Wikipedia Education Program/MENA/OA Orientation

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Online Ambassador orientation for Cairo education pilot
Date: Saturday, 28 January
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. UTC (9:00 - 11:00 a.m. Egypt time)

9:00-9:30 Introduction to Cairo education pilot program (Ciphers)Edit

  • Education pilot program will begin in the spring semester (February 2012) in Cairo, Egypt
    • Based on similar education programs that are already operating elsewhere, including in Canada, the U.S., India, and Germany
  • Core idea of the program is that professors will assign their students to edit the Arabic Wikipedia, with support from "Wikipedia Ambassadors" (like you!)
    • Some professors will assign students to research & write new content for the Arabic Wikipedia
    • Other professors will assign students to translate articles from another language version of Wikipedia for the Arabic Wikipedia
  • Goal of the pilot program: to improve the quantity and quality of Arabic Wikipedia articles
    • Arabic Wikipedia is currently very small - smaller than even the Portugese Wikipedia or Japanese Wikipedia! (Stats on Arabic Wikipedia)
  • The plan is to keep the pilot very small
    • Cairo, Egypt only - city selected based on current interest and suitability of professors, number of local Wikipedians willing to help on the ground, and conversations with various Arabic Wikipedia community members
    • Two universities in Cairo, Egypt - Cairo University and Ain Shams University
    • 7 classes only
    • Only the top 5-15 students from each class will participate in this project. Other students will not edit Wikipedia.
    • The reason behind keeping the pilot really small is because the Arabic Wikipedia community is small and having a huge influx of newcomers (students) at once will be overwhelming. Also, we've never done this education project in the Middle East / North Africa region before, so we want to make sure we've figured out what works and doesn't work before we expand the size and reach of the program.
    • The plan is that the program will expand to more people and more geographic locations (other countries in the Middle East/North Africa) after the spring semester, depending on how well the spring semester goes.

9:30-10:00 Overview of Online Ambassador role - expectations & responsibilities (Ciphers)Edit

  • Wikipedia Ambassadors are crucial to the success of this pilot program
    • Almost all the participating professors and students have never edited Wikipedia before, so they will need close monitoring and mentorship on how to edit Wikipedia
  • There are two types of Wikipedia Ambassadors: "Campus Ambassadors" and "Online Ambassadors"
    • "Campus Ambassadors" live in Cairo and help professors/students on a face-to-face level
      • Go onto campus and do in-class presentations and editing workshops about Wikipedia for the participating professors/students
      • Monitor students' edits on-wiki, but not as closely as Online Ambassadors need to
      • Some Campus Ambassadors are experienced Wikipedians; others are relatively new to Wikipedia-editing but are passionate about Wikipedia and are good teachers
    • "Online Ambassadors" can live anywhere in the world, and help professors/students online (via Wikipedia talk pages, email, Facebook, etc.)
      • 100% of Online Ambassadors are experienced Arabic Wikipedians
    • Every class will get 2 or more Campus Ambassadors, and 1 or 2 Online Ambassadors
  • Role of Online Ambassadors (in more detail)
    • Answer students' questions about Wikipedia-editing; teach students about Wikipedia policies and Wikipedia-editing skills
    • Provide feedback to students on their edits
    • Flag potential problems (for example: potential violations of Wikipedia policies), and help students resolve them
    • Help students avoid making mistakes on Wikipedia, and then help them improve when they do make mistakes
    • Make students feel welcome on the Arabic Wikipedia; help make Wikipedia-editing less intimidating for students!
    • Link to page with the more complete Online Ambassador role description
  • Online Ambassadors are also expected to be:
    • Friendly and welcoming
    • Patient with professors/students when they make newbie mistakes or ask "stupid" questions - help professors/students learn and improve!
    • Proactive in monitoring students' edits, helping students make their edits better, and flagging problems (for example: potential violations of Wikipedia policies)

10:00-10:15 Pairing up Online Ambassadors with classes (Abbad)Edit

  • 7 classes will participate in the pilot program in Cairo - see the list on this page
  • Information about each of the 7 classes:
    • Professor Iman Ezzeldin (Ain Shams University) - teaches theatre/literature, will be assigning her students to research & write articles about European theatrical literature
    • Professor Dalia El-Toukhy (Ain Shams University) - teaches French language, will be assigning her students to translate articles from the French Wikipedia to the Arabic Wikipedia
    • Professor Hoda Abaza (Ain Shams University) - teaches French language, will be assigning her students to translate articles from the French Wikipedia to the Arabic Wikipedia
    • Professor Hany Hosseiny (Cairo University) - teaches mathematics, will be assigning his students to research & write articles about cultural/social aspects related to mathematics concepts (like biographies of famous mathematicians, mortgage crisis, etc.)
    • Professor Ahmed Abd Rabou (Cairo University) - teaches political science, will be assigning his students to research & write articles about Asian political thought
    • Professor Abeer El Hafez (Cairo University) - teaches Spanish language, will be assigning her students to translate articles from the Spanish Wikipedia to the Arabic Wikipedia
    • Professor Amany Fahmy (Cairo University) - teaches mass communication (film production), will be assigning her students to create & add videos onto relevant Arabic Wikipedia articles - just 1 Online Ambassador is probably sufficient for this class
  • Reminder: only 5-15 students from each of these classes will be editing Wikipedia.
  • Each Online Ambassador should now pair himself/herself up with a class, and add his/her name to the course page of the class! (Have the Online Ambassadors do this now)
    • A "course page" is a page that each class will have. It should contain updated information about the class description, the description of the Wikipedia assignment for that class, and a list of participating students' Wikipedia usernames and what articles they're editing
    • To get to a class' course page, just click on the name of the course on the listing of courses

10:15-10:45 How to mentor students effectively (Ciphers)Edit

  • The Online Ambassadors will collectively come up with tips on how to mentor new editors during the orientation.

10:45-11:00 Next steps (Abbad)Edit

  1. Annie will send an email introducing each Online Ambassador to the professor of the class that he has paired himself up with
  2. Each Online Ambassador should start directly communicating with the professor as soon as possible (via email, phone, Skype, or other methods), to discuss expectations and plans and goals for the Wikipedia assignment for that class
  3. بمجرَّد انتهاء الدورة سترسل إلى جميع سفراء الوب رسالة تُقدم إليهم الأساتذة الذين رُبطوا مع صفوفهم.
  4. على السفراء أن يبدؤوا بالتواصل مع الأساتذة في أسرع وقتٍ ممكن عبر أي وسيلة تعجبهم، مثل البريد الإلكتروني أو الهاتف أو برامج المحادثة (التشات)، وذلك للتنسيق فيما بينهم.
  5. سيَتولى الأساتذة توجيه طلابهم نحو السفراء بعد ذلك ليسألوهم عن أي أمور تستعصي عليهم وليتعلموا أسس وقواعد التحرير في ويكيبيديا، وهنا سيصبح الأساتذة هم حلقة التواصل بين الطلاب وسفراء الوب.
  6. بعد انتهاء الدورة ستنشأ مجموعة على موقع الفيسبوك الاجتماعي تضمُّ جميع سفراء الوب، وستُصبح هذه المجموعة هي أداة التواصل فيما بين السفراء في المرحلة التي تلي انتهاء الدورة.
  7. ستنشأ مجموعة أخرى أيضاً على الفيسبوك لكنها ستكون مفتوحة للسفراء والطلاب كليهما، وعبرَ هذه المجموعة سيكون من المُمكن للطلاب أن يطرحوا الأسئلة والاستفسارات وأن يُعطوا دروساً أساسية عن مهارات التحرير في ويكيبيديا.