Do you formally train your moderators


(Sarah Hawk) #1

I was talking with @Jim_Durbin earlier about moderation training. I know that eModeration have developed a training course but I don’t know anyone that has taken it.

Do you formally train your moderators? If so, do you do it inhouse or outsource it online?


(ForumSentinel) #2

We have a moderator “cheat sheet” with some general guidelines (ban lengths, account privacy, etc) plus the rest of the team is always willing to answer questions. For the most part though, once selected a user will learn on the fly.


(Doug Agee) #3

I am working on a guide for our moderators and staff to help them understand the community goals and moderator role expectations. We are planning on adding a private community for the moderators to discuss issues and share resources. However, I plan on a fair amount of learning on the fly like @ForumSentinel mentioned.


(Sarah Hawk) #4

This has always been my experience as well (learning from others on the team + mod guidelines) but I’m curious about formal training – especially around areas like dealing with abuse, self-care etc


(Bo McGuffee) #5

I am a strong proponent of intentional training. When I train, I break moderation into two parts: mechanical and relational.

The mechanical portion is about how to deal with “tasks,” such as handling reposts, expiring dead deals, the ins-and-outs of spam busting, etc. To learn this, new mods work with an experienced mod in stages. They watch the mod do the work and talk them through it. Later, the mod will do halfway do the work while asking them what do they need to do now (they only have to talk, not do), then they do the work while the mod asks guiding questions. Finally, the mod silently watches while they learn and gives feedback as necessary. This will last 1-2 weeks.

The relational portion is about dealing with members…and yourself. My metaphor for the moderator’s role is “moderator as community leader.” I draw from leadership materials, psychology, systems theory, and everything else I can get my hands on. They receive a document/workbook that we go through together (about four chapters currently). My goal is to help the new mods learn how to leverage relationships to increase their influence with community members, especially focusing on its leaders.

I take two to three days going over the relational portion. We only go a couple hours or so a day. Then they transition into shadowing mode. This way they are caught in a pattern of action-reflection. After I’m doing going over the material, we meet regularly to continue the reflection portion of the training.


(Bo McGuffee) #6

I was considering taking the eModeration course to see what they were doing. Alas, my energies have recently been focused elsewhere.


(Sarah Hawk) #7

I love this. It’s such an important part of the work that we do but it’s so often overlooked at the entry level stages (i.e . moderators).

If you ever do the eMod course, I’d love to hear about the experience. I rate the work that they do (full disclosure: I used to work with them)


(Bo McGuffee) #8

If I do, I’ll certainly let you know what I think. Gotta make it through Advanced Community Strategy first. It’s the best course of your trilogy, btw. Glad I worked up to it.