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2010 VOF Listeners Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ has been created to provide answers to the many questions we will face as Listeners over the next month or so. Just like the Applicants, we are on our own journey on the frontiers of new media. As we have asked them to embrace web 2.0, we are also embracing web 2.0 for the evaluation process.

We will be continuously updating this FAQ over the four weeks, so come back often!

Someone has already commented and reviewed the assignment. Should I still leave a comment?
Yes, you should! We have tried to make sure each assignment has two to three reviews, to help us better evaluate each applicant's assignment. The more encouraging comments, the better!

Should we let our applicants know that we are evaluating them in our comments to their assignment?
Yes, please introduce yourself. We want this process to be as transparent as possible. Plus, you will likely make a new and possibly, life-long friend!

Do we offer praise and constructive criticism here or elsewhere?
Please provide your feedback in the comments section under each assignment. Here are some suggestions to help get you started:
"I really loved the way you...."
"I was inspired by..."
"I was moved when..."
"I find myself longing for..."
"I had a hard/challenging time with...."
"I was not sure if you meant this.... or this..." "I would love to know more"

Most importantly, use your authentic voice. There is no right or wrong. There is only learning along the way. If you feel uncomfortable leaving a critique, it is fine to leave only positive comments! However, feeling uncomfortable is part of this journey. Many of the applicants have had to confront their fears by sharing their voice, and we too face that challenge. Relax, share your voice and communicate directly...the Applicants will appreciate it.

We do ask that you not tell the applicants you are evaluating what their score is. As the assignment score is only part of our evaluation process, this might cause confusion.

I am noticing a lot of punctuation and grammar mistakes in my assignments. Is this important?
With joy we emphatically state NO! Put away your red pens! At this stage of the journey, we ask Listeners to focus on drawing out the true voices and leadership of each individual and not to worry about punctuation and grammar.

This does not imply that you should rate every assignment as a "5" just to be nice. We encourage you to gently point out when an Applicant has not followed the rules, to ask clarifying questions if something is confusing, and to let an Applicant know how you felt after reading their post. The most important role we play is reflecting back to the Applicants how a post engaged us.

This nuance is important because our Applicants comes from such a wide variety of backgrounds, levels of education and language ability. It has taken courage for many of them to post their words in such a public forum. We want to build on that courage over the next four weeks.

Why do you call us Listeners? Aren't we reading and evaluating writing assignments? Where does the listening come in?
On one hand, reading and evaluating writing assignments is exactly what we are doing. On the other hand, our primary mandate as evaluators is to witness, affirm and support the VOICES of the Applicants, in the myriad of forms VOICE will show up.

Have the Applicants seen the evaluation form?
The Applicants have not seen the actual form, although they have received information about the evaluation criteria in the Voices of Our Future Applicants Group.

Question 6 asks about Leadership, but I can't find activity that reflects this. What do I do with that question?
What we really want to know is: does the VOICE demonstrate leadership potential? When you read the assignment do you feel moved, and inspired? Does this sound like a voice that could motivate a community to work towards change? It is asking about your sense of leadership that you feel when reading the post.

How do I know which Applicants I am going to Listen to?
Over the next four weeks you will receive a link to our Weekly Assignment document where you will find links to the assignments you will read and evaluation. When you are ready, simply open this spreadsheet and follow the instructions. Each Listener will be reviewing a different set of Applicants each week.

How many Applicants will I be be evaluating?
We anticipate that each Listener will be evaluating between 10 and 15 assignments per week. If you are for some reason unable to meet your deadline, please notify us as soon as possible so that we can find someone else to evaluate your assignments.

How do I find an Applicant's assignment and other activity?
The easiest way to find an Applicant's assignment is to follow the links we have provided. This will take you to their submitted assignment. To see an Applicant's other activity, you can click their Username below their picture, and you will be taken to their Profile Page.

The assignment is in a language that I can't read. What do I do?
We have asked the Applicants to submit their assignments in English. We have suggested that they use the Google translation tool if they need assistance with this. If you come across a submission that is not in English, please notify and we will see what we can do to support their application.

How do I count the number of words in an assignment?
Highlight and copy the text of the assignment. Paste into the box on for an instant number!

How do I evaluate the assignment?
To evaluate the assignment, simply follow the link to our Evaluation Form, powered by GoogleDocs. In the spirit of Web 2.0, we are harnessing this technology to compile all of our Listeners' hard work. You will simply answer the questions on that form and hit "Submit" for each assignment you are reviewing. We will receive the information immediately.

I followed the link to the form, but I can't view it. How do I access it?
You were sent a direct link to the form prior to the application. If you cannot access this information, please contact or

This seems complicated. Can you tell me more about about the form?
The first section of the form asks you to provide basic data about yourself and the Applicant being reviewed. You should have received this information on your Weekly Assignments Document. If not, please contact

Questions 1 and 2 ask about the completeness of the assignment. If you are unsure of what the assignment was, please consult the Voices of Our Future Application Classroom. If you are still unsure, please don't hesitate to ask.

Questions 3 through 6 ask you to rank the applicant's work using a 1 to 5 rating scale, with "5" being the most positive ranking. Please contact us if you want help getting comfortable with the question criteria or rankings.

Finally, Question 7 asks you to provide an overall assessment of the Applicant's work.

Applicant's scores will be averaged over the course of the four-week Application phase. The top Applicants will then embark on a five-month "virtual" journey on the frontiers of new media and women's empowerment.

Question 8 is a way of asking you to leave a comment on the entries you read. One of the most important roles you are playing is as a witness and supporter of their words. We want every applicant to know that their voice has been heard!

Please make a comment on their PulseWire journal entry. We recommend the following format:

"This is what I loved about your story...."
"I would have loved to have seen more of/more about...."

Again, our aim is to support and encourage voices, and please keep in mind that many are new to this. A full critique is not essential, but any advice you can give to better follow instructions and increase the scores on Questions 2-7 in the following weeks is very helpful! Please contact or if you feel uncomfortable or are for any reason unable to post a comment.

Can I finish an Evaluation that I have started at a later time?
If you walk away from an evaluation form in progress, leave the browser window open. Unfortunately, if you close the window before hitting "Submit" we will not receive your information, and the assignment will not be evaluated.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the form, if I made a mistake, or if I am unsure of something?
If you accidentally submit information on the form that is wrong, incomplete or needs to be changed, or if you encounter technical issues, contact Scott at

For all other questions, please feel free to review the Voices of Our Future Listeners Group journal for more information. Post your question, or contact Scott at

When are my evaluations due?
Your evaluations for the week (read the entry, submit evaluation form, post your comment) are expected to be finished by the dates noted on the landing page of this group.This gives you about one full week to complete them, on your own schedule.

What if I can't get to all of the Applicants that I've been assigned to review?
If you for some reason are unable to complete your assignment evaluations, please contact scott@worldpulse or rachael@worldpulse as soon as possible.

What makes World Pulse so great?
Volunteers, like you! Thank you!


Christine.Dahl's picture

Evaluation Form

I would find it useful to have a space in the evaluation form to comment briefly. This might help you interpret the numeric scores.

Valerie from Oregon's picture

I Agree With Christine

In a couple of instances I've had to give an VOF applicant a 2 score under "Did she follow instructions?" when the only issue was the word count was slightly over 500 in an otherwise great journal entry.

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