onboarding program, and the five areas of responsibility in the Faculty program. It is also a concept that has been shared in presentation slides throughout the year, such as this Online Workshop by @courtneypk: What is Learn WordPress?

Below is an image of a proposed grid, placing 30 Training Team contributor roles (or tasks) in a five-path contributor ladder. The five paths match the areas of contribution already defined in the team’s onboarding program and Faculty program. The same data is added below the image in a table also.

A table proposing a five path contributor ladder for the training team's contributor roles. Five columns are titled Content Creator, Content Translator, Editor, Subject Matter Expert, and Administrator. Four rows are titled Connecting, Engaging, Performing, and Leading. Thirty contributor roles are placed within the grid.
Click to see a table with the same data shown in the image above.
Stages of VolunteeringContent CreatorContent TranslatorEditorSubject Matter ExpertAdministrator
ConnectingTutorial Script WriterTranslation ReviewerTutorial Editor,Online Workshop Slide Editor,Content Feedback TriagerTopic Vetter,Content Draft ReviewerMeeting Notetaker,Online Workshop Co-host,Development GitHub Triager
EngagingTutorial Presenter,Online Workshop Facilitator,Lesson Plan WriterContent TranslatorTechnical Editor,Lesson Plan TesterStyle Guide Wrangler,SEO ExpertMeeting Facilitator,Welcome Committee
PerformingCourse CreatorLocalized Content CreatorFinal Lesson Plan ReviewerInstructional Design Expert,WordPress Update TriagerContributor DayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of https://make.wordpress.org/ There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. https://2017.us.wordcamp.org/contributor-day/ https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/. Coordinator,GitHub Wrangler,Application Reviewer
LeadingMentor/Guide, Faculty MemberMentor/Guide, Faculty MemberMentor/Guide, Faculty MemberMentor/Guide, Faculty MemberMentor/Guide, Faculty Member

Request for feedback

Please share your feedback regarding this proposal by October 16th. Here are some questions to help you get started.

  • What are your thoughts about the five-path contributor ladder model?
  • How is the placement of contributor roles in the table? Should any roles be moved to another area of contribution, or to a different stage of volunteering?
  • Are there any other currently active roles in the Training Team that are missing from this table?

Thank you for reviewing this post, @courtneypk @piyopiyofox and @webtechpooja !

#contributor-ladder, #roles

Proposal: Let’s actively promote the Learn WordPress platform in Learn WordPress content

Summary

As a team, let’s find opportunities in our content where we can actively promote the Learn WordPress platform more.

Background

I was involved in multiple conversations recently where the Training Team’s Brand Usage Guidelines and Promotional Guidelines were being discussed. As the WordPress project evolves, and as the needs of contributors/learners change, it’s good practice to approach our guidelines with curiosity – Why are the guidelines set the way they are? Are they still applicable to us today? Are revisionsRevisions The WordPress revisions system stores a record of each saved draft or published update. The revision system allows you to see what changes were made in each revision by dragging a slider (or using the Next/Previous buttons). The display indicates what has changed in each revision. needed to better reflect our mission?

A few concerns were being discussed in these recent conversations:

  • Should content on Learn WordPress link to individual/business websites or social media accounts?
  • Should content on Learn WordPress link to external educational websites about WordPress?
  • What extent (if any) of prior contributions should we seek in content creators for Learn WordPress?

I see the fact these questions were raised as a sign that the Training Team is growing! We’re seeing more contributors getting involved with content creation. And these content creators are coming from a more diverse background than we’ve historically seen in the team.

There were a few underlying trains of thought that led to the discussion points above:

  • What is a good balance between content creators giving “selfless contribution” and receiving “reasonable exposure” for their contributions?
  • What is a healthy relationship between Learn WordPress and other educational platforms that teach WordPress? What if these platforms require payment for their resources?
  • Is it important that content creators have a track record of making general contributions to WordPress before they make content for Learn WordPress? And if so, how can that be objectively assessed?

For each of these thoughts, there were a wide range of opinions. And since opinions varied, I tried to flip the questions around in my mind. Rather than focusing on what we don’t want to happen, is there any practice we are wanting to happen more?

Proposal

I propose that we, as a team, actively look for opportunities in our content to promote the Learn WordPress platform. For example, what about concluding every Tutorial and Online Workshop recording with an invitation for folks to come to Learn WordPress to learn more? This would be similar to what many YouTubers do at the end of a video, asking viewers to come to their channel to see more content.

Currently, the team guidelines allow presenters to make reasonable callouts to their social media accounts. How about we add, though, to always call out the Learn WordPress platform as the final call-to-action in a piece of content? I can see this being easily applied to video content (Tutorials and Online Workshops,) but we could probably do the same in Courses, too.

As a start to this discussion, a new section has been added to the team handbook on Promotional Guidelines titled Actively promote Learn WordPress and other official WordPress content. What are your thoughts of this proposal, and the new section in the handbook? Please leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.


Thank you to @angelasjin for input when writing this post.

Proposal: New Contributor Guide Program

Overview

As mentioned in the post “Recap and Next Steps: Training Team Onboarding”, an optional Guide Program (similar to a mentorship or buddy program) for the Training Team could serve to support new contributors to the team. The idea is that experienced Training Team members would serve as Guides for these new team members, regularly checking in with them as they make their first contributions to the team. They would be available as a point of contact for new contributors if they have questions while completing the onboarding program.

This program can be taken at a self-chosen pace, but it is expected that it would take no longer than a month’s time. Read on for a detailed proposal on how this program could work!

Who are the Training Team Guides?

The roster of Guides would consist of experienced Training Team members. It would make sense for Faculty members to participate, but it is not required of them. Guides could be Training Team members that have been contributing consistently to the team for at least 6 months.

For the launch of the program, Guides will be chosen from existing Faculty members (preferably part or full-time sponsored, since they can maintain their commitment and access). After launch, an application and/or nomination process can be established. Faculty members (most likely Administrators) will develop a Guide handbook and provide training and support for new Guides assisted by this handbook.

How do New Contributors learn about the Guide Program?

When a new contributor joins the #Training channel, they could be greeted with an automated message that would include offering them the option to be matched with a Training Team Guide. They would be instructed to fill out an application form to be matched with a Guide.

During the weekly Training Team meetings, the Welcome Committee can also remind the new channel joinees that they can join the Guide Program, and share the application form with them.

There will likely be more pathways for new contributors to learn about the Guide Program, but for the initial launch of this program, we will start with SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/.-based introductions.

How are new Contributors matched to Guides?

Contributors that are interested in participating in the Guide program are asked to provide the following information about themselves to ensure that they are matched with a Guide that can support them appropriately:

  • Timezone in UTC
  • Language(s) they are comfortable conversing in
  • Skills (multiple choice, based on skills utilized on the team)
  • Area(s) of contribution that they are interested in
  • Link to WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ profile (if they have one)

This form would send the contributor’s information to the Training Team’s Help Scout inbox. Faculty Administrators then review the applications and the roster of Guides to find an appropriate match for the new contributor. Guides would be prioritized for the new contributor by time zone and language. Guides should take on no more than 4 new contributors at once.

It is recommended that Guides interact individually with the new contributors that they are paired with. However, Guides can opt to form small cohorts (up to 4 people) if they are able to arrange methods of communication and times that work for everyone if they are to connect synchronously.

How does the program work?

Regular check-ins between a Guide and a new contributor can be brief, as they will also be in constant contact via asynchronous Direct Messages (DMs) on Slack. It is recommended that check-ins are done at least weekly, but the Guide and contributor can plan the schedule that works best for them.

Suggested formats for the check-ins are below.

Before the first check in

  • A Faculty member introduces the Guide and the new contributor to each other via Slack DM or email. If the Guide is a Faculty member, they can introduce themselves.
  • The new contributor and their guide discuss the cadence for their regular check-in meetings and set up a schedule. It is preferred to do these check-ins synchronously, but if schedules do not allow, they can opt to have asynchronous check-ins on Slack.
  • Before their first check-in, the Guide confirms if the contributor has valid WordPress.org and GitHubGitHub 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/ accounts, and shares the Getting Started guide with them.

Check-in 1

  • The Guide gives the new contributor a general overview of the Training Team and a brief description of the areas of contribution.
  • The new contributor asked if they have reviewed the Getting Started Guide, if they have completed the steps, and if they have any questions.
    • Bonus: if the contributor has decided which area(s) of contribution they want to contribute to, they complete the onboarding process for that area.
  • The new contributor is also guided to attend the next Training Team meeting (Coffee Hour optional). https://make.wordpress.org/meetings/#training
  • The guide will be available to the new contributor via Slack DM if any questions arise before their next check-in (this is an expectation between all subsequent check-ins).

Check-in 2

  • The new contributor and their Guide check in to discuss the self-guided onboarding process, and they discuss any questions or concerns that arose during the process.
  • If the contributor did not decide upon an area of contribution after the first check-in, the Guide discusses the roles with the contributor to help guide them in finding how they can best apply their strengths and skills to the team.
  • The Guide gives an overview of the types of tasks that their chosen area of contribution has. The Guide can show the contributor examples of the contributions so they can see real examples of what they look like. This may be best done over a screenshare on a synchronous call.
  • The new contributor and Guide go over “Quick contributions you can make now” together.
    • The contributor expresses a quick contribution that they are interested in learning how to do.
    • The Guide walks the contributor through the process of their chosen contribution. This gives the contributor the opportunity to ask questions as they work on their first contribution along with their Guide.
    • The contributor agrees to make additional contributions before their next check-in.

Check-in 3

  • The new contributor and their Guide check in to see how their first contributions went, and if they have any learnings, concerns, and/or questions to share.
  • The Guide prepares an update to share at the next Training Team meeting to introduce and acknowledge the new contributor and their area(s) of contribution.

Acknowledgements

Guides will be expected to share a brief update on their activity with their new contributors and celebrate their contributions during Training Team meetings. This can be done asynchronously if the Training Team meeting is at an inconvenient time for the Guide.

Follow-ups

When the initial check-ins have been completed, the Guide and Contributor can choose to continue regular check-ins, and/or remain connected on the Making WordPress Slack.

It’s recommended to check in again after 3 months to evaluate how their continued contributions are going, and if they are interested in expanding their contributions (i.e., trying a new task or a different area of contribution). It also would be helpful to create a survey for new contributors 3–6 months after completion of the Guide Program to see how they are doing.

What are your thoughts?

Let’s hear what you think about this proposal in the comments! 

  • What do you think about the proposed Guide Program?
  • Do you have any suggestions for the program?
  • For experienced Training Team members: Are you interested in participating as a Guide?

Please share your thoughts by 5 July, 2023.


Thank you to @harishanker, @bsanevans, and @west7 for contributing to and reviewing this post.

#guide-program, #mentorship, #proposal

Recap and Next Steps: Training Team Onboarding

Summary

The Training Team’s new onboarding program has been completed by 25 people, of which more than half have continued on with regular contributions to the team. This post considers how the program can be improved further, and proposes a new optional Guide Program for those who would benefit from mentorship by an experienced contributor during onboarding.

What is the Onboarding Program?

Last year, the Training Team identified a need to improve the onboarding process for new contributors in the team. In response to that need, the team created a new 30-60 minute self-serve onboarding program that introduces contributors to the team’s mission, walks them through making accounts necessary to contribute, guides them through their first contribution, and connects them with continued contribution possibilities. This new Onboarding Program was launched on February 10th, 2023 – just in time for Contributor DayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of https://make.wordpress.org/ There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. https://2017.us.wordcamp.org/contributor-day/ https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/. at WordCampWordCamp 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. Asia 2023.

What feedback has the Onboarding program received?

In the three and a half months since it launched, 25 people have completed the Onboarding Program. (This data is collected from a survey folks fill out at the end of the material.) Of these:

  • 14 people have contributed to the team beyond onboarding such as by contributing to meetings, reviewing/translating content, and becoming co-hosts in Online Workshops.
  • 8 people completed the program during Contributor Day at WordCamp Asia (February 17th.)
  • 3 people submitted feedback about the program through a feedback form. All feedback was positive.
  • 1 person joined the Faculty Program.

What other observations have we made?

While the Onboarding program has been successful, it can also feel like there is a human element missing while a new contributor is getting started. Also, the self-serve onboarding program is great for self-driven contributors, but may not meet the needs of every learning style. What can we do to help make an even more welcoming experience for all new contributors?

Proposal: The Guide Program

An optional Guide Program (similar to a mentorship) for the Training Team could serve to support new contributors to the team. The idea is that experienced Training Team members would serve as Guides for these new team members, regularly checking in with them as they make their first contributions to the team. They would be available as a point of contact for new contributors if they have questions while completing the onboarding program.

@courtneypk is working on building out a more detailed proposal on this program for the team to review, and is interested in any thoughts that people have about the idea.

What are your thoughts?

Please leave your thoughts about the following points in the comments below:

  • Do you have any other observations or feedback about the Onboarding Program?
  • What are your thoughts about the proposed Guide Program?
  • Any other ideas that would improve the onboarding experience for new contributors to the Training Team?

Please leave your thoughts by June 18. Thanks!


This post was co-authored by @bsanevans and @courtneypk.

#guide-program, #onboarding

Recap: Sensei Pro LMS Demo for Learn WordPress

Attendees:

@burtrw @courane01

Chapter 1: Navigating Learn WordPress Courses

  • Learn WordPress is a platform that offers courses powered by Sensei Pro.
  • The courses are standalone individual things, and there are currently no cohorts or groups of students.
  • To access the courses, users need to log in to their WordPress profile and navigate to the courses section.
  • Users can view all available courses and select the one they want to take, and each course has an outline of its content and how long it will take.
  • Sensei Pro powers the course layout and navigation, and users can mark lessons as completed and take quizzes to test their knowledge.
  • Once a course is completed, it shows up as an activity on the user’s WordPress profile, but their grade is not publicly revealed.
  • The course layout and design may vary depending on the theme used, but it typically includes an intro blurb and a course outline.
  • There is a proposal to add a widgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. in the WordPress and Min dashboard to display upcoming events and provide quick start videos and courses.
  • Currently, there are no courses in other languages, but the team is working with Polyglots to get everything translated.

Chapter 2: Enhancing the Learning Experience with Interactive Blocks and Videos

  • Interactive blocks, such as flashcards, image hotspots, and task lists, can help break up the text and add interactivity to the course content.
  • Interactive blocks can also be used to make certain activities or lessons required before moving on to the next section, which increases accountability for the learner.
  • Single quiz questions can be added in the middle of a lesson, allowing for immediate feedback and ensuring that the learner is paying attention.
  • Interactive videos can be created using video press or uploaded from YouTube or Vimeo. These videos can have break points added where the learner is presented with a pop-over containing additional content or a quiz question.
  • The use of interactive blocks and videos can greatly enhance the learning experience by making the course more engaging and interactive.

Chapter 3: Making Use of Video

  • Video chapters are a useful tool for making longer videos more accessible and user-friendly.
  • Video chapters are typically created using timestamps in a text field or through the use of break points.
  • Adding interactivity to videos, such as through video chapters, requires the user to be interactive as well, meaning they will need to physically stop the video and select a specific chapter.
  • Professional training and education places typically go up to about three minutes for their video length, after which they start chaptering the video for easier navigation.
  • When making use of video chapters, it’s important to keep accessibilityAccessibility 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), bandwidth, and multiple learning styles in mind.
  • It would be useful to have a feature that recommends related courses based on the courses already taken or completed, possibly using taxonomyTaxonomy A taxonomy is a way to group things together. In WordPress, some common taxonomies are category, link, tag, or post format. https://codex.wordpress.org/Taxonomies#Default_Taxonomies..
  • Emails can be used to motivate individuals to complete courses and suggest related courses, but privacy implications should be considered.
  • Reusable blocks could be used to display time-sensitive information across multiple courses without having to edit each individual course separately.
  • The blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. visibility feature can be used to schedule content and display it only to certain users or at certain times.
  • Groups and cohorts can be useful for organizing users and tracking course progress, with the added benefit of reporting on which courses specific groups have taken.

Chapter 4: Navigating Sensei Settings

  • Courses are automatically listed on the courses list, with the option to hide or show specific content
  • Grading is not shown for privacy reasons, but reports can be accessed to track course progress
  • Course creators and editors may not have full access to site reports
  • The settings for emails and public student profiles can be adjusted
  • Content drip is an option for spacing out lessons and course material
  • Appearance settings can be changed, including options for video-heavy courses
  • Captioning is required for tutorial and course videos, with plans to potentially integrate with video press
  • Taking notes within Sensei and exporting them is a potential feature for the future
  • A course page is in development, which may include a forum or discussion area for students to interact with each other and instructors.

Chapter 5: Improving the Course Experience

  • Sensei Pro focuses on improving the course experience for students and motivating them to complete the course by using gamification techniques such as badges or achievements.
  • The team is also exploring ways to increase student interaction within the course, such as community options and peer review of assignments.
  • Sensei Pro is interested in incorporating TinCan APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways., which allows exporting of student data from one platform to another, making it easier for employers to track employee training.
  • Sensei Pro is also exploring the use of public APIs to make their features more accessible to users and developers.
  • It is important for course creators and reviewers to stay informed about new features and updates in order to create more interactive and engaging courses.

Proposal: Create a new onboarding experience to the Training Team

Summary: This post outlines the details of creating a new onboarding experience for those who join the Training Team. The need for a more effective onboarding experience was raised in recent sprint retrospectives (June & July Sprint, August Sprint), and discussed in [Discussion] Reimagining the Training Team contributor roles. This proposal brings clarity to documentation and in-person guidance used in onboarding, by focusing on four areas of expertise within the team.

Next Steps: The plan is to start building out the proposed onboarding flows from mid-November. Let’s discuss ideas and specifics in the comment section below, and come up with a concrete plan by November 18th.


Summary of Previous Discussions

The Training Team has identified that the current onboarding process for new contributors in the Training Team is confusing and in need of improvement. Points of improvement raised in recent discussions include:

  • Easing the onboarding process for new contributors.
  • Assign a point of contact for new contributors to reach out to in each role.
  • Prepare onboarding videos/lesson plans for each role.
  • Continue building the handbook so contributors have more precise guidance.
  • Clear guidelines for new joiners, especially for basic and Intermediate-level contributors.

The team also raised points we’d want to keep in mind as we build out a new onboarding experience:

  • The current list of team roles should remain, but categorized appropriately.
  • The Training Team’s Contributor Ladder model should be incorporated.
  • Opportunities should remain for contributors who only have 30-60 minutes to contribute to get involved, without having to go through a lengthy onboarding process.
  • Documentation regarding who is in each role would be desirable.

Proposal: Four onboarding paths

Here is a proposal that reimagines the onboarding process to the Training Team, while also incorporating all the points listed above.

Step 1: First contact

A Welcome Wrangler asking a new contributor what area of contribution would excite them
A Welcome Wrangler asking a new contributor what area of contribution would excite them

When someone joins the #training channel, or submits a contact form, Welcome Wranglers send a personal message to the new contributor. In this message, we would include the question, “Of these 4, which are you most interested in?”

  1. Creating/translating content
  2. Reviewing/editing content
  3. Vetting content ideas and being a sounding board to people creating new content
  4. Focusing on the administration that keeps the Training Team running smoothly

Notice, the answer to this question will tell us which of the 4 areas of expertise in the team the contributor is interested in:

  1. Content Creator
  2. Editor
  3. Subject Matter Expert
  4. Administrator

Step 2: Onboarding pages

Depending on their answer, folks are navigated to one of four onboarding pages in the Training Team handbook. Each page has a similar format, but includes information specific to that area of expertise.

Example of what the "Editor Onboarding" handbook page would look like
Example of what the “Editor Onboarding” handbook page would look like
  • Page title: “area_of_expertise Onboarding”
  • Welcome Video with script
    • A quick overview of how this area of expertise functions in the content creation flow within the Training Team.
  • List of faculty members with this expertise
    • Introduce the faculty members as the new contributor’s mentors. Mention how to use the at-mention feature in SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. to reach all these folks at once in the #training channel.
  • Walkthrough of how to complete a first contribution
    • Ideally, this would be a task listed early on in the team’s contributor ladder.
    • Ideally, this first contribution should be something people can complete in 30-60 minutes.
    • This would be a link to another page in the handbook titled “A first contribution as an area_of_expertise“. The page would include short videos for each process, accompanied by text explanations.
    • It would be nice if each page had a “Thank you video” at the end folks would watch where they see the face of a real human thanking them for their contribution.
  • Invitation to have the contributor add themselves to a list of contributors available to continue contributing in that area of expertise
    • By walking a contributor through adding themselves to a list, we give them a sense of empowerment, and a touch of responsibility. They’d be free to come back and remove themselves from the list whenever they become unavailable to contribute.
  • A list of roles in this expertise for the contributor to explore further
    • This would be a link to another page in the handbook titled “area_of_expertise roles”. It would Include video walkthroughs and step-by-step instructions for all roles currently listed in the handbook that pertain to that particular area of expertise.
  • Invitation to join team meetings

Step 3: Continued mentorship

This proposal stops here for the moment. But I can see the team building out additional processes for those who want to continue growing to move up the contributor ladder and/or become Faculty Members.


Other considerations

What about casual contributors who only have 30-60 minutes?

In the above proposal, we would have created a page for each expertise walking folks through a first contribution in that expertise. These would be ideal pages to share with folks who want to make a quick contribution. Making one handbook page that links to those 4 pages would make sharing easier.

  • Page title: “Quick contributions you can make now!”
  • Welcome video with script
    • In this video, the speaker will still ask the same question as step 1 above. This will help the contributor decide which of the 4 links below they should follow.
    • We could also use a similar survey to https://orientation.wp-europe.org/ to pair a contributor up with an area of expertise.
  • List of four “first contribution” pages
    • Pages are reused from the flow above, and conclude with a “Thank you video”.
  • Invitation to work through the official onboarding flow above to contribute even more!

How would we make sure the list of contributors is accurate?

Administrators could keep an eye on the list and send a “Hi!” message to anyone who adds themselves, just to make sure the contributor is aware of the purpose of the list. Then, every 6 months or so, administrators could touch base with all who have added their names to confirm they’re still interested in contributing for another 6 months.

How are we ensuring the contributor ladder is applied to this idea?

The current contributor ladder model is a great start, but will need to be updated as this onboarding flow is created and implemented. For example, there are currently no Content Creator roles in the very first rung of the ladder. However, there should be something a new volunteer with a passion for creating content should be able to do without having to experience other areas of expertise first. We would work out which of the Content Creator related roles could be moved down the ladder and introduced as a first contribution to those with a passion to create content.

Could we get, say, Matt or Josepha to record the Thank You videos? 😃

That is definitely something we could consider. Another idea is to record multiple Thank You videos from multiple contributors, and then show a random video each time the page is loaded.


Next Steps: The plan is to start building out the proposed onboarding flows from mid-November. Please leave any other ideas, questions or comments you have below. We will come up with a concrete plan by November 18th.

#onboarding, #procedures, #training-team