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Learning and Evaluation/Case studies/Wikimania London Survey Results

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Learning and Evaluation

Wikimania London Survey Results


Wikimania 2014 from above
Wikimania 2014 from above

This is the summary page for the 2014 Wikimania evaluation survey from the event in London. The survey was a collaborative effort of the Wikimania Conference and Hackathon organizers along with the WMF Learning and Evaluation team. Conferences and hackathons had been identified as key programs to develop evaluation insight. Given the opportunity to collaborate on an evaluation survey, WMF team members partnered with conference and hackathon organizers to provide the technical support to complete the survey project. This first survey offers a look into the process and outcomes of the conference. It is intended was a means for participants to share what they got out of the conference and a platform to collect information on how we might improve future conferences and their evaluation. Find the PDF of the slide deck (8.26 MB) on Wikimedia Commons. Share, comment and discuss!

Wikimania 2014 Participant Survey - Data Summary


  • Online survey via Qualtrics (view items)
  • Data collection:
    • August 10th – September 15th, 2014 (after the Conference closing)
    • Unique conference participants: 1520
    • Survey Respondents: 792 (52% of conference participants) [1]



Conference Program

  • The majority of the respondents judged the conference as a good opportunity.
    • 92% felt that the conference provided useful information.
    • 88% felt that the conference was suitable for their background and experience.
    • 86% felt that the conference gave them the opportunity to exchange ideas with others on Wikimedian issues.
    • 82% felt that the conference contributed to reaching a shared understanding of the future of open knowledge.
    • 77% felt that the conference increased their understanding of the open knowledge movement.
  • Overall participants were satisfied with the organization of the conference. Survey participants reported being most satisfied with the conference venue, their personal accommodations and access to help for any questions they had while they experiences some dissatisfaction with the conference catering, outings, and evening events.

Most commonly attended tracks:
  1. Featured Speakers
  2. Wikimedia
  3. Social Machines
  4. Technology
Sessions rated most useful were:
  1. Meet-ups
  2. Social Machines
  3. Open Data
  4. Education

  • When asked to share up to three of their favorite sessions, 59% of the survey participants shared at least one of their favorites. 25% of the sessions named were featured speakers and 15% were of the Social Machines track.

Top sessions were:
  1. Featured Speakers VII - Knowledge
  2. Featured Speakers V - Platform
  3. Featured Speakers II - Data
  4. Free Culture II - Conflict
  5. Social Machines IX - Motivation
  6. Diversity I - Tools
  7. Education III - Foundation
  8. Featured Speakers XI - Media
  9. Featured Speakers - IX - Freedom
  10. Keynote IV - Closing Ceremony
Talks named specifically were:
  1. Creative Ways to Alienate Women Online (by Steven Walling & Maryana Pinchuk)
  2. Which Law Applies to Wikipedia (by Tobias Lutzi) presentation
  3. Raph Koster: Author, A Theory of Fun
  4. Jack Andraka
  5. Education (by members of the Wiki Ed Foundation and Education Collaborative)
  6. Interface Vision (by WMF UX Director, Jared Zimmerman)
  7. The coolest projects of Wikimedia Chapters - Be Inspired! (by Deror Avi)
  8. Wikipedia in Medicine (by James Heilman)
  9. Thank you for your email: A day in Wikimedia Mail Room (by Keegan Peterzell)
  10. State of the Wiki (by Brandon Harris)


  • Participant experience varied greatly among the 214 hackathon respondents who had participated in the hackathon.
  • The majority of participants were relatively new to the experience with 55% indicating it was their first or second hackathon and 54% who were beginner, novice, or new as developers.
  • Of the 17 project teams posted on the hackathon page 4 projects had participation from 15% or more hackathon participants:
  1. Structured Data (27%)
  2. Media Viewer (17%)
  3. Translatathon (16%)
  4. Developer Discussion (15%)
  • 79 hackathon participants described at least one accomplishment of their hackathon effort
  • Hackathon participants’ reported contributions were coded by type and most frequently involved:
    • Fixing bugs or adding citations (30%)
    • Adding features to an existing tool (29%)
    • Writing code for a new tool or project (24%)
    • Answering research questions (20%)
  • 92% felt satisfied with the work they had accomplished at the hackathon, but suggested that they could have done more with increased structure in general (19%), with more access to coffee and food (13%), more structure for newbies (12%)

Networking & Learning Outcomes

  • 85% of participants reported they would pursue a new project with at least one of the contacts they made this year at Wikimania
  • Meeting all the Wikimedia people at the conference helped participants to gain knowledge (90%, strongly agree or agree), motivate to contribute to Wikimedia and its projects (80%), gain a better understanding of each others' views (82%) and share knowledge (75%).

The most common referenced areas of knowledge enrichment were:
  1. Wikip/media projects (especially GLAM)
  2. Open Knowledge movement
  3. Open Data
  4. Wikidata
  5. Education
  6. Tools
  7. Chapters

The learning experiences participants reported they would apply to their own work most often related to:
  1. Wikipedia work and projects
  2. Wikidata
  3. New editor projects
  4. Understanding experiences within the community

The Conference Overall

  • Participants were highly satisfied with the conference overall.
  • 91% of respondents rated the conference as "Good" (48%) or "Excellent" (43%)
  • 87% indicated their expectations had been "met" (48%) or "exceeded" (39%)
  • The most named benefits of attending Wikimania were meeting people and finding out about projects.

In the media

  • 72 media organizations covered the conference in blogs, newspaper sites and other press outlets.
  • 134 positive media posts were generated about Wikimania
→ Some highlights can be read here, here and here. More may be found in the featured stories log is available via the conference website
  • 20,488 tweets flew around cyberspace, by 3,428 contributors.
→ See the full report here.

Overview of Twitter impact

Detailed Evaluation Survey Results Available

  • You can find the detailed summary of the evaluation survey via Wikimedia Commons'
    Wikimania 2014 Participant Survey Data Summary (8.26 MB)
    Wikimania 2014 Participant Survey Data Summary (8.26 MB)
  • Complete survey data are available upon request and will be examined further by both the conference and the hackathon planning groups for their immediate use in planning for future events. Please contact eval@wikimedia.org with any additional data requests. The complete survey data are available upon request and will be used by both the conference and the hackathon planning groups in planning for future events and their evaluation. In addition, the Learning and Evaluation team will also work to review and incorporate these results, along with evaluation data from other conferences, in the second round of Program Evaluation reports currently in progress. The conference financial report is also underway, however, it will also be available sometime in the new year. Keep an eye out for these additional points of reporting to become available in early 2015!

Finally, on behalf of all who have collaborated on this evaluation survey, from those who helped with its development, the 792 participants who completed it, and those involved in its analysis, and now, interpretation: thank you for your time, attention, and support! We are happy to be part in this collective learning about Wikimedia conferences. Your questions are welcome, and encouraged, on the talk page.

  1. Registrants who shared a Wikimedia user name were more likely to respond to the survey than registrants without a username