(Closed) Seeking (paid) volunteers to test introductory EA content

by Aaron Gertler3 min read22nd Apr 20211 comment

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Last year, we began to create a new version of the EA Handbook for the Forum.

The initial content didn’t turn out as well as we’d hoped, and we realized that finishing the project we’d envisioned would be difficult to pull off alongside our other projects.

Fortunately, other people were hard at work creating a better “handbook” than ours: the EA Introductory Program (recently renamed from the Introductory Fellowship).

For years, different EA student groups have run their own fellowships/programs, using curricula they designed themselves or borrowed from other groups. But a team of former student leaders, with help from CEA and other reviewers, recently took steps to reduce duplicative work by creating a new curriculum. CEA now encourages all groups to use this content (or adapt it for their own preferences).

Hundreds of participants have used this curriculum already. It’s gone through multiple rounds of testing and editing. And now, we’ve moved it to the EA Forum, so that every person in the world can have access to the same set of introductory resources. 

We’re in the process of creating a single page that will host the whole program. For now, here’s a link to the first sequence, which in turn links to the rest of the content.

Help us test the Fellowship as a paid volunteer

Update: I've now closed the form, as we have enough good candidates.

CEA plans to use some of this content to replace some of the introductory material now featured on effectivealtruism.org, and to recommend the full Introductory Program widely across our platforms. Based on the number of people who see our current intro content, we expect the new content to be read by thousands of people, perhaps tens of thousands, over the next few years.

This makes feedback extremely valuable to us — we want the quality and usability of the program to be very high. So rather than seeking out volunteers to give feedback, we’re hiring readers.

We’re looking to find 12 people under the following conditions:

  • We’ll pay a flat $100 for signing up and reading your section of the curriculum.
    • There are eight sections of the curriculum; we’ll assign two of them to each tester so that each section is seen by three different people.
    • Combined, both sections will contain roughly five hours of assigned reading/video content, and perhaps 1-2 interactive exercises. They vary quite a bit in length, but we’ll pair long sections with short ones.
      • This isn’t counting “More to Explore” content, which is optional and not part of our testing.
    • You don’t need to read closely to catch typos (though you might want to — see below). You can read normally, as though you were taking part in the Introductory Program yourself.
    • We don’t have a plan to track that you’ve actually done the reading, but we trust you. (Though we’d be a bit disappointed if you have no feedback at all.)
  • We’ll also pay a bounty for each suggestion that leads us to change something.
    • The amount is $2 for a small fix (typos, broken links, etc.) and $20 for a change to the curriculum content (adding a link, replacing a link, etc.)
      • The “small fix” bonus will max out at $50 per person (we haven’t copyedited some bits of the material, and we want to hedge against the risk that something turns out to be horrifically typo-ridden)
      • The “content change” bonus never maxes out — in theory, if you suggest a staggeringly brilliant and entirely new curriculum, so compelling that we abandon everything we’ve done so far, you’ll be rich! (However, we don’t anticipate making too many changes of this type, so don’t expect to pay your rent with content suggestions.)
    • If you want to go bounty-hunting and deliver Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt typos to James and me, you can read outside your assigned sections of the curriculum (again, not counting “More to Explore” content).
    • Even if we don’t make a change right away, we may pay for things that we find useful to think about, or that might lead us to make changes to a future edition of the curriculum.

If we choose you as a volunteer, we’ll send over a contract and some additional details on the types of things we want you to look for.

Who can volunteer?

We’re looking for people who have some degree of familiarity with this material, though you don’t need to have read all of it. The ideal volunteer will have thoughts on whether a given article actually covers a topic well, and (ideally) opinions on how we could change/replace it if need be.

Given those conditions, we’re happy to take anyone — student or otherwise.

We aren’t picky; we’ll take the first 12 qualified volunteers. If we select you, we’ll provide further instructions. We’ll want your feedback by 15 May; if we don’t hear from you by then, we’ll choose another volunteer in your place.

Apply here if you’d like to help us test the curriculum. (We now have enough applicants.)

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Strong upvote for fantastic introductory opportunities that are paid! :)