Grants:IEG/WOW! Editing Group/Midpoint
Welcome to this project's midpoint report! This report shares progress and learnings from the Individual Engagement Grantee's first 3 months.
In a few short sentences or bullet points, give the main highlights of what happened with your project so far.
- We designed a survey for high school and college students to ask about their use of Wikipedia and interest in joining our group.
- We are deep in the recruiting process for our group from both high school and college students.
Methods and activities
How have you setup your project, and what work has been completed so far?
Describe how you've setup your experiment or pilot, sharing your key focuses so far and including links to any background research or past learning that has guided your decisions. List and describe the activities you've undertaken as part of your project to this point.
- Designed WOW! Survey on SurveyMonkey with help from statistical psychology specialist and Wikipedia’s learning and evaluation to ask college and high school women about their use of Wikipedia and interest in our project
- Created a Facebook page to share what the group is up to and promote on campus and in the community
- Worked with a graphic designer to create group logo for T-Shirts and branding
- Researched UC Berkeley student groups and organizations who might be interested in participating
- Reached out to the UC Berkeley Panhellenic Council, Women’s Club Sports Teams, Gender & Women’s Studies Department, FemSex Club, Empowering Women of Color Committee, Iota Sigma Pi National Honor Society for Women in Chemistry, National Organization for Women Berkeley Chapter, Phi Nu Xi Multicultural Women’s Group, Prytanean Women’s Honors Society, Graduate Women’s Project, Women in Leadership Berkeley MBA, Boalt Hall Women’s Association, and more...
- Reached out to Berkeley High, Maybeck High School, and Oakland College Prep to send out survey and information to students
- Received applications from 15+ high school students
- Having short preliminary conversations with interested college students
- Planning first info session on UC Berkeley campus
- Interviewing 5+ applicants for fall project assistant
What are the results of your project or any experiments you’ve worked on so far?
Please discuss anything you have created or changed (organized, built, grown, etc) as a result of your project to date.
- 68 people took the survey so far: 22 high school and 38 college or above
- Survey remains open until the beginning of September
- We are working on setting up our first info session for the first week of classes at UC Berkeley. We will set time for monthly edit-a-thon socials and form pairs.
- Buddy pairs will be required to attend the monthly event and meet at least one other time with their buddy over the course of the month according to their schedules.
Please take some time to update the table in your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed all approved and actual expenditures as instructed. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided there to explain them.
Then, answer the following question here: Have you spent your funds according to plan so far? Please briefly describe any major changes to budget or expenditures that you anticipate for the second half of your project.
- We used funds for our stipends, $2,250 for Jill and $750 for Anna
- The budget is on target, and we expect no changes.
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 are taking enough risks to learn something really interesting! Please use the below sections to describe what is working and what you plan to change for the second half of your project.
What are the challenges
What challenges or obstacles have you encountered? What will you do differently going forward? Please list these as short bullet points.
- Contacting students over the summer was a huge challenge. Administrators for Berkeley High School were gone for the summer and we had challenges reaching the student body. Private schools were more responsive. In an effort to be inclusive of all soio-economic groups we want to keep the door open to BHS students so we are extending the group formation date to September.
- Recruiting college students for participation is always a challenge. Students are always really enthusiastic about the cause, but this does not guarantee their participation. To combat this, I am making sure to call all interested participants personally and make sure they understand the exact time commitment (which we kept very manageable) and our devotion to making sure this is a worthwhile volunteer experience for them.
What is working well
What have you found works best so far? 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.
Next steps and opportunities
What are the next steps and opportunities you’ll be focusing on for the second half of your project? Please list these as short bullet points. If you're considering applying for a 6-month renewal of this IEG at the end of your project, please also mention this here.
- Anna has graduated from UC Berkeley, and will be moving to the East Coast. We will have a new project assistant beginning late-August.
- As we move forward, we will focus on forming our buddy pairs, beginning to train the group in editing practices, and set up a schedule for socials with themes (women in science, art, television, politics, journalism, etc.)
- We hope to provide resources to all participants that will encourage them to feel part of the Wikipedia community and feel comfortable and supported editing throughout their participation in the group and beyond.
- It is possible that Jill will extend the project.
We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on how the experience of being an IEGrantee has been so far. What is one thing that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed from the past 3 months?
We have had an amazing experience working on the grant so far. We’ve gotten great support from Marti, our program officer, and look forward to continuing to work with her in making all this happen.
Conducting our survey of potential participants has been invaluable. We have been surprised (and enlightened) by the information we've gleaned: how many (or few) respondents have edited a Wikipedia page, how many college-age women feel passionate about closing the gender gap, and how excited people are about participating in this project.
Representing this grant at Wikimania was certainly one highlight from the last few months. It was invaluable in understanding where this project falls in the context of the entire organization. The community of people working on this cause — expanding female editorship and content about women on Wikipedia — is strong, dedicated, and creative. I am honored and empowered knowing I am part of this group. The connections I made and lessons I learned at Wikimania will undoubtedly make their way into this project and any future projects I work on.
After my experience as an IEGrantee, I am certainly inspired to remain involved with Wikipedia and this cause well beyond this project.