When I started as Community Development Lead, I posted a Google form to ask people in our community for feedback on what they thought was the main issue I should address.
I got a range of responses, from concerns about lesson maintenance to a call for more briefings to help people stay connected.
Also raised were instructor retention - how do we prevent burnout so good people don’t leave? - and instructor involvement - how do we increase the numbers of instructors reading our blog posts, signing up for the newsletter, getting involved in community calls and committees like mentoring?
‘Quality control’ of workshops was also raised. Obviously workshops where people teach their own material, use slides instead of live coding, or don’t otherwise follow our pedagogy can damage people’s trust in the Carpentries. But how do we find out about those? And how can we educate our instructors on what makes a good workshop?
I was also asked to tweet more - especially to alert people to new blog posts. People also wanted reminders about upcoming events like community calls.
Some of these issues were discussed in the two community calls just gone. You can see the discussions on the call etherpad. Some good ideas were raised - annual refreshers to keep instructors informed and engaged, providing text people can use in CVs and job applications on the benefits of Carpentry skills and training, and building a workshop ‘playbook’ to centralise checklists and tips.
The Google form is still open - feel free to keep channelling ideas and suggestions to me. If you leave your contact details, I promise I will get back to you to discuss your ideas further. However you are also welcome to post feedback anonymously.
One respondent asked us to develop an infographic of the Carpentries to help people orient themselves in the merged organisation. I think this is an excellent idea. However, my design skills could most kindly be described as rudimentary.
Anyone want to volunteer?