Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Research on effectiveness of Wikipedia in Education as a platform of improving the cognitive ability among students

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Research on effectiveness of Wikipedia in Education as a platform of improving the cognitive ability among students
start date2022-03-01T00:00:00Z
end date2023-04-30T00:00:00Z
budget (local currency)2165083 INR
amount requested (USD)28879 USD
amount recommended (USD)28879
grant typeIndividual
funding regionSA
decision fiscal year2021-22
funding program roundRound 1
applicant and people related to proposalPavanaja
Midpoint Learning Report 
Final Learning Report

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Applicant details[edit]

Wikimedia username(s):



G. Have you received grants from the Wikimedia Foundation before?

Applied previously and did receive a grant

H. Have you received grants from any non-wiki organization before?


H.1 Which organization(s) did you receive grants from?


M. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


M1. Fiscal organization name.

Ranjitsinh Disale Foundation, Inc.

Additional information[edit]

R. Where will this proposal be implemented?


S. Please indicate whether your work will be focused on one country (local), more than one or several countries in your region (regional) or has a cross-regional (global) scope:


S1. If you have answered regional or international, please write the country names and any other information that is useful for understanding your proposal.

T. If you would like, please share any websites or social media accounts that your group or organization has. (optional)

M. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


M1. Fiscal organization name.

Ranjitsinh Disale Foundation, Inc.


1. What is the overall vision of your organization and how does this proposal contribute to this? How does this proposal connect to past work and learning?

I was a scientist at the prestigious BARC, Bombay, India. I resigned that job to work towards taking the benefits of ICT to common man and bridging digital divide. I created Kannada’s first website and online magazine, created Kannada version of programming language for children LOGO, educational software and games for learning Kannada, localisation of FOSS. I have been a Wikipedian since 2004. I worked with CIS-A2K & founded Karavali Wikimedians UG later to work in the area of free knowledge.

2. What is the change that you are trying to bring about and why is this important?

The main purpose of education is to create a thinking human beings rather than walking encyclopedias. Over the years the education domain has systematically transformed itself from creating thinking pupils to producing bunch of people with lot of information but poor in the thought processes. Cognitive ability among the students need to be kindled and nurtured. Use of Wikipedia as a platform for learning has potential to improve this process, leading to impactful learning. In higher education, there is growing interest in using Wikipedia as a learning resource. Wikipedia can be used as an instructional resource as well. Most students use Wikipedia as a source of information to aid their study. But by writing articles on Wikipedia, they become creators of knowledge rather than consumers of knowledge. To write articles on Wikipedia, a student has to engage in research on the topic, collecting information from authentic and verifiable resources, applying thought on the validity of facts before organising the collected information into an article of global standard. This process improves the thought process of the student thereby improving the cognitive skills.The information about a topic may be depicted in slightly varied forms at different sources. Wikipedia articles have to be based on authentic and verifiable sources. Additionally, thinking and logical reasoning is needed before finalising the article sometimes. These could be about distance of a place, achievements of a person and his or her age, different names about the same subject/object or person. These kinds of works are bound to improve the thought process and theby the cognitive skills of the participants. Some work has been done in this area in some parts of the world but no such work has been carried out with more details in India with Indian and Indian languages context. This project aims to accomplish that. There is hardly any material in Indian languages, especially, Kannada, like tutorials for an educator on how to go about using Wikipedia as a platform in education.

3. Describe your main approaches or strategies to achieve these changes and why you think they will be effective.

The program will mainly train about 20-25 students on using Wikipedia as a platform for learning. This will include many activities.

1. Wikipedia –a) Reading Wikipedia and identifying the areas of improvement and identifying content gaps which can be taken up by the students for improvement.

b) Students will learn how to edit and add articles to Wikipedia – basics of editing, userpage, sandbox, formatting, links, references, adding photos. Learning these basic elements will be followed by advanced topics like templates, infoboxes, navigation boxes, talk pages.

2. Wikidata – learning basics of Wikidata, linking Wikipedia articles with Wikidata, using queries to extract information based on some conditions. Learning some basic concepts of programming will benefit the students in improving their cognitive skills. This part is included in learning the concepts like constant, variable, parameter, condition which are needed in developing templates and queries.
3. Photowalks – There will be one or more photowalks to click rich cultural treasures of the area and upload them to Commons.
4. Tests – In the beginning and at the end of the program, tests will be conducted to assess the cognitive skills of the students. Infographs will be generated to show the effect of the program on the thought process among participants. Cognitive ability tests assess abilities involved in thinking, viz., reasoning, perception, memory, verbal and mathematical ability, and problem solving. Tests will have questions designed to estimate these.
5. Generation of materials – Tutorial files and videos will be created to help educators on how to go about WEP. To help the educators from this region, these will be created in Kannada language. I will be generating these materials with the help of students and the community.
6. Certificate course – Entire program will be designed in the form of a certificate course. This will benefit the students by acquiring a certificate which will add to their Curriculum Vitae.

4. What are the activities you will be developing and delivering as part of these approaches or strategies?

In this study it is proposed to conduct research on the effectiveness of Wikipedia as a platform of learning. It will be a program with graduate degree students. Students will learn to edit, writing articles, features like templates in Wikipedia and a bit of Wikidata and using queries. Tests are planned in the beginning and at the end of the program to assess the cognitive skills of the students. Tutorials and videos to help educators on how to go about WEP with Kannada context to be generated.

5. Do you want to apply for multi-year funding?      


5.1 If yes, provide a brief overview of Year 2 and Year 3 of the proposed plan and how this relates to the current proposal and your strategic plan?


6. Please include a timeline (operational calendar) for your proposal.

7. Do you have the team that is needed to implement this proposal?

Name: Dr. U.B. Pavanaja Role: Principal Researcher and project manager (Paid staff) Username: Pavanaja Responsibilities: Overall management and coordination of the project activities. Manage the budget, finance, spending, accounting and reporting. Design and roll out the program. Design the syllabus for the education program, questionnaire for the tests, evaluate, responsible for creating the tutorials and videos. Will generate the final report.

Name: No specific name. Whoever available at that particular time will be used Role: Resource person(s) (Paid per assignment) Responsibilities: Many training programs will be held during the course of the program. On different days, different topics will be covered. Depending on the topic of the day and availability of the person, different person(s) will be used.

Volunteers from the community may be involved in suggesting articles, correcting the articles, suggesting topics for editathons, etc. Mostly these will be done online.

8. Please state if your proposal aims to work to bridge any of the identified CONTENT knowledge gaps (Knowledge Inequity)? Select up to THREE that most apply to your work.

Content Gender gap, Language, Cultural background, ethnicity, religion, racial

8.1 In a few sentences, explain how your work is specifically addressing this content gap (or Knowledge inequity) to ensure a greater representation of knowledge.

9. Please state if your proposal includes any of these areas or THEMATIC focus. Select up to THREE that most apply to your work and explain the rationale for identifying these themes.

Education, Culture, heritage or GLAM , Diversity

10. Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities? Please note, we had previously asked about inclusion and diversity in terms of CONTENTS, in this question we are asking about the diversity of PARTICIPANTS. Select up to THREE that most apply to your work.

Gender Identity, Ethnic/racial/religious or cultural background, Linguistic / Language

11. What are your strategies for engaging participants, particularly those that currently are non-Wikimedia?

The research program will be conducted at Dr G Shankar Government Women’s First Grade College & PG Study Centre Ajjarkadu Udupi, Karnataka, India. The participants will be girl students of undergraduate courses from arts, commerce and science streams. This college is situated at a tier-II city of Karnataka state. Most students hail from not rich family backgrounds thus not able to afford computers/laptops. They are deprived of extensive use of technology for their study. They will be using the computer labs of the college to participate in this program. Apart from the main goal mentioned above, we also will be helping in bridging the gender and content gaps in the Wikipedia program and bringing more women into the fold of digital skills. Udupi is present in the coastal area of Karnataka state of India. Kannada, Tulu and Konkani are the languages used in this area. Students will write articles in these language Wikipedias thereby addressing another area of improving Wikipedia content in these languages.

12. In what ways are you actively seeking to contribute towards creating a safer, supportive, more equitable environment for participants and promoting the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy, and/or equivalent local policies and processes?

The Universal Code of Conduct will be strictly adhered to. The participants will be informed about UCoC and will be instructed to follow them. All persons involved in this program including educators, organisers, community members, resource persons will be informed about UCoC and requested to follow it.

13. Do you have plans to work with Wikimedia communities, groups, or affiliates in your country, or in other countries, to implement this proposal?


13.1 If yes, please tell us about these connections online and offline and how you have let Wikimedia communities know about this proposal.

We hope to be working with Karavali Wikimedians User Group whose main focus is on improving Kannada, Tulu and Konkani Wikipedia and sister projects. Applicant of this grant proposal, Pavanaja, is one of the founder members of this user group. Previously, this UG has worked in collaborations with educational institutions in the coastal areas of Karnataka. These experiences will help in designing and fine tuning this project. Volunteers from Wikipedia communities will be invited to help in whichever way they are willing to contribute. Apart from these announcements will be made in the Village Pumps of Kannada and other language Wikipedias about this program. Nowadays posting the messages on social media is generating more interest and awareness among the stakeholders. Hence they also will be used extensively.

14. Will you be working with other external, non-Wikimedian partners to implement this proposal?


14.1 Please describe these partnerships and what motivates the potential partner to be part of the proposal and how they add value to your work.


15. How do you hope to sustain or expand the work carried out in this proposal after the grant?

A Wikipedia Student Association or Club is proposed to be initiated in the college where this research program will be conducted. The students who take part in the program will initiate and run the club. Once this research program is over, the club will continue to exist, recruit the next set of student members, and will continue the activities around Wikipedia. Thus the work will be sustained after the completion of the project.

16. What kind of risks do you anticipate and how would you mitigate these. This can include factors such as external/contextual issues that may affect implementation, as well as internal issues, such as governance/leadership changes.

17. In what ways do you think your proposal most contributes to the Movement Strategy 2030 recommendations. Select a maximum of three options that most apply.

Innovate in Free Knowledge, Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt

18. Please state if your organization or group has a Strategic Plan that can help us further understand your proposal. You can also upload it here.  

Learning, Sharing, and Evaluation[edit]

19. What do you hope to learn from your work in this fund proposal?

I would like to research the impact of Wikipedia as a platform of learning in an academic space. Would like to understand how cognitive skills and the thought process are shaped by using Wikipedia as a platform of learning. There are some examples of such research done in some parts of the world but no such research has been done in India. There is an additional question to ponder is how this whole exercise works in the context of Indian languages, especially Kannada and Tulu, the major languages used as the primary languages of this study. How do students perceive Wikipedia as a platform of learning. This I am planning to accomplish by making video interviews of the participants at the end of the program. Designing and running this program will help in creating the tutorial files and videos. These learnings can be used by the Wikipedia community and the educators who would like to implement WEP at their institutions.

20. Based on these learning questions, what is the information or data you need to collect to answer these questions? Please register this information (as metric description) in the following space provided.

Main Metrics Description Target

Here are some additional metrics that you can use if they are relevant to your work. Please note that this is just an optional list, mostly of quantitative metrics. They may complement the qualitative metrics you have defined in the previous boxes.

Additional Metrics Description Target
Number of editors that continue to participate/retained after activities N/A N/A
Number of organizers that continue to participate/retained after activities N/A N/A
Number of strategic partnerships that contribute to longer term growth, diversity and sustainability N/A N/A
Feedback from participants on effective strategies for attracting and retaining contributors N/A N/A
Diversity of participants brought in by grantees N/A N/A
Number of people reached through social media publications N/A N/A
Number of activities developed N/A N/A
Number of volunteer hours N/A N/A

21. Additional core quantitative metrics. These core metrics will not tell the whole story about your work, but they are important for measuring some Movement-wide changes. Please try to include these core metrics if they are relevant to your work. If they are not, please use the space provided to explain why they are not relevant or why you can not capture this data. Your explanation will help us review our core metrics and make sure we are using the best ones for the movement as a whole.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target
Number of participants The number of participants, all female, in all activities. All these 25 will be new participants 25
Number of editors The number of editors, all female, in all activities. All these 25 will be new editors 25
Number of organizers The number of organisers in all activities: 3

Out of these there may be one new organiser.

Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target
Wikipedia Number of articles added: 125 125

21.1 If for some reason your proposal will not measure these core metrics please provide an explanation.

22. What tools would you use to measure each metric selected?

Number of participants and number of editors: Programs & Events Dashboard and Event Metrics Number of tutorial files and videos: count manually

Financial Proposal[edit]

23. & 23.1 What is the amount you are requesting from WMF? Please provide this amount in your local currency. If you are thinking about a multi-year fund, please provide the amount for the first year.

2165083 INR

23.2 What is this amount in US Currency (to the best of your knowledge)?

28879 USD

23.3 Please upload your budget for this proposal or indicate the link to it.

Please see this spreadsheet for details of the budget -

23.4 Please include any additional observations or comments you would like to include about your budget.


Please use this optional space to upload any documents that you feel are important for further understanding your proposal.

Other public document(s):

Final Message[edit]

By submitting your proposal/funding request you agree that you are in agreement with the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and the Universal Code of Conduct.

We/I have read the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.