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Create a light weight report back process for scholarships
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Description

We need to start doing a better job at tracking the work of people who have received scholarships to attend events.
Wikimania does it and the grants team does it and the scholarship programs are getting to large for us to personally track in person what everyone is doing.

I need to:

  • Run a plan by the scholarship committee
  • Email all scholarship recipients
  • Create a reporting back form
  • Create some documentation explaining how the report backs will be used
  • Send the report back form to participants after the hackathon is over
  • Review results / process and improve the process for next time

Proposed draft

You are one of the lucky contributors who received a scholarship for the Wikimedia Hackathon 2017. We are looking forward to meeting you in Vienna! We hope that you make most of this event, and we hope this opportunity brings you to very interesting next steps as a Wikimedia volunteer.

The Wikimedia Foundation's Technical Collaboration team wants to improve the way we support volunteers like you. For this reason, we are introducing an *optional* request for all scholarship recipients: a report after the event. This report will help you processing your achievements and lessons learned, and it will also inform the people evaluating potential requests for support in the future.

A good report focuses on key information: what you achieved, what you learned, remarkable people and projects you met, basic impressions about the event. Failed attempts are also interesting, and often a source for best lessons. Links to projects, tasks, patches are essential to let others know more and get involved.

You can post your report in your MediaWiki.org user page, and you can list it at the Wikimedia Hackathon 2017 page, where a Reports section will be added after the event.

If you feel especially inspired, you can write a more extensive report as a blog post. We plan to promote remarkable reports in MediaWiki's social media channels, and we might re-publish them at the Wikimedia Blog (this would happen only with your consent; we will talk if you are interested).

Summarizing: A basic report of your participation in the Wikimedia Hackathon will help you receiving more support for future requests, and if you like writing we can help you publicizing your experiences in Vienna. All this is optional!

Event Timeline

Qgil edited subscribers, added: Qgil; removed: QuimGil.

For reference:

Yeah, probably no need to reinvent the wheel, since several people will already be familiar with the Wikimania one.

Draft:

We are hoping that all scholarship recipients from the 2017 Wikimedia Hackathon will do one of the following after the event. We aim to begin to do a better job tracking how our scholarship recipients are spending their time. Completing one of the items below will help your eligibility for future scholarship for Wikimedia technical events.

(from the Grants)
Your outcome could be a learning pattern to teach others something you've learned, a link to something new that was co-created by you and your fellow participants at the event, or a blog post you wrote to share your experience with others after the event.

Option 1: Write a blog
Option 2: Write a report and publicly post it on the mediawiki event scholarship sub page
Option 3: privately send your report to the scholarship committee
Option 4: Run a 30 min or 1 hour "tech-talk" to be schedule later on a topic relevant to Wikimedia Technical spaces, ideally detailing something that was worked on at the hackathon or that you can teach others.

We welcome any creative ways that you can have a positive impact on members of our communities who did not attend the event.
Ideas:
Documentation
Inspire people to attend / make them with they were at the event
Teach / Explain
Spend some time writing a summary of something that was accomplished at the event in words that would be easy to understand for a non-technical participant.

Maybe continuing working on/finishing software projects would count as well? That's what we really want people to be doing, after all.

I have asked for feedback on comments and further development of this idea from the 2017 Hackathon Scholarship Committee, Technical Collaboration & Melody :)

That is an excellent point @Johan - so would you phrase it something like like "If you can find a hackathon project that still needs work after the event, see it to completion and post a summary to wikitech-l" or should we be more specific about a Community or Developer wishlist project?

The important thing here is to get people interested in being MediaWiki/Wikimedia developers in the long run. What they work on is less important than that they continue once the hackathon is over, I'd say. I might even add "short" to that summary, given that reporting for the sake of reporting makes no one happy – if they continue working and sign up for wikitech-l (which I think is an excellent idea), that's a success in itself, right?

I would rule out the tech talk option. If someone wants to organize one, they are open to anyone so they can do it anyway.

In general, I think we are giving too many options and information? The goal is simple: share the results of your participation at the Hackathon; any other reflections are welcome too. They can choose a public channel (blog post, wikitech-l...) or private (email to Hackathon organizers).

If someone spends the whole event on a single project and the report reads "I created MyGreatTool (link), a tool that does X and Y, and I showcased it at the end of the event." that is all what we need. Of course they can add a lot more details about whatever they found interesting, write it as a blog post, and so on, but that is entirely optional.

Another example would be: "It took me a while to find a project, but at the end I joined the ProjectX table and helped fixing bugs T12234, T2353 and T6462. I also learned how to use the GreatAPI API, and how to set up my own instance in Labs. Thanks to Mary Mentor for all the patience she had with me!"

Because I guess you are busy and because I guess it is difficult to make some sense from the different things I have said and written about these reports at different points of times ;) I will attempt to propose a draft in the description that you can edit or ignore at will.

As I was writing the draft (a bit too quickly, could be shorter perhaps), I realized two details:

  • Private reports are more complicated than I thought. If the idea is that these reports will help evaluating future requests... how are these reports stored, and who can access to them in the future? We cannot say "private" and then share it with whoever is involved in future scholarships. It's a can of worms.
  • These reports don't need to be listed under "Scholarships". In fact, they might help us solving a problem we have with events pages, which we struggle to update meaningfully after the event is passed. After May 21, those reports might be the best information to offer at https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Hackathon_2017 directly, not in a subpage. Writing reports is not exclusive for scholarship recipients, anyone else can post them too, and all of them could be simply available in the main page.

OK - after some consideration I am up for keeping things very simple the first time around. How about this for an email to recipients?
I would like to send this email out at least two days before the hackathon so quick feedback would be highly appreciated.

"Hello Wikimedia Hackathon 2017 Scholarship Recipients,

This year we will be beta-testing a system for technical event scholarship recipients to report back on their time at the event. Similar to Wikimania and the Wikimedia Grants program we would like to begin collecting the details of how participants who received scholarships at the event spent their time.
A few reasons why we are implementing this:
We believe that it is a good practice to track the impact of the money we are spending.
We would like to see how our scholarship recipients are contributing to and spending their time at our events.
We would like to use this information to inform future scholarship decisions. If a scholarship applicant could demonstrate that they were able to accomplish something and use their time at the event in a way that has a positive impact on the Wikimedia technical communities we would prioritize giving future scholarships to that recipient.

Scholarships are confidential so there is no requirement for any public reporting.
For the Wikimedia Hackathon 2017 we did not originally state that this would be a requirement for scholarship recipients when you accepted your scholarship, so it will not be considered mandatory. However making an effort to help demonstrate your impact at this event will help you with future scholarship bids.

This technical events scholarship reporting program is also under development so we are also asking you for help and feedback in developing it.

The goal is simple: we want you to share the results of your participation at the Hackathon; any other reflections are welcome too. You can choose a public channel (blog post, wikitech-l...) or ***private (email to Hackathon organizers).
This can be a short or a long report. Examples are:
"I created MyGreatTool (link), a tool that does X and Y, and I showcased it at the end of the event."
It took me a while to find a project, but at the end I joined the ProjectX table and helped fixing bugs T12234, T2353 and T6462. I also learned how to use the GreatAPI API, and how to set up my own instance in Labs. Thanks to Mary Mentor for all the patience she had with me!
Your report must be true and verifiable. Please include as many links to your work as you can. Please also provide the names of other participants that you worked with or came to conclusions with.

***If you choose to submit a private report, your report should go to rfarrand@wikimedia.org who will share the content with this year’s scholarship committee and future years scholarship committees. Whenever the data is shared all recipients of the reports will be asked to keep the details confidential. It will never be shared in a public location. "

Thanks!
Rachel

If you would like to comment directly on the doc with suggested changes or to point out typos you can do so here. Anyone with this link can comment: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UoAYXZ_epln2fYZcEikYRj1nBW5aHX3yvFRI1yCzvlo/edit

I made a few major edits based on some comments from @Tobias1984
If there is nothing else I will be sending this to scholarship recipients tomorrow (May 17).

Rfarrand closed this task as Resolved.EditedJun 28 2017, 5:09 PM
Rfarrand added a subscriber: klove.

Every step here is complete:

I need to:

Run a plan by the scholarship committee
Email all scholarship recipients
Create a reporting back form
Create some documentation explaining how the report backs will be used
Send the report back form to participants after the hackathon is over
Review results / process and improve the process for next time

However the "report back form" to participants ended up being an email which can be found in the document linked above.
We ended up with 9 very interesting scholarship report-backs. Two great things that came out of the reporting back:
1 participant mentioned that they want to organize local technical events
1 participant was selected to be a scholarship recipient at Wikimania

We will use the same process for the three technical collaboration Wikimania scholarships, however this time the report back is mandatory.
We will also implement mandatory reporting for future years.
It might be interesting to require the scholarship recipients to fill out the feedback survey as well. Because the survey's are anonymous there will be no way to prove that they have done it - but adding it as a stated request cant hurt.
I have added changes for next time to the document which will be used as the template for the next email to scholarship participants.
All-in-all I think this was a successful process.

tagging @klove in case you are interested in reading about our first attempt at this.

Closing task