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commenting on applicants' posts (ignore this where posted under "week 1")

I posted this inadvertently under an earlier post called "week 1" - oops. Wrong place. & haven't discovered how to delete it yet. So, am reposting as a new thread. If this helps at all re. finding time to comment directly to the writers:

I realize many of us do not have a lot of time. This is a lot of time to read apprx 6 entries/week & evaluate them judiciously! In the interest of saving time, engaging w/ the applicants & networking, this has become my approach so far. I'd be interested to hear yours also.

I open the page/link for the writer's entry & read it.
I open the blank evaluation form page at the same time.

As & after I read, I make comments as they come to me on the applicant's page, below her entry. It actually helps me get a handle on the entry, since some are a bit confusing. Or sometimes I have to highlight something to make it stand out in my own mind, to see if it fulfills the grading criteria. These go public to the 2013 VOF applicants' group. My comments/feedback might include ideas to further the writer's points, to ask for more info & for group input/discussion. Also to give him/her some (+) feedback & help perhaps create connection in the entire group page.

Anything more involved or critical (which does not necessarily imply negative), which could make her feel exposed re. her writing or approach, I send to her personally via her email (just click on her name in her entry). This includes tips on fulfilling the assignment & re. what WP is looking for.

At that point, I have 3 pages open -- the entry/post +evaluation form + writer's email page.

Some posts are a bit hard to follow & require me to read them 2-4 times.

I tag my comments, then I send in the 3 pages to the WP site.
Each writer's entry takes me about 30 min. to grade & comment on, I'd guess.

If I see someone who I think will be a good fit for me in my work or interests, I friend them. No one has refused yet. It's nice to have a handy "Rolodex" of ppl who are inspired and involved in my own areas of interest.

From this approach, I am meeting fascinating ppl & I hope, making friends worldwide. It's a unique opportunity.
My efforts have definitely helped me feel connected to real ppl. And of course, feel that I am furthering WP's mission, which is a pretty cool concept. Not too bad for 3-4 hrs./week (tho it always goes longer w/ the friending & commenting on the commenting... ...)

Thx, all. On to week 2!!



Aurore's picture

Working quite differently

Hi TIna!

Thanks for sharing. It's a good idea to share our ways of working with the assignments. I'm working quite differently from them. Here were my steps for Week 1:

- print all my assignments

- read them twice

- print the report form

- check whether the assignment meets the criteria of date, tag, and word count

- grade assignments all together for each point (so I don't work by assignment but by criteria; that allows me to compare assignments and grade them in a "collective" way rather than individually

- many times, when I hesitate between 2 points (for example: should I give a 4 or 5 to that story on "leadership" criteria?) I write them both and decide when I'm done with all the other grades. I copied this technique from my mum who is a history and geographics teacher :)

- double check everything

- post comment on the stories. I either highlighted the elements I liked or asked some questions about the questions I thought could be more developed.

- fill in my 5 report forms in a row

Aaaaaaand that's it.

Note: during the grading process, it often came to my mind that I was responsible somehow for these women to get or not to get in VOF training, which is a huge responsibility. It sort of stressed me out a bit, so I felt the need to listen to some music while grading or putting dumb TV stuff in the background to help me relax a bit. I tried to pay the maximum of attention to the stories and I did not fill in the reports until I was SURE 1) my grading really reflected my feelings 2) my feelings were not too much influenced by my mood of the moment, etc....

I have to say I had 5 great stories in my hands and it took me quite a long time to grade it all; But I forced myself to do all the grading in one evening, to keep a coherence between the grades....

I can't wait to read the next wave of assignments!

surfgirl-CA's picture

thx a lot 4 yr thgts!

hi Aurore! Yep, yr way IS different. I get what you're saying about grading consistency. If I did them all as a bunch, I'm afraid they would skew each other! Also, I totally get what you are saying about the responsibility. I so want to be fair & valid. You can feel the desire of these applicants & I can imagine that not succeeding could make some feel invalidated. I hope not. I am on the applicants' group also & that affords me a lot of contact w/ them, outside of the assignments. Really, I need to read their posts at least 3x to be sure of my grading. And yes, I have to reread them when I am between grades (3.5???). I asked Zoe what wld be the criteria for recommending publication in the WP magazine. I'll have to dig that out of my email tho. i also frequently find that I am recommending the writing tips guide that mrbeckbeck posted -- it really speaks to what WP is looking for very well. Becz I find that many of this 1st week's posts were rhetorical. I am pushing the idea that they are WRITERS/JOURNALISTS as well as activists -- so story & personalization & voice are crucial.

BTW, your English is great! You must be a very busy master's student. Thanks for taking the time to share yr method. I learned from you. best//Tina

surfgirl-CA --
When we come from the willingness to love, not fear, we will see the best and highest materialize in our world.
Quand nous venons à partir de la volonté à l'amour, pas la peur, nous allons voir le meilleur et le plus élevé se matérialise

Aurore's picture

Hi Tina!

Reading your comment, I realize that actually I re read the assignment for each point (like leadership, etc...) because I had to find different things. My assignments were not as rhetoric as yours apparently , the women referred quite a lot to their own experiences and political things happening at the moment in their countries, but indeed it's a good idea to direct them towards the writing guide tips - will do! Thanks for the suggestion :)

Thanks also about my English :) I studied and am now working in English the whole time so it's become more natural, and it allows me to participate in great things here and facilitate a bit the life of French-speaking women on our forum!

Greetings and enjoy your sunday!

ikirimat's picture

Thanks for sharing your

Thanks for sharing your brilliant experiences in grading the assignments.
I do the grading at a go for coherence. It has been an opportunity to expand my network on WP with like minded women too.

The comments coming in have been very useful for me to improve how I do my evaluations of the applicants.
Keep sharing!

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."

surfgirl-CA's picture

hello, Grace

hi there! Thanks for replying. I really do love your quote "It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success." Yes! Sure do.
Plse stay in touch -- it's great to hear from other Listeners. blessings//Tina

surfgirl-CA --
When we come from the willingness to love, not fear, we will see the best and highest materialize in our world.
Quand nous venons à partir de la volonté à l'amour, pas la peur, nous allons voir le meilleur et le plus élevé se matérialise

Iffat Gill's picture

Wow, thats is nice to hear.

Thanks for starting this thread Tina. I am a VOF 2010-2011 participant myself and I also like to keep in mind what WorldPulse's mission and what they are trying to achieve here. Reading those assignments was also overwhelming for me. I felt the sense of being responsible too about who we let in and who we don't in the program and most of the work I read was up to the mark, which does get confusing when you start to grade them.

How do I do it? I have the following tabs open at the same time for assessments:
1- the assignment (WorldPulse questions) tab,
2- the excel sheet tab
3- the evaluation sheet tab
4- the assignment of the applicant
5- and the wordcount tool

So, I do one assignment at a time, going back and forth from the assignment questions to the applicant's assignment page. I then first comment on the assignment after reading it through and then move on to the evaluation form, always double checking the Applicant ID. I do one assignment at a time, but try to finish them in the same sitting or one evening. It helps me to stay coherent and consistent.

I agree with Tina, that is quite a bit of work. A long time ago, I could not read anything without printing it, as Aurore pointed out. I just found it hard to focus unless I had something physical in my hand. But slowly I learned to unlearn that as I felt I was going through my stash of printing paper in record time, and a lot of it did not have much use of the prints afterwards. But if it is working for you, I think there is no harm in sticking to it.

I like the idea of giving some kind o feedback through private messages or emails too but I was not sure if we were allowed to do that. Would like to know more from Delphine and Zoe about it.

Hope to hear from other Listener sisters too.

Iffat Gill

surfgirl-CA's picture

Zoe said OK!

yep, Iffat - this is pretty much exactly what I do as well. Ditto yr thgts re. use of paper - helps me think - tho I hv used computer since 1990, still, we older ones are more used to hardcopies (paper), but I hv had to "unlearn" that as well. Saving trees was motivating! I do each one in one sitting too.

BTW, it was Zoe who emailed me to tellme that replying via pvt email to the writer was an option - up to us. But they do want some reply on the group page, for obvious reasons. So you can rest assured that replying via pvt email additionally, if seems advisable, is OK to do.

surfgirl-CA --
When we come from the willingness to love, not fear, we will see the best and highest materialize in our world.
Quand nous venons à partir de la volonté à l'amour, pas la peur, nous allons voir le meilleur et le plus élevé se matérialise

Iffat Gill's picture

Thank for confirming this.

Thank for confirming this. This year is my second Listener's experience and there has been times when I wanted to tell the applicants a few things but did not dare do it privately as we were only asked to leave a comment.
Will use it next time if needed.

Iffat Gill

Aurore's picture

Hi Iffat!

thanks for your thoughts on this. I'm thinking again about printing or not printing, I'd say I feel it's useful because I do all assignments together and after 5 minutes if I have all the tabs open I start mixing stories and not remembering what belongs where.

and I couln't agree more with doing it all in one evening. Really, I think it's the best way to keep a coherence, grade everybody while in the same state of mind and be not too much influenced by what happens in your day. At least for me. I also feel that at some point, we have to admit there's no perfect grade and spending too much time wondering about a 3 or a 4 can actually be not that much productive...

I would love to know what Zoe or Dlphine answer about the "continuous feedback" question, so could you please share when you have some insight on that? thanks a lot!


Iffat Gill's picture

on 'mixing stories'

Aurore, as I said before, you should for now just keep working the way you are more comfortable and keep continuing with the method which makes you feel more productive. I do one story at a time and this way, I am sure I am not mixing one applicant's story with anyone else.

If it is working for you, you are doing it RIGHT! :)

Best wishes,

Iffat Gill

surfgirl-CA's picture

bonjour, Aurore - see my post

bonjour, Aurore - see my post above 'Zoe said OK!'

surfgirl-CA --
When we come from the willingness to love, not fear, we will see the best and highest materialize in our world.
Quand nous venons à partir de la volonté à l'amour, pas la peur, nous allons voir le meilleur et le plus élevé se matérialise

j3ssm3ss's picture

printing out

I have a quick question - I've tried printing out my assignments at work but can't find a link/tab for a printer-friendly option. Does one exist and am I just missing it? If not it would be a very useful addition!

mrbeckbeck's picture

Good suggestion!

That would be a great addition! We have it for parts of our site, but not journals at the moment. What I've found to be the best method for printing journals is selecting just the text of the journal (title, journal, author/picture, etc.) and then printing only the selection. This is one option, maybe other people have different solutions!

Great suggestion though, thank you.

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Volunteer

Iffat Gill's picture

screenshots of specific area

You can also make a screenshot of selected area and then print it. Windows keyboards have a button for making screenshots. For mac users, it is cmd+shift+4 and then drag the cursor over desired area to make selection. You can then print the screenshot.


Iffat Gill

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Good suggestions, all! I

Good suggestions, all! I have a notebook, put identifying information one each page for each applicant. To the side I have a note card with reminders of what to look for, such as assignment requirements, evaluation questions. Just a word or two for each reminder (ie: 'excites' 'solutions' 'empowers', etc). As I read, I make notes, write quotes, etc. I'm thinking about creating a spreadsheet to keep track of assignments per week, etc. I'll let you know if I am able to create one quickly this week and share.

Let us Hope together-
aka: Cali gal


surfgirl-CA's picture

yr tips were really needed

I find myself recommending them to almost every writer in week 1. Thx for posting it.

surfgirl-CA --
When we come from the willingness to love, not fear, we will see the best and highest materialize in our world.
Quand nous venons à partir de la volonté à l'amour, pas la peur, nous allons voir le meilleur et le plus élevé se matérialise

Aurore's picture

Merci Tina :)

Thanks for forwarding the information! Will keep in mind :)

reading your post, i come to a conclusion that women are awaken, they have decided to change the world

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