Africa Growth Pilot/Live Tutorials on Core Policies/Module2

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 Africa Growth Pilot I - Live Tutorials on Core Policies 2023 

Module 2: 101 Ways to Contribute to Wikimedia


Many people express an interest in learning how to edit Wikipedia, when what they actually want is just to understand how others edit it; they often lack either the drive, the patience, the eloquence, or the time, to contribute to Wikipedia articles. However, many of them can still become at least occasional Wikimedia contributors in one of the dozens of other ways one can volunteer -- from taking photos through fixing typos, creating graphics, recording pronunciations, proofreading OCRed pages, etc., to developing software tools or hacking on Mediawiki itself. However, most outreach efforts do not address, champion these other ways to contribute, or are completely silent about them.

This module aims to present learners with, first of all, the very fact of the diversity of ways to contribute, and then, with a few detailed examples to whet the learner's appetite. Learners will learn how to pursue these other ways of contributing besides editing Wikipedia articles, not by going through dedicated modules and actual training on those ways of contributing, but through meta-training on how to find the documentation and mentors for each such way of contributing.


Learners understand the diversity of activities and skills that can promote free knowledge and free culture in Wikimedia projects, and are able to select and pursue the ones best suited to their interests and skills.

Time frame

One 120 minute session.


  • Opening exercise: "What abilities and skills are needed to contribute to Wikimedia?"
    • Discussion of learner answers: demonstration that almost none of the answers are truly required to somehow contribute to Wikimedia. (Internet access on some computing device is almost the only essential factor.)
  • "Have you ever considered contributing to Wikimedia?"
    • "Have you ever thought: 'It would have been great to be able to contribute, but it's not for me.'?"
    • Most people only consider one type of activity (namely, editing encyclopedia articles) when deciding volunteering with Wikimedia is "not for them"
  • There are dozens of ways to contribute to Wikipedia
    • Wikipedia as an ecosystem, having micro-climates and task forces, maintenance needs and policing needs, gaps and errors.
    • Examples and proposed next steps if you're interested:
      • (For each such activity:
        • a brief description of the need
        • a brief description of the nature of the task -- what exactly does contributing in this way look like?
        • a clear description of the required skills to contribute in this way
        • links to next-step resources: ideally a tutorial of some sort, but failing that, to the on-wiki page dedicated to the task, and/or to any auxiliary channels that can support the learner -- on-wiki talk pages, off-wiki groups and channels, individual mentors they can approach, etc.)
      • Reading an article and leaving feedback on the talk page
      • Adding useful inline wikilinks or See also links
      • Improving categorization
      • Patrol others' edits and protect Wikipedia from spam and vandalism
      • Translating an article from/into another language
      • Fix dead links
      • Integrate media into Wikipedia articles
      • Teach a "How to make the most of Wikipedia" class
      • Wikipedia and culture: How you can help your language get preserved, and expand the presence of your language on the internet. The importance of increasing the presence of each African language in a multipolar, pluricentric world.
  • There are dozens of ways to contribute beyond Wikipedia
    • Wikipedia's sister projects each offer multiple ways to contribute to free knowledge and free culture. They, too, need wiki maintenance and policing; they have gaps and errors. But they have a lot less friction than Wikipedia, and are often easier to integrate into.
    • Examples and proposed next steps if you're interested:
      • Proofread a page on Wikisource
      • Scan old books into Commons, for Wikisource
      • Upload photography to Commons
      • Create an illustration for an article
      • Restore an old photograph
      • Categorize images on Commons
      • Develop a software tool (bot etc.)
      • Record pronunciation of words and names in your native language
      • Contribute single facts to Wikidata
      • Create to-do lists using Wikidata queries
      • Mediate in disputes
      • Organize a photo walk event
      • Organize a meetup / talk (not necessarily as a speaker!)
      • Investigate copyright violations
      • Help reach out to subject-matter experts
  • How do I get started? Where can I learn how to do these things? Who can I approach for help and mentorship?
  • Explanation about the following modules' focus on Wikipedia core policies, aimed at people who do want to edit or expand existing Wikipedia articles.
    • Brief mention of the exclusion of creating new articles and the Notability policy from the training.
    • Invitation to learners to decide whether they are interested in pursuing modules 3 and 4, or whether they prefer to explore one of the other ways of contributing. If the latter, they do so on their own using the next-step resources mentioned, and any existing community channels/groups. There is no further training on any of the above within the pilot.