India Access To Knowledge/IRC meeting 2011-10-21

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Philippe: *** LOGGING ***
[02:05am] Hmundol: sure
[02:05am] ldavis: we're here to talk about the India Education Program
[02:06am] ldavis: I'll do a quick introduction of who is here from the IEP
[02:07am] peteforsyth joined the chat room.
[02:07am] ldavis: Hisham Mundol (Hmundol) is the director of our India programs, Annie Lin (annielin) is the Global Education Program Manager, and I (LiAnna Davis, ldavis) am the Communications Manager for the program
[02:07am] ldavis: Philippe is also here
[02:07am] • Philippe hides
[02:07am] ldavis: anyone have any questions?
[02:08am] • Philippe hears crickets.
[02:08am] Hmundol: thanks, ldavis. i don't know if you've had a chance to look at it yet but have posted a note on the following page http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_-_India_Programs/Education_Program#Context_on_India_Education_Program_.28IEP.29_from_India_Programs_.2821_October_2011.29 that should hopefully provide context and clarification to some of the various points
[02:08am] MER-C: Two questions: 1) When does the program end?
[02:08am] MER-C: 2) Is there a comprehensive list of all students and ambassadors in this program?
[02:09am] Hmundol: MER-C, the pilot is scheduled for completed over the next 2-3 weeks.
[02:09am] Hmundol: that is when the last of the semesters ends
[02:10am] Hmundol: the list of students is available at the course pages http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:India_Education_Program/Courses
[02:10am] Risker: Hmundol, for a "trial", this involved an enormous number of students
[02:11am] Hmundol: Risker: i agree. and in retrospect we should have limited the numbers considerably right upfront.
[02:11am] MildPeril: I think that what MER-C is asking for is a single list of students that could be used to monitor contributions and clean up their mess.
[02:11am] Risker: well, if this is the trial, how big were you planning to make it for the next phase?
[02:11am] MildPeril: (At least that is what I am interested in!)
[02:12am] MER-C: Exactly. I'm volunteering to write a program that will WP:CCI all participants.
[02:12am] Hmundol: MildPeril: we can put together this list. i know it's been done for one of the 2 colleges already. shall post it on the project page as soon as it's ready
[02:13am] Hmundol: Risker: this is a pilot and once the semesters conclude, we will be analyzing and studying every aspect of it before be make any determinations of the next steps, so don't really have an answer to your question.
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[02:15am] peteforsyth: MER-C: "a program that will WP:CCI all participants." -- could you expand on that?
[02:15am] Risker: the timelines on the Meta page indicate that the next phase will be rolled out in less than 2 months, Hmundol. Are you reconsidering that timeline?
[02:16am] MER-C: we have a tool ---> http://toolserver.org/~dcoetzee/contributionsurveyor/index.php that lists all of the mainspace edits for one editor
[02:16am] MER-C: it was intended for systematic cleanup of copyvios at WP:CCI
[02:17am] MildPeril: MER-C: Do you have a plan for dealing with userspace vios? At least three students in my class that I can remember off hand copied into userspace.
[02:17am] Hmundol: Risker: yes, that page was written a considerable while ago. I haven't updated that section yet. Like I said, the 2 months timeline is entirely dependent on the learnings from the pilot and for us to design corrective measures going forward. To that extent, the timeline will need to reflect these.
[02:18am] MER-C: yes, that's why I need to roll my own as opposed to using the contribution surveyer
[02:18am] peteforsyth: MER-C: OK. I'm having a little trouble imagining the practical implications of what you're describing, but I'm concerned that you might mean something that indiscriminately hits all student talk pages, even the minority who are doing good work.
[02:18am] peteforsyth: But maybe I'm misunderstanding you.
[02:19am] MildPeril: MER-C: Fun! Thank you for stepping up with that.
[02:19am] MER-C: what I aim to do is list all mainspace and userspace edits of all participants in a format similar to Wikipedia:Contributor copyright investigations/20110828 so they can be systematically examined
[02:20am] Theo10011: Yes, hello.
[02:20am] MER-C: and yes, it's going to be wholly indiscriminate due to sheer numbers
[02:21am] peteforsyth: MER-C: ah, that sounds much more sensible..thanks for explaining. systematic notification to assist wikipedians sounds a lot more palatable than systematic talk page templating of students!
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[02:23am] ldavis: any other questions?
[02:24am] Hmundol: MER-C: that would be extremely useful. appreciate your help.
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[02:24am] MER-C_ is now known as MER-C.
[02:25am] Philippe: Yes, i have one
[02:25am] Philippe: Is there a way for community members to be involved in the review/analysis process that you'll be doing?
[02:26am] Hmundol: like i said in the post on the meta page, we (sorry, make that "i") could have done much much more in informing the community. the note i posted http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_-_India_Programs/Education_Program#Context_on_India_Education_Program_.28IEP.29_from_India_Programs_.2821_October_2011.29 seeks to share a lot of the stuff that has been happening on the ground. i will work on driving much more effective, regular
[02:26am] Hmundol: compressive communication going forward.
[02:26am] Hmundol: yes, philippe, the review/analysis will be on the meta page and we'll specifically invite comments and contributions from everyone.
[02:26am] Philippe: Excellent.
[02:27am] ldavis: and we'll certainly be taking into account everything that's already been posted on talk pages across enwp and meta
[02:27am] Hmundol: we'll put together a pilot review with hard data and anecdotal evidence from all stakeholders - students, CAs, OAs, faculty, directors - and existing editors.
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[02:27am] MER-C: nice to hear that
[02:27am] • Philippe nods. I'd be interested in seeing some comprehensive data on number/types of comments, but that's pure curiosity.
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[02:29am] • Philippe hands Theo10011 a seatbelt.
[02:29am] Theo10011: Stupid wifi.
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[02:29am] Hmundol: just noticed that in an earlier line, i had said "compressive" information. …not only does that word probably not exist, but meant "comprehensive"
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[02:30am] Risker: Hmundol, what was the motivation to encourage students from India to edit in English rather than one of the Indic languages?
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[02:32am] Hmundol: Risker: this program was run in higher education. the reason for this is that (relatively) older students were probably better positioned to be able to contribute to wikipedia than younger kids. the major language of higher education in india is english.
[02:34am] Theo10011: Risker, English is the largest langua franca in India, there are literally thousands of languages and dialects. But the favored corporate, legal, academic language is English, above and beyond all.
[02:34am] Risker: well, if the purpose was to give them something to do for their university courses, I suppose that might make sense. However, we have a whole series of projects that are *desperate* for good quality content, which (for all its faults) the English project does not lack
[02:34am] Theo10011: Also, the largest Indic language wiki suffers from project-specific issues, it never achieved critical-mass.
[02:34am] Hmundol: also, a challenge we faced when we wanted to run one of the classes for marathi wikipedia (marathi is a local language in western india) is that - and i'm generalizing somewhat - is that local language higher education tends to have economically disadvantaged students - who don't often have access to basic computer and internet access
[02:35am] MER-C: we have more resources on en.wp for cleaning up copyvios than the various Indic Wikipedias
[02:35am] peteforsyth: Risker: the English Wikipedia does not lack for quality content? I don't think that's as uncontroversial as you imply
[02:35am] MER-C: imagine hundreds of copyvios on the Marathi Wikipedia -- that's a legal nightmare
[02:35am] Risker: while that is true MER-C, we don't have that many resources
[02:36am] Risker: peteforsyth, I think it is uncontroversial when compared to almost every smaller wikipedia
[02:36am] peteforsyth: there is a great deal of systemic bias *within* English wikipedia.
[02:36am] MER-C: all the obvious subjects are taken and have somewhat decent articles on them
[02:37am] MER-C: especially at lower undergraduate level
[02:37am] peteforsyth: identifying the systemic bias between languages as more important than that within English is a reasonable point, but not prima facie fact.
[02:37am] Risker: well, one of our major systemic biases, peteforsyth, is that we do not want copyvio in our articles
[02:38am] Theo10011: heh
[02:38am] peteforsyth: Risker: I was speaking to your question about the choice of languages
[02:38am] peteforsyth: not sure where you'd get the idea I support copyvio in Wikipedia
[02:38am] MildPeril: Regardless of what language is used officially, it's clear that many or most of the students are not capable of contributing acceptable English writing.
[02:39am] Hmundol: MER-C, especially in the economics college, there's an alternative argument there could be many topics of indian context on economics & related areas or public policy on economics that could also be covered on wikipedia
[02:39am] MildPeril: The little non-copyvio content that I've encountered needs full rewriting to make it coherent.
[02:41am] MildPeril: And many of the CAs are at similar levels of literacy, so even had this project gone off without copyvio and students not showing up, it still would have required an enormous amount of outside volunteer effort to clean up the text.
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[02:41am] Risker: I have a particular concern about the ambassadors. I am very, very concerned that this pilot's chances of success rested on the shoulders of obviously bright but almost completely inexperienced individuals
[02:41am] Hmundol: MildPeril: there are a number of students who have pulled out or have been pulled out of the program because their comfort with english is inadequate. i'm not sure about "most"
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[02:42am] Hmundol: Risker: it's true that the majority of (campus) ambassadors are relatively inexperienced but with a tiny community in india, there really was very little choice but to select folks from outside the community and to train them as effectively as was possible.
[02:43am] Hmundol: Having said that, and i know they have taken considerable flak, many of the ambassadors are putting in huge efforts to learn fast and work on the pilot.
[02:43am] Risker: I would suggeset, Hmundol, that the lack of experienced editors pointed to the need to start the project small rather than...bluntly put....larger than almost every wikiproject on English Wikipedia
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[02:44am] MildPeril: Perhaps it's just that my contact has been with Engineering students (I'm surprised when an american engineering student can string together a few sentences, said the mathematician), but only one of the students in my class has ever produced a coherent sentence apart from Hi.
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[02:44am] MER-C: well, yes, but the dumping of poor content onto existing decent articles stands out like a sore thumb and is begging to be reverted
[02:45am] MildPeril: Could the ambassadors train for a term before starting a program.
[02:45am] MildPeril: I mean, the program.
[02:45am] Risker: Hmundol, much as I appreciate that the effort was made to train ambassadors, the fact of the matter is that they required as much help as the students, if not more
[02:45am] MER-C: the five edit minimum suggested on meta is absolutely ludicrous
[02:46am] Hmundol: Risker: one of the aspects of pilot review will be to look specifically at what kind of numbers are manageable by what numbers of ambassadors, as well as what kind of training is required for ambassadors
[02:46am] MildPeril: It takes about a terms' length of hard work to become familiar enough with Wikipedia to actually help others.
[02:46am] MildPeril: That's why Adopt-A-User has a 500 edit minimum for adopters
[02:47am] MER-C: Agreed. Must have at least 500 edits.
[02:47am] MER-C: get them to clean up some copyvios and fix up some new pages as well while we're at it
[02:47am] Hmundol: we do need to look at how many edits / how long ambassadors can train for in the pilot review
[02:48am] MildPeril: Were there any experienced en.Wikipedians involved on the ground in Pune?
[02:48am] annielin_: one thing to point out here is the the Campus Ambassador role was designed to be different from the Online Ambassador role, with different tasks and also different role prerequisites
[02:49am] Hmundol: having said that, do also remember that all ambassadors are also volunteers. i konw of one who travels miles to get to the class which he supports. many also have full time jobs that they take time out of to go for in-class sessions
[02:49am] annielin_: the Campus Ambassadors are meant to do introductory in-class lessons on very basic Wikipedia skills
[02:49am] annielin_: and the Online Ambassadors are the ones expected to provide detailed hands-on guidance on-wiki
[02:50am] annielin_: which is why most of the Online Ambassadors are experienced Wikipedians, or we train them a lot, a lot more
[02:50am] annielin_: the Campus Ambassadors are not usually expected to provide this kind of detailed mentorship on-wiki
[02:50am] Hmundol: MildPeril: we had one experienced en-wikipedian editor in the campus ambassadors that were selected in june. do keep in mind the very small size of the local community.
[02:50am] annielin_: in the India program, as Hmundol pointed out on his posting on Meta, the Online Ambassadors were brought on board too late (September 2011)
[02:51am] Hmundol: we also had another expeience en-wikipedian who supported the program on a part-time Fellowship
[02:51am] Hmundol: another experienced, that should read
[02:51am] annielin_: and we understand very well that that was a big mistake for this semester.
[02:51am] annielin_: (I'm referring to bringing the OAs onboard too late)
[02:51am] Hmundol: also, we had a Campus Ambassador from the US come down to Pune for 3 months to establish it
[02:52am] Hmundol: MildPeril: i'm not including the Online Ambassador in my listing, only because (strictly speaking) they're not "on the ground" - though the majority of them are experienced wikipedians
[02:55am] annielin_: in India, because the OAs were brought on board too late, the CAs did a lot of things (like provide on-wiki detailed guidance) that they wouldn't usually be expected to do, necessarily. usually, CAs' main role is giving basic Wikipedia-editing lessons in class, on very basic topics.
[02:55am] Theo10011: We should get Myra or Ironholds to mentor. They love newbies.
[02:55am] Risker: oh dear, Theo.
[02:55am] Theo10011:
[02:55am] Philippe: Theo10011: lets not be doing that' kay? Pick on people when they're here to defend themselves.
[02:56am] Theo10011: Philippe: Myra is around.
[02:56am] • Philippe looks for ironholds and does not find him.
[02:56am] Theo10011: And Ironholds is infamous, honestly.
[02:56am] Theo10011: for that.
[02:57am] Hmundol: actually, Theo, regardless of specific individuals, we should have gotten many more experienced Wikipedians from all over the world as mentors.
[02:57am] Theo10011: Agreed.
[02:57am] MildPeril: Clearly we are operating under different ideas of "experienced"
[02:57am] Risker: I hope you'll understand, annielin, that having someone who lacks the experience to answer tricky questions isn't really the ideal candidate even for the basic classroom teaching. This is not to discredit the CAs, who did the very best they could with what skills they had.
[02:57am] MildPeril: with regard to the online ambassadors
[02:57am] Theo10011: MildPeril: honestly, the issue is the size of the community is too small to fulfill the ideal criteria for "experienced".
[02:58am] peteforsyth: Risker: I think the US program's results would say otherwise --
[02:58am] MildPeril: OAs aren't restricted to Pune
[02:58am] Theo10011: Physical ones are.
[02:59am] MildPeril: Well, yes.
[02:59am] Theo10011: I think PJ came down for to help out physically.
[02:59am] Risker: peteforsyth, the CAs in North America all had much much more support and almost all had more experience in both editing and general familiarity with Wikipedia
[02:59am] Theo10011: And there was a local veteran Admin that also helped out.
[02:59am] Hmundol: yes, theo. PJ came down for 3 months
[02:59am] peteforsyth: many of the CAs in the US were part of very successful efforts, but did not have Wikipedia experience prior to the program
[02:59am] Theo10011: Srikeit.
[02:59am] annielin_: in the U.S. program, we had both Campus Ambassadors who are experienced Wikipedians and ones who are new/newer to Wikipedia. We saw zero correlation between CAs' prior experience with editing and their performance as a CA (measured in large part by how well the students did on-wiki).
[03:00am] Theo10011: I think, its a cultural issue at the core.
[03:00am] annielin_: that aside, I also agree we should have involved more Wikipedians in the India program.
[03:00am] Theo10011: There is a shortage of experienced community members.
[03:00am] Theo10011: It was a pilot program, I hope the team can learn and improve.
[03:01am] Hmundol: Theo: absolutely. the page on meta with the learnings is just the start.
[03:02am] MildPeril: Wrt OA experience, we have one who had a copyvio speedy deleted 4 months ago.
[03:02am] Philippe: Just for the record, i'm dropping away from the channel now, but i'm leaving myself logged in to run the loving.
[03:02am] MildPeril: So... that's troubling.
[03:02am] Philippe: logging
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[03:02am] peteforsyth: it's a great party when Philippe is running the loving.
[03:02am] Theo10011: There can be more experienced Wikipedian online to help as part of the program, in case the students start screwing up.
[03:02am] Theo10011: awww Philippe no loving?
[03:02am] Philippe: peteforsyth: who's been talking?
[03:02am] preilly left the chat room. (Remote host closed the connection)
[03:02am] peteforsyth:
[03:02am] MildPeril: I don't know about loving, I might have to leave
[03:03am] You are now known as Philippe|Away.
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[03:03am] ldavis: we should be wrapping up soon anyway... any final questions?
[03:04am] peteforsyth: thanks ldavis , annielin_ , Hmundol for doing this
[03:04am] ldavis: thanks all for the questions
[03:04am] Theo10011: Philippe|Away: don't forget to add the log.
[03:04am] Hmundol: thanks everyone.
[03:05am] annielin_: thanks everybody!
[03:05am] Philippe|Away: Theo10011: that's why i left the account running.
[03:05am] ldavis: and for all the thoughtful comments on the various talk pages!
[03:05am] Risker: thank you.
[03:05am] Hmundol: absolutely, ldavis.
[03:05am] Risker left the chat room.
[03:05am] MER-C: Thanks. Let me know when you have the list of all student accounts.
[03:06am] ldavis: are you watching the IEP talk page, MER-C?
[03:06am] Hmundol: and as we log off, i do want to thank so many of you (on this channel) and beyond who have helped out so amazingly. it's taken time and effort and we're all really appreciative