Understanding Wikimedia Community as Research Fellows
Author: Priyal Gala, Meng Zhou
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Summary: Reading Wikipedia research fellows sharing their experience: : "The fellowship has been a great professional experience for us by helping us learn more about community engagement, supporting online communities and learning the value of editing Wikimedia projects in an educational context."
As graduate fellows with the education team at the Wikimedia Foundation, we have contributed and supported the education team and the Wikimedia community in many ways. First, we helped the education team conduct research on the educational background of three pilot countries of Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom project: Philippines, Morocco, and Bolivia. During this research, we also had the opportunity to have multiple conversations with the affiliates from these countries.
The conversations with the affiliates helped us understand how the community works and the benefits of working together. They were able to support our research through their on-ground experiences of the school system and provide valuable information for the project. Second, we helped the team design resources that could be used during school closures to engage students in the form of EduWiki challenges and Lesson plans. In addition to these, we also conducted a Webinar with the youth to understand Information and Media Literacy.
While designing and creating resources for the community to use with students during the Covid-19 pandemic, it helped us understand how the community can be organized online in informal settings as well as how they continue to contribute and participate even in difficult situations. Overall, throughout this fellowship, we had the opportunity to contribute to the community and learn from the community in different ways.