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Incentivize newbies to do their homework

gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
1 of 19

From time to time, I cut loose with a little tirade advocating a meaningful readiness test that new FLs would be required to pass before being permitted to submit proposals. UW hasn't yet taken my advice and meanwhile, we continue to see FLs and clients stumbling and bumbling and wasting each others' time and money because they don't take the time to learn how the platform works and often have no prior experience with independent contracting. Those of us who do have a handle on things wind up shaking our heads and thinking (or commenting to each other), "The real problem is that the deliverable wasn't clear before she accepted the offer," or "The problem is they didn't discuss how to handle revisions before setting up the contract," or "The problem is they didn't agree on an estimate of the time required," and so on and so forth.

 

When I yak about a Meaningful Readiness Test I envision a multi-part exam that includes scenarios and multiple-choice questions about the best action to take in response. There is endless raw material in the forum and I'm pretty sure some capable FLs would be willing to help design this if UW gave meaningful assurance it would be implemented. I would do it for two coffee mugs. (Because if you only give me one, I'll surely drop it. If you give me two, I'll have them for decades and promise to feature them prominently in my social media feeds on a monthly basis.)

 

Now, it's clear UW doesn't want to put this kind of hurdle in front of FLs joining the platform. (It's not clear why, but if it were gonna happen, it would've by now.) So, instead of making it a requirement to join, make it an option. Anyone who passes the MRT will be recognized and rewarded with their choice of a Big Bag O'Connects or a special Know What I'm Doing badge.

 

 

tinker_bell3
Moderator
Joanne Marie P Moderator Member Since: Nov 26, 2017
2 of 19

Hi Phyllis,

 

Thank you for sharing your feedback on how we can improve the process of helping new users. I'll surely pass this along to the rest of the team. 


-Joanne
Untitled
reinierb
Community Guru
Reinier B Member Since: Nov 3, 2015
3 of 19

Joanne Marie P wrote:

Hi Phyllis,

 

Thank you for sharing your feedback on how we can improve the process of helping new users. I'll surely pass this along to the rest of the team. 


Joanne Marie, please don't see this comment as anything other than me being idly curious, but why do moderators always offer to pass things, such as for instance, Phyllis' plan for a meaningful Readiness Test, along to the relevant team? Don't teams have members whose job it is to think of the things you guys are always offering to pass on to them?

 

Not trying to be nasty here, I'm just asking an innocent question...

moonraker
Community Guru
Jamie F Member Since: Mar 7, 2010
4 of 19

I agree with Phyliss. 

And not only because it will help people learn how it works, but also because it will help weed out those freelancers who aren't willing to put in a little effort. 

mwiggenhorn
Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
5 of 19

I agree completely with Phyllis and I, too, have been suggesting this for years.  Several of us, some of whom are highly experienced in test creation, have offered to do this for free (or a t-shirt or mug).  I've spoken with higher-ups at Upwork about this and everyone nods and agrees it would be a good idea but there it sits. I think it's maybe even more important than initial ID verification. It would probably put some of the forum moderators out of business but I believe it would greatly cut the Customer Service overhead incurred by new freelancers who don't know the platform at all.

colettelewis
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
6 of 19

When Upwork was oDesk (way back then) new freelancers did not even get to first base without passing the readiness test. Then, of course, there were fewer cheats who told you how to pass it.  

 

Now, it could be set up to constantly change, so that cheating would not be quite so easy. 

 

Cheating systems, at whatever level (not necessarily on Upwork), seems to be the new norm in the world these days.  The old-fashioned word "honor/honour"  has fallen off the leader board of success.   

 

 

reinierb
Community Guru
Reinier B Member Since: Nov 3, 2015
7 of 19

Nichola L wrote:

When Upwork was oDesk (way back then) new freelancers did not even get to first base without passing the readiness test. Then, of course, there were fewer cheats who told you how to pass it.  

 

Now, it could be set up to constantly change, so that cheating would not be quite so easy. 

 

Cheating systems, at whatever level (not necessarily on Upwork), seems to be the new norm in the world these days.  The old-fashioned word "honor/honour"  has fallen off the leader board of success.   

 

It used to be money that made the world go around. Now it's money and corruption that make the world go around, with corruption possibly a tad ahead of money alone. 


 

mwiggenhorn
Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
8 of 19

If a meaningful test were ever to be put in place, ideally there would be a large pool of questions which would rotate through.  This could help alleviate cheating on the answers.  You wouldn't know ahead of time which questions would be asked.

gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
9 of 19

Mary W wrote:

If a meaningful test were ever to be put in place, ideally there would be a large pool of questions which would rotate through.  This could help alleviate cheating on the answers.  You wouldn't know ahead of time which questions would be asked.


That has always seemed to me the first principle of designing such a test. There must be a large library of questions from which each individual test case pulls randomly. If the library is large enough, and updated regularly, then it would become much more difficult to game the test. 

 

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
10 of 19

Frankly with the platform literally drowning in freelancers I fail to see the point in adding any more at all, test or no test.

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