Brazil Program/Education program/Learning/Brazil Pilot 1
The first semester of the pilot in Brazil, we have worked with four different courses from the beginning and one incorporated later. The two main avenues of evaluation we want to have from these courses are:
- Direct impact on the Portuguese Wikipedia: Found through looking at pieces of the work done in the classrooms
- Impact on the participation: Found through talking to students, professors, and ambassadors.
We are still working on the first piece (only about 2/3 of the 31 articles worked by students have been migrated to the mainspace), but the evaluation of the feedback from the participants in the project is done, and provides lots of insights into ways we can improve going forward! Even the fact of having only about 65% of the few articles worked by students during the first phase of this pilot, we can already have some insight of some of its impact on the Portuguese Wikipedia community and externaly.
- Important for the Lusophone Wikipedia: Students, ambassadors, and professors agree that this project is important in impacting Wikipedia and encouraging free knowledge in Brazil!
- Beneficial teaching tool: Students think this is a beneficial teaching tool
- Students and teachers are promoters of the program: Both professors and students indicate that they are likely to recommend the program to friends or colleagues
- Community awareness: The community seems to have become more aware of or interested on the program mainly when some results began to appear and they likely will be watching even more closely next semester since we have more courses.
- Committed ambassadors: We have a group of trained, committed ambassadors for the project, with 100% of ambassadors indicating they would like to participate in some level next semester, although this number is still small.
The not so good
- Editing difficulties: the vast majority of students did not edit directly on Wikipedia, and they were confused on syntax, language, and discussion pages.
- Lack of support materials: Professors likewise had difficulty knowing how to help give students resources to this end..
- Lack of planning: Very few edits onto the namespace exist, largely because the professors felt unprepared and un-coached in how to incorporate the editing into the classroom.
- Poor communication: Campus Ambassadors and professors struggled to communicate with each other. Online Ambassadors struggled in communication with everyone.
- Online Ambassadors: This is by far the largest under-utilized resource for this program. These ambassadors were unclear what their responsibilities were/are, and likewise, Professors, Students, and CAs felt unclear on how to work with them.
Suggestions for improvement
|3: Ambassador Training|
|4: Coordinate classroom logistics|
|5: Provide support materials|
|Course||University||Assignment type||Types of articles||Ambassador Involvement||Notes|
|Cultural Policy (Pablo)||USP||Non-mandatory; spent the semester writing a long article using sources from the semester and guest speakers.||New articles only, constructed outside of wiki and then moved to sandboxes||
CAs: Mostly covered by WMF contractor Everton
|Two classes (one at night and one in the day); Professors was very cautious about editing on Wikipedia. Also: a very prominent professor in Brazil regarding open access and copyright law reform.|
|Physics (Vera)||USP||Non-mandatory, with one optional mid-term assignment. The assignment was purely for extracredit||Already existing articles||
CAs: 3 CAs very eager to be involved
|Shared class time with other professors, so was not willing to dedicate class time to editing Wikipedia.|
|Physics (Edivaldo)||UFRJ||Non-mandatory, with one mid-term assignment. The overall assignment was for extracredit||Already existing articles and some new articles||
CAs: 1 CA very involved
|Most active class throughout the semester; strong CA; very complex physics articles.|
|Memory & Experience (Heloisa)||UNESP||Non-mandatory with two optional exercises throughout the semester.||Most articles already existing||
|Unable to get a CA for this course; there were were distance learners students and in class.|
|Extension Course (Juliana)||UNIRIO||Extension course solely about Wikipedia with students from||Most articles already existing||
|This course started during the semester, instead of the other two planed courses, and it has had to stop because of the strike. Students began to depart the course. Very strong CA.|
Key challenges going forward
Wikipedia Ambassadors growth: increase the number of volunteers willing to work as wikipedia ambassadors: inside Wikipedia community and among students inside universities we are working with. Ambassadors should be the main catalystis for new ambassadors together with the professor.
- Proposal: We are going to try to circumvent this challenge by putting out an open call for ambassadors on the site notices, as well as requiring professors to recommend one or more students to serve as their campus ambassadors.
More professors joining the program: convince the academia on the importance of sharing free knowledge using Wikipedia and how Wikipedia works. Professors commited to education should understand the importance of making knowledge available freely to everyone and teach this to his students.
- Proposal: We are hosting an open call for the professors, expanding our pool of contacts and also increasing our likelihood of working with professors who are compatible with the program.
Good newbies acceptance: contributions from students of courses joining the program should be well accepted by the community, and we have to find ways to convince the community on the importance of having new editors.
- Proposal: One way we can approach this is via the Community Relationship position that might be starting with the Brazil Programs team.
Find ways to make a program sustainable: the program should be community driven, where community here is understood as experienced wikipedians and new editors (professors and mostly students).
- Proposal: Ongoing!
- Should we focus on only a few hubs of universities?
- How do we avoid becoming the next-Nupedia?
- There was a fifth course at UNIRIO, but the professor has created it during the semester as part of an extension course. Other two courses of the same professor that we were supposed to work with were decided not to be part of the program, one because the lack of infrastructure, the other because the professor has decided to remove it.
- 93% of students "Agree"/"Strongly Agree" with the survey question asking if a WIkipedia assignment was a beneficial experience (see graph on commons).
- Professors answered "Yes" to a questionnaire, while 100% of students responded they would be "Somewhat likely", "Likely" or "Very likely" to do so (see student survey chart.
- See student feedback
- See Professor feedback