Learning patterns/Plan an education program pilot

Plan an education program pilot
problemYou want to start a new education program and you don't know if you need to start with a pilot or with an entire program.
solutionFind out what works and what does not work in your region through a pilot program before getting many people involved and thinking too big.
creatorKHarold (WMF)
created on01:35, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
status:in progress

What problem does this solve?Edit

You might find that there are many educators who want to collaborate with you to use Wikimedia in the classroom, or you may have several ideas for education program models you want to try. While it might be appealing to start with several ‘experimental’ programs at once, you may not have the time or resources to support several projects. Starting with a pilot may help prevent volunteer burnout, and can help you identify the resources you will need to grow your program in the future.

What is the solution?Edit

Start small and do everything you can to make your first classroom collaboration successful.[1] Remember, even if you, the program leader, and the educator you are collaborating with are experienced Wikimedians, both of you are just learning how to incorporate Wikimedia projects into student assignments. You will run into problems and discover successful strategies. You can use these lessons to make changes to your program in the next term.

There are two primary reasons to start with a small pilot:

  1. Preserve goodwill with the community and with educators. Many things will go well, but some things will go wrong. Problems are easier to fix on a small scale. You risk losing the support of the community and educators who are interested in working with Wikimedia projects if their first experience is not good.
  2. It will make growing your program easier. Many program leaders said that one of the most powerful tools for growing their education programs is sharing local success stories that include data about student contributions. Lessons you learn in the pilot will also make working with new educators easier or less time consuming.

Basic steps for piloting an education project:

Things to considerEdit

Take advantage of ten years of education program leader experience when planning your pilot:

  • Use a model that has worked in a context similar to yours.
  • Check the bookshelf and resources pages of the Outreach portal for training materials.
  • Pay attention to lessons learned by other Wikimedia volunteers.

When to useEdit

When you are starting an education program or experimenting with new program models for the first time in a particular country, or working with a new age group.


  • Starting with a small pilot program is a great way to identify problems that you didn't expect. It is also a great way to get new people involved in supporting or helping you with your program. The smaller size of the pilot generally means a smaller commitment of time and effort on their part, so they won't be too overwhelmed or intimidated by it. WikiWikiRoy (talk) 23:36, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
  • samire 23:05, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Hello Sam Trump (talk) 01:51, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

See alsoEdit

Education Toolkit Learning Pattern
This learning pattern is part of the Education Program Toolkit.
Go to the toolkit.

Related patternsEdit

External linksEdit