Context for the Brazil Education Pilot
Wikimedia and the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) seeks to advance our vision of a world in which everyone on the planet can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. Specifically, it is a strategic priority to connect our projects to the 290 million speakers of Portuguese around the world within the community of portuguese speaking countries. We have a strong corps of Portuguese Wikipedia contributors who are building the Portuguese Wikipedia, which continues to grow at a moderate rate. The number of editors, however, has remained relatively stagnant in recent years, around 6,000 total editors per month..
The 2011 Readers Survey indicated two of the biggest reasons - more so than for the world at large - that would make readers of Wikipedia more likely to participate:
- Clarity in the impact of the contributions;
- Knowing to which specific topic areas to contribute.
The impact of Portuguese Wikipedia, though, is large - over 325 million pageviews per month, and over 452 thousand pageviews per hour, which means more than 10 million per day! This indicates that the audience of the Portuguese Wikipedia is large, and the potential for impact is large! The Brazil Education Pilot Program is able to give some specific constraints, then, on where individuals - the students in this case - can focus their attention, by directing them towards articles within their field of study or other subjects there are interested.
Purpose of goals
Given the novelty of this pilot in Brazil, it is important to have clear goals and targets. This will help us to make strategic decisions, align our targets with the overall targets of the team and the movement, hold ourselves accountable, and assess the value of our investment and where should we invest more resources. The aim of this program (and all the others that will happen in Brazil) is to figure out whether this work can catalyze community growth in a sustainable way and then utilize these programs for growth elsewhere - both within Brazil and externally. That's why we are being so clear about what we want to measure.
As a general guideline, the goals decided upon for this program should be in line with the strategic priorities of the Wikimedia Movement, as outlined in the 2010-2015 Strategic Plan.
Questions we would like to answer through the pilot
The 6-month pilot in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro will mainly answer five questions:
- Impact on Portuguese Wikipedia: Will an organized program to work with students in their university courses result in the contribution good quality content to Portuguese Wikipedia by most students? How many of those students we are working with are going to use Wikipedia?
- Structures for success: What conditions need to be in place to enable quality contributions by students in a single course? On a university campus? Should we work with smaller classes? How will different types of classes shape the models we are analysing to work with? Should tasks on Wikipedia be mandatory or not?
- Community impact and reaction: What is the impact on the Portuguese Wikipedia community of student editing? What is the community response to the program before, during and after? What resources do they need to succeed?
- Professor and student reaction: Do professors and students see the value of Wikipedia editing and are they ready, willing and able to continue the program? What resources do they need to succeed?
- The road ahead: How should the Portuguese Wikipedia community, Wikimedia Brazil, and WMF move forward based on the experience of the pilot? What resources should be dedicated to the program going forward? Based upon these six month experience, how should we set realist goals for a educational program in Brazil?
Note: these are by in large the same questions as the Arabic pilot!
Some data for the pilot after three months of work
After this first months of outreach between professors of some of the major public universities in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, we have decided to work with 5 professors, two from São Paulo city (USP), one from Marília (UNESP), and two from Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO and UFRJ). We are going to work with about 150-170 students (number still depends on one professor answer if she will use both courses) and most of the tasks on Wikipedia are not mandatory. Wikipedia editing will start mostly in mid April and the semesters end at the end of June or the beginning of July, for those who didn't pass their exams.
What success will look like
- Under construction
If this pilot is successful, we will see evidence of that success in the following ways:
1. Impact on Portuguese Wikipedia
The amount and quality of content on the Portuguese Wikipedia increases!
- Measure of success #1: At least 75% of the students participating in the pilot add 500 words or more to the Wikipedia article namespace.
- Measure of success #2: At least 75% of the content contributed by students "survives" (i.e., is not deleted from the Wikipedia namespace).
The number of active contributors to the Portuguese Wikipedia grows by 2.5% during the pilot!
- Measure of success #1: At least 50 students in the Education Program part of the pilot start editing (more than 5 edits in the article namespace; 2011: ~2000 active editors total).
- Measure of success #2: At least 10 people being recruited through the general university outreach part of the pilot start editing (see above).
2. Structures for success
Various tools are in place to support the launch of the pilot!
- Measure of success #1: The Brazil Pilot starts on-time (March 2012). Done
- Measure of success #2: Training sessions are conducted by volunteers for the professors, campus ambassadors, and online ambassadors. Brazil Program/Education program/Training/pt
- Measure of success #3: Surveys are created and distributed to professors and students at the beginning and end of the semester. by e-mail
- Measure of success #4: Feedback from training session is gathered via a post-training survey. by e-mail
- Measure of success #5: Clear documentation is created showing different options for assignment (e.g., editing existing articles, creating new articles, translating articles).
- Measure of success #6: Clear documentation is created showing different options for Ambassador models, and pros/cons.
- Measure of success #7: We will have numbers that clearly show which model for in-classroom activities is more successful (in terms of both amount and quality contributed).
3. Community impact and reaction
The Brazilian Wikimedia community and the Portuguese Wikipedia community are supportive of the education program!
- Measure of success #1: Members of the Portuguese Wikipedia community are supportive of the pilot and volunteer to participate in supporting it, both online and offline. DISCUSS)
- Measure of success #2: We start general outreach activities on campus in the first semester in 2012.
- Measure of success #3: We fill all volunteer positions; 50% of the volunteers are Wikipedians.(DISCUSS)
The Brazilian Wikimedia community and the Portuguese Wikipedia community are happy/satisfied with their involvement in the pilot!
- Measure of success #1: More than 75% of the community volunteers involved in the pilot indicate that it was worth their time. (Source: post-semester survey)
- Measure of success #2: Members of the Portuguese Wikipedia indicate support for continuing to build an education program in Brazil (Source: post-semester survey)
4. Professor and student reaction
Professors and universities are receptive to the program!
- Measure of success #1: We fill all slots for professors (5 classes). (DISCUSS (on different talk page))
- Measure of success #2: 2 prominent universities participate in the program.
Both students and teachers feel more comfortable with editing Wikipedia!
- Measure of success #1: 100% increase in the level of comfort. (Source: pre-semester survey vs post-semester survey)
Students and professors are happy / satisfied with their involvement in the pilot
- Measure of success #1: 75% of the participants indicate happiness with the outcome. (Note: We will conduct a survey after the semester ends to estimate this)
- Measure of success #2: More than 50% of the students indicate that they would prefer a Wikipedia assignment type course to a traditional course in the future. (Source: post-semester survey) (DISCUSS)
- Measure of success #3: More than 50% of the teachers indicate that they would use Wikipedia as a teaching tool again. (Source: post-semester survey)
- Measure of success #4: More than 50% of the teachers indicate that they would recommend using Wikipedia as a teaching tool to their colleagues/peers. (Source: post-semester survey)
5. The road ahead
After the pilot, both community and staff members have a clear understanding what the road ahead for the Education program in Brazil
- Measure of success #1: Bi-weekly updates on the program are shared with the PT:WP community; we publish at least 3 interim reviews with stories of success and lessons learned on the WMF blog.
- Measure of success #2: An outcome / lessons learnt / the road ahead document will be completed by July 2012.
- Measure of success #3: We will identify which in-classroom activities are most successful (in terms of both amount and quality contributed).