Discussion: Defining Active and Engaged Faculty

TL;DR: We need your insights and perspectives! The Training Team is seeking your input to help define what makes an active and engaged Faculty member.

As you may already know, the Training Team Faculty is a team of dedicated volunteers who work to achieve the goals of the Training Team and the Learn WordPress platform. The expertise and guidance of Faculty members fuel the growth and development of our fellow contributors and learners in our community. If you’d like to read more details about what Faculty members do, you can review the Faculty handbook page, Areas of Responsibility.

Our goal is to identify and distinguish active and engaged Faculty members in order to better evaluate the engagement and participation within the Faculty program. By establishing standards for what defines an active and engaged Faculty member, we can assess the need for any necessary updates to the program. This is important to help ensure the continued growth and success of the Training Team.

What defines an active and engaged Faculty member?

To get the discussion started, below are a few preliminary thoughts we’ve gathered on what it means to be an active Faculty member. These initial ideas are by no means definitive and are open to discussion.

  1. Regular participation in Training Team meetings: Active Faculty members make it a priority to attend Training Team meetings, whether synchronously or asynchronously, at least once a month.
  2. Engaged communication: They actively contribute to Faculty member update threads during Training Team meetings, ensuring they stay informed and connected.
  3. Prompt responsiveness: Active Faculty members respond to role-specific 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/. group pings at least once a month, demonstrating their commitment to collaboration and support.
  4. Role-specific activities:
    1. Administrators: Actively contribute to the Training Team’s Help Scout or the Learn 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/ repository within the past month.
    2. Content creators: Actively contribute to various content-related tasks—such as writing, recording, editing, or facilitating—within the past month.
    3. Editors: Lend their expertise to the editing process by collaborating with Content Creators and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) within the past month.
    4. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs): Actively provide their specialized knowledge by collaborating with Content Creators and Editors in the past month.
    5. Translation Coordinators: Actively contributing to translation efforts within the past month, including working closely with Content Translators.

Let’s hear from you!

Please post in the comments what you think can define an active and engaged Faculty member. Thank you for your input!

Thank you to @bsanevans for reviewing this post.


Come join the Training Team as a Translation Coordinator (Faculty role)

The Training Team is excited to announce a new role to the Faculty ProgramTranslation Coordinators. If you have experience translating content for the Training Team and are excited about helping even more people get involved, then Apply to Join today!


The Training Team recently concluded the Content Localization Foundations project, which kick-started efforts of translating content for Learn.WordPress.org. During this project, it was noted that renewing the previous “Locale Ambassador” role as a fifth Faculty role, and renaming it to “Translation Coordinators”, would be good next steps as the team iterates on its translation processes. (A full recap of the project can be found on Recap: Content Localization Foundations Project.)

Introducing Translation Coordinators – a new Faculty role

The Faculty Program is a team of dedicated volunteers who work to achieve the goals of the Training Team. The new Translation Coordinator role aims to add to the team those who are experienced with translating content for Learn.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/, have a strong connection with their local community, and are excited to help others join the team’s translation efforts.

You can read more about the Translation Coordinator role in the handbook page below. If this is something you are interested in, come apply to join today! 

We’re also looking for Content Translators

While applications for the Translation Coordinators role are open to those who have a strong record of being leaders in their communities, the Content Translators role is available for anyone to join at any time!

Content Translators translate content that has been published on Learn.WordPress.org into their own locale. If you’re interested in joining the Training Team as a Content Translator, come walk through the Training Team’s onboarding program.

#faculty-program, #localization, #procedures

Next Steps for the Faculty Program

The Faculty Program was launched in May of 2022 in order to form a dedicated group of volunteers for the Training Team. This program was formed to better identify volunteer positions for folks joining the team, organize work, and ensure that the team is meeting the targets set together.

The program has grown over the past year, and the team has learned from the experience. To continue the program’s growth and improvement, a closer look at our experiences helps inform how the program is iterated upon. With that in mind, a survey was conducted in February 2023 to ask existing Faculty members for insights into their experiences and perspectives.

Based on the feedback in the survey, it is suggested for the Faculty program to:

  • Improve communication and collaboration
  • Increase engagement on the Training team blog
  • Recruit and/or train more Administrators
  • Improve onboarding and processes

Improve communication

There has been a strong desire expressed for improved communication and collaboration within the Faculty. This would help the Faculty share their experiences and blockers, as well as help encourage more collaboration and social interaction. We have tried synchronous (Zoom) and asynchronous (Make/Training blog posts) formats, which both faded in engagement. I propose that the Faculty schedules monthly meetings in the public #training Slack channel, as this is a meeting format that the team is accustomed to. This would also make the Faculty’s work more visible/public.

Increase engagement on the team blog

The proposed Faculty meetings would be an appropriate time to bring posts on the Make/Training team blog to the team’s attention. During these meetings, the host should stay aware of any discussions that go on too long, and/or heated debates that start to happen, in order to guide folks to post/comment on the team blog for further discussion. The host would then post a summary of any discussion(s) that happened after the meeting on the team blog.

Train more Administrators

Although the Administrator workload has been manageable, the team should plan for more growth. In addition, the Faculty has the least amount of members focused on admin tasks. Admin tasks include:

  • Task and project tracking
  • Facilitating meetings
  • Taking notes in meetings
  • Vetting applications for tutorials, facilitators, and faculty
  • Managing the Help Scout queue

I propose that we either recruit at least 2 new Administrators to the Faculty, or identify existing Faculty members that would be interested in adding some admin tasks to their responsibilities. If you are interested in helping out, please apply to join, or if you are an existing Faculty member, please notify a Team RepTeam 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..

Improve onboarding and processes

The Faculty handbook has been updated to include the new onboarding process that launched in February 2023. We will also continue to build out the Training Team handbook to ensure that we document tasks for every Faculty role, so team processes are more clear.

If you are not a Faculty member, but are interested in joining, please see the Faculty Handbook for more information, and apply to join the program!

Do you have any thoughts on the proposed improvements to the Faculty program? Or perhaps you have additional ideas? Please share in the comments.


Faculty Survey Results – Q1 2023

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

Faculty roles:

  • 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!

Continue reading

#faculty-program, #faculty-survey

[Discussion] Reimagining the Training Team contributor roles

In this post, I have taken suggestions raised in recent team meetings regarding team onboarding, and present a new idea regarding the Training Team’s contributor roles. The model I propose reimagines the current “roles” of the team as “tasks”, and positions the Faculty members as mentors in 4 areas of expertise (administrator, subject matter expert, content creator, editor) within the team. 

Let’s discuss and see if this model can address the friction our new contributors are experiencing during onboarding.

The Goal

In recent sprint retrospectives (June & July Sprint, August Sprint), the Training Team identified a couple of needs related to our team roles. Here are some points of improvement raised in these retrospectives:

  • Better team role implementation, so new contributors will also have a clear picture of their assigned task(s).
  • Easing the onboarding process for newcomers and beginners.
  • 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.
  • Increasing membership in the copy editor, reviewer, and auditor roles.
  • Assign a point of contact for new contributors to reach out to in each role.
  • It would be excellent to have 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.

From these points, and other conversations the team has been having, I can see a few common goals we are aiming for:

  1. Improved clarity regarding team tasks
  2. Improved onboarding processes for team roles
  3. A point of contact for each role
  4. Better distribution of contributors throughout roles

An Idea

My idea is to view the 4 areas of Faculty responsibility as areas of expertise in the Training Team. This idea reframes what we’re calling “team roles” right now as “tasks” folks can do within each of those areas.

Four circles with the words administrator, content creator, subject matter expert, and editor in them. Each circle also lists some tasks that would fall into those areas of expertise. The words "Team Reps" connect them all in the middle.
Reimagining the Training Team roles as four areas of expertise

Onboarding pathways (for example courses and/or tutorials) would guide new contributors into each of these areas of expertise. How-to guides in the handbook would be the go-to resource for anyone wanting to complete a task. Contributors wouldn’t have to carry a role specifically. But there would be clear guidance for them to accomplish tasks and contribute to the team’s mission.

Faculty members would be contributors with experience in a specific area of expertise. They’d function as the point of contact for anyone needing help in that area of expertise. They’d also be mentors to other contributors wanting to grow in that area of expertise.

Your Feedback

  • What are your thoughts about this new team role model?
  • Do you see it responding to the areas of improvement raised in the team’s recent retrospective?
  • Are there any points of concern that should be addressed?

Please share your thoughts below. Based on the conversations we have in the comments, I’ll draft some next-steps for the team to consider at the end of the month.

#faculty-program, #roles, #training-team

Training Team Goals and Strategy Call

On Tuesday, June 28, 2022 19:00UTC (AMER) and Wednesday, June 29, 2022 05:00UTC (APAC), the Training Team Reps and Faculty Program Members held two calls to discuss the progress of the training team goals and our strategy for meeting them.

Outlined below are the notes taken from these two calls.


AMER call: @pbrocks @ndiego @piyopiyofox @arasae @courtneypk @azhiyadev @annezazu

APAC call: @webtechpooja @bsanevans @psykro @wes


  • We discussed the current state of the Training team goals – https://make.wordpress.org/training/2022/01/18/training-team-goals-for-2022/
    • When this goals post was created, it had been a year since Learn had been launched when the first meeting around the goals occurred.
    • What still needs to be done from Q1?
      • Brainstorm and discovery for the creation of a Needs Analysis.
      • Learner Survey.
      • Plan promotions with the Marketing Team (Currently in the Training Team repTeam 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.’s hands).
      • Create Instructor/Facilitator resources portion on LearnWP.
        • There is a Learning Path document that @courane01 put together. It breaks things down so that a meeting organizer can use this. 
      • Look into automation for the content creation/review process.
    • What needs to be tackled in Q2
      • Training Needs Analysis.
      • Release roadmap of new content (that isn’t tied to WP releases/features).
      • Overhaul the “Submit an Idea” form. Build in conditional logic for workshop, lesson plan, and course.
    • It was noted that we’d like for SME’s to set the priorities for the content we seek to create and telling us when it should be created.
    • We learned that folks tend to have a pretty solid idea before the BetaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. period of what features are going to make it into the release, so we can use this knowledge for timing content releases.
  • Faculty Program Structure & Vision
    • Feedback:
      • Knowing when SME’s need to chime in would be great– can we have an alert world? It can be tough to know when to engage.
      • Having a buddy system / mentor program would be great.
  • Open Discussion
    • SLSes
      • Nick has found them to be a very interesting way to engage with the community, and would love to see it grow into a more important part of Learn.
      • Tying SLSes to topical things can make SLSes a vehicle for learning WordPress more intuitively.
      • Let’s put effort into spreading SLS sessions into APAC and other timezones
        • Folks in APAC may need to continue hosting these even with minimal attendance to grow the attendance, and then the contributors will come.
        • Let’s run SLSs about running SLSs.
    • Contributing to the technical needs of Learn WordPress
      • The way Learn WordPress is currently set up requires developers to cross a few hurdles before they can actually contribute to the issues we’ve listed.
        • It would be great if we can find a way to set developers up with the necessary tools, so that they can more easily contribute to those technical issues
    • Can we streamline https://make.wordpress.org/training/ so that it isn’t as intimidating for new folk?
      • We already have some conversations going on about what we can do about this.
      • Reality is, we are limited somewhat by the structure of Make itself. MetaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. team is working on that.
      • What we could do is collect feedback, and send that to Meta to help with their work.

Action items

Listed below are action items created from our discussion and their assignments

  • Create a spreadsheet with release tab organization for this board https://github.com/WordPress/Learn/projects/2 for SMEs to go through and help prioritize / @piyopiyofox
  • Check if our current lesson plan / workshop creation handbook includes a step to include a “timestamp + WordPress version”.
  • Create template slides for SLSes / @piyopiyofox
  • Create alert words for SMEs, Content Creators, Editors, Administrators, and then the full faculty / @courtneypk
  • Provide information about critical features that require content for 6.1 / @annezazu
  • Draft a proposal for creating a Faculty Program Mentor/Mentee program / @arasae
  • Set up time for next monthly call / @piyopiyofox