Wikipedia Education Program Metrics and Activities Meeting/November 2011

Welcome Jami

  • New U.S. Education Program Associate
  • Working with Regional Ambassadors to coordinate U.S. activities


  • Setting up small pilot in Middle East/North Africa
  • Given learning points from previous terms, we decided to limit to one country: Egypt
  • Coordinating with Adel Iskandar
  • Concerns about current situation in Cairo with protests; but Frank and Annie will travel to Egypt on December 4
  • Talk with professors, meet with community
  • Community relations important, beginning with convening in Doha. Community members are doing translations of messages; communicating on village pump using Google Translate
  • Start Small! No more than 100 students in program, won't be mandatory assignment
  • Explore three different approaches:
    • Students write/improve articles based on course topic
    • Translations: based on Saudi Arabia course; students who are in translation courses will translate English/French/German Wikipedia articles into Arabic
    • Cooperation with students in U.S. program who are studying in Arabic.
  • Start in one city (good point from India program), just in Cairo
    • Campus ambassador community in Pune is very strong
  • More time exploring risks and hurdles
    • Copyright problem is present in other countries as well (Mexico, MENA region too); Annie and Frank will interview students by tabling on campus, will interview students and ask about past experiences with writing assignments, talk about their understanding of copyright, want to share results from this at the next meeting


  • Started as pilot in one city: Pune
  • Challenging pilot
  • Both positive and negative learning points
    • Positives: raising profile of WMF in India, CA community
    • Negatives: scale, didn't do enough engaging with community, need changes to how we train CAs and students
    • Glancing through some student talk pages suggests that there were positives
  • Analysis:
    • Tory Read will be writing analysis based on interviews with students, Campus Ambassadors, faculty members, Online Ambassadors, WMF staff, India team members, and English Wikipedia community members
    • Looking for patterns across classrooms, articles, subjects, students
    • Use the analysis to inform the way forward
  • WikiConference India: Most comments were from students wanting to roll out next pilot to their region
  • Next pilot will be a much smaller scale and will be addressing the issues from the fall term
  • Don't forget the amazing community that has been built through the Campus Ambassadors
  • Hope to have an open, honest, collaborative process moving forward

United States

  • Crucial time right now; students are starting to edit
  • Trying to determine how to move forward next term
  • Biggest learning point: program has exponentially grown; we want to make sure we can support community rather than grow exponentially
  • Next term: maintain same numbers but train more Campus Ambassadors, professors, OAs, others to support students better
  • Working to get that training together
  • Rather than geographically expanding, training more people at same universities we're already at.
  • Want to continue institutionalizing the program
    • Jami, Frank, and Rod went to New Jersey Institute of Technology to pilot program in spring that trains TAs to prepare university to incorporate required course for all freshmen to edit Wikipedia.


  • Going very well
  • Five professors; everyone has enjoyed the experiences so far
  • Students working in sandboxes, a few are moving to mainspace
  • Professors are concerned about moving articles to mainspace before material is perfect, but they miss out on the community feedback aspects of the assignment if they work only in sandboxes
  • Quality of material is very strong in sandboxes
  • Also has strong Canadian flavor; articles are of interest to Canadians (Newspapers in Canadian Society, Canadian law, etc.)
  • Received considerable amount of press coverage in last month: University of Toronto campus newspaper, PostMedia wire services picked up by 6-7 newspapers across Canada, and coverage coming in Royal Mail coming out in next week or so)
  • Next term, expanding to 9 courses, thanks to Rob Schnautz (Regional Ambassadors who had adopted parts of Canada as well)
  • Suggestions:
    • Get students editing earlier in semester
    • Providing more feedback to students (Leaderboard, reports from WMF that include reflections on Canadian initiative, etc.) -- do better with what we already have, including giving feedback

Student Survey

  • Measuring aspects of the program
  • Done a student survey in the past, now doing another
  • Demographics
    • gender
    • different ways of using Wikipedia in the classroom
  • Motivations
    • What motivates students most?
  • Learning outcomes
    • Takeaways students have had from program
    • Better researchers, writers, etc.
  • Interactions with the community (editors and Ambassadors)
    • did you get contacted by a community member? What did you learn from that interaction?
    • did you get an edit warning?
    • what's your understanding of copyright?
    • what students plan to do beyond the program: will you continue editing?

Next meeting

  • Current date:
  • Might get pushed ahead by 12 hours, to enable people in other regions to participate
  • We are looking for more people to volunteer and lead the WEPMAM meeting
  • Date discussion will happen on-wiki

Q & A

  • Jonathan: Competition between countries
    • Goal: connect students with the rest of the globe
    • Global leaderboard?
    • Pete: perhaps begin with a class-level competition?
    • The Ambassador community does "editing Fridays"
    • Should be organized by Ambassador or professor
      • Pete: interested in following up
    • India students would love to
    • Frank: we could explore this in Egypt