The Community Development team at the Wikimedia Foundation is excited to launch the Online Learning Pilot, an online capacity-building project.
To support a global approach to developing capacities as referenced in the Movement Strategy Recommendations, the Community Development team will be launching an eight week pilot to understand how to deliver effective training and development experiences online, year round.
What is the Online Learning Pilot?
Traditionally, our programming has been delivered at in-person events such as Wikimania 2019. We recognize that attending in-person events is not possible for everyone due to a number of reasons such as limited resources or time. Online programming will allow our team to support volunteers with programming year round.
The goal of the pilot is to understand how to design and deliver online programs that meet the needs of volunteers. Feedback from participants upon completion will inform the next phase of the project in 2022.
The two courses we will be launching in February 2021:
|Identifying and Addressing Harassment Online||Partnership Building|
|Overview: This course will focus on developing skills that will help volunteers respond to on- and off-wiki harassment.
Target Audience: Volunteers with administrator or other advanced user rights.
Weekly Commitment: 2-3 hours
|Overview: This intensive course will provide an in-depth curriculum on how to develop meaningful programmatic and organizational partnerships within the movement and with external partners.
Target Audience: Volunteers with intermediate-level experience contributing to Wikimedia projects and beginner-level experience with building partners with Non-Wikimedia groups and organizations.
Weekly Commitment: 6 hours.
Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive a certificate.
How to Take Part in the Online Learning Pilot
Each course in the pilot will be taught in English. The Community Development team will be exploring delivering courses in other languages after the pilot is complete. To ensure our small team can provide each learner individual support, we are limiting each course in this pilot to 40 participants. We ask that all interested applicants commit to attending weekly for the full course. At the end of the pilot, we will be making course materials available for anyone interested in self-study, and for translation.
Each course will be delivered over an 8-week period with weekly commitments ranging from 2-6 hours a week depending on the course.
- Applications open December 15, 2020 and will close on January 14, 2021.
- Successful applicants will be notified on January 18, 2021.
- The first session for each course will be held on February 1, 2021.
To participate in the Partnership Building online course, please review the course page and complete the application form linked from there.
To participate in the Identifying and Addressing Harassment Online course, please review the course page and complete the application form linked from there.
Questions & Answers
Q: Why is participation limited at all?
A: These first courses are designed to encourage interaction between participants and feedback from instructors including feedback on written assignments. To ensure we are able to provide individual support and attention to each learner's work means practical limits on the total number of participants at this time.
Q: Why is the Community Development team hosting these programs?
A: The movement recommendations are important to the Community Development team and hosting two courses online during the pilot will provide useful insight to help us improve the next phase of the project. Our team is currently working to build a permanent online learning and development portfolio and this pilot will inform how we move this work forward.
Q: I have started the pilot program but I can’t continue, will you be offering another opportunity to volunteer this year?
A: Unfortunately we will only be hosting the pilot program during the 8-week period beginning February 1, 2021. We do have plans to host more online learning programming in the future so please visit our page, Community Development for future updates on when we will be launching new programming.
Q: How will you make the selection of who gets to participate?
A: Each course facilitator and the Community Development team will review applications of interested volunteers, and select a group that represents a range of relevant experience (to ensure the course builds on some basis of shared knowledge and movement experience, and that no one finds it either ineffective or too difficult). Beyond the appropriate experience level, facilitators will aim to select a group as diverse as possible in all other aspects, identities including native languages, home countries, gender, project roles, and more.
Q: What about the people not selected to participate in the pilot?
A: At the end of the pilot period( eight weeks), the materials from the courses will be made available for self-study, to anyone interested. Depending on how these interactive courses go, we may offer such courses again, and people not selected for the courses in this pilot stage will be able to apply again. Outlines of the course materials will be made available on the project page for those who take an interest in the material for both programs.
Q: What languages would this be in?
A: For this pilot, course materials and sessions will be developed and delivered in English. After the pilot stage, we will be encouraging volunteers to '''translate materials''' into other languages and our team will be exploring opportunities to develop learning resources and programming in other languages.
Q: What platform will be used to deliver the pilot? What would the platform be like, technically?
A: We are piloting using the well-known free-software product Moodle. Using OAuth, everyone will be able to log in using their Wikimedia identities.
Q: Why isn't this being done on Wikiversity?
A: Wikiversity offers relatively few features for online learning, compared to platforms specifically designed for online learning. Since participants will not be developing their own curriculums, priority is being placed on using an open platform that will provide a higher level of functionality to ensure we are able to develop courses that is more interactive.
Q: What if I have another question?
A: Go ahead and ask it on the talk page, and we will do our best to answer. You can also reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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