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VOF Listeners Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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, so, too, are we 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 reviewers, so as to give more feedback and more connectivity among the community.

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. Here is some starter dough to 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 living criticisms, it is ok to only leave good love! However, feeling uncomfortable is part of this journey. Many of the applicants have had to confront their fears by sharing the voice, and we too face that challenge. Relax, share your voice, and communicate directly...the Applicants will appreciate it.

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 worry so much about punctuation and grammar.

This does not imply that you should rate every assignment as a "5" just to be nice. Rather, we encourage you to gently point out when an Applicant has not followed the rules. To ask clarifying questions if something is confusing. 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 piece landed for us.

This nuance is important because our Applicants comes from such a wide-variety of backgrounds and standards of education. 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 keep calling 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 - the hand that we do not use as much and so it might feel awkward - 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. We plan on re-posting this criteria when we send out a reminder for week two.

Question 6 asks about Leadership, but I can't find their activity! What do I do with that question?

We will be re-wording the question for Weeks 2 through 4 to make it more clear. What we really want to know is: does the VOICE demonstrate leadership potential? When you read the assignment do you feel stirred, and inspired? Does this sound like a voice that could motivate a community to work toward change? For the first week, the question was more about tangible evidence of leadership, but now it is asking about a feeling of leadership that you feel when reading.

How do I know which Applicants I am going to Listen to?

Every Wednesday over the next four weeks you will receive a group of assignments to read and evaluate by email. 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 4 and 10 Applicants per week, unless you have worked out other arrangements. If you signed up for a specific week/s, you will only be included in that week's list of 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.

The assignment is in a language that I can't read! What do I do?
Applicants may write in their native tongue provided their language is represented in our translation tool. To use the translation tool, locate the "Translate Page" box on the top right of the page, find their language in the drop-down menu.

If you are not sure what language they wrote in or are experiencing other challenges, please contact scott (at) worldpulse (dot) com and explain the specific situation. We will come to a solution that works for everyone!

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

How do I evaluate the assignment?
To evaluate the assignment, simply follow the link to our Evaluation Form, which is 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 username and password via email. If you cannot access this information, please contact scott (at) worldpulse (dot) com

This seems complicated. 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. If not, please contact scott (at) worldpulse (dot) com

Questions 1 and 2 ask about the completeness of the assignment. If you are unsure of what the assignment was, please consult the VOF Group page: http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/groups/3740 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 four-month "virtual" journey on the frontiers of new media and women's empowerment.

Question 8 is a clever 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 their voice has been heard!

Please make a comment on their VOF 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, please keep in mind many are new to this, a full critique is not essentatial, but any advice you can give to better follow instructions and increase the scores on Questions 2-7 in following weeks is very helpful! Please contact scott (at) worldpulse (dot) com 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 form 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 our data volunteer Mike Alfoni at mike (dot) alfoni (at) gmail (dot) com

For all other questions, please feel free to review the VOF Listeners Group journal for more information. Post your question, or contact Scott Beck at scott (at) worldpulse (dot) com

When are my evaluations due?
Your evaluations for the week (read the entry, submit evaluation form, post your comment) are expected to be finished the Wednesday after you have received them. 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 anticipate being too busy for the work-load in a given week, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can adjust accordingly as quickly as possible.

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

Comments

alikatz's picture

applicants

It's Wed., 3:30pm, are we getting out list of applicants today? Was so excited to come home and start reading.
thanks,
alison

I can hardly believe I get to read these writings and finely worded thoughts from women all over the world.It adds a special poignancy to my day to know that women are harnessing their creative energies to address the WorldPulse questions and I will be able to read their answers and provide supportive commentary.

I am struggling a bit with what I should write back in order to provide these women with a sense of being heard. Have they been told that the evaluators have been asked to write about what moved us as well as to ask for more in a particular area if we feel that arena has not been addressed?

Best-
Daryn

Cynthia Casas's picture

Our Comments to the Applicants

Hi Scott, I'm in the middle of my first applicant evaluation and three questions have come up for me:

Are we suppose to let our applicants know that we're evaluating them in our comments to their assignment. Secondly, do we offer praise and constructive criticism here or elsewhere. Thirdly, have then seen the evaluation form? (i.e. how transparent are we being?).

Thanks and great job!!
Cynthia

Cynthia Casas

pearld's picture

evaluators

This is a great question. I just finished my first assignment too and wondered the same thing. Did you hear back from Scott on this?

Thanks,
Theresa

So, with the updated FAQ I tried to address these questions. Here's the info again:

1. Yes, you are invited to let the Applicant know you are evaluating them...make a connection, make a friend!
2 The comment is the place to leave constructive feedback. Keep in mind that spelling and grammar are not really part of the criteria for a good assignment. Your job is to support and nurture voices, while still offering realistic feedback about how they could improve their work in the coming weeks.
3. The Applicants know that they're being evaluated by us, are invited to browse this group, and have seen the general criteria from the start of the program, but not the exact form we're using now. Do we think that showing the form to them would be useful, or more confusing?

Each applicant should be getting at least two reviews a week, so you're likely to see multiple comments on their post. This is good! More comments, more global connectivity! Keep the love flowing.

Hope this helps everyone!
Scott

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Manager

Jennifer Ruwart's picture

Did you see the answers?

Hi! Did you see the answers to your questions?

Just in case...

Are we suppose to let our applicants know that we're evaluating them in our comments to their assignment.

Yes, introduce yourself.

Secondly, do we offer praise and constructive criticism here or elsewhere.
Here.

Thirdly, have then seen the evaluation form? (i.e. how transparent are we being?).
I sent out the criteria from the form on Monday. We are being very transparent.

xoxo

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

morhardt's picture

Too late to be a listener?

I'm interested in being a listener. May I still sign up? Also, if it helps, I may be able to read some submissions in French, though not fluently.

enDhruva's picture

Demostrating Leadership

I want to be sure I'm looking in the right place to determine if my "Voices" are exhibiting leadership qualities by commenting on others posts, asking for help,offering help, etc... I'm just looking on their profile page on the right side where it says comments. I assume that is where anything they post or comment on will pop up?

Thanks! I don't want to slight my women if I'm looking in the wrong place.

~Erin

mrbeckbeck's picture

Leadership Question

Thanks for your question Erin...

The leadership question on the form has caused confusion for many of us. You are looking in the right place, but not every post or comment will show up there, only the ones that they started themselves. I made the suggestion to look there as a way to hear more from the applicants.

What we're really looking for with that question is if their VOICE demonstrates leadership. Is her voice one that can INSPIRE others? Will her voice stir other people in the community to action? Does her voice show the potential to motivate and excite an audience? Specifically, did you feel this sense of leadership from the piece?

I hope that helps clarify things for you and for all of us Listeners. Perhaps I should edit that question on the form for future weeks!

Great work so far team! Thank you so much!

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Manager

amelia's picture

Working with such a vast spectrum....

One issue I have run into while evaluating my week one assignments is how to be fair and equal with such a diverse group of applicants. Even leaving out some language barriers, it is clear that some applicants have far more writing/journalist experience than others. I am wondering if some applicants are "too qualified" and what to do in these cases, if anything.

In that vain, I feel like the evaluation form may benefit from a comment box where we can make note of such issues/or concerns beyond just the basic likert scale number assignment.

Any thoughts or suggestions on the issue would be greatly appreciated....

Thank you!

mrbeckbeck's picture

Great question!

Some of the Applicants do have experience in journalism or writing in general, this is true.

However, having perfect grammar and spelling are not necessarily important to being an exceptional candidate for this program. What we are Listening for is an inspirational voice, a potential leader, a bold and powerful woman with a vision.

This is a challenge, because it is not necessarily tangible, but it is the essence of the program. We are looking for voices that you can FEEL are great...even if they aren't the best writers in the group. You can teach someone how to follow rules of grammar, but you can't necessarily teach someone to be a bold visionary who inspires other people.

I hope that makes sense and clarifies things for you. I appreciate your comments and always welcome feedback on the evaluation process. Let's continue the conversation!

Best,
Scott

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Manager

Thanks!

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

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