There are various kinds of mentoring that go on at DP. There is mentoring for new Project Managers, mentoring for new Post-Processors, and mentoring for Post-Processors who are new to HTML. There is mentoring done for P1ers and F1ers via the DP-feedback mechanism. There is also a team of volunteers who provide Formatting Mentoring who will work with F1ers who would prefer one-to-one assistance.
The most visible form of mentoring at DP, however, is the mentoring of new proofreading volunteers.
The mentoring of new volunteers comes in two forms.
- Experienced proofreaders proof Proof-only Mentoring projects, which were originally Newcomers Only projects proofed by new volunteers in P1. The diffs created serve as the primary feedback mechanism for newcomers who prefer this less-detailed, serve-yourself, type of mentoring approach.
- Experienced proofers with "mentor status" proof mentors only projects in P2, in order to send detailed feedback via Private Message (PM) to the new volunteers who proofed the beginners only projects in P1. The PMs serve as the primary feedback mechanism for beginners who prefer this more-detailed, more full-service, type of mentoring approach.
Why would I want to Mentor?
Well, you'd be helping new proofers get a start at DP, by telling them what they're doing right and what they're doing wrong and whatever else you think is necessary information for new proofers. You do this by sending them feedback via a Private Message. Mentoring does take a lot of time and effort, but it's worth it for the responses you receive from happy new proofers.
Also, offering to be a mentor does not involve any sort of commitment! If you try it and decide you don't like it or don't have time, there's no obligation to ever do any ever again.
How do I become a P2 Mentor?
You could qualify to become a Mentor:
- when you are comfortable with the Guidelines,
- have qualified for P2 access and are comfortable working in that round
- have been at DP for at least 3 months.
To request access, please send an email to the General Manager (dp-genmgr at pgdp dot net) asking to be granted mentor status. The GM will arrange review of your projects that have been seen by the P3 proofers, look at the "diffs" and respond. If you are granted access you are free to dive in to the MENTOR projects! (If you already have P3 access, you'll be granted mentor status immediately upon your request).
What tools/resources are available to help Mentors?
There is a Mentors page which details the Round 1 proofers, the mentees. This page is extremely useful for deciding when to send feedback to a new proofer as it lists which proofers have proofed which page in each Mentor project available in Round 2.
Many of the existing Mentors have template files for feedback which they have developed to make the process of Mentoring more efficient. If you intend to mentor you may want to build your own template to reflect your own style, or contact one of the existing mentors who are willing to share their template with you.
What should I put in Feedback messages?
This is really up to you, but here are some suggestions:
- A subject line of "Mentor Feedback - Project Name" to jog the new proofer's memory.
- If you use much formatting in your message, you might recommend that they go to their DP inbox rather than viewing it in email.
- Welcome the new proofer to DP
- Tell the new proofers what they proofed correctly as well as their mistakes. Its very important to be clear with this information as well as being encouraging. We want these new proofers to stay around & help, not get discouraged by a harsh feedback message.
- Provide examples of the mistakes showing before & after text e.g. & include links to the covered guideline.
Please treat em-dashes in the same way as hyphens. i.e. "clothe them if they are naked" at the beginning and end of a line. & Proof them as two hyphens.of them out -- for a time?"--the kind-- of thing which everyone
proofed as:of them out--for a time?"--the kind--of thing which everyone
Please see the Guidelines for more information on em-dashes.
- Provide some advice on whether the proofer should move on to EASY projects or do a few more BEGINNERS pages. This decision rests on how many pages you have mentored for a particular proofer, what types of corrections needed to be made to the OCR text on those pages and how well they were tackled.
- Point the new proofers to the Wiki pages DP Official Documentation:Proofreading/Checking your diffs, Accessing older pages in a project, DP Jargon Guide, etc.
- Point the new proofers to the DP forum, Guideline Summary & FAQs.
- Advise new proofers to use the DP Sans Mono proofing font.
- Encourage them to try the proofreading tutorial/quiz for practice with many common proofing issues.
- Ask the new proofers for feedback. When DPWiki started mentoring, they ended by saying "I'm as new to mentoring as you are to proofing. Please let me know how I'm doing." Over time this has changed to a request for feedback on feedback.
How do I mentor?
- Grab a large coffee/beverage of your choice. Mentoring takes time!
- Start proofreading on the oldest available Mentors project in P2.
- In order to ensure that you get all the pages you want to mentor for a certain new proofer, please collect all of them first in your "In Progress" pages. This is easily done by simply refreshing the page after you have started proofreading; it automatically leaves the page checked out to you and loads the next available page. You can see the username of the P1 proofer and the page number at the bottom of the page.
- The proofers are dealt with in the order in which they originally proofed.
- This makes the Mentoring process much more efficient, since it ensures that every new proofer gets all of his pages (or a big enough portion of it) mentored by the same person. Most of the errors a new proofer makes repeat themselves over pages, and can be summarized better in a single feedback message.
- Checking the Mentors page (linked at the top of each Mentor project in P2) will help you to know how many pages each proofer did in the project. Some mentors only like to proof 5 pages for any new proofer so the new proofers receive a variety of feedback messages.
- Then you pick up the pages one at a time from your "In Progress" list and proofread them.
- Open a new Private Message window for each new proofer. (You can do this by clicking on their username in the proofing interface.) As you proof the pages, you can copy'n'paste example text and reminders to yourself as to what to say in the feedback message. Other Mentors find it easier to concentrate on proofing first, then compose their feedback while going over their Diff's.
- It may be useful to have the guidelines open in another browser window. Click on the relevant section for each issue you are explaining, then copy-paste the url from the address bar (for example: "http://www.pgdp.net/c/faq/proofreading_guidelines.php#eol_hyphen"), and link to it in your message. You may also want to copy & paste a line or two from the text of the relevant section in [quote]. See the section above for more details on what to include in your feedback.
- When you're finished, send the private message and you're done!
How long will it take me?
It depends. It will take longer than normal P2 proofing.
Some people report averaging 40 minutes per message. Some have a style that allows them to do several in that time. Both have advantages and which you choose, which you develop, is up to you.
Your first two or three mentor messages may take quite a while as you sift through ideas for possible things to include and figure out what you want to write. After you've established your style, your approach, it does go more quickly. How much more is typically dependent on how much you customize each message.
For example, if you are mentoring several people in one project, you only have to build the url/link to "Just My Pages" once because you can copy/paste the link into each message for that project. And, for the next project, you only have to change the project ID part of the url to be able to include the "Just My Pages" link. Much faster than the first time!
Mentoring at DP can be enjoyable and rewarding, although like all things, it's not for everyone. If you're finding it a chore, maybe a different approach will help.
Where can I get more help?
Post any questions to the Mentoring Forum.
If you're worried that your feedback isn't appropriate (too long, too short, too critical), then you can have your feedback reviewed before you send it. You can ask in the Mentor forums for another Mentor to review it for you, or send a PM to hdmtrad with your feedback and details of the proofreader and project and she will send you any comments or suggestions that she has.
If you can't face sending feedback, you might be able to find a Mentoring Partner. Advertise in the Mentoring Forum saying that you want someone to send feedback for you. When someone responds, here is a system that has worked for others: a P2 proofer proofs the pages for a P1 proofer. The one partner sends a pm/email to the feedback partner with the following information:
- Proofer's username (you can send a link to the proofer's pm box from the bottom of your proofing interface.)
- Name of project (make sure to include Part 1, 2, 36) Once again a link to the project page is helpful.
- A link to your first diff page. The feedbacker can then change the png number in the URL to find the next page the proofer worked on. You can look at P1's diffs by changing the last number in the link to a 1 instead of a 2.
- Which pages were done by that proofer.
That's it. You, of course, will find what works best for you and your partner. Enjoy!