IRC office hours/Office hours 2012-06-21

[11:01] ldavis this office hour is about the wikipedia education program. i'm LiAnna Davis, the communications manager of the program, and we have several other education program staff on.
[11:01] ldavis also, note that this channel will be publicly logged from that message onward
[11:01] effeietsanders ldavis: that office hour was 1,5 hour ago
[11:01] hisham Hi. I'm Hisham and I lead the India programs team.
[11:02] fschulenburg Hi, I'm Frank Schulenburg, Education Program Director
[11:02] effeietsanders or is there another one?
[11:02] ldavis this one is about the education program
[11:02] effeietsanders aaah
[11:02] effeietsanders shuts up
[11:02] RobSchnautz I'm Rob Schnautz, and I serve as an online communications person for the WMF's end of the Wikipedia Education Program.
[11:02] fschulenburg hugs effeietsanders
[11:02] Fluffernutter hi guysI'm in and out, attention-wise, today, but I'll at least be reading back afterward
[11:02] effeietsanders hey fschulenburg
[11:02] annielin Hi everyone, this is Annie Lin; I've been actively involved in the Wikipedia Education Program's activities in the Arabic-speaking area. I also support work in other parts of the world.
[11:02] fschulenburg hey
[11:03] ldavis any questions to kick us off?
[11:03] hisham effeietsanders: that was the India program IRC. we had a wonderful one on the social media pilot we are running. and had participation from English, Bangla, Odia, Tamil, Assamese and the Nepali communities. It was great!
[11:03] Nitika_ Hi everyone, Im working with Hishma @ India Programs
[11:03] Nitika_ And also work on the India Education Program
[11:06] RobSchnautz This will be a general question/answer session, so feel free to ask us questions.
[11:07] tommorris I guess, two things: 1. what are the current successes of the education programme?
[11:07] tommorris 2. how can wikimedians help?
[11:07] ldavis thanks for the questions, tommorris!
[11:08] annielin Hi Tommorris I'll start answering your question #1 and maybe other staff members can jump in if they want
[11:08] annielin First of all, the project we've been doing in Egypt has been a huge success
[11:09] annielin As you might know we launched a pilot education project in Cairo earlier this year, for students to edit the Arabic Wikipedia as part of class.
[11:10] annielin Classes there are over now, and students this term contributed a huge quantity of high-quality content to the Arabic Wikipedia, and many Arabic Wikipedians have been helping them out
[11:10] annielin Students edited some very interesting articles, like the Civil Disobedience article, an article about the bank panic, and an article about Egyptian events in 2011!
[11:10] tommorris is there some specific content focus or is it more general?
[11:11] annielin we didn't specify a topic focus. But we focused on classes where students already have a lot of prior experience doing research and writing. And from there I guess students just picked articles that were of particular interest to them at this moment of Egypt's history.
[11:12] srikanthlogic was it arabic wiki that had flagged revisions? has the queue grown? are editors approving revisions ?
[11:12] annielin Yes, the edits are going through.
[11:13] ldavis in terms of successes for the US and Canada programs, we're really pleased with what we've seen so far from students
[11:13] ldavis we are actually in the middle of a research project to evaluate article quality of a random sample of student articles on the english wikipedia from last term
[11:13] ldavis getting to your question #2, tommorris, we'd love to get more assessments!
[11:13] ldavis give me a minute and i'll pull up the link
[11:14] Ziko hello, one problem we were discussing once was the long time tracking of students, whether they still edit after a couple of months or not
[11:14] fschulenburg tommorris: we're also seeing some other things that might be worth mentioning:
[11:14] ldavis
[11:14] fschulenburg for example: last term we had a great number of instructors coming back
[11:15] fschulenburg 43% of the instructors who participated last term in the US were instructors who participated before
[11:15] annielin To add to ldavis' point, we're actually hosting an Article Review Party this Sunday! Join us if you can, in person or over IRC. Details here:
[11:15] fschulenburg we've never before had such a good retention rate
[11:16] fschulenburg and actually, this is something that we think is really important
[11:16] fschulenburg that's why we will be working on institutionalization next term
[11:16] ldavis Ziko: we'll address that question next, a couple more points to tommorris' question first
[11:17] annielin yup, the other big project in the U.S./Canada programs right now is we want to "institutionalize" the program on various campuses where an on-campus center (like the Teaching & Learning Center) is interested in adopting the program
[11:17] annielin so the idea is that the staff at those centers would take on the bulk of recruiting and coordinating, instead of Wikimedia staff doing those things.
[11:17] annielin Wikimedia staff will provide a lot of guidance and consultation in the beginning, but our role will get smaller and smaller very quickly.
[11:18] ldavis does that answer your question, tommorris?
[11:19] Crtew What responsiblities will those centers have?
[11:19] tommorris ldavis: yep, that's interesting and helpful. thanks.
[11:19] annielin Crtew: staff at those centers will be in charge of finding appropriate professors on their campuses to use Wikipedia as a teaching tool
[11:19] Crtew Will there be anybody overseeing their activities?
[11:19] annielin those centers will also recruit and coordinate Campus Ambassadors
[11:21] annielin Actually there will be three "statuses" in the institutionalization system
[11:21] annielin what that means is that centers have to meet certain expectations/goals in order to be recognized officially as an institutional partner to the education program
[11:21] annielin those expectations and goals are both quantitative and qualitative.
[11:22] annielin The statuses are: Bronze, Silver, and Gold
[11:22] Crtew That model has advantages for growing the program on campuses where WEP is currently active, but what about future growth on campuses outside of existing activity?
[11:23] Theo10011 Hello
[11:23] Crtew hi
[11:24] annielin Actually the idea is that down the line there'll be an "open call" for interested institutions to partner with us if they meet the requirements.
[11:24] annielin Also, actually much of our focus right now is on countries outside the U.S and Canada
[11:24] annielin countries like Egypt and India
[11:25] fschulenburg Ziko: may I take your question?
[11:25] FloNight anniyelin, I like trying statues. What other types of recognition can people recieve who involved. Sorry for the questions if they are available in documentation. I've tried reading about the program on wiki but there is a lot to read.
[11:25] Ziko please
[11:25] fschulenburg ok
[11:25] fschulenburg so, in order to know what students are doing
[11:25] fschulenburg and whether they stick around or not
[11:26] ldavis FloNight: annielin will answer that question after fschulenburg answers Ziko's question
[11:26] fschulenburg you need to know their usernames
[11:26] fschulenburg what we've done in the past
[11:26] fschulenburg is to create what we called "coursepages"
[11:27] fschulenburg where instructors added a short description of the course
[11:27] fschulenburg and a syllabus
[11:27] fschulenburg etc.
[11:27] fschulenburg also: the students put their usernames on that page
[11:28] fschulenburg now, how can you track what the students are doing if you have their usernames on some pages?
[11:28] fschulenburg we did a lot of manual work:
[11:28] fschulenburg copying the usernames into a table
[11:28] fschulenburg setting up some tools on the toolserver
[11:28] fschulenburg and so on
[11:28] fschulenburg but with the growing number of students
[11:29] fschulenburg (year 1: 816, year 2: 2721)
[11:29] fschulenburg it became more and more difficult to get the big picture
[11:30] fschulenburg that's why we decided to ask one of the developers (Jeroen, a contractor) to create a mediawiki extension
[11:30] fschulenburg we blogged about it yesterday
[11:30] ldavis more info here:
[11:30] fschulenburg we're going to use it from next term on
[11:31] fschulenburg with this extension, every student will be in the database
[11:31] fschulenburg and everything will be much more transparent for the community
[11:31] fschulenburg and, to the second part of your question:
[11:32] fschulenburg once we have all the usernames
[11:32] fschulenburg we can also track after a year (or half a year) who's still around
[11:32] fschulenburg Ziko: does that answer your question?
[11:32] Ziko fine
[11:33] fschulenburg
[11:33] Ziko have there been concerns with regard to privacy, if the user names will be in a database?
[11:33] fschulenburg well, the usernames are in mediawiki anyway
[11:33] fschulenburg we just set a flag that some useraccount is a student
[11:34] Ziko ok
[11:34] fschulenburg so everybody on wikipedia
[11:34] fschulenburg can indicate that he/she is a student
[11:34] fschulenburg there will be a little button that says "enroll"
[11:34] annielin FloNight: to answer your earlier question:
[11:35] annielin actually there isn't a lot of documentation on-wiki yet about institutionalization in the U.S./Canada because we haven't finalized everything yet.
[11:35] Ziko fine, thanks
[11:35] annielin So we haven't fully finalized what exactly people will get for each status yet then.
[11:36] annielin any ideas you have for that?
[11:36] FloNight ok. Are you using any thing as a model for this program?
[11:37] annielin yes. We've quite successfully institutionalized the Education Program at Louisiana State University.
[11:37] annielin At this point, staff at that university's communication center are doing all the recruiting, training, and coordinating of professors and Campus Ambassadors.
[11:38] FloNight I think paper certificates as well as wiki certicates of some sort would be good. Something that people can point to on their cv.
[11:38] annielin Oh yea, that's a good idea!
[11:39] annielin writes down notes
[11:39] annielin any other ideas?
[11:40] ldavis just wanted to throw something out there... anyone who is interested in wikipedia and education is invited and encouraged to attend a meet-up we're doing at the saylor foundation offices during wikimania:
[11:40] FloNight During the Strategic Planning the Community Health taskforce looked at recognition as a way of improving community spirt and retention of editors. I'll check that work for ideas.
[11:41] pongr annie: i haven't responded to jami's email yet, but we are definitely interested in the institutionalization model for our campus. q: how is the process different from what we're already doing—are we mostly talking about a much more aggressive effort to train new campus ambassadors/recruit faculty?
[11:41] annielin yea, good idea thanks FloNight.
[11:42] annielin pongr mind if I chat about your particular situation off the public IRC? I'll message you.
[11:43] pongr no problem.
[11:43] ldavis we're especially interested in talking with people in other countries who are interested in starting or expanding programs -- we've already seen some incredible programs started by volunteers around the world, and we'd love to see more, so i hope everyone at wikimania can stop by the meet-up
[11:43] ldavis i'll also throw out this blog post, if people haven't seen it yet:
[11:43] ldavis a great write-up from one of our canadian professors on why she found wikipedia to be a great teaching tool in her class
[11:44] ldavis i think we've answered all the questions so far.... anyone have another question, or did i miss any?
[11:44] WilliamH_UK that's interesting
[11:45] RobSchnautz I know there are more questions than this...
[11:45] WilliamH_UK I think that student perceptions of Wikipedia rely on their teachers/lecturers/staff
[11:45] WilliamH_UK because up until now, they've been telling people not to use it
[11:45] WilliamH_UK or have anything to do with it whatosever
[11:45] Crtew Will the WEP ever expand to the sister projects?
[11:47] ldavis great question, Crtew
[11:48] ldavis we are already working on a number of other language wikipedias, either through WMF programs (brazil, egypt, india, etc.) or through great volunteer-led programs (mexico, czech republic, macedonia, israel, germany, russia, etc.)
[11:48] RobSchnautz (You can see a list of the languages here: )
[11:50] ldavis in terms of non-wikipedia projects, we're always open for ideas of how to make that work and i know there are some independent volunteers doing work on other projects too. some of our students have uploaded videos, photos, and illustrations to commons as part of their coursework.
[11:50] ldavis there are a lot of ideas of how we could expand our program (work with high schools, etc.), but we want to make sure we get it right before we expand, so we're still on that stage of the program development process
[11:50] Crtew I have been using a similar teaching model adapted for objective, policies and culture on Wikinews to teach journalism. Not having the Wikimedia Education Program is noticeable.
[11:51] ldavis i'd love to hear more information about your experiences
[11:52] Gobonobo the new mediawiki extension says that it "Enables easier searching for a course by university or term" - was a solution found for differences in institutions semester/quarter systems?
[11:52] WilliamH_UK my advice would be to engage teachers
[11:53] WilliamH_UK having gone into british universities with outreach projects
[11:53] WilliamH_UK and speaking as a student myself
[11:53] Crtew Wikimedia Commons is the more obvious project to draw diverse academic interests and is probably being used now -- but is WEP activity there been tracked in any form?
[11:53] ldavis Gobonobo: yes, when created a course, the professor adds the start and end date of the class, so the "current courses" list is simply the courses that are active as of that date range
[11:55] ldavis Crtew: great idea -- with unified login that shouldn't be a problem
[11:55] fschulenburg yes. definitely
[11:55] fschulenburg that's really a good point
[11:56] fschulenburg thanks a lot, Crtew
[11:56] FloNight Crtew, I think Commons and Wikisource would both be great places for students to put stuff related to their WP.
[11:56] ldavis we have 5 more minutes... any last questions?
[11:56] Crtew yes, wikisource is another one!
[11:56] Dragonfly6-7 another what?
[11:57] Crtew sister project with ties to education program activity
[11:57] ldavis okay, looks like we will wrap up then
[11:57] ldavis thanks everyone for the great questions!
[11:57] ldavis is there any interest in education program staff doing office hours more regularly?
[11:58] pakaran Sorry if it has already been raised, but how are projects to deal with potential vandalism to course pages?
[11:58] pakaran I've heard from others that we're not able to edit or delete them.
[11:58] Crtew Holding office hours is a good idea and during the summer when many of us are more flexible was a nice touch!
[11:59] RobSchnautz The new extension will help prevent that, since editors who are not instructors or volunteers will not be able to edit them.
[11:59] FloNight yes, ldavis, I would like to hear about the program in office hours
[11:59] ldavis great
[11:59] RobSchnautz ldavis-- me too
[11:59] ldavis we'll schedule another one for after wikimania some time, and i hope to see you all at the meet-up!
[12:00] Crtew Thank you
[12:00] Gobonobo thank you all and thanks to Jeroen for coding the new extension
[12:00] ldavis thanks all! i will stop logging now