The



Peeragogy

  handbook

Newcomer

Fool card from Michael Everson and Karl Pentzlin's proposal ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 N4089

Definition: Unless there is a new person to talk to, a lot of the “education stuff” we do could grow pretty stale. Many of the patterns and use cases for peeragogy assume that there will be an audience or a new generation of learners.

Problem: Some of the problems are well summed up with a quote:

Régis Barondeau: I joined this handbook project late, making me a “newcomer”. When I started to catch up, I rapidly faced doubts: Where do I start? How can I help? How will I make it, having to read more than 700 posts to catch up? What tools are we using ? How do I use them? Etc. Although this project is amazingly interesting, catching the train while it already reached high speed can be an extreme sport. By taking care of newcomers, we might avoid losing valuable contributors because they don’t know how and where to start, and keep our own project on track.

Solution: It is good to try to become aware of what a newcomer needs, and what their motivations are. Another quote can illustrate:

Charlotte Pierce: Joe was working a lot on the book, and I thought “this is interesting hard work, and he shouldn’t have to do this alone.” As a Peeragogy newcomer, I was kindly welcomed and mentored by Joe, Howard, Fabrizio, and others. I asked naive questions and was met with patient answers, guiding questions, and resource links. Concurrently, I bootstrapped myself into a position to contribute to the workflow by editing the live manuscript for consistency, style, and continuity.

Challenges: Newcomers in the Peeragogy project have often complained about feeling confused, suggesting that our project roadmap that the newcomer and the roadmap may not be sufficiently clear, and that more work has to be done the project accessible. Even in the absence of actual newcomers, we need to try and look at things with a “beginner’s mind.

What’s Next: We recently revised the “How to Get Involved” page, listing the top ten sites we use. Another reasonable thing to post would be a top-ten list of activities, so that people can get an easier view on the kinds of things we do in the project.

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