Education/Archive/Case studies/drafts/Create a Theme Page

Create a Theme Page




According to 3 years cooperation experience with NCCU Department of Ethnography, this paragraph would summaries the motivation of both side, the difficulties through the process, the details of effectiveness in implementation and the possibility of future cooperation.

“The core value of participating in Wikipedia is not just developing knowledge base but able to look for an answer.” Ms. Wong was hoping to enhance students’ ability to collect information, there were achievements of 37 of 50 students qualified in 2014 academic year, 35 of 54 students qualified in 2015 academic year, which showed that majority of students from zero to create a theme page successfully.

Manpower distribution and some students copy and paste whole sentence was two main challenges, which was because most students did not have experience of edit Wikipedia. Except they would need more assistance during edit process, they also need more reminders of avoid to against Wikipedia principle. Nevertheless, the situation has improved significantly as students accumulate experience in compiling and communication.

The lesson instruction page plays a key role in the project, which including 3 parts of basic principles, page instructions, and course introductions. This page was effective to provide the foundation, which avoid repeated mistakes, increase work efficiency, enhance the confidence and encourage students sharing their professional field.

“Create a theme page” project was focus on students, the process starts from basic research attitude to create a theme page, training to collect information, ask right questions, and the ability to interact with other wiki people. We hope that every student is a seed of knowledge, growing interest of edit Wikipedia via learning process, keep increasing experience of writing and increasing artiles. Also, they could possible contribute more in ethnography or other fields, spread and share their professional knowledge.



WMTW started to promote Taiwan's knowledge seed program in the second half of 2014. In the past, many people in Taiwan volunteered to edit Wikipedia, but most tended to edit popular events or characters. The goal of the Taiwan Knowledge seed program is to promote more people working on edit professional knowledge and specialized articles.

In 2015, six months after the implementation of this project, the development of Taiwan community has been fixed regular gathering and holding events in several cities. Ms. Huang from NCCU was contact Reke of seek the help of Wikipedia editorial methodology from WMTW in the same year. The target of this class was that request every student to create a theme page of a minority ethnic. Ethnography suit WMTW knowledge seed project concern specialized field, which also promote the core value of Multicultural, therefore, WMTW took over the task happily.



NCCU Ms. Huang requested her students increasing Ethnography articles via Wikipedia, however which was not efficient due to students was unfamiliar with Wikipedia editor methodology. Ms. Huang searched online and contacted WMTW CEO Reke in February 2015 via email. Ms. Huang believes that Wikipedia meet the demand. She requires students submit Wikipedia articles as assessment. Hope to strengthen students’ ability of collect information, then share to more people after the consolidation.

Reke decided to use “creating a theme page” deal with the task. There were three reasons: First, the theme page can be easily put together to display students’ writing results. Second, if we allowed students writing formal articles directly, which may be critical of the wiki community or directly deleted. Therefore, use sub-page could let students fixed their draft then moved to official webpage. Last but not at least, the course page can provide Wikipedia editorial information directly to save face to face tutoring and communication time.

Cooperation between Ms. Huang and WMTW has been reached third years so far since 2015[1], which will be implemented in 2nd semester during February to June. Students’ were unfamiliar with Wikipedia editorial rules, therefore their draft had been deleted in the beginning because of copied majority online information. Later, Ms. Huang invited Reke to NCCU teaching students Wikipedia editorial rules, Reke will specific explain those frequently mistakes before the course started.

Project goals

  1. Each student must build an article of ethnographic on Wikipedia successfully
  2. The articles created must conform to the basic ethnographic format and the chapters need to be in line with what is ethnographic in general.
  3. Show students how Wikipedia works



Before the beginning of each semester, the Association will set up a thematic page dedicated to the course. This page contains:

  1. Wikipedia Rules Description
    A link to the student manual is provided on the theme page to give students a quick idea of how to set up an article, the importance of a reference, and reminding students not to use potentially infringing copyright text. The importance of good communication with other users and other channels for help. Lastly, we remind students how to test the page of sandboxes and reduce the suspicion that students will suddenly get the test version online.
  2. Operating interface teaching
    We use sub-pages on the main page to create individual work areas for each student so they can edit on their own pages. Students must conform both the teacher's requirements and the format that complies with the rules written by Wikipedia. Ms. Huang requires each chapter that have a basic structure and a way to find information. The wiki mainly provides format, reference, and content tips. From creating a new account, starting a task based on a fixed template, staging a task, to having the opportunity to go to a formal article space once the task done, offering students the exact flow from the first step to the last step and turning towards formal articles achieve the goal of share the knowledge.
  3. Introduction to the functionality of the course
    In create a theme page case, course introduction page explains the cooperation launched story straightforwardly, and encourages students use Chinese to promote minority nationalities around the world. In addition to providing basic information about the course, students who use this page are able get to know the course efficiently. Moreover, it also lets Wikipedia editors know the content of the page and avoids making editorial movements that could interfere with the grading process before the semester ends.



Most of the world's ethnic minorities originally listed on Wikipedia have not established yet, or although they are established, their quality is not good. After the "Create a Theme Page" cooperation project, 72 new ethnic minority articless were successfully added in two years. According to the number of eligible students, 37 students qualified from 50 students in 2014 academic years[2] and and 35 students completed task of total 54 students in 2015 academic years[3]. Nearly 70% of the students are qualified, successful completed their task, and the content is satisfactory. More than 70% of the students studying in the program understand how Wikipedia works.

Through the student feedback provided by Ms. Wong, this project enabled some students to understand the rigor of wiki editing and aroused some students' interest. There was a feedback from a student who was not an ethnography student and was not needs to take this course. He thought that editing Wikipedia was a simple task, he did not know why his roommate had struggled for Wikipedia editing course. He decided to try it himself, the student noticed that the edit Wikipedia needed to investigate a lot of documents and materials. It was not as simple as he imagined. However, he felt accomplished and felt learning something when it’s done.

Lessons learned

  1. The theme page has reach the expected effect
    Preparing a theme page could increasing communication efficiency among all parties involved. For teacher, it was helping to managed students’ task, for wiki promoter, theme page was helping to promote editing experiences, for students, it provided clear rules and structures to follow. Moreover, theme page also reminds other wiki community that this area will be new comer task area which could avoid those homework being substantially modified or deleted.
  2. Workload and Manpower assignment
    The schedule of education project is following university calendar and the workload will be increase rapidly in few specific time points. Such as after new semester begin and before final assessment submitted. Solution was hired a teaching assistant who know how to edit Wikipedia to help from 2rd year.
  3. Students easily paste reference materials in the draft
    Majority students are newbies whom could easily make mistakes when unfamiliar with page rules. The common mistake in previous 2 years was that students saved and edited sandbox page. Because the sandbox was opened to the public, it was easy to be deleted when infringe the copyright issue. Reke had emphasized the mistake verbally, so the situation improved.

Future directions


We currently have not connected with those students and have not figure out how to encourage students continue editing Wikipedia after each semester’s end. Wikipedia increasing some high-quality contents via Taiwan education project, however, we have not recruited many excellent editors yet.

Project page could enhance the organization’s function to improve the situation continuously, such as arrange activities and create more interaction spaces. The related activities can be held continuously by Wikimedia association after the semester. Those activities can encourage students continuing editing Wikipedian articles, or inviting students who had done it well to share their experience, which good experience could pass to future project.


  1. Wikimedia Taiwan Newsletter (in Chinese) 2 (4). Wikimedia Taiwan. 2015-04. 
  2. Course page (in Chinese)
  3. Course page (in Chinese)