CIS-A2K/Press releases/National Wikipedia Education Program Review Meeting At Christ University Bengaluru

National Wikipedia Education Program Review Meeting At Christ University BengaluruEdit

BENGALURUMarch 18—During this 18-19th, a two-day long National Wikipedia Education Program Review meeting is going to be held at Christ University, Bengaluru. Around 25 participants of Wikipedia Education Program leaders from institutes like St. Agnes College Mangalore, St. Aloysius College Mangalore, SVERI Pandharpur, Maharashtra and Andhra Loyola College, Vijayawada will be participating in this event.

Starting this 18th, the two-day event aims at collaboratively build an educational project in languages like Kannada, Marathi, Telugu and Tulu. WEP has managed to enroll about 3000 students so far to the programme that have contributed in creating Wikipedia articles and editing them as part of their classroom task. These students have enriched encyclopedic knowledge on several subject areas in five Indian languages.

The programme began in 2013 with a goal of piloting Wikipedia as a pedagogic tool for the undergraduate students. Both the educators of the WEP and of the university were new to one such approach. But inside an institution that sees over 20K new faces every year, educating students on creating Wikipedia articles and enhancing the same was very exciting. Students of five Indian languages--Hindi, Kannada, Sanskrit, Tamil and Urdu--were chosen as these languages were taught as second languages for many students. During the first and second year, almost all the students created new Wikipedia articles where majority of the articles were below accepted standard. The difficulty in making students learn about input tools in their languages, Wikipedia basics and wiki markup pushed for creating "how-to" video tutorials in Hindi and KannadaWorking with Urdu was discontinued after the second year because of program staff exit. Slowly, the program was reoriented in a manner that new students learned native language input and markup for the first two semesters by digitizing books on Wikisource and later by editing Wikipedia articles during the next two semesters. This helped better the output by increasing the quality of articles by nearly 30%. During 2015 the program was further improved by helping students get more hands-on training of input, wiki markup by intensive typing during the first semester, a few advanced options like interacting with each other on user talk page during the second semester, moving to Wikipedia editing and developing articles on Wikipedia sandbox during third semester, and finally moving the articles by peer-review from fellow batchmates, faculty and the larger Wikipedia community. The faculty is involved in the development and on-wiki review process ensuring quality.

The program so far has gone to the level of producing about 20% very good quality articles where nearly 0.6% of the articles are of really poor quality. The female to male ratio is surprisingly equal and at times, there are more female students as compared to the male ones. However, there is little concern in integrating the student-Wikimedians to the larger Wikimedia community.

Also, there is little exchange of learning and best practices between cross-language outreach programs across India across several different language. One of the ways to better this process is making program leaders talk to each other. Hopefully, this event will help identify the challenges across different languages and ways and means of addressing them, sharing learning and best practices, and creating a roadmap for collaborating with each other.

More details about the event could be found at:

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Subhashish Panigrahi
Programme Officer, Access to Knowledge (CIS-A2K)
Centre for Internet and Society
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