2.2.4 Education (edu) Bof

Current Meeting Report

Education BOF (edu) Minutes
IETF 57 -- Vienna, Austria
Wednesday, July 16 at 1300-1500

CHAIR:	Margaret Wasserman <mrw@windriver.com> 

   - Intro and Agenda Bashing (5 min)
   - Review Existing Programs and Resources (10 min)
      - Newcomer/Participant Training
      - WG Chair Training
      - Other Educational Resources
   - Plans/Direction for Participant Education (15 min)
   - Plans/Direction for Editor Education (15 min)
   - Plans/Direction for WG Chair Education (15 min)
   - Options for Training Organization/Management (10 min)
        - Open Discussion (30 min)
   - Next Steps and Action Items (20 min)


This BOF will discuss internal training and development programs and 
educational resources for IETF participants and leaders.

The IETF has been educating IETF participants and leaders for many years, 
via formal training classes, educational web sites, published 
materials and formal and informal mentoring programs.  Our 
educational efforts have included training  sessions for newcomers, 
introductory training sessions for new  WG chairs, and educational web 
resources for WG chairs, document  editors and other participants.  There 
have also been educational  sessions for IETF participants held at some 
IETF plenary meetings.

Over the past year, there has been an increasing awareness of the need for 
better educational programs and resources for IETF WG chairs, document 
editors and other participants.

A grass-roots effort was initiated to expand the WG Chairs training 
program to include ongoing education for continuing WG chairs.  The 
Newcomers training, formerly provided by the IETF Secretariat, has been 
folded in to the WG Chairs training effort.  Also, we've discussed the 
development of training programs or resources for document editors and 
other IETF participants.

As this effort expands beyond the area of WG chairs training, it is 
increasingly important to have the IETF community involved in this effort -- 
both to give the community more visibility into these activities, and to 
receive input and assistance from the wider community in developing our 
educational programs and resources.

In this BOF, we'll discuss the IETF's existing educational programs and 
resources, and we'll discuss how those programs could be enhanced or 
expanded in the future.  We will also discuss how best to organize and 
managed our educational programs on an ongoing basis, including a 
discussion of whether we should form a Working Group to further this 

At the San Francisco IETF in March 2003, a voluntary session was held for 
IESG members and WG chairs to discuss training for ongoing WG chairs.  The 
notes from that session can be found at:


BOF attendees should also familiarize themselves with our existing 
training materials and on-line educational resources.

For Newcomers:

For WG Chairs:


Examples of Participant Training:



Subscribe:          majordomo@ops.ietf.org
Body:              "subscribe wgchairs-training" (no quotes)


The session was attended by approximately 35 people, and there was a very 
high level of engagement and participation.  The BOF focused on 
internal educational activities within the IETF -- primarily role and 
process education.

Early discussions focused on our current educational activities and 
ideas/suggestions for improving them.  There was a strong sense that these 
activities are important, and that we should continue and expand them as 
possible.  Priorities for improvement included editor training, 
programs to help non-North Americans become acclimated to the IETF, and 
mentoring programs for new attendees.

The second half of the meeting focused on how to organize and manage our 
internal educational efforts moving forward. 

Margaret Wasserman presented a proposal for an "education team" to run the 
education efforts, something between a WG and a directorate.  In 

Form an education team to run this effort
    - Effort overseen by the General AD
    - General AD appoints team leader(s)
    - Leader(s) and AD choose the team from volunteers, 
      refresh and expand the team as needed
    - Team membership publicly known

Community visibility and feedback
    - IETF web page for educational activities
    - Public discussion mailing list
    - Education team archives publicly available
    - Occasional (~yearly?) open meetings at IETF
During the meeting, we agreed that the team should have a written 
charter, and that the charter should be included on the web site.

There was a strong consensus of those present that we should form  an 
education team to run these efforts, as described above.

The meeting ended with emphasis from the General AD that continuing  our 
existing educational activities should be the top priority of  the 
education team.


See slides for each section.

Intro and Agenda Bashing -- Margaret Wasserman:

Many kinds of education with many targets of education.

Not looking at outward-facing education or tutorials. Not looking at  
WG-specific training.

Review Existing Programs and Resources -- Margaret Wasserman:

Some training in place, but it's a weak list, considering what we're  
capable of and what we need.  The work has been accomplished by an 
informal group with minimal community visibility, so far.

Plans/Direction for Participant Education -- Margaret Wasserman:

James: not sure about brown-bag - so many attendees. Getting senior  
people involved with newcomers (was meeting with group from Korea  with 
IEEE experience and LOTS of questions).

Ed Luscovicius: What is meant by a mentor? Margaret: could assign  
mentors at the front of the room, could have different-colored dots...  
what level of commitment could we expect? More like buddies than  

Kurt Salingo: don't know who's approachable! Smiley face on badges?  Use 
mentoring to train chairs, document editors ...

Elwyn Davies: lists of people who can speak the same language as a  new 
participant? Newsletters with area/WG summaries?

Pekka: What resources for non-North American participants? Margaret:  No 
idea, I'm a North American, but James and Harald have opinions  here...

Harald: need training for scribes! ISOC produces Internet Monthly  Report - 
we should look at it.

Charlie Kaufman: create "official hallway" for mini-BoFs, etc?

James Seng: Mentoring system would be really good - I had one,  and 
everybody needs one. Participants join a particular WG - WG  chairs are the 
ones that need help here.

Security Tutorial -- Radia Perlman:

Why is there only a tutorial on Security? Margaret: because we all have to 
write security considerations sections.

Spencer Dawkins: very helpful in my case.

James Kempf: lot of lore about security in the IETF that's not  always 
reflected in a tutorial. Necessary but not sufficient.

Spencer: didn't realize Tao of IETF had been updated, didn't realize  
Radia had updated Security tutorial - can we announce this at  

Harald: how to tell all the IETF something? Margaret: can't!  Avri: 
announce list that's not ID announcements, etc?

Kurt: good that we had someone new doing this tutorial - it  should be 

Not sure where tutorial slides are actually available? On the  MIT site?

Plans/Direction for Editor Education - Avri Doria:

Problems: formatting, content, "Roles, Responsibilities, and Rights  of 

Doing something NITless is non-trivial, and collection of NITs is  

Probably presentations somewhere on how to do IANA 
considerations,  but should be part of the editor training.

Ed Luscovicius: "IANA considerations" is perfect opportunity for a  

James Kempf: offer a "tips on technical writing" course? For ESL  would 
turn into Basic English? On Sunday afternoon? Margaret: would  like to 
avoid doing training that others do better, and no budget?  James: 
propose request for budget to ISOC?

Pekka: Price of training? People who haven't reviewed good technical  
documents and are trying to write one?

Rodney Hess: Write these topics up as RFCs? Give RFCs as examples?  I 
ended up finding these via trial-by-error. Also: concerns about  listing 
editors being controversial.

John Klensin: general case - rules about who's listed as editor are  
written down. It's impossible to survive ID NITS in the general  case. The 
NITS change during the process without warning and aren't  always 
consistent with what ADs enforce. XML2RFC isn't entirely  consistent with 
what the RFC Editor wants.

Harald: Budget isn't the problem. Asking for people's time is.  
Providing pointers is good. Crawl before we walk.

(Ericsson): having Sunday or even Saturday tutorials for newcomers  is 
important because we have new resources that we can't plug into  the 

Plans/Direction for WG Chair Education -- Margaret Wasserman

Ed: who can attend? Margaret: WG chairs or BoF chairs are invited,  ADs get 
to go.

Adding "timely topics" (this time, on IPR and mailing list 

Derek Atkins started a FAQ - send text!

Identify WG chairs who are willing to mentor.

Spencer: WG topical training done this time was very good and very  

James: when people are unhappy, it's in a WG, and when people are  so 
upset they leave, they say it's an IETF problem, not a WG problem.  Lots of 
WGs struggle and could use help.

John Border: WG chair selection? Margaret: no concept of training  WG 
chairs in advance or requiring training. This is ANOTHER  
bootstrapping problem.

Kurt: Need to get people to repeat "New WG chair" and "Newcomers"  
training - change the name! WG chairs need help learning to choose  
editors and avoiding technical contention turning into process  
contention. Need to avoid WG chair railroading.

Radia: "Newcomers" name keeps oldcomers out! Difference between  
document editor and idea-meister. Giving credit outside IETF?

Marcin: What is Security Tutorial actually about? Thought it was  
physical building security - not at all about technical security!  
Margaret?: Should have short descriptions in agenda to explain  what's 
going on, just like WG agendas.

Options for Training Organization/Management -- Margaret Wasserman

Need two month's notice deciding what tutorials and training we  will 
offer before an IETF, so we can prepare.

Open Discussion:

Education effort isn't like an IETF WG for many reasons.

We need community visibility, community feedback, community  

A lot like a directorate, but more visibility (mailing lists,  
archives, open meetings from time to time).

Ed: I like the proposal. We need to include self-education as  well - 
"best five RFCs this year" list?

Publish text of training as Informational RFCs?

Harald: hand out prizes for best-written RFC from previous year?  
Directorates are defined in 2026, this isn't a directorate because  I want 
this group to do work, not advise me. If I give you a job,  it's your 
responsibility to finish it and my job to evaluate it.

"Education Team"? "Task Force?"

Radia: not just a competition to write best RFCs - it's a guide.  
Provide a made-up example of a bad example? IESG-nominated bad  ones 
written by young-and-foolish IESG members who are now older  and wiser?

Kurt: No matter what we are called, we need a charter. It's a lot  like a WG 
home page.

Spencer: right direction, more work to do, but right direction.

Marcin: any formal feedback mechanism? Margaret: not really anyone  to give 
feedback TO, so, no, not yet. And this keeps us from doing  
continuous improvement.

Ed: one objective is to solicit feedback and opportunities to improve.

Next Steps and Action Items:

Yes, we have rough agreement on current direction, with one concern about  
adding structure.

Top priorities: education outreach for non-North Americans? Document  

Harald: don't let this distract us from what we're already doing.

April Marine: a lot of this has been thought of before and tried  
before. Define what you're doing first. Make sure participants  
understand what they've bought into. This is a volunteer effort  that's not 
what IETF does. Need to sustain it. A lot of what User  Services ran up 
against was in this area, but within the WG model  ("WEIRD WG"). 
Attempts failed because this is odd for IETF and a big  volunteer 
effort. Break down goals and tasks clearly.

Charlie Kaufman: suggesting a small thing - WGs and BoFs serve  
educational purpose today, but hard for newbies to find them. Pop-up  ads on 
web page? No, but maybe WG agendas that say they are/are not  

Elwyn: WG "getting started in this WG" page, tied to WG page?

Spencer: have WG chair participants in this effort do such a thing  for 
THEIR working groups, with guidance from other participants, and  then it's a 
real example?

John Border: need help with getting started.

John Norris: make a list of 10-20 items as to-do list, may not get  to 
number 20, don't even have to rank them.

Kurt: don't focus on a few big things. Some small things would  have big 

Mark Stanton: focus is on what happens at IETF meetings, and most  of our 
work happens the other 49 weeks out of the year... what to  tell people who 
are trying to engage on a mailing list?

James: this is not a WG, it's a team that helps people get  
familiarized. We want to do things, not document our dreams.  "Just do it."

Harald: this is an ongoing effort. Make sure we preserve the  
foundation we have and build on it - the most important thing.

Ole Jacobson: have just published an Internet Protocol Journal  article on 
V6OPS, and want to do more. How can I help? I have  30,000 paper 
readers, plus online...



Editor Education