[Bf-committers] GSoC 2016: Tips for interacting with prospective students

Ton Roosendaal ton at blender.org
Sun Mar 26 17:01:09 CEST 2017


A guideline doc for what to do when students ask for feedback.


Ton Roosendaal  -  ton at blender.org   -   www.blender.org
Chairman Blender Foundation, Director Blender Institute
Entrepotdok 57A, 1018 AD, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

> Hi Ton Roosendaal,
> A mentor brought up a very important point that I want to share with all of you.
> You will be interacting with tens or even hundreds of students over the next 10 days. Each is participating for their own reason. For some, it is the love of code. For others, it's the money. Many will have questions such as "Is my proposal better than the other students’?" "Are you going to pick me?" Some will be very anxious about getting accepted. To help you manage their questions and maintain the spirit of the program, we have some guidelines for you to follow.
> Don't talk about:
> If you plan to accept the student.
> You don’t know how many slots you will receive and don’t want to give students false hope. Google’s official email to students on April 22nd should be the first time students learn whether they were accepted or not.
> How other mentors rated a student’s proposal.
> If you want to tell a student your personal opinion of their proposal, that's ok (and good), but you are encouraged to phrase it as constructive criticism. "I think your proposal would be better if you…."
> How many slots you get assigned by Google (when they are announced in a few weeks.)
> Do not ask about age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, marital status, children, sexual preference, disability, illness or lifestyle choices.
> If the student wishes to share this information with you, they can. You should not instigate a discussion about it.
> Do chat about:
> Who their mentor(s) might be
> If the student is getting proposal feedback it is likely from their prospective mentor anyway.
> Their proposal
> Students are encouraged to request feedback by sharing their drafts with organizations, and Mentors are expected to provide feedback to students. Over 11 years of GSoC history has shown that students who work with mentors on their proposal are more likely to succeed.
> For students who choose to use Google Docs for their proposal, you can make comments <https://support.google.com/docs/answer/65129> and suggestions <https://support.google.com/docs/answer/6033474> inline.
> Help them define a reasonable scope and timeline. This is often an area that can be difficult for students.
> Your community
> Every open source project has a different community style. Introducing students to how your project works will help them fit in.
> Tools, technologies, and techniques
> As they apply to your organization and their proposal.
> Maybe chat about:
> You do not have to share any of this information with prospective students. Different orgs will have different reasons for sharing or not.
> Telling students that someone else has applied on the same topic
> This happens often and an org may choose two students to work on variations of the same project. Students may want to get competitive and in some rare cases could try to scare away their competition. Some some orgs choose not to share this information.
> Some orgs want to have students who are writing proposals on the same project idea to talk it out in IRC or on their org list. This is your decision. There are pros and cons to this one. It depends on the project, the mentor and the students.
> How many proposals your org received
> There are good reasons to let students know and reasons not to tell students this information. It can encourage or discourage them from investing in your organization. Please use your best judgement.
> Reviewing Proposals
> At the bottom of every proposal page, there is an “Internal Review” section that is only viewable by your org's members.
> If you wish to receive emails when someone comments on a proposal you have commented on, you can opt-in to that on your profile page. (Select "My Profile" from the menu in the top right corner.)
> All organization members can click the "I want to mentor" button to express interest in mentoring a proposal.
> Org Admins have the ability to Star or Ignore proposals if they wish to. No other ranking system is provided on the site. Org Admins can export proposals from their dashboard and rank in whatever way makes the most sense for their organization.
> Remember, if you make comments outside of the GSoC Website (for example, on the shared Google Doc draft proposal), those may be seen by the student.
> Inviting Mentors
> All mentors must be invited. This seems to be a point of confusion and mentioned on IRC quite often so we just wanted to reiterate it again here. Org Admins, you may want to be sure the potential mentors in your community are aware that you must invite them before they can register as a mentor.
> If you have any questions or concerns please contact our team at gsoc-support at google.com <mailto:gsoc-support at google.com>. Part of our team will be traveling to FOSSASIA this week (we hope to see you there!) and we may have considerable delays responding to emails particularly those that are addressed to a single person. By using the group email we can hopefully respond to you in a more timely manner.
> Best,
> Google Open Source Programs team
> You are receiving this email because of your participation in Google Summer of Code 2016. 
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