Learning patterns/Do not overload

A learning pattern foroutreach
Do not overload
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problemDuring outreach events, there is a tendency that the mentor gives too much information to the newbies. This makes newbies overwhelmed.
solutionTake it slow. Demonstrate the basic minimum steps for editing an article, and seek questions from the participants often.
creatorNetha Hussain
created on10:59, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

What problem does this solve?Edit

During outreach events, the mentor sometimes gives a lot of information to the newbies, in a short time. The mentor might want to convey as much information as she can within a short while. However, newbies, especially those with limited computer skills, can take in only a given amount of information at a time. If a lot of information is given in quick succession, newbies tend to stop listening. They are also likely to get overwhelmed or frustrated. Some of them might think that one needs to know a lot of information beyond their comprehension to be able to start editing. Thus, overloading newbies with information may sometimes make them not contribute to Wikipedia any further.

What is the solution?Edit

  1. Take it slow. People need time to think when they are learning new concepts. Basic editing skills may seem easy for an experienced editor, but not for a newbie. This is particularly important while conducting outreach events for people with limited internet skills. Always mind the gap in skills between yourself and the audience. If taken slow, the newbies also get to ask questions in between. For the mentor, a slow session would mean that he/she can get more feedback from the participants, allowing for assessing if they have been following the session.
  2. Demonstrate only the basic minimum steps for editing an article, and explain further only by seeking questions from the audience. It is tempting to want to explain about everything from Templates to PyWikiBots, but please refrain from doing so in the very first editing session for newbies. Assume that participants are not in the session to cram information about Wikipedia, but to understand the fundamentals and try it out on their own.

Things to considerEdit

  • If you have extra information to share, consider doing so as a leaflet, booklet, QR code or URL. Interested participants can go through additional information from these resources after the event.

When to useEdit

  • In outreach events, where there are a large number of newbies with various levels of internet skills


  • Great and useful! Jalu (talk) 02:15, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
  • This is very important things to consider in most Outreach programmes. Must consider this at the programme design stage. Ranjithsiji (talk) 07:30, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

See alsoEdit

Related patternsEdit

External linksEdit