Wiki Education Foundation/Monthly Reports/2014-03

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Monthly report for March 2014Edit

HighlightsEdit

  • In March, the Wiki Education Foundation received a $1.39 million grant from the Stanton Foundation. The grant covers the first year of a three-year funding period supporting the programmatic activities of the Wiki Education Foundation. With a strong focus on improving Wikipedia’s quality, the money will enable WEF to expand its efforts in supporting instructors and students and to act as liaison between Wikipedia and academia.
  • Classroom Program highlights:
    • A student editor in Dr. Anne Chao’s Human Development in Global and Local Communities course at Rice University has significantly expanded the “Modern day slavery” section in the Slavery in Haiti article.
    • A graduate student editor in Dr. Jonathan Obar’s Knowledge, Media, Culture, and Society course has created the Gamification of learning article, which aligns with her research in the Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development program at the University of Toronto.
    • A student editor in Dr. Jennifer Mikulay’s Advanced Media Studies course at Alverno College has added a figure skating video to Wikimedia Commons.
    • Regional Ambassador Frank Jones hosted a Wikipedia Education Program workshop for instructors and university faculty at the University of North Carolina on March 18. He and the UNC library followed up by hosting a Wikipedia edit-a-thon on March 30.

ProgramsEdit

Current status of the Classroom ProgramEdit

Current status of the Classroom Program (spring term 2014) in numbers, as of March 31:

  • 65 courses (42 or 65% are led by returning instructors)
  • 1,810 students enrolled
  • Student editors in at least 28 courses have edited in the article namespace by this point in the term. The majority are expanding existing articles and stubs, though student editors have created at least 56 new articles so far.

These numbers reflect more student editors than we have had in the program in the past (e.g., fall 2013: 1,347 student editors). The larger number is most likely due to the MediaWiki education extension and our improved ability to document Wikipedia usernames. This means that we might have had that many student editors before and we just couldn’t get ahold of their usernames as we can today. Also, Jami is regularly monitoring the courses with large numbers to highlight courses that may need more support. These courses are all taught by instructors who have taught with Wikipedia in the past, and they are mostly editing in groups of 3–5 people but with individual usernames. So, in general this means that we’re not too much concerned about the larger number of students at this point; however, we will definitely have to monitor the students’ work very closely in order to ensure that the quality of the edits stays high.

WikiConference USA and Wikimania proposalsEdit

Later this year, LiAnna Davis, Jami Mathewson and Frank Schulenburg will attend the WikiConference USA in New York (May 30–June 1) and Wikimania 2014 in London (August 8–10). The Wiki Education Foundation is committed to working with our partners in the Wikimedia community by participating in events where we can learn from each other. In March, we submitted the following proposals:

Wikipedia Education CooperativeEdit

In early March, Jami attended the Wikipedia Education Cooperative meeting in Prague. At this meeting, the Wiki Education Foundation joined other global programs (including Israel, Nepal, Czech Republic, Mexico, Ukraine, United Kingdom, the Arab World, and Serbia) and the Wikimedia Foundation’s Wikipedia Education Program team to determine a plan moving forward for sharing best practices and fostering collaboration among educational efforts on Wikipedia. Outcomes of the meeting include:

  • Cooperative members will spend the next several months in small teams that target the goals agreed upon by the whole group. From now through Wikimania 2014, Jami will be a part of the Global Recognition Team. They will develop and begin to implement an action plan for offering recognition to program leaders, instructors, and student editors. The Wiki Education Foundation sees this as an important step in acknowledging student editors and instructors who have a positive impact on Wikipedia as well as in offering global education program leaders a supportive mentoring network.
  • The team at the Wikimedia Foundation will help the group redesign an online portal that is more cohesive and accessible than the varied portals have been in the past.
  • The cooperative will network at Wikimania 2014 with other program leaders and stakeholders to expand its reach and to welcome new members into this community.

Please also see this newsletter post from the group summarizing the kickoff meeting.

FinancialsEdit

  • Expenses for the month is $29,027 versus plan of $28,132.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $43,263 versus plan of $52,837, primarily due to lower personnel expenses and delayed acquisition of equipment.
  • Cash position is $96,068 as of March 31, 2014.

See the PDF version of this report for graphs.

Office of the EDEdit

  • Current priorities:
    • Find office space
    • Fill open positions
    • Finalize setup of benefits for employees, e.g. 401(k) plan
  • In March 2014, Frank Schulenburg submitted a grant proposal to the Stanton Foundation. As a result, the Stanton Foundation agreed to fund WEF between April 2014 and June 2015 with a total amount of $1.39 million. These funds will enable us to execute the following programmatic activities:
    • supporting university classes as they engage in quality improvement of Wikipedia content;
    • improving underdeveloped content areas on Wikipedia by engaging high-achieving students at universities (pilot project);
    • building a web infrastructure tailored toward the needs of a growing number of instructors who use Wikipedia in their classes (including a feasibility study for building a plagiarism detection tool to serve both classroom instructors and the existing Wikipedia community);
    • enriching the existing pool of support materials that are key resources for instructors and students (with a strong focus on discipline-specific materials);
    • laying the foundation for sustainability through institutionalization (including partnerships with academic associations to improve specific topic areas on Wikipedia);
    • building alliances and share best practices with other like-minded organizations that serve to scale our programmatic and increase our overall reach.
As long as WEF’s 501(c)(3) status is pending, the Wikimedia Foundation agreed to act as a fiscal sponsor for the Wiki Education Foundation.
  • With having secured a major grant through the Stanton Foundation, we will investigate how to proceed with the initial start-up grant provided by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Frank started reaching out to key community members engaged in the Classroom Program and interview them about their hopes and expectations. March interviews included Lane Rasberry and Jon Beasley-Murray.

In the pressEdit

UpcomingEdit

  • In April, Frank Schulenburg will speak at the World Literacy Summit in Oxford. He will talk about Wikipedia Zero as a game changer with regards to access to information, and about the Wikipedia Education Program as a means to increase 21st century research, writing, and information literacy skills.