Grants:IEG/Senior Citizens Write Wikipedia/Final

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Individual Engagement Grants This project is funded by an Individual Engagement Grant

proposal people timeline & progress finances midpoint report final report


Welcome to this project's final report! This report shares the outcomes, impact and learnings from the Individual Engagement Grantee's 6-month project.

Part 1: The Project[edit]

Summary[edit]

In a few short sentences, give the main highlights of what happened with your project. Please include a few key outcomes or learnings from your project in bullet points, for readers who may not make it all the way through your report.

From our perspective, The Senior Citizens Write Wikipedia program is the most systematic and most successful project involving seniors in Wikipedia writing. It is unique both in its time span and the number of seniors instructed (>100). The principle of the project is giving regular weekly courses where the instructor has plenty of time to explain everything without rushing. A substantial part of the seniors have become long-term contributors to Wikipedia, fulfilling the aims of the project. The key to success was collaboration with institutions with experience in work with seniors (libraries, senior centres) and meticulous work with the participants. The project was also supported by a successful media campaign, including several TV spots in the Czech TV's prime-time.

Methods and activities[edit]

2015 course for senior citizens, Elpida
Seminar for librarians, National Library of Prague
Leningrad in 1986, as donated by our participants to Wikimedia Commons during the scanning workshop

All activities until the fall 2014 are described in the corresponding section of the midpoint report. All activities are listed (by date) on the project page (in Czech). The most relevant activities from the grant term period include:

  • Regular courses in January 2015 in Elpida and in Municipal Library of Prague. The 2nd round than took place in April 2015.
  • Prof Jan Sokol lecture about Wikipedia for Alumni Club (Third Age University) of Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague
  • February and March 2015 - four seminars for librarians from regional libraries, taking place in the National Library of the Czech Republic in Prague; the visitors of these courses mastered the basics of Wikipedia and were invited to take part in our project (Senior Citizens Write Wikipedia) in their corresponding regional libraries.
  • Scanning workshop in Elpida senior centre (March 2014), which invited seniors to come and scan the pictures from their personal archives. The resulting pictures are here.
  • A streamed talk given by Prof Jan Sokol in March 2015 (see here) for libraries and wider public, explaining Wikipedia and our project. It features one of our course participants explaining what she likes about Wikipedia.
  • One-day courses for senior citizens in smaller cities - Pardubice and Semily (March 2015), Roudnice nad Labem and Plzeň (May/June 2015), a scanning workshop in Semily (June 2015)
  • Presentations of the project at various opportunities throughout the year
    • City council of Prague
    • SozialMarie nomination
    • Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic (see streamed video here)
    • Profession Days at University of Economics and Management of Prague)
  • Presentation of our project at Fresh Senior Festival 2015 (June 2015)
  • A summer holiday course in Elpida in July 2015

Outcomes and impact[edit]

Outcomes[edit]

What are the results of your project?

  • We recruited 20 new long-term contributors to Wikipedia, i.e. Wikipedians, 15 more who do not edit right now (May/June 2015) but are expected to do so in future on a regular or occasional basis.
  • Our participants wrote 111 new articles of significant quality, improved 102, uploaded 368 new pictures, did 6970 edits on Czech Wikipedia in total - and hundreds of edits in other projects - Wikimedia Commons, Czech Wikibooks, other language versions of Wikipedia.
  • 119 senior citizens attended our regular events, 104 of them made at least one edit. Additionally, about 100 more attended our lectures or other single-day events.
  • 45 librarians took part in our lectures on Wikipedia (including practical workshop) and we initiated collaboration with them or their libraries as a result of these lectures (helping us to organize senior citizen courses in their libraries).
  • A successful media campaign took place (in Spring 2015 our project was the topic of about 50% of all published news about Wiki). This lead to improved public awareness of Wikipedia and reaching out to new people. Examples of outcomes include a Czech TV broadcast (March 11) or Czech Broadcasting Service (13 February). It would be difficult to measure the impact of this on eg. page views of Wikipedia or overall increase in number of new editors.

Progress towards stated goals[edit]

Please use the below table to:

  1. List each of your original measures of success (your targets) from your project plan.
  2. List the actual outcome that was achieved.
  3. Explain how your outcome compares with the original target. Did you reach your targets? Why or why not?
Planned measure of success
(include numeric target, if applicable)
Actual result Explanation
At least 30-50 seniors attending regular courses 119 seniors attending regular courses
several hundred (200+) senior citizens having attended at least one of the events cca 220 This wasn't the main focus - we concentrated on regular courses - but we were able to fulfill the goal and even overcome it.
several dozens of contacted retired professors 0 This goal did not turn out to be a priority for 2015 and was postponed until 2016. There is a problem in contacting retired professors systematically, efficiently while not spamming them.
at least five new highly active senior Wikipedians to continue editing for at least next 6 months.
  • 14 participants making >100 edits
  • 18 participants editing at least for 6 months (but 40% of participants started attending the courses after January 2015 so the actual number is probably higher (we will provide specific numbers in the 2015 grant report)
  • 20 participants can be considered active independent Wikipedians, inferring from the structure of their edits between May and June 2015
The main goal of the project was fulfilled and significantly exceeded. The key was long-term work with our participants - which gradually turned Wikipedia lessons into "Wikiclubs" for advanced participants. These provided a suitable environment for writing articles and motivating our participants to continue editing Wikipedia. A minor part of our participants does not visit these advanced courses and instead contribute from their homes.


Think back to your overall project goals. Do you feel you achieved your goals? Why or why not?

Most of the goals were fulfilled and usually exceeded. The reason for this was not just the success of the program, but also extension of the grant's time frame from 6 months to 12 months (while keeping the overall budget unchanged). One exception is the plan to recruit retired professors, which was not prioritized but will be a focus during our uncoming discussions and plans.

Global Metrics[edit]

We are trying to understand the overall outcomes of the work being funded across all grantees. In addition to the measures of success for your specific program (in above section), please use the table below to let us know how your project contributed to the "Global Metrics." We know that not all projects will have results for each type of metric, so feel free to put "0" as often as necessary.

  1. Next to each metric, list the actual numerical outcome achieved through this project.
  2. Where necessary, explain the context behind your outcome. For example, if you were funded for a research project which resulted in 0 new images, your explanation might be "This project focused solely on participation and articles written/improved, the goal was not to collect images."

For more information and a sample, see Global Metrics.

Metric Achieved outcome Explanation
1. Number of active editors involved 12 Managers, tutors of Wikipedia, photographers at our events, various other precious people :-) ... Not counting lot of ordinary wikipedians occasionally helping our participants online (fixing their errors or writing on their talk pages).
2. Number of new editors 104 Newly registered users. Maximum number of edits - 1135, average number of edits = 57.8, median number of edits = 23.
3. Number of individuals involved +/- 270 Senior citizen course participants and organizers + Participants of seminar for librarians + Visitors to our lectures + Scanning workshop participants. Not counting participants of our various public talks.
4. Number of new images/media added to Wikimedia articles/pages 179 Total number of uploaded images is 368. One third of this number was uploaded at two scanning workshops. The remaining two thirds were uploaded by participants themselves.
368 uploaded and 179 used means 49 % of uploaded images is currently used.
5. Number of articles added or improved on Wikimedia projects 111+102 111 new plus ca 102 distinctly improved articles. There is a much higher number of partly improved articles (hundreds) but we did not track those for practical reasons (administrative burden). Total number of edits in all namespaces = 6970.
6. Absolute value of bytes added to or deleted from Wikimedia projects 2,532,124 (added) + 783,916 (deleted) = 3,316,040 (absolute) Namespaces 1-6


Learning question
Did your work increase the motivation of contributors, and how do you know?
  • Yes. We recruited many new contributors to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.

Indicators of impact[edit]

Do you see any indication that your project has had impact towards Wikimedia's strategic priorities? We've provided 3 options below for the strategic priorities that IEG projects are mostly likely to impact. Select one or more that you think are relevant and share any measures of success you have that point to this impact. You might also consider any other kinds of impact you had not anticipated when you planned this project.

Option A: How did you increase participation in one or more Wikimedia projects?

This was the main objective of our project. We instructed many new contributors to Wikipedia, many of which became regular contributors for at least several months onward. The key to success is long-term work as opposed to short lectures or online counseling which do not provide long-term impact.

Option B: How did you improve quality on one or more Wikimedia projects?

Our project lead to dozens of high-quality articles and thousands of smaller edits, as well as several hundreds new images uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.

Option C: How did you increase the reach (readership) of one or more Wikimedia projects?

All people who heard about our project learned more about Wikipedia as a source of information, or as an opportunity. This includes the viewers of various TV broadcasts and readers of newspaper articles.

Project resources[edit]

Please provide links to all public, online documents and other artifacts that you created during the course of this project. Examples include: meeting notes, participant lists, photos or graphics uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, template messages sent to participants, wiki pages, social media (Facebook groups, Twitter accounts), datasets, surveys, questionnaires, code repositories... If possible, include a brief summary with each link.

Learning[edit]

The best thing about trying something new is that you learn from it. We want to follow in your footsteps and learn along with you, and we want to know that you took enough risks in your project to have learned something really interesting! Think about what recommendations you have for others who may follow in your footsteps, and use the below sections to describe what worked and what didn’t.

What worked well[edit]

What did you try that was successful and you'd recommend others do? To help spread successful strategies so that they can be of use to others in the movement, rather than writing lots of text here, we'd like you to share your finding in the form of a link to a learning pattern.

  • Your learning pattern link goes here

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Learning_patterns/Training_senior_citizens

What didn’t work[edit]

What did you try that you learned didn't work? What would you think about doing differently in the future? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • A more systematic approach to engagement of retired professors.
  • Engaging a part of the participants in Wikipedia patrolling. We hoped some of our participants would use their good stylistic skills and other experience to actively check recent changes for grammar mistakes etc. However, a majority of the participants focuses on writing their own Wikipedia entries and only several individuals devote their time to patrolling.
  • Explaining in simple words how discussions work. We are using VisualEditor (a great thing for newbies) but it does not work for discussion pages. As a result we need to introduce our participants to wikimarkup editing from the very beginning because mastering discussion is a key skill for future long-term Wikipedians. Some participants find the second lesson of our course the most difficult as it concentrated on discussing on Wikipedia. It could even be the reason behind many premature quits. In future we might postpone the explanation of the discussion system until later, and we are eagerly waiting for Flow or Flow-like discussion systems. We hope it will be easy to use and similar to VisualEditor in design.
  • A brochure on "step-by-step editing of Wikipedia" featuring screenshots of VisualEditor. We initially considered this but then decided to only go for plain text-based explanations for several reasons. First, it is easier, and second, VisualEditor went through almost weekly changes so it would be impossible to keep it up-to-date. A plain text version was easy to update and could be distributed in the newest version in a printed form each week. When VisualEditor stabilizes we'd still like to create a brochure with screenshots.

Other recommendations[edit]

If you have additional recommendations or reflections that don’t fit into the above sections, please list them here.

A long time ago, Tighe asked somewhere on some discussion page about the usefulness of the Facebook page we keep. Do seniors use it and does it help us in reaching out to potential participants? Well, we had some limited success with targeted advertisement (age 60+) but, still, the 60+ make up only about 10% of the page likes, so we were not able to attract large crowds of potential participants. However, the page was a good platform for sharing news which were then shared by like-minded senior centres and other organizations in the field of third age education. For that reason we currently plan to keep the page and advertise all the news and interact with like-minded organizations which often have some 60+ followers.

Next steps and opportunities[edit]

Are there opportunities for future growth of this project, or new areas you have uncovered in the course of this grant that could be fruitful for more exploration (either by yourself, or others)? What ideas or suggestions do you have for future projects based on the work you’ve completed? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • We are preparing to scale the program up into other cities outside the capital. Some courses are already running as of 2016.
  • We hope to inspire similar projects in other countries. It just works! The key is to remember to work with the participants in a long-term way (one-day events do not work) and collaborate with strong experienced organizations (libraries, schools, etc).
  • We concentrate on collaboration with various libraries which find the project very interesting and fitting into their educational scope. In future we might also consider Third age universities.
  • Our own PC room, e.g. in Wikimedia Czech Republic future office, would be great, at least for smaller consultations.

Part 2: The Grant[edit]

Finances[edit]

Actual spending[edit]

Please copy and paste the completed table from your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed the actual expenditures compared with what was originally planned. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided to explain them.

Expense Approved amount Actual funds spent Difference
Promotional materials 36800 CZK 18720.20 CZK -18079.80 CZK
Computer lab 55000 CZK 40106 CZK -14894 CZK
Project management 66000 CZK 99000 CZK +33000 CZK
Travel 1000 CZK 1953 CZK +953 CZK
Phone 1200 CZK 0 CZK -1200 CZK
Fees 0 CZK 165.45 CZK +165.45 CZK
Total 160000 CZK 159944.65 CZK -55.35 CZK

We have transparent bank accounts.

Budget change request (January 2015)[edit]

We understand that sometimes plans change. Please use this button to request approval for changes to your grant’s budget while your project is in progress. Any variation of 20% or more to any line item in your budget must be approved by staff here before you make the change (for projects with budgets of $15,000 or more, the accepted variance is 10%).

Item Required amount Difference
Promotional materials 21000 CZK -15800 CZK
Computer lab 40000 CZK -15000 CZK
Project management 99000 CZK +33000 CZK
Travel 2000 CZK +1000 CZK
Phone 0 CZK -1200 CZK
Sum 162 000 CZK +2000 CZK*

* Note: We do not request +2000 CZK, we already have it due to more favorable exchange rate.

Rationale[edit]
  • Currently we have sufficient number of participants and excellent media coverage so we can afford to spend less money to promiton materials.
  • Also we negotiated better rental prices for computer lab.
  • We request an extension of the project – and it also means more fundings for the project manager/lector/mentor.

Final account[edit]

Incomes[edit]

Item CZK ~EUR ~USD
IEG = 5850 EUR* 162311.24 ~6007.08 ~6665.76

*Note: Our original request was 160,000 CZK but we wanted that amount in euros because we have access to a more favourable exchange rate. We received 5850 EUR (ca 160,000 CZK in spring 2014 exchange rate). Due to shift in Czech currency strength we finally had at our's disposal 162311.24 CZK (ca 6007.08 EUR or 6665.76 USD in february 2016 exchange rate).

Expenses[edit]

Percentages of expenses
Complete table of expenses
Item CZK ~EUR ~USD
Project management + lecturing 99000.00 ~3663.95 ~4065.71
Renting a computer lab 40106.00 ~1484.31 ~1647.06
Printing propagation leaflets and handouts for lectures 17040.20 ~630.65 ~699.80
Travel 1953.00 ~72.28 ~80.21
Facebook adverts 1680.00 ~62.18 ~68.99
Bank charges 165.45 ~6.12 ~6.79
Sum 159944.65 ~5919.49 ~6568.56

Balance[edit]

Item CZK ~EUR ~USD
Incomes 162311.24 ~6007.08 ~6665.76
Expenses 159944.65 ~5919.49 ~6568.56
Balance 2366.59 ~87.59 ~97.19

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any unspent funds from the grant?

  • Yes, see above.

If you have unspent funds, they must be returned to WMF. Please see the instructions for returning unspent funds and indicate here if this is still in progress, or if this is already completed:

  • Still in progress. Because the balance is very low we suggest to donate it to WMCZ.

Documentation[edit]

Did you send documentation of all expenses paid with grant funds to grantsadmin(_AT_)wikimedia.org, according to the guidelines here?

  • Yes (sent on February 20th 2016).

Confirmation of project status[edit]

Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?

Please answer yes or no.

Is your project completed?

Please answer yes or no.

  • This IEG is complete, but Senior Citizens Write Wikipedia programe continues.

Grantee reflection[edit]

We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on what this project has meant to you, or how the experience of being an IEGrantee has gone overall. Is there something that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed, or that you’ll do differently going forward as a result of the IEG experience? Please share it here!