VOF Listeners FAQ 2.0
Here are the newest FAQs for Listeners. Week 1 has been all about finding wrinkles in this system, and over the course of Weeks 2 through 4, we will iron them out. We're all learning as we go, so thank you for your help along the way!
As always, check the FAQ for a complete list of questions here:
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 going:
"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 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.
And always, send more questions as you encounter them! We're all in this together, and can help each other find a way forward. Thank you for all the great work!