Grants:IdeaLab/Training for administrators

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Training for administrators
Administrators are often in positions to address harassment and incivility, but they may lack skills and knowledge that would improve their chances of success and their ability to use available tools and resources to address the problem.
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idea creator
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DJ Nkulzin
this project needs...
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project manager
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created on00:54, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

Untrained administrators are suboptimal, and may even do more harm than good.

What is your solution?[edit]

Training for administrators, in the formats of videos and small group discussions.


Create a series of videos, and materials to support small group discussions, that would help to teach and reinforce the topics below. Small group discussions would be initially facilitated by an expert who would be contracted to develop the materials; subsequent training would be done through a train-the-trainer model, led by administrators who (1) have been trained, (2) have been active as administrators for at least six months after the completion of their training, and (3) volunteer and/or are nominated by their fellow administrators to lead training sessions for other administrators.

  • Increase the "people skills" of administrators to de-escalate tense situations and conflict in the early phases
  • Increase the ability of administrators to define and recognize incivility and harassment behaviors
  • Increase the knowledge of administrators of the options available to address incivility and harassment, ranging from advising or warning all the way through banning and/or referring to WMF staff.
  • Increase the "people skills" of administrators to recognize and manage their own emotions and reactions
  • Increase the "people skills" of administrators with regards to interacting with victims of incivility and harassment, including culturally appropriate offers of emotional support
  • Increase the "people skills" of administrators to increase their personal resilience, recover from conflict, know and recognize their personal limits, and know where and how to get emotional support for themselves and other administrators.

Get Involved[edit]

About the idea creator[edit]

--Pine (:


  • Volunteer Help with researches and other Administration related content. DJ Nkulzin (talk) 13:54, 13 June 2016 (UTC)


  • Would endorse, but who would train those admins? don't say more experienced admins because a few (A lot) of those need training themselves...--Stemoc 01:01, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Ste I have added information above to address this. I agree that initial training should be done by a subject matter expert. --Pine 02:08, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Endorse in principle, but training must be done by professionals (publicly identified people who have been assessed as competent to provide the training, can be held accountable for the standard of their work, and cannot be accused of partisanship). Also some people will be perfectly adequate as technical admins, but never at dealing with people. Split the tasks. Do both if you can and want to, otherwise stick to what you do well. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:32, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Endorse - with suggestions. 1st the video is a great idea for a starter, but the small groups are just as important. The video should be divided into a general video for admins and a second video on harassment. I'll also suggest that non-admins be involved in programming the video. Too often admins seem to be a closed group - something like some police departments - that don't realize that their job is to serve non-admins. I'll volunteer a small amount of time as a non-admin. Smallbones (talk) 13:23, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
  • yes, we need a trained cadre to enforce the rules. Slowking4 (talk) 22:40, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Endorse - : I think Pine's idea is excellent, and it is an ideal candidate for a grant, to facilitate production of videos, as well as to obtain the services of qualified trainers for the initial program. The problem of loss of new editors in droves is often mentioned, and I believe this specific problem is as critical as any I have encountered. Rags (talk) 03:46, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
  • I think that improving admins skills could be effective in de-escalating incivility. Training means that admins can learn from each other's experiences.
This could be a useful part in improving the situation, although some other suggestions on the IdeaLab about dealing with incivil admins might be necessary alongside this. Emain Macha (talk) 10:35, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Endorse--NadirAli (talk)
  • Sounds good, but I would say that the expert must be an expert in conflict resolution and in dealing with harassment, such as an HR professional, not necessarily a content expert. Darkfrog24 (talk) 03:40, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
Totally agree. That is what I meant with my comments above. This is a skill entirely different from technical competence with Wikimedia software and detailed knowledge of encyclopedia building. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:49, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
  • This is important for current admin. Webysther (talk) 21:51, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Endorse in principle- because ongoing communications training are crucial for any collaborative project, a bare minimum of future efforts. Then there is the professionalism caveat. There are professionals capable of helping wikimedia help its self and help other democratic projects at the same time. Ellisun (talk) 03:18, 27 June 2016 (UTC) (For example, see the "shared-learning through-networks" of the non-partisan Kettering Foundation [1]. They train moderators for difficult policy deliberations. They work with large democratic institutions and networks. And Kellog Foundation's focus on research, education and service is compatible with Wikimedia.)
  • Endorse. This is in no way unique to administrators, and is crucially needed everywhere, including editors. Thank you.Smuckola (talk) 08:33, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

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