Grants:APG/Proposals/2018-2019 round 1/Wikimedia Israel/Impact report form

OverviewEdit

Executive SummaryEdit

This year saw a change of leadership in Wikimedia Israel, which happened toward the end of the year, in December 2019. Michal Lester concluded her position as WMIL's ED, after more than six years of successful service, and was replaced by Revital Poleg.

We take the opportunity to thank Michal for her major contribution to the development and growth of Wikimedia Israel.

The overall results of 2019 – planning versus performance – were satisfactory and met our expectations to a great extent, as reflected in the Global Metrics Overview. As far as the impact is concerned, we feel that Wikimedia Israel has taken another significant step forward and we expect to continue this trend in 2020.

  • During 2019, we continued our activities in the major programmatic areas, namely, community support (Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects), education (Hebrew- and Arabic-speaking schools, higher education), development of instructional material and instructional team, and support for institutes that offer free content. As in previous years, there was a high demand for the “Students Write Wikipedia” program in both Hebrew and Arabic. The articles written by the students are important and welcomed additions in both languages.
  • Total contributions to these programs have grown compared with last year, and the number of participating educational institutes (both Hebrew- and Arabic-speaking) is steadily rising. We also saw a rise in the number of academic and other educational institutes that seek cooperation with us.
  • This year, for the first time, we included Wikidata in our work plan as a separate program, with the aim of promoting awareness among relevant target audiences and building a community of local editors that would add content and be active on Wikidata.
  • Our efforts to increase the accessibility of content held by Israeli GLAM organizations through Wikimedia projects yielded this year a unique cooperation with the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. This army unit, which holds important historical images taken in the past several decades, decided to waive its copyrights in certain images, upon request, and make them eligible for Wikimedia projects.

Some of our activities this year are innovative and, in our view, open up new opportunities not only in Israel, but beyond the scope of Wikimedia Israel. Below are a few examples.

  • We launched a new instructional website in Arabic – “Wiki Warsha”, which is meant for the Arabic-Wikipedia readers and editors. Our initial goal was to develop a courseware that would introduce Ar-wp to the Arab community in Israel, but it can undoubtedly benefit the entire Arabic-speaking community worldwide.
  • The development of a tutorial tool for the Wikidata Query Service (SPARQL) is aimed at attracting people to Wikidata by showcasing this unique information service that allows querying the largest free database. This project has taken a major step forward during 2019, and while this report is being written (early 2020), the tool is expected to be available in a matter of days. The tool is provided in English and can be translated into any language.
  • The “Senior Citizens Write Wikipedia” program is gaining momentum and growing interest among third-age organizations across the country. These thoroughly designed courses are adapted specifically to the needs of this group age, and prove not only to enhance diversity within our community and bring new people in, but also to create high-quality contents in the Hebrew Wikipedia and enrich the community with highly qualified and knowledgeable men and women, caring and interested, that are more than willing to engage in our educational activities, whether as wikipedians or volunteers. We believe this model could be of interest to other communities within the movement, with the necessary local and cultural adaptations.

Selected Challenges & SolutionsEdit

  • Wikidata: We started this year to look for ways and means to promote awareness among relevant Wikidata target groups, and to formulate an adequate strategy for this field. We chose to combine simultaneous activity of exposure among groups and organizations, to identify and characterize more accurately the appropriate target audience, with the development of an innovative tutorial tool for the Wikidata Query Service, specifically aimed at facilitating practical usage of Wikidata by existing and new users, in order to better exhaust the potential of this unique project.
As we end 2019, we are pleased to learn that the project raised interest among various organizations. Our talks and workshops have been rather successful in attracting the interest of relevant people. Moreover, we were able to identify a much further potential in this field, which we intend to explore and develop during 2020.
  • WikiWomen: Our local version of the WikiWomen project suffered a setback at the beginning of 2019, when the leading figure of the project had to step down shortly after the first meet-up of this year. The project’s activities continued with the leadership of the chapter’s team, who organized five additional meet-ups, however a certain decrease in the number of participants was noticed and the new workload interfered with other team-led activities. Consequently, during the second half of 2019, we held several brainstorming sessions to rethink our approach to the project (more information below). The outcomes of this process are expected to show results and increased impact during 2020.
  • Senior Citizen Courses: Our model of work with this age group keeps developing in light of the constantly high demand among the target audience, as well as the large amount of products yielded by this program. This progress, however, does not come without challenges. The two major ones, which we encountered during the first half of 2019, have to do with the marketing process and the support offered to course graduates. To tackle the marketing challenge, we conducted a survey among graduates of past courses. We used their responses to improve our marketing process and tested various channels during the second half of 2019. One channel that proved particularly effective was sending information about the courses through specific mailing lists of retired professionals. We added this marketing channel to the previously used ‘traditional’ ones. To address the support challenge, we added to the course syllabus more tools that would enable independent usage of the support mechanisms already available on Wikipedia itself (e.g. how to use discussion pages). We also increased the availability of the instructional team – volunteers and chapter’s permanent and non-permanent workers – to better handle the increasing demand for one-on-one guidance.
  • Ambassadors of the Arabic Wikipedia: We planned to centralize the training courses for Arabic-speaking students serving as Ar-wp ambassadors in their schools at the University of Haifa, being located at the major urban center of northern Israel, where most of the Arabic-speaking population is found. However, holding a monthly meeting there proved impractical. Travel distances from major northern communities to Haifa are too long, and many students could not spend the time required for traveling and attending the course, particularly those who prepare for the matriculation exams (16-18 years of age), who are the main target audience of the program. The program focuses on developing awareness and motivation in school environments, and assuming a leadership role in the young ambassadors’ own school communities. We therefore redesigned the modus operandi of this program for the 2020 school year by minimizing the number of plenary meetings (of all participants), and holding local separate meetings at schools. We also added video-conference meetings.


OverallEdit

Program Participants Content Pages Index of Choice Index of Choice
Community 550 10,000 gnome-edits; 625 articles (new and improved); 100 images 20% of the participants in the senior citizens’ program (4 courses) will continue to edit for 3 months after the end of the course; 3 girls will participate in the WikiCamp meeting (at least 3 meetings per year). WMIL will run satisfaction survey in the He-wp community
TOTAL 2019 347 789 articles (new and improved); 2406 wiki-gnome edits; 23 images Senior citizens’ program:
  • For courses between Oct 2018 and Oct 2019: 63% continued to edit for at least 3 months after the end of the course.
  • For courses between Jan 2019 and Sept 2019: 71% continued to edit after the 3-month period following the course, 25% edited dozens or hundreds of times a month.

Young Wikipedians (WikiCamp meet-ups): 6 participants in each meet-up, 5 boys and one girl (the goal to increase the number of teen girls in these meetups was not sufficiently met.)

The satisfaction survey could not be realized eventually due to internal role changes within the chapter.
Arabic Wikipedia Community Activities (Program for Senior Citizens*) 10 10 articles (new and improved); 60 gnome-edits 2-4 participants will continue to edit for 3 months after the end of their course. 1-2 participants will become Wikimedia volunteers.
TOTAL 2019 34 50 Ar-wp articles - -
WikiData 230 2500 items Raising awareness of Wikidata among 3 audiences: students, the GLAM sector, and Wikipedians. -
TOTAL 2019 425

Not including ~400 viewers of our online webinars

1,900 new items created; 196 existing items edited Activities with all target audiences took place, with a particular focus on those involved in information science. -
Education: Middle & High Schools (Hebrew) 1400 100 Wiktionary articles; 460 Wikipedia articles (new and improved) Creating lists of 700 topics that meet notability standards and are suitable for high-school students Three months after upload, at least 90% of the content is kept, with only minor changes
TOTAL 2019 1260 students and teachers

40 classes

111 Wiktionary articles; 410 Wikipedia articles

Total: 521

750 topics for Wiktionary

List of 360 topics that meet notability standards and are suitable for high-school students

-
Education: Middle & High Schools (Arabic) 370 320 Wikipedia articles (new and improved) Recruitment of 10 new schools to the program Students use the new training website; 80% report it was helpful
TOTAL 2019 476 participants

14 schools

275 Wikipedia articles (102 new, 173 improved) 9 new schools participated in the program The instructional website was launched in October, 2019. 100% students were introduced to the website and used it during workshops.
Higher education 450 450 Wikipedia articles;100 Wikidata items - -
TOTAL 2019 479 participants (16 classes) 401 Wikipedia articles

371 Wikidata items

- -
Collaboration with GLAM institutes At least 3 institutes; 50 librarians 500 gnome-edits (1Lib1Ref)

Wikipedia articles and Wikidata items - no specific goal was set, because the data were dependent on cooperations.

Creating local know-how guides for working with local GLAM institutes -
TOTAL 2019 7 institutes (3 Libraries, 2 art galleries, 2 archives) 1300 (1Lib1Ref edits) 44 image uploads to Commons (NLI, Gnazim) The development of the guide was supposed to be the fruit of cooperations which we had expected following the GLAM conference; however the actual cooperations were not enough to form a basis for the guide. -
Training Curriculum Development and Training Team 30 volunteers (unique participants) n/a Raising awareness about current instructional tools (including websites, courseware) both locally and globally; improving the current Hebrew courseware; creating lesson plans for teachers; expanding available Hebrew toolkits; improving current instructional tools Recruiting 2 new volunteers; 6 real-life and online sessions for enrichment, consultation, networking and recognition
TOTAL 2019 31 volunteers (unique participants) n/a Raising awareness about instructional tools - the focus was on Wiki Warsha instructional website. see H1.

Improvement of Hebrew courseware - almost completed.

Guidelines and lesson plans for teachers - 7 documents.

Hebrew training tools - 7 created and various existing tools improved (details below).

Team of volunteers: 12 volunteers recruited during 2019

Volunteers’ meet-ups: We held all planned meet-ups online (3 meet-ups attended by the entire team, which are equivalent to 6 meet-ups of two parallel groups in the former method)

TOTAL FOR ALL PROGRAMS TARGET: 3,040

TOTAL 2019: 3,052

TARGET: 1,965 articles, 100 images, 2,600 items, Wikignomes 10,560

ARTICLES: 2,036

IMAGES: 67

ITEMS: 2467

Wikignomes: 2,906

- -

Community SupportEdit


Program Participants Content Pages Index of Choice Index of Choice
Hebrew Wikipedia 550 10,000 gnome-edits; 625 articles (new and improved); 100 images 20% of the participants in the Senior Citizens’ program (4 courses) will continue to edit for 3 months after the end of the course; 3 girls will participate in the WikiCamp meeting (at least 3 meetings per year). WMIL will run satisfaction survey in the He-wp community
H1 156 2636 articles (682 new and improved, 1282 references, 626 gnome-edits, 23 Commons uploads) 83% of graduates continued to edit for 3 months after their courses ended. About 50% continue to edit frequently even after this period, and have, in essence, become regular Wikipedians. the survey was planned for the 2nd half of 2019
TOTAL HE-WP 2019 347 789 articles (new and improved); 2406 wiki-gnome edits; 23 images Senior Citizens’ program:
  • For courses between Oct 2018 and Oct 2019: 63% continued to edit for at least 3 months after the end of the course
  • For courses between Jan 2019 and Sept 2019: 71% continued to edit after the 3-month period following the course, 25% edited dozens or hundreds times a month

Young Wikipedians (WikiCamp meet-ups) - 6 participants in each meet-up, 5 boys and one girl (the goal to increase the number of teen girls in these meetups was not sufficiently met.)

The satisfaction survey could not be realized eventually due to internal role changes within the chapter.
Arabic Wikipedia Community Activities (Program for Senior Citizens*) 10 10 articles (new and improved); 60 gnome-edits 2-4 participants will continue to edit for 3 months after the end of their course. 1-2 participants will become Wikimedia volunteers.
H1 34 50 articles (12 new, 18 significantly improved, 20 1LibRref references). * An editing course was organized for senior librarians. Details in the relevant section. 3 librarians will volunteer in the program.
TOTAL AR-WP 2019 34 50 articles - -

Supporting the local Wikipedian community is one of the chapter’s long-standing fields of activity. In 2019, WMIL persisted in "traditional" channels of operation that characterized its activities in this area - holding social events for the He-wp editorial community, and holding themed editorial events. Alongside these channels of action, the association has significantly deepened a trend that began in previous years: cultivation of three specific target audiences - young Wikipedia, women and senior citizens. These target audiences were defined as having a high potential to join the He-wp community, or as minority groups within this community, which need special nurturing and strengthening. Finally, as part of the growing consolidation of our activities in Arabic, in 2019 we launched a number of events designed to promote the creation of a diverse, local community of Ar-wp editors.

∵ Social Events and Themed Editing Events

Getting our community together several times a year has always been part of our goals. During 2019, in addition to the usual meet-ups we hold every year, we organized an edit-a-thon aimed at a new target audience (participants of the “929” initiative, see below).

  • Wikipedia’s birthday meetups – Hebrew-Wikipedia editors meet twice a year to celebrate two Wikipedia ‘holidays’, the launching of Wikipedia in January and the launching of He-wp in July. This year, these two meetups took place in the Tel Aviv District with approximately 65 participants, who listened to talks about Wikipedia affairs and enjoyed light refreshments and mingling.
  • WLM new format and closing event – This year, the local group of volunteers decided to change the regular format of this initiative. Instead of having a contest for the best photograph, we had a writing contest of articles about various monuments in Israel. More than 100 articles were written as part of the contest. We announced the winners in a special event at the presence of the contestants and volunteers.
  • 929: Tanakh B'yachad edit-a-thom – The Hebrew Bible (“Tanakh”) is viewed by most Israelis as the foundation of the Hebrew-language cultural heritage. WMIL organized an edit-a-thon with the help of “929”, an organization that promotes weekly readings in the 929 chapters of the Hebrew Bible, attended by 45 people who edited articles about Biblical figures, stories and other related topics.

∵ Focused Cultivation of Specific Target Audiences

  • Young Wikipedians

The group of young Wikipedians consists of eight editors between 13 and 16 years of age from different parts of Israel. In 2019, we held two meet-ups for this group, during school holidays. Both meet-ups included an instructional presentation followed by an edit-a-thon and related games.

  • Wiki-Women Group

The Israeli version of Wiki-Women started in 2014. During most of this time, the initiative was led by a female volunteer, who was the dominant spirit of the project. This volunteer had to step down unexpectedly, shortly after the first WikiWomen meet-up of 2019. WMIL’s team took upon itself to continue the activities and organized another five Wiki-Women meet-ups during the first half of 2019. Most of these meet-ups saw a lower turnout than usual, which seemed to reflect the importance of the retired volunteer to the community that formed around this project. It was clear that despite the fruitful effort to keep WikiWomen going, the chapter’s team would not be able to invest the required efforts for long. Consequently, during the second half of 2019, we brainstormed about the future of this project and about ways to reduce the gender gap in general. We decided the following (to be implemented during 2020):

  • To open an edit course for women. We plan to invite targeted audiences of women with high potential of integrating in the WP community to take part in this course. It will be based on the course for senior citizens with adaptations that will make it more relevant to women.
  • To keep holding special festive editing events on special occasions in cooperation with partners that show interest in reducing the WP gender gap.
  • To keep integrating the goal of reducing the gender gap in various activities organized by the chapter, such as our activities in academic and educational institutes.
  • Senior Citizens

Foreword: As mentioned in the Executive Summary, throughout 2019, the senior-citizens program has gained importance under the WMIL. In light of this, we found it appropriate to write about our work with this target audience in great detail relative to the corresponding target audiences (teenagers and women).

Our senior-citizens program started in 2017. Up until the end of 2019, 150 senior citizens participated in 15 courses held throughout Israel. The program is meant to turn highly educated senior citizens into members of the He-wp community of editors and let them gain influence in the digital sphere by putting their years-long knowledge and experience into practical use. It also offers them an opportunity to further learn and develop their skills. The program strengthens the He-wp community by adding highly educated editors to its ranks and diversifying its age composition.

The core of the program is an editing course of 20 contact hours. The candidates are tested for basic writing and computer skills before they are invited to join the course, which offers them team and one-on-one training. The course has a structured outline and it includes a significant amount of home exercise (see details here). During the course, each participant is requested to choose a way to contribute to He-wp, out of several suggested options, such as: creating an article, translating an article or expanding an existing article.

Following the course, the senior citizens receive personal guidance and are personally invited to join Wikipedian events (both special events for senior citizens and general community events). The most prominent among them are asked to become part of WMIL’s instructional team (details about keeping contact with former course participants can be found here).

Achievements and Highlights

Mr. Eli Shany, a volunteer, delivers a talk, which he developed himself, about the Wikipedian community at the central library of Tel Aviv University.
  • Course participants and graduates created or improved about one in eighty articles on He-wp. They created or significantly expanded 789 articles and performed wikignoming edits in 2406 articles.
  • Persistence and retention rates of the course graduates continue to be high –
  • Data concerning the 2019 courses is presented in the table above and amount to 350% of the target figure.
  • Data for the 2017-2018 course graduates also present high persistence and retention rates. Over a third (35%) edited at least once during 2019, and about a fifth (18%) edited at least five times a month on average (the highest rate being 626 edits per month!).
  • The most prominent course graduates have become part of the chapter’s instructional team as volunteers. They now make up 29% of this team and they are among the most active members.
The special nature of this program’s products has been discussed in a previous report; see here.
Mr. Shmuel Feifer, the new instructor, at an editing course at the library of the University of Haifa.
  • During 2019, we were able to raise funds from external funds, earmarked for this program. Consequently, we were able to hire another instructor for the program, which, in turn, enabled its expansion both geographically and in terms of activity – nearly a threefold increase in the number of both courses and participants.
  • Throughout 2019 we created and fostered many interorganizational partnerships around this program. Our partners contribute significantly by offering sponsorship, hosting activities and meet-ups and marketing the course to targeted audiences.
  • During 2019, a permanent strong and involved community of volunteers has formed around the course. It is made of about 10 members who support the activities by offering one-on-one guidance, help in the development and communication of contents, and in the lesson-learned process.

Challenges

  • Scaling – The program’s potential of expansion is not fully realized, the main issue being limited base of resources.
  • Reachout – We experience some difficulty reaching out to the target audience. As a result, the number of participants in some of the courses was lower than the desired 10-15 participants per course. This issue was evident especially in Haifa, see below “Lesson-learned”.
  • Follow-up – We still haven’t developed the optimal method for fostering the participants after they have completed the course. We need a system that will address the needs of the trained senior citizens while not requiring an exaggerated amount of resources.
  • Professionalized groups – We hoped to establish a special track for senior citizens of specific professional backgrounds, e.g. retired academics, retired physicians etc. A pilot program for retired academic librarians at Tel Aviv University saw very low interest. We therefore decided to abandon this direction and continue with courses that are open to the general public of senior citizens.

Lessons Learned

  • Marketing – One of the persisting challenges (especially in the Haifa and North districts) is marketing the course while reaching out to appropriate targeted audiences. During 2019, we tried to tackle this challenge in various ways: several sponsored campaigns on fb, sitenotice on WP, google ads, posts on WMIL’s newsletter, and mails to former participants. During this year, we found out that the most effective marketing model is sending messages, through contact people, to specific mailing lists of appropriate audiences, e.g. mailing lists of retired university employees or retired members of medical staffs. We also found out that we have to send parallel messages to several mailing lists, because each message yields only several names of interested people. We invested a lot of energy in this marketing channel, and we are happy to say that as a result, the next course in Haifa, at the beginning of 2020, is fully booked and even has a waiting list.
  • Teaching – The course’s teaching process yielded two major lessons in 2019: (1) Peer-learning increases the participants’ motivation and interest in the course. The course’s teaching method was adapted to include more peer-learning during the meetings. (2) Learning to use source code and write in talk pages increases the quality of edits and reduces the participants’ dependency on the support of the training team. The course syllabus has therefore been modified to include more emphasis on these abilities.

What’s Next?

  • During the first half of 2020, we will hold four additional courses, one of them in a new location in Haifa, in accordance with the lessons we have learned about this region. Two others will be held with new partners in peripheral regions of Israel and another one in Tel Aviv with the help of long-standing major partners.
  • We will improve the teaching infrastructure by adding new contents to the program and removing redundant ones. We will improve the exercises and teaching aids and make them more accurate. By doing so, we implement the lessons we learned in a thinking process held at the presence of the course’s volunteers and instructors.
  • In 2020, we will continue to seek financial resources in order to expand the program geographically and realize its full potential.
    Invitation to ART+FEMINISM edit-a-thon in Umm al-Fahem, 2019

∵ Arabic Wikipedia Community Activities

As part of our efforts to create a diverse local community of Arabic Wikipedia editors while raising awareness on free knowledge and possibilities of contributions, during 2019 we launched multiple events including edit-a-thons and an editing course, in collaboration with GLAM institutions. In our primary perception of creating an active local Ar-wp community (number of editors ), we considered establishing a curriculum for Arabic-speaking senior citizens. However, working with educational institutions, we realized that the Arabic Education program needs volunteers. Thus, the chapter switched its strategy and directed its activity towards building a network of professionals such as school librarians, artists in residence and the public. Such events are a gateway to engage potential volunteers, and another format to promote our activities and network with new institutions. The chapter organized one editing course in collaboration with the Association of School Librarians for school librarians. The course took place in February-March 2019. The group was hosted by St. Joseph Seminary High School in Nazareth. The 7 participants in the course are veteran librarians, through the course they acquired editing skills, and they were introduced to the Arabic Wikipedia community. The 7 librarians wrote and improved 15 articles (6 new articles, 137 edits) on books, children books, villages, and biography articles. The chapter organized an Art+Feminism 2020 edit-a-thon in collaboration with Umm al-Fahem Art Gallery. The event was attended by artists in residence in the gallery.


WikidataEdit


Program Participants Content Pages Index of Choice Index of Choice
WikiData 230 2500 items Raising awareness of Wikidata in 3 audiences: student, the GLAM sector and Wikipedians -
H1 360

Not including ~250 viewers of the online webinar

150 - -
TOTAL 2019 425

Not including ~400 viewers of our online webinars

1,900 new items created, 196 existing items edited Activities with all target audiences took place, with a particular focus on those involved in information science. -

In 2019, WMIL started a new program to promote Wikidata in Israel. This was the first year that Wikidata was explicitly included in our work plan, with the aim of creating a community of local editors that would add content to and be active on Wikidata.

The work plan included three main areas:

1. Promoting awareness of Wikidata in Israel, focused on, but not limited to, certain target audiences:
a) those with a technological background – developers, programmers, people working in startup companies, and other professionals involved with big data or related areas;
b) GLAM professionals and in particular librarians, archivists and other information specialists
c) the Wikipedia community
In addition, we have been trying to incorporate Wikidata into educational programs in academia and high-schools.
2. Developing a tutorial tool for the Wikidata Query Service (SPARQL) – intended to attract people to Wikidata, by showcasing this unique information service that allows querying the largest free database.
3. Adding content to Wikidata – through collaborations with GLAM institutes or using other sources of data.

Achievements and Highlights

Promoting Awareness:

Israeli publishers' authority database Wikidata project

In addition to the presentations noted in the progress report, the Wikidata coordinator presented Wikidata at the Davidson Institute of Science Education, to the staff of the Cultural Heritage Unit at the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage, at a training day for librarians of the Tel Aviv municipal libraries, and at a meet-up of Young Wikipedians. Our Introduction to Wikidata online webinar had close to 350 views. A second webinar on “how to add labels in English and other languages” (and the importance of doing so) received more than 50 views. Presentations of Wikidata were also delivered by WMIL-volunteer Shani Evenstein-Sigalov at the Artificial Intelligence and Frontier Technologies for Open Educational Resources (OER) workshop during UNESCO’s Mobile Learning Week 2019, at the Digital Culture Colloquium at The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, at the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, and at Tel Aviv University in the “Web-Based Learning Environment“ course.

Wikidata and Education:

  • High schools – In July 2019, the Wikidata coordinator gave a Wikidata training day to high-school teachers of the Cyber Informatics matriculation track (see Impact Report 2018). Further collaboration regarding this track was delayed due to the replacement of the national coordinator of Science and Technology at the Ministry of Education. However, the new coordinator is keen to continue this partnership, and in 2020 we expect a pilot project at the Ort High School in Lod.
  • Academia: In April 2019, WMIL was contacted by the University of Haifa’s School of Information regarding their M.A. students’ obligatory practicum. We suggested to offer students the option to do their practicum around a Wikidata project. Three students have chosen to do their practicum at WMIL, under the supervision of WMIL’s Wikidata coordinator, Dr. Keren Shatzman. One student’s practicum will focus on items of Israeli heritage sites on Wikidata. A second project concerns data from the Israeli Museum Portal. The third student will add information about Israeli artists based on the Information Center for Israeli Art. Work on these projects will take place in the first half of 2020. Shani Evenstein-Sigalov, who has been teaching Wikipedia courses to students at the Tel Aviv University since 2013, expanded the curriculum of the all-campus elective course to also include learning and editing Wikidata, and the course is now titled “From Wikipedia to Wikidata”.

Wikidata Query Service/SPARQL Tutorial Website:

The development of a tutorial for the Wikidata Query Service (WDQS) is intended to attract people to Wikidata, by showcasing this unique information service that allows querying the largest free database. The main advantage of the WDQS tutorial over existing training materials is that the WDQS interface is embedded in the tutorial, such that queries and their results can be run and viewed without leaving the site. The tutorial content was developed in English and Hebrew by the Wikidata coordinator. The website was built, and the content in English has been uploaded. We are waiting to solve some minor technical issues before uploading the Hebrew content. The first version of the site will be launched during the first quarter of 2020. The tutorial website has been built on the Wordpress platform to ensure ease of modification of the content according to feedback we may receive, as well as to be able to adapt to potential future changes in WDQS.

Adding Content to Wikidata:

Almost 1,900 new Wikidata items were created based on the data from the Israeli Museum Portal. The Wikidata coordinator used this opportunity to learn the skills and tools involved in massive uploads to Wikidata, so that we would have this knowledge in-house and can support GLAM institutes or other organizations with whom we might collaborate.

In collaboration with the National Library we are working to synchronize their National Authority File with Wikidata, starting with a relatively small pilot of publishers data. To promote this goal, WMIL has granted Dr. Ahava Cohen from the National Library, who is in charge of this project, a scholarship to attend the Wikidata Conference which took place in Berlin in October 2019. Attending the conference has enabled Ahava to form ties with the international Wikidata community, including other librarians involved in similar projects, to receive a more in-depth training and exposure to a wide variety of tools that are used in the context of Wikidata, and discuss with her peers the specific challenges that our project poses, such as multi-lingual reconciliation of data with OpenRefine and how it deals with semitic languages, and issues of using regular expressions with non-Latin scripts. The mapping of the fields of publishers’ information onto the Wikidata model has been completed, and once the data has been parsed will be uploaded to Wikidata.

Hebrew Education ProgramEdit


Program Participants Content Pages Index of Choice Index of Choice
Education: Middle & High Schools (Hebrew) 1400 100 Wiktionary articles; 460 Wikipedia articles (new and improved) Creating lists of 700 topics that meet notability standards and are suitable for high-school students Three months after upload, at least 90% of the content is kept, with only minor changes
H1 1100 students

37 classes

100 Wiktionary articles; 250 Wikipedia articles - -
TOTAL 2019 1260 students and teachers 111 Wiktionary articles; 410 Wikipedia articles

Total: 521

40 classes

750 topics for Wiktionary

List of 360 topics that meet notability standards and are suitable for high-school students

Three months after upload, at least 96% of the content is kept, with only minor changes

WMIL’s education program is a meeting point of two complementing interests: the chapter wishes to enrich the content of Wikipedia and the educational system seeks innovative ways for teaching, particularly of academic writing skills. In this program, the participating teachers and students know their products will be published on Wikipedia, therefore they tend to set their standards higher and put more effort in order to make their articles worthy of publication. They learn about the importance of adequate source references, assessing the reliability of these sources and writing in a concise, grammatically correct and neutral manner.

The main activity of this field is in the framework of the “Students Write Wikipedia” program and the Hebrew-Wiktionary editing projects. In this framework, we set our goal to engage students and teachers from various local communities, particularly from the geographical and social periphery of the country, rather than focusing solely on students with high literacy skills.

Beside this major activity, we also started to contact school librarians in order to offer them training and cooperation, and turn them into a significant force in helping future editing programs. We also strengthened our relations and cooperation with major public libraries (the National Library in Jerusalem and Beit Ariela in Tel Aviv). These libraries offered (upon request) lists of wanted articles and recommended sources, and were even willing to host students several times and guide them in looking for references.

Achievements (annual summary)

  • “Students Write Wiktionary”: 111 new entries on he-wiktionary about idiomatic expressions originating from the Hebrew Bible.
  • “Students Write Wikipedia”: 376 new or improved articles on He-wp.
  • Successful completion of all 2018-19 school year projects. Forty classes uploaded their final products to He-wp and he-wiktionary, with 96% of them accepted as adequate articles. The rest were deleted having been challenged on account of notability.

Achievements (second half)

  • We developed a new model for engaging volunteers (Wikipedians and senior-citizen course graduates) in the “Students Write Wikipedia” program. The volunteers edited articles written by students and made them more in-line with the standards kept on He-wp.
Science Oriented Youth 2019
  • Programs for gifted-education students - Our collaboration with the Tel Aviv University and the Science Oriented Youth program continues and focuses on the subject of female pioneering figures. During the past 5 years, this program contributed greatly to narrowing the gender gap on He-wp and yielded 65 new articles during November 2019.
  • Developing a set of instructional tools for leading teachers in the “Students Write Wikipedia” program:
  • An instructional document on how to write an entry on he-wiktionary about an idiomatic expression whose origin is the Hebrew Bible, including a step-by-step scheme that guides the students in exploring the origin of the expression.
  • A document on how to conduct an introductory session about the project.
  • Guidelines for teaching about reliable sources.
  • Documents on how to write articles about books and about statutes.
  • Guidelines for instructing students on how to use an article from En-wp as a basis for a new article on He-wp.
  • Ahead of the current school year of 2019-2020, we enrolled 40 new classes, 19 of which are led by teachers with whom we had never worked before. This process included marketing, meeting the teachers, training the new teachers, discussing appropriate writing topics, and preparing specific instructional material.
  • Lists or suggested writing topics have been prepared, in the following new fields: imperialism in Africa, the Second Temple Era (Jewish history), Jewish refugee camps in post-WW2 Europe, books on diverse topics.

Challenges

  • Diversifying the enrolled schools and teachers socially and geographically
  • A narrow timeframe for training the new teachers (owing to the workload imposed on teachers and the little compensation for extracurricular activity).
  • Adapting the list of suggested topics to the needs and wishes of the teachers, the level of their students and the official curriculum.
  • Teacher quality: the teachers themselves sometimes need basic training in academic writing skills.

Insights

  • The Wiktionary project of writing about idiomatic expressions turned out to be more challenging for the students than initially expected. It required a relatively deep knowledge of the Hebrew Bible on behalf of the teachers, who needed to teach the students about the original context of the expression and how to make the appropriate reference to the Biblical text. Teachers of Bible Studies (a position which exists in most Hebrew-speaking schools) might be a better choice for this project in the future (it is currently led by teachers of Hebrew as a first language).
  • Working with many classes in the same school increases efficiency but has its drawbacks (see case study for further details)
  • For the first time, students wrote or improved articles about books (children books, youth books, and adult books) and about Israeli statutes. In some cases, the students added a paragraph to an existing article about the historical context of a book, using advanced source-searching skills. Building on this experience, we created instructional documents to assist teachers in guiding students with writing articles about books and about statutes.

What next?

  • Strengthening collaborations with existing partners and engaging more deeply with them, aiming, consequently, toward making the utmost of the institutional capabilities gained through experience and increasing its impact.
  • Developing new and additional collaborations, focusing more, where possible, on school networks (such as Ort), thus increasing effectiveness, outcomes and overall impact.
  • To enroll more classes and introduce the program to more schools; to replace less committed teachers with more devoted ones.
  • Strengthening our ties with school librarians, who can become in-house support for the program; this can be done through cooperations on the school, city or state level (e.g. an annual conference of school librarians).


Case Study: Yarkon School During the 2018-19 school year, we experimented with a new process of work for the “Students Write Wikipedia” program, in which the school engaged all students of the same age group in the project, rather than a single 40-student class at a time. The leading figure in this project was not the students’ homeroom teacher, but rather the school’s history teaching coordinator (given that most writing subjects are within the scope of history lessons). The historical topic that was chosen included Jewish communities that had perished in the Holocaust and notable Holocaust survivors. Yad Vashem, the Holocaust remembrance center in Jerusalem, offered its support. The chapter organized a training course for the six teaching coordinators who joined the program in its new form. For educational reasons, the coordinators asked to include students of all literacy levels in the program, not only the strongest in this respect. Overall, 280 students from eight classes of different literacy levels took part. They wrote 77 drafts, of which 53 became full-fledged Wikipedia articles. Following the project, nearly all known Jewish communities that perished during the Second World War are covered by He-wp. The teaching coordinators fulfilled most of our expectations and created a fruitful cooperation with Yad Vashem. For the chapter’s team, the fact that one school teacher was responsible for dozens of students made the communication with the school much more efficient and effective.

The following lessons should also be taken into account: (1) The average product per class was lower than in the previous method. (2) The work with the lowest-level classes did not yield useful products. Apparently. more effort should have been invested in preparing a list of subjects that would better suit their abilities. Also, these students require close guidance from the responsible teacher. Some of these drafts did not, however, go in vain. Two Wikipedia editors volunteered to improve the drafts and turn them into valuable Wikipedia articles.


A thank-you note for the teachers 2019

∵ Marketing the “Students Write Wikipedia” Program

This program requires the teacher to invest a significant amount of time and effort, for which they are not always compensated. We have a strategy of marketing and retention that aims at preserving our contacts with committed teachers and recruiting new teachers to the program. This strategy translates to the following activities:

  1. At the end of the school year, we send a chocolate box and some Wikipedia merchandise to participating teachers with a thank-you note.
  2. We write about the program and its achievements in our social media pages and our quarterly newsletter. In one edition we wrote about a special student and her teacher. In another we published a picture of two teachers receiving our thank-you gift.
  3. We send a letter to school principals emphasizing the importance of this program to their schools.
  4. We offer printed handouts about the program to interested schools that are not part of the program yet.






Arabic Education ProgramEdit


Program Participants Content Pages Index of Choice Index of Choice
Education: Middle & High Schools (Arabic) 370 320 Wikipedia articles (new and improved) Recruitment of 10 new schools to the program Students use the new training website; 80% report it was helpful
H1 262 participants in 12 schools 243 Wikipedia articles (76 new, 167 significantly improved) 7 new schools joined the program -
TOTAL 2019 476 participants in 14 schools 275 Wikipedia articles (102 new, 173 improved) 9 new schools participated in the program The instructional website was launched in October, 2019. 100% students were introduced to the website and used it during workshops.

Our “Arabic Education Program” continues to grow with a diverse set of activities, some of which have developed during the year as fruitful collaboration with other institutes:
Goals

  • Expanding the program: Encouraging and training more students to write and improve articles on Arabic Wikipedia
  • Developing an instructional website which assist teachers and students in creating Wikipedia content in Arabic
  • Organizing “Wikipedia Ambassador” and building a national network of Arabic Wikipedia editors
  • Establishing collaborations with GLAM institutions involving schools activity

Achievements

Bilingual Education Programs infrograph, 2019-20

Students Write Wikipedia
Our activity in Arabic education included free-knowledge awareness lectures, editing workshops, a competition, edit-a-thons and library tours. In most cases, the motivation at schools that join the program comes along with the staff interest in granting their students the digital, research and lingual skills while using the opportunity to contribute to knowledge and to online Arabic content. During the year, we also focused on preserving our activity at schools where the Students Write Wikipedia program fulfilled its goals.

  • Activities took place in 14 schools, attended by 476 participants. Participants in all schools wrote and improved a total of 275 Ar-wp articles.
  • 9 new schools joined the program where students wrote and uploaded articles to Arabic Wikipedia.
  • Arabic-speaking schools continue to show interest in combining the writing task with volunteering programs required from the students, as high school students must commit to completing social involvement units prior to their graduation. Their contribution to Wikipedia is measured hourly. The project ensures sustainability of contribution (students who join the program are required to create/improve a minimal number of articles), and quality of the outcome.
  • Although we avoid working with 12th graders, who are busy finishing matriculation exams, teacher Shahd Ghanem from Yamma Agricultural High School chose to work with one 12th grade class on a mandatory tasks as alternative assessment. The students wrote and improved 16 articles on environmental topics and insects.
  • Improving our communication with teachers as well administrators, we started shedding light on empowering teachers work. For Teachers Day that fall in December, a bilingual summary brochure was created and sent to our partners.
  • “Wiki Warsha” in Education: Creating the instructional website “Wiki Warsha” was another major step for Wikimedia Israel in developing instructional tools. The website serves as our key tutorial source in all Arabic activities including education. The website facilitates our work with school staff and enables students to learn and be exposed to Arabic Wikipedia.
  • Collaboration with National Library of Israel: In collaboration with NLI, the chapter organized “Nibras Wikipedia,” a students Wiki competition in May to encourage students and schools to use Jrayed.org, a digital archive of Arabic newspapers in Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine, and to add content to Arabic Wikipedia. We prepared lists based on two themes: Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine where students can refer to the mentioned archives, and another list about towns and subs around the world. The results exceeded our expectations, 61 students from 5 schools registered to participate in the competition. 18 students fulfilled the tasks, writing and improving 56 articles. The competition was celebrated later in September, the event included a brief edit-a-thon in which students inserted images such as opening sheets of newspapers, added by the library team to Commons.

Challenges

  • Sustaining teachers' commitment is essential for the implementation of the project in schools.
  • Broaden teachers involvement in the project. As teachers are merely interested in organizing the logistics of each activity rather than content, or do not fit our expectation in their ability to lead writing tasks, we would like to encourage leading teachers to be instructors and content reviewers by using the instructional website Wiki Warsha.
  • Wikipedia Ambassadors: Although we decided to conduct the meetings at Haifa University because of its accessible location to the students, who travelled from different geographical areas, we found that holding a monthly meeting to be challenging. The age heterogeneity in the group increased the challenge as some participants dropped out because of matriculation exams.

Insights

Students at Yamma Agricultural High School wrote about Herbal Plants, June 2019
  • Curating thematic lists of suggested entries. Thematic assignments help both the teachers and students in the process of group learning, while reaching a common goal. It also facilitates the editing instructions on Wikipedia when it comes to explaining the desired structure of each topic (i.g. stubs and towns, plants).
  • Creating instructional materials for using the translation tool, and editing translated articles. The trilingual education system at Arabic-speaking schools gives us the opportunity to engage learners and teachers from different realms with literacies and practices associated with translation, in addition to evaluating multiple sources of information. In 2019, more teachers are interested in translation assignments.
  • Organizing an annual competition. Based on the experience we had with the competition launched in May, we found that such initiatives attract both veteran and new schools, and they strengthen schools’ engagement in the Students Write Wikipedia program. A competition is another way to encourage students to contribute to Wikipedia independently.
  • One-day or short-term activities where the students write their draft in the presence of the teacher and the WMIL coordinator can be highly effective.
  • Gnome-edits (e.g. adding links, adding images from Commons) following the introductory lectures are a highly effective exercise which enables the students to break the ice with Wikipedia editors and encourage them to make their first steps.

What’s next?

  • Growth and sustainability of both teachers’ involvement and contributions by the students.
  • Recruiting new schools to the program and preserving the activity at veteran schools. We are planning to expand our reach to include new schools in new villages and towns including Bedouin schools in the southern parts of the country.
  • Planning and implementing the “Wikipedia Ambassadors” program efficiently for the upcoming school year 2019-2020, focusing on awareness and motivation in the school environment.

Higher EducationEdit


Program Participants Content pages Index of choice Index of choice
Higher Education 450 450 Wikipedia articles; 100 Wikidata items - -
H1 285 participants

14 classes

221 Wikipedia articles; 329 Wikidata items - -
TOTAL 2019 479 participants (16 classes) 401 Wikipedia articles; 371 Wikidata items - -

Our program in higher education institutes is focused on these activities:

  • Supporting lecturers who incorporate a Wikipedia assignment in their course.
  • Advertising successful collaborations with lecturers as a way to market the program.
  • Identifying relevant target audiences and introducing the program to them.

Achievements and Highlights

In 2019 the marketing of the academic program changed from a “push” strategy to a “pull” strategy. This allowed WMIL’s academic coordinator to focus on supporting the participating lecturers in a more efficient and close manner. The lecturers that participated in the program were all very committed and motivated and the resulting articles were, on average, better than in previous years. This is also the result of streamlining the workflow with lecturers – providing clearer instructions for the process, curating a list of articles to be written, defining the scope of the assignment, setting milestones and deadlines etc.

One new kind of collaboration took place at the Beit Berl College. The new Director of the Certificate Program in Translation approached WMIL’s academic coordinator to enquire about incorporating a Wikipedia translation assignment into her course. It was the first time a Wikipedia assignment involved translation in the context of a professional translation studies program. The project was a resounding success yielding high-quality translations of articles from Wikipedia, on a variety of topics, and high levels of satisfaction and accomplishment on the side of the students.

All in all, Wikipedia assignments were introduced in 16 courses, taught by 13 lecturers – 4 of them newly joined. In 2019, 340 new articles were written and 61 significantly expanded in these courses. In addition 371 Wikidata items were created or edited.

WMIL’s new marketing strategy of the academic program is based on the idea of highlighting and advertising successful collaborations through various channels. Dr. Gideon Ticotsky, who incorporated a Wikipedia assignment in two literature courses he taught, was interviewed by WMIL’s marketing coordinator and the interview was published on WMIL’s website, as well as on our academic website and Facebook channel. We also wrote a post about a project led by Dr. Daniela Shabar-Shapira who incorporated a Wikipedia assignment in her course “Women and Gender in Social Work – a Feminist Perspective”, and published it on Wikimedia Foundation’s international blog (who even twitted the story), as well as on through WMIL’s own channels.

We also planned to launch a marketing campaign targeting young lecturers, as this group has more awareness of the massive impact of Wikipedia and more to gain from participation. Marketing material was prepared and distributed through two mailing lists of Junior Academic Staff Associations (out of five that were contacted) at two universities before the beginning of the Spring semester 2019. However, as the impact of this campaign was insignificant, we did not proceed with a second round which was planned for the beginning of the academic year in November 2019.

One of the ongoing challenges of the Academic program is expanding the fields in which a Wikipedia assignment is incorporated to STEM studies. Continuing our efforts from 2018 at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, in November 2019 the academic coordinator gave a lecture and workshop regarding Wikipedia and Wikipedia writing assignment to the staff of the Faculty of the Education in Science and Technology. This is the faculty in which most STEM teachers in Israel are trained. We intend to try and incorporate a Wikipedia assignment as part of the curriculum.

Collaboration with GLAM institutionsEdit


Program Participants Content pages Index of choice Index of choice
Collaboration with GLAM institutes At least 3 institutes; 50 librarians 500 gnome-edits (1Lib1Ref)

Wikipedia articles and Wikidata items - no specific goal was set, because the data were dependent on cooperations.

Creating local know-how guides for working with local GLAM institutes -
H1 - 1300 (1Lib1Ref edits), 11 images uploads to Commons (Gnazim) - -
TOTAL 2019 7 institutes (3 Libraries, 2 art galleries, 2 archives) 1300 (1Lib1Ref edits), 44 image uploads to Commons (NLI, Gnazim) The development of the guide was supposed to be the fruit of cooperations which we had expected following the GLAM conference; however the actual cooperations were not enough to form a basis for the guide. -

Wikimedia Israel has been involved in establishing a network of local GLAM partnerships through which the chapter advocates and provides guidance about opening up digitized collections to the public:

∵ NLI (National Library of Israel) - During 2019, as part of the chapter’s effort to sustain our GLAM-Wiki initiatives, we organized multiple events with the National Library of Israel, including 1Lib1Ref workshops in Hebrew and Arabic, an editing competition during the month of Ramadan (See: Nibras Wikipedia), and encouraging librarians to offer direct assistance and support to the educational projects in both Hebrew and Arabic. In addition, we examined further opportunities for cooperation which would serve mutual interests in education. In the second half of 2019, the chapter and the library co-organized edit-a-thons for one school. One 9th grade group (out of 3) from Rowwad al-Quds School in Beit Hanina, Jerusalem, were introduced to the library’s space and halls, to the collections, followed by an editing workshop. The class added 18 articles about Arabic periodicals and magazine that were published before 1948 which were available for view at the library’s digital archives. The collaboration continues in 2020.

∵ IDF (Israel Defence Forces) – We managed to start a cooperation with this big national organization that holds many historical and recent documentary images of Israel. We started a project page on He-wp where Wikipedians can ask the IDF’s Spokesperson Unit to provide images for certain articles. The IDF would then offer an image and make it free-licensed via the OTRS system. So far, we obtained 438 photos with this method, which were integrated in various He-wp articles.

Shaul Tchernichovsky's autograph

∵ Gnazim – Archive of Hebrew Writers, Israel – Gnazim Archive is an important archive of Israeli culture that has more than 750 collections of documents related to writers, poets, essayists and playwrights from the late 19th century to the present. Most of these collections are not available to the public online, and can only be accessed by visiting the archive. The process of digitization is slow, owing to the archive’s obligation to receive approval from the family of the late artist. Nevertheless, about 20 handwritings of important Israeli poets and songwriters have been scanned and some of them were eligible for Wikimedia Commons. One of the scanned documents that were uploaded to Commons is a manuscript of the famous Hebrew poem Gan Na’ul by Rachel Bluwstein. The archive also uploaded a scan of Shaul Tchernichovsky's autograph, now used in articles dedicated to him in 15 different languages. More than 28 thousand people saw the autograph since it had been added to these articles.

Training Curriculum Development and Training TeamEdit


Program Participants Content Pages Index of Choice Index of Choice
Training Curriculum Development and Training Team 30 volunteers (unique participants) - Raising awareness about current instructional tools (including websites, courseware) both locally and globally; Improving the current Hebrew courseware; creating lesson plans for teachers; expanding available Hebrew toolkits; improving current instructional tools. 30 volunteers; recruting 2 new volunteers; Six physical and online sessions for enrichment, consultation, networking and recognition
H1 28 volunteers (unique participants) - During the first half of 2019, the chapter continued to develop the Wiki Warsha instructional website project in-house and in collaboration with a service provider, including content pages, videos, illustrative images, and web design. Pilot versions of the videos were used in 60% of the sessions. Opening session presentation was used in all activities. All guides were used, referred to, and distributed in school and community activities. Team of volunteers: 9 volunteers recruited during H1 2019.

Volunteers’ meet-ups: 2 meet-ups attended by the entire team, which are equivalent to 4 meet-ups of two parallel groups in the former method.

TOTAL 2019 31 volunteers (unique participants) - Raising awareness about instructional tools - the focus was on Wiki Warsha instructional website. see H1.

Improvement of Hebrew courseware - almost completed.

Guidelines and lesson plans for teachers - 7 documents.

Hebrew training tools - 7 created and various existing tools improved (details below).

Team of volunteers: 12 volunteers recruited during 2019

Volunteers’ meet-ups: We held all planned meet-ups online (3 meet-ups attended by the entire team, which are equivalent to 6 meet-ups of two parallel groups in the former method)

∵ Launching "Wiki Warsha": An Instructional Website for Arabic WP Editors

In October 2019, and after two years of brainstorming and planning, the chapter launched “Wiki Warsha ويكي ورشة”, an instructional website in Arabic designed to teach Arabic-language readers around the globe to edit and write articles for Arabic Wikipedia. The website consists of multimedia elements (video, text, images) designed to introduce Wikipedia to Arabic readers, to raise awareness, to invite new editors to write and edit content on Arabic Wikipedia, to assist teachers in school activities, and instructors in editing workshops.

Warsha is the Arabic word for ‘workshop’, the website includes short instructional films, texts and images and is divided into 13 informative and instructional lessons: Wikipedia homepage structure, About Wikipedia articles, Create account, Sign in to a registered account, Create a userpage, Create a new article, Edit an article, Formatting the article, Request edits approval on Arabic Wikipedia, Adding image, Adding internal and external links, Adding references, Adding categories. In addition to those lessons, the website contains informative sections about copyright issues, FAQs, good article criteria, and talk pages, all in order to facilitate understanding how Wikipedia communities function.

The development of the instructional website “Wiki Warsha” was completed in the second half of 2019 following a prolonged process. The team developed, designed and wrote the content of the website pages, wrote scripts for the videos, created illustrative screenshots suited to each page. The team was involved in the website design as well. The process included continuous quality assurance conducted by WMIL’s team and follow-up. The chapter created a promotional video which invites Arabic readers and writers to be part of the Wikipedia community and in the distribution of knowledge. The website was introduced to the Wikimedia Movement through newsletters and the chapter’s social media channels. Marketing continues in 2020.

Wiki Warsha Promotional Video:

∵ Development and Improvement of Instructional Tools in Hebrew

The goals set for this field of activity were achieved only partially for a number of reasons:

  • The growth of the senior citizens’ program during 2019 put additional workload on the Hebrew Education Coordinator, who is also responsible for this field.
  • In light of the change of leadership, which the chapter experienced toward the end of 2019, it seemed wiser to focus on maintaining existing projects rather than embarking on new ones.
  • The major project of development, namely, the Hebrew Wikipedia courseware, encountered significant technical difficulties, which demanded full attention of the chapter’s team.

Notwithstanding these circumstances, we managed to reach some significant achievements in this field during 2019:

  • Improving the Hebrew Wikipedia courseware – This project is nearly completed. The updated version is now available to users, and we will soon offer a set of links that will provide access to specific parts of the courseware.
  • We created and uploaded to our YouTube channel four instructional films in high-profile subjects (for example, the film: How to check a Wikipedia article’s number of views?).
  • We developed instructional pages in fourteen different subjects for internal use at the senior citizens’ program and students’ programs. The subjects include: guides for using the translation tool and for editing Wiktionary, suggestions on how to open and end educational projects, how to upload an image not owned by the user onto the Commons, polls and content deletion on He-wp and other subjects.
  • We developed a workshop session and improved existing contents for the senior citizens’ courses.

∵ Fostering the Instructional Team of Volunteers for Educational Projects

This year, 2019, saw the rejuvenation of the chapter’s instructional team for educational projects, following a decline that occured during 2019 (more details here). The reasons for this positive development are as follows:

  • New volunteers, particularly graduates of the senior citizens’ courses and other programs, joined the team following team-initiated requests.
  • Resumption of the volunteer meet-up tradition, which included this year three online sessions to deal with the following subjects: leading workshops for using the translation tool, offering support through email for new editors, and an initiative of one of the volunteers to start recording talks about Wikipedia on video.

∵ A Model for International Instructional Center

The development of a model for the establishment of an international instructional center, which was due to be presented at the conference in Berlin at the end of March 2019, has been shelved due to the change of leadership in our chapter.

FundraisingEdit


∵ Round-up Donations

WMIL team at a donations stand

WMIL is part of the Israeli round-up donation project (known locally as Igul Letova). This donation mechanism is based on the “long tail concept” – the sum of every transaction made with a credit card is rounded up to the nearest shekel. The small differences between the original sums and the actual charges are then aggregated and donated to charity organizations chosen by the credit card owner. A monthly donation is ILS 5.42 (USD ~1.5) on average.

At the beginning of 2019 we had 1101 donors of this kind. The number increased to over 2000 donors by the end of the year owing to intense promotion activities. We published the option to become a round-up donor during our annual fundraising campaign. We also sent hand-outs about this program and asked our volunteers to mention it in their talks. We added a link to the program’s page to our staff’s email signature, and placed a special booth about this program in two conferences in which we took part.

∵ Small Donations

WMIL has been receiving small grassroot donations from private donors throughout the years. In 2019, we decided to start fostering this group of donors and address its members individually, in order to let them know how important they were to our community and encourage them to donate again. We listed the donors and calculated the average frequency of their donations.We then sent a personal email to people who had made a small donation in the previous 12 months and asked them to donate once more as a commemoration of their first donation a year ago. This campaign was a big success. Before the local holiday season, we sent our most active donors a small gift with a card.

This change of approach expanded dramatically our base of grassroot donors. This group included only 56 donors in 2018, and increased to 156 in 2019.

Press ReviewEdit


In 2019 Wikimedia Israel was mentioned several times in the local media:

Revenues received during this period (6 month for progress report, 12 months for impact report)Edit

Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.

Table 2 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ is requested.

  • Please also include any in-kind contributions or resources that you have received in this revenues table. This might include donated office space, services, prizes, food, etc. If you are to provide a monetary equivalent (e.g. $500 for food from Organization X for service Y), please include it in this table. Otherwise, please highlight the contribution, as well as the name of the partner, in the notes section.
Revenue source Currency Anticipated Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Anticipated ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Explanation of variances from plan
Revenues from private donations ILS 10,000 12,535 7,094 6,656 12,961 39,246 2,706 10,620
Sponsorships ILS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Foundations ILS 400,000 10,471 26,926 189,787 7,627 234,811 108,240 63,540
Revenues from membership fees ILS 2,000 420 40 20 40 520 541 141
Wikimedia Foundation ILS 1,075,000 627,083 0 447,917 0 1,075,000 290,895 290,895
Revenues from collaborations ILS 30,000 0 20,000 6,500 2,000 28,500 8,118 7,712
Revenues from courses ILS 4,000 1,220 3,400 3,080 2,000 9,700 1,082 2,625
Round Up ILS 72,000 12,662 22,004 22,810 32,643 90,119 19,483 24,386
Revenues from companies ILS 15,000 0 1,500 7,500 200 9,200 4,059 2,490
In Kind ILS 600,000 838,120 162,360 226,795 In kind donations will be calculated at the end of the year
Total Revenues ILS 2,208,000 664,391 80,964 684,270 57,471 2,325,216 597,485 629,203

* Provide estimates in US Dollars


Spending during this period (6 month for progress report, 12 months for impact report)Edit

Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.

Table 3 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ is requested.

(The "budgeted" amount is the total planned for the year as submitted in your proposal form or your revised plan, and the "cumulative" column refers to the total spent to date this year. The "percentage spent to date" is the ratio of the cumulative amount spent over the budgeted amount.)
Expense Currency Budgeted Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Budgeted ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Percentage spent to date Explanation of variances from plan
Community Support (Hebrew Wikipedia) ILS 198,970 43,511 32,092 56,212 85,230 217,045 53,841 58,732 109.08% In response to the growing demand the "Senior Citizens write Wikipedia" courses which we have witnessed throughout the year (and still are), we have decided to hire the services of freelancer instructor to help us hold additional courses beyond the originally planned which implied an addition of 15K to the budget. This step also enabled us to expand geographically to the north (Haifa area), as well as quantitatively, increasing the overall number of participants, beyond what was originally planned. This step is reflected in a relatively modest increase in our expenses in this section.
Communities support (Wikimedia Initiatives) ILS 12,600 128 1,332 3,266 0 4,726 3,410 1,279 37.51% Wikidata is a new initiative in the WMIL Work Plan, which we have kicked off for the first time during 2019.

Most of the budget in this item was designated for the development of a tutorial tool for the Wikidata Query Service. In practice, during 2019 we have paid only the first down payment, and the balance is due in 2020. Thus, a gap exists between the planned and the executed.

Open content and GLAM ILS 41,000 11,970 351 3,701 2,106 18,128 11,095 4,905 44.21% Following the GLAM conference that took place in Tel Aviv (2018), we estimated that there would be an immediate growing interest on behalf of institutions and organizations to expand archival content and partnership in and with Wikimedia, and we have budgeted this item accordingly. In reality, the process turned out to be more challenging than expected, more time consuming, and requiring a tailor-made approach to each relevant institution. Consequently, we did not meet the planned budget target for this activity, although we are very proud with the GLAM institutions that did came onboard, albeit less than expected, for their importance in the public eye. Lessons learned regarding the approach are implemented in the 2020 working plan.
Education - Hebrew ILS 178,985 43,673 43,488 49,748 40,109 177,018 48,433 47,901 98.90%
Higher Education ILS 181,985 43,571 39,871 49,722 39,759 172,923 49,245 46,793 95.02%
Education - Arabic ILS 226,385 52,208 43,774 71,863 41,495 209,340 61,260 56,647 92.47% While implementing the Ambassadors of the Arabic Wikipedia initiative, we found it challenging to hold a centralized monthly training activity for participants of hetrogenous ages arriving from different geographical areas. We therefore decided to redesign the activity, and adapt it to the possibilities and needs of this selected group of young people. This caused a delay in completing the original plan and moved it to 2020, and also slightly reduced the usage budget versus the originally planned.
Training ILS 108,985 16,744 7,888 19,612 29,423 73,667 29,491 19,934 67.59% Due to technical problems we faced with the developers of the Arabic training site, the developing company exempted us from the 2nd payment we were supposed to pay, thus creating a budget surplus compared to the planned. In addition, the course & instruction coordinator's position was originally budgeted for full-time, but in practice she worked half-time for the first three quarters of the year (and returned to full-time only in the last quarter). Acordingly, the wage component was not fully utilized.
Free knowledge awareness ILS 125,000 14,812 19,921 19,411 18,591 72,735 33,825 19,682 58.19% The community, which leads the WLM competition, decided this year to change the method of this venture and instead of focusing on photography, to focus on adding new content ​​on monuments. Hence, the photography tours that were originally planned to take place along the year, and were budgeted accordingly, did not occur, and our total expenditure in this budget section was lower than planned
Global engagement ILS 34,000 3,016 18,586 13,956 0 35,558 9,200 9,622 104.58%
Communication and publicity ILS 168,000 48,558 41,068 42,004 37,980 169,610 45,461 45,896 100.96%
Management and Administration ILS 443,890 115,489 105,146 122,080 158,440 501,155 120,117 135,613 112.90% Once the decision of termination of Michal's role was taken, a recruitment HR agency was hired to lead the searching process for a new ED. These aditional costs, not originally planned created a slight increase in the administration expenses.
TOTAL ILS 1,719,800 393,679 353,517 451,575 453,133 1,651,905 465,378 447,005 95.89%

* Provide estimates in US Dollars


ComplianceEdit

Is your organization compliant with the terms outlined in the grant agreement?Edit

As required in the grant agreement, please report any deviations from your grant proposal here. Note that, among other things, any changes must be consistent with our WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement.

Are you in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No". Yes

Are you in compliance with provisions of the United States Internal Revenue Code (“Code”), and with relevant tax laws and regulations restricting the use of the Grant funds as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No". Yes

SignatureEdit

RevitalP-WMIL (talk) 11:32, 26 March 2020 (UTC)

ResourcesEdit

Resources to plan for measurementEdit

Resources for storytellingEdit