I filled out the class proposal form and no one got back to me, the class list came out without me hearing anything, I’d have liked to at least know it had been received and if there was an issue with my proposal or class plan that specifically led to it being rejected/passed over, or any kind of communication or feedback. I am just wondering what happened here and would like some clarification on this process.
There were new classes added to the list and being taught now.
I have an issue with the lack of communication. My class can’t be being finalized if absolutely no one acknowledged it or spoke to me about it. In the future there should be at the very least some standard of telling people if their class is being considered, a timeline, and next steps in a timely manner.
And I have to take parental leave in March so I won’t be able to teach then
Totally sorry this is happening right now. I can absolutely appreciate the frustration that a lack of communication causes. We’re working on making it better and I or Matt will be in touch soon.
Opening up classes to be proposed is a new process for us and clearly we need to make some improvements.
It’s not a reflection on how much we appreciate your work. More likely a reflection of the time available (not an excuse, we can still do better).
Hey @JamesFriend sorry about this. It was a combination of things, in this case. I have been under water at my job for the past month and a half, and we also moved to a new form, so I didn’t see yours go up. I’d love to talk with you more about the idea for these classes, even if they’re something that you would have to teach after March.
You’re absolutely right that communication needs to be better about this. Generally, class proposals will be a slower process at first. There are many moving parts to getting them together, often invisible. However, I need to be better about letting people know about that process when it comes up. Again, I’m sorry about that, ans as Brian said, it isn’t meant to reflect our feelings about your work.
While this is at the top, is there any chance you could share a description of the process or steps that go into class approvals? I know that james is not the only one who has had questions about it and having the process not be a black box might help people feel better about it.
And, a suggestion! Obviously everyone gets busy, but the Makerspace has a lot of volunteers eager to help. If there are parts of class approval that take a lot of time, feel free to share them with volunteers (talksite, or DM, or whatever) and let us help.
Happy to. So the process for new course proposals looks like this, roughly:
- Fill out this form: New Class Proposal
- I’ll pass the form along to the area head of whatever area you’re looking at and confer with them about our thoughts on it. This part can take a few weeks.
- If we need further information, we’ll reach out to you for it and to ask for some revisions.
- If the course seems like it’s in good shape, we’ll run a beta test of it. The goal here is to see how the class works in practice and to get feedback from participants to work through potential problems.
- Once the beta test runs and the class is in good shape, we’ll put it on the schedule.
I should note this takes time. To some extent, this is because we still have some aspects of the workflow that need working out and I need to be better about responding. But it’s also by design. Classes have a lot of moving parts to them, some of which are immediately visible, some of which are not. I want classes to develop carefully, so that when they go up, they’re successful and can run smoothly.
I would, incidentally, love to have a volunteer dedicated to helping make some of this run more quickly. Some things need to happen at a level of the area managers. But obviously others don’t, so I’d love to have people involved.
And, also, I’m always happy to respond to DMs here. FWIW if anyone is ever feeling frustrated about this, please feel free to ping me and ask.
Thanks! I appreciate your sharing that. In my opinion, the more everyone knows about how the LMN works, the more everyone can chip in/think of ways to make processes easier on everyone
I agree. My goal is never to be mysterious about how things work. I just often don’t know who knows what and try to be cognizant of not spamming the talksite. Like I said, I’m always happy to talk through what needs to happen for a class.
I should also add: scheduling new classes also usually happens a few months out. We run them on a trimester system. So, the year ideally looks like this
- Classes are scheduled the October before
- Beta tests for new classes in February
- First iteration of new classes either in April or at the beginning of next trimester.
- Classes scheduled the February before
- Beta tests for new classes in June
- First iteration of new classes in August or beginning of September
- Classes scheduled in June
- Beta tests in October
- First iterations in December or January
Which brings us back to doe. So most of the time, if you are proposing a new class, it’s helpful to think of it as something that will run a few months out.
That’s helpful too! Thank you.
I didn’t feel you were trying to be secretive, and none of this was meant to be a personal criticism. I am thankful for you spelling out the process. I will be in the space tomorrow, and I’ll make sure that this info gets put on the dozuki, and printed out too so if I hear any questions again, I can reference that, and let them know to contact you.
Personally, I will make every effort to respond to requests in two days, not weeks. I can’t speak for the other area heads, but if you need some information from me and I have not responded within a couple of days, I would appreciate if you would reach out directly (either by e-mail or call me). I try to keep up with the talk site, but sometimes I just don’t get a notification (or it goes to span) and I don’t think to check.
I am extremely interested in getting things done at LMN, and the last thing I want is to be responsible for any hold-ups!
To be clear, I would prefer this process not take weeks and will make (and have made) every effort to ensure things get done quickly. For the reasons I mentioned above, I would like this process not to be a swift one, but for classes to develop with some time. Particularly for people proposing their first classes.
By all means, of course, run your class idea by an area head to let them know you’re planning to propose a class. I think that is good communication. But please follow the above process for then formally proposing the class.
I would just prefer that we not get into a habit of doing end runs around different area heads in an effort to get things done at our preferred time scales. That doesn’t strike me as a particularly healthy way to set up systems for the long term growth of LMN.
Which is to say, we are all of us, in the leadership team, interested in getting things done at LMN. It’s why many of us are volunteering the little time we do have to the space. Worth noting, I think.