We are happy to announce that we will be hosting Learning Days at Wikimania!
In addition to the core-conference, the Learning and Evaluation team at the Wikimedia Foundation organizes pre-conference Learning Days. During these days, there will be workshops on program design, evaluation, and community learning. The event will be held on Wednesday, July 18th, and Thursday, July 19th.
This year, participants will be selected along two tracks according to practice and knowledge:
Traditional Learning Days track: Pre-conference participatory workshop sessions on program design, evaluation, resources, learning, & community engagement for folks working to implement programmatic and community engagement activities in their home communities.
Leadership Development track: Pre-conference sessions for affiliate representatives who are focused on developing leadership for programs and community building through train-the-trainer and other skills development approaches in their home communities.
If you would like to focus on developing programs for the first time in your community and have never attended a Learning Day before, we will have options prepared for you. Alternatively, if you have attended Learning Days before in past conferences and have already accrued experience in implementing Wikimedia Programs, we need your help! Aside from having advanced workshops for experienced program leaders focused on leadership development, we also want your help in co-hosting trainings and presenting what you know to others.
In another successful round of Learning Days at Wikimania, 33 community members and 18 Foundation staff members congregated in Cape Town, South Africa to learn, share, and collaborate with Wikimedians from all corners of the globe.
Based on feedback from previous iterations of Learning Days, we decided to pilot a new approach by consolidating sessions into longer workshops for two cohorts. Each morning consisted of a workshop block for both new and experienced Wikimedians. Instead of having to meticulously choose which sessions were right for them, attendees were grouped based on their experience level with Wikimedia projects. This new cohort model was well-received and allowed the two groups to spend a total of 5 hours together over the two days so that they could network and learn together. Session evaluations demonstrate some of the unique value this new model offers:
“I really liked the concept of introducing new organizers to the movement broadly.” - A New Organizer cohort member
“I liked how the attendees shared their best practices and strategies for getting community feedback, and how they already had so much to share about what they’re doing!” - An Experienced Organizer cohort member
In addition to the new and experienced organizer cohorts, all Learning Days participants were invited to to attend afternoon sessions with something for everyone, such as Storytelling for Projects, Measuring and Evaluating Diversity and Equity, or Lighting Talks, a popular Learning Days tradition.
By looking at session attendance, we can get a glimpse of what community members wanted to learn most from their Learning Days experience. The sessions with the most attendees on Wednesday included the New Organizers - Opening Workshop, GLAM Programs and Partnerships, Demystifying Grants, and Lightning Talks. Popular sessions for Day Two included morning workshops for both experienced and new organizers, Lightning Talks - Round 2, and Volunteer Recruitment and Engagement. We did find that attendance was much lower on Thursday, likely due to the number of other preconference offerings that Foundation staff and some community members were committed to. Nevertheless, we had a great group of people continue the learning on day 2 and even had some new folks join in on the fun. For a full breakdown of session attendance, check out the table below.
Count of participants
Count of participants
Welcome and Orientation - Day 1
Welcome and Orientation - Day 2
New Organizers - Opening Workshop
New Organizers - Morning Workshop
Experienced Organizers - Opening Workshop
Experienced Organizers - Morning Workshop
GLAM Programs and Partnerships
Volunteer Recruitment and Engagement Panel
Measuring and Evaluating Diversity and Equity
Lightning Talks - Round 2
Program Planning & Making Metrics Count
Storytelling for Projects
Planning for Learning
Lightning Talks - Round 1
New Organizers - Closing Workshop
Structured Data and Wiki Partnerships
Experienced Organizers - Closing Workshop
Day 1 Closing Session
Day 2 Closing Session
As always, collecting feedback from sessions is an essential part of measuring the success of Learning Days, and helps us learn how we can make Learning Days even better next round. This time, we experimented with offering a digital version of our feedback form, to make it easier for attendees to offer feedback.
The digital feedback forms ask participants the same questions as in previous editions of Learning Days: what they liked best in a session, what could use improvement, and how they will use what they learned in their own work with Wikimedia projects. The table below shows the amount of feedback we received from attendees on both days.
Percentage of total attendees
Change from previous Learning Days
-7 percentage points
-23 percentage points
We learned that using digital feedback forms does reduce the amount of time needed for data entry and analysis, however, this time around, it came at a cost of fewer responses overall. Especially on Day 2, we only got feedback from 42% of participants, compared to the previous Learning Days where we received feedback from 65% of participants by using a paper form. In the future, we plan to utilize both the paper and the digital form, and will require workshop leaders to set aside 5 minutes at the end of each session to collect feedback.
We analyzed the feedback about what participants like most and what they would like to see next time and below are the most common themes across all sessions:
Things People Liked Best
Suggestions For Next Time
Getting to know other Wikimedians
The hands-on and interactive activities
The user friendly materials and worksheets that can be applied in different contexts
Learning about best practices from other WIkimedians
The warm atmosphere created by organizers of Learning Days
General information about the movement for newer folks
Hearing about diverse projects and points of view
Having the opportunity to reflect
More time for discussion
More time to think about application
More specific, concrete guidance on application
More social activities
Less time on technical stuff, more time on interactive activities
Clickers for the speakers
It’s also important to analyze participant intentions to apply knowledge and skills back in their local context. We ask participants, “What is something you will do differently in the next 30 days based on what you learned in this workshop?” Below are examples of how attendees plan to apply what they learned in their own work with Wikimedia projects:
“I will try to think how my community can implement community capacity mapping.”
“Structuring our user group with different roles. Applying some sort of governance and understanding more about policy. Connecting with experienced groups in the aspects lacking in ours. Reviewing our vision.”
“Evaluate where our to-dos are as a community.”
“To have a meeting with active users in my hometown and to map what we are lacking and how to execute program accordingly.”
“I'll implement some of the newly acquired 'tools' in my 'toolbox' at the planned conference I'm organizing in early August.”
“Holding others accountable for active listening in nice ways (acknowledging when someone might need the space when they were cut-off mid-thought and bring conversation back to them).”
“To try a photowalk with my community.”
“Re-examine my grant proposal.”
“I will try to adapt my lightning talk on Saturday.”
“Create structured Wikidata descriptions of images, uploaded to Commons.”
“Applying the learnings on my next Education workshop with high school students.”
“I will try new approach in engaging the volunteers”
As with each iteration of Learning Days, we invite community members to share their experience with Wikimedia projects in a series of 5-minute presentations. Presenters share stories of their work in the Wikimedia world, and how the lessons they learned can be used by other community members in their endeavors. The Lightning Talks are always one of the most popular sessions at Learning Days, and offers a glimpse into the variety of viewpoints and experiences across the global Wikimedia Movement. To view some of these Lightning Talks, check out the category on Commons, or our YouTube channel.
Click here to see the selection criteria, agenda & materials
Registration for Wikimania 2018 opens on Monday, April 9. In the registration form, you will only be asked for your general interest in the pre-conference Learning Days. By stating your interest, you are not automatically registered, as only a limited number of slots are available. There will be a selection process based on the information you provide when stating your interest on Learning Days in the registration form. The selection process will end on May 18; participants are selected on a first come, first served basis, so the sooner you register, the better chances you have of participating in Learning Days. Qualification does not guarantee participation.
Should demand be less than expected, restrictions may be loosened. Follow-up communications and notifications will be sent beginning May 9th. If you have any questions, please reach out to María Cruz (evalwikimedia · org).
The selection criteria for Learning Days include that all participants must be endorsed to participate by their affiliate group and demonstrate evidence of at least 3 of the following to qualify for participation:
You want to teach back home what they learn.
You have implemented one or more programmatic activities in the last 12 months or you plan to implement one or more programmatic activities in the next 12 months.
You have engaged, or plan to engage, in learning and evaluation practices in order to learn about their program outcomes.
You are interested in teaching about community programs and/or engagement activities at Learning Day.
You have taught or presented in a Learning Day event in the past.
You have demonstrated application of something they learned at a past Learning Day event.
You are working to develop and/or lead skills training workshops for leadership development in their home community (e.g., skills development for community engagement, community health, program design and evaluation).
Looking forward to a new day of Learning Together!
The maximum dimensions for your poster size A1. Following are the technical specifications for the poster:
Size: A1 (594 x 841 mm "or" 23.4 x 33.1 in)
DPI: preferably 150-300 DPI
Color mode: Preferably CMYK (most graphic editing software programs have the color changing mode and CMYK is great for lossless printing)
Creating your poster
In terms of content, the kind of poster we are looking for is academic poster , a presentation of information that is educational to others, and serves a learning purpose, rather than a promotional or marketing end. Once you chose the topic you want for your poster, lay out the story in a way that lets other people know what happened, what were the key results, and what is your key advice to them, if you have any. You can also use the ABCDs of Storytelling as a guide to creating your poster. Find more detailed guidance on this Learning Pattern, and also looking at posters submitted by others in previous Learning Days:
There are many programs you can use to create a poster. We have found that Microsoft PowerPoint, LibreOffice Presentation, and LibreOffice Draw are the most easy to use, and make good looking posters. Other programs like Adobe InDesign & Illustrator have more features, but they are also more difficult to learn, and they are expensive. Another option is to use Google Draw.
Whichever program you choose, make sure to set the size of your poster file before you start adding words and pictures. This will help you make sure that the fonts you are using are the right size, and that the pictures you include have a high enough resolution to print properly.
Here are some links that may help you create a poster of the correct size:
Once your poster is complete, please print it to PDF format and open it in a PDF reader to make sure that everything is displaying correctly. Are your pictures blurry? Is your text aligned?
Once you are happy with the way your PDF looks, please send the PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions, or experience trouble making your poster
Please email email@example.com. Remember that the deadline for submitting your poster for printing is Friday, July 6. If you have questions or requests for us to help you, please email no later than Monday, July 1.
Estimated Preparation Time is 1-3 hours.
Share with your peers something inspiring about your project experience. Give a 3-5 min talk and share:
What you did
How you measured success and
What you learned
There will be time for questions at the end of your talk.
To create a successful lightning talk, make sure you have some visual support. You can use a poster you submitted, a few slides (not more than 3 or 4 is recommended), or a page you want to show to support your story.
July 18-19:Pre-conference Learning Days at Wikimania 2018 July 20-22:Wikimania 2018