Workflows: an experimental alternative to introductory fellowships

post by Sofya Lebedeva (sonya.lebedeva@berkeley.edu) · 2022-08-03T23:43:03.734Z · EA · GW · 1 comments

Contents

  TL;DR
  Contents:
  Epistemics & Disclaimer
  What is a workflow?
  What is the theory of change?
  What are my goals for the Workflow during the months of September to November?
  Anticipated Challenges and Downfalls
  Accountability for this experiment
  Acknowledgments
None
1 comment

TL;DR

Check out the Workflows Home Page, provide any feedback if you wish, and stay tuned for my update in three months if this actually works as an alternative to introductory reading groups and increases student retention. Reading group = Introductory Fellowship in this article. 

Contents:

  1. Epistemics & Disclaimer
  2. What is a workflow?
  3. What is the theory of change?
  4. What are my goals for the workflows during the months of September to November?
  5. Anticipated Challenges and Downfalls
  6. Accountability for this experiment
  7. Acknowledgments

Epistemics & Disclaimer

What is a workflow?

What is the theory of change?

Note: Reading group = Introductory Fellowship in this article. 

 

Common critiques of reading groups:

 

Statistics from our Summer Reading Group:

 

 

How the workflows would solve these issues:

 

Other benefits:

Downsides:

What are my goals for the Workflow during the months of September to November?

Anticipated Challenges and Downfalls


Accountability for this experiment

The purpose of this post is for accountability! That way I have to stick to my goals and the EA Community can see both the beginning of this experiment and the end, even if the results are negative or neutral. Negative results are still results! I plan to post an update somewhere around November. Hopefully, with some of the feedback, I can continue to improve and iterate on these!

 

Acknowledgments

1 comments

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comment by Gabriel Mukobi (Gabe Mukobi) · 2022-08-14T07:08:56.849Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for building this, def seems like a way to save a lot of organizer time (and I appreciate how it differentiates things from a Bible group or a cult)!

To me, it seems like the main downside will be the lack of direct engagement between new people and established EAs. In a normal reading group, a participant meets and talks with a facilitator on day 1, and then every week between every 1-3 hours of EA-related reading. In this system, it seems like they don't really get to meet and talk with someone until they go through a significant amount of independent exploration and write a reflection, and I wonder if the combination of that high required activation energy with little human-to-human guidance might cause you to lose some potentially good students as you go from the predicted 40 to 20.

You could try offering "cheaper" 1:1s to these people early, but that seems less efficient than having several of them in a weekly reading group discussion which would defeat the point. That's not to say I don't think this is the right move for your situation. Just that I'm extra curious about how this factor might play out, and I'm excited for you to test this system and share the results with other groups!