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Grants:Project/Africa Centre/Integrating Wikipedia Content Creation and Editing into University Curriculums

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statusnot selected
Integrating Wikipedia Content Creation and Editing into University Curriculums.
summaryIn a time when the bulk of verifiable knowledge sits within Universities,where only 6 percent of young people in sub-Saharan Africa have direct access to them, Wikipedia constitutes a radical space for shifting that reality. By integrating Wikipedia Content Creation and Editing into Universities, where there is a skill development system in place, a regular intake of students and the best content accessibility - this project can deliver sustainable article creation onto Wikipedia, while ensuring long term sustainability by training African lecturers to train African students in the years to come.
targetAfrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, SiSwati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu Wikipedias.
type of grantoffline programs and events
amount$59,300 USD
type of applicantorganization
granteeEloah Ramalho
contact• eloahr@africacentre.net
this project needs...
created on19:26, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

Project idea


What is the problem you're trying to solve?


What problem are you trying to solve by doing this project? This problem should be small enough that you expect it to be completely or mostly resolved by the end of this project. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

Africa is disproportionately represented on Wikipedia, principally because the community of Wikipeidians has not grown organically to produce and edit content to accurately reflect the continent. There is currently no widely adopted system in place anywhere in Africa that assures a significant and consistent intake of new Wikipedians, that they are trained sufficiently and motivated to stay active.

What is your solution?


For the problem you identified in the previous section, briefly describe your how you would like to address this problem. We recognize that there are many ways to solve a problem. We’d like to understand why you chose this particular solution, and why you think it is worth pursuing. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

Our intention is to integrate Wikipedia contribution into University curriculums across the continent. By teaching students how to create original content and edit on Wikipedia as part of their core university coursework we believe it the best way to harness this community both while in University but post to sustain their interest and enthusiasm for being a volunteer contributor to the world’s largest encyclopedia.

As we expect this pilot project to be delivered in partnership with the University of Cape Town, University of the Western Cape and the Sustainability Institute, with some of their students coming from other countries in the continent and beyond, we expect a diversity of languages to be covered by the project, starting with the 11 official languages of South Africa: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, SiSwati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.

This proposal not only increases the footprint of the Wikimedia ZA chapter - https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_South_Africa - it is also very relevant to Wikipedia's Research pages.

Additionally, we are designing this as a model, which can be replicated in Universities all over Africa.

Project goals


What are your goals for this project? Your goals should describe the top two or three benefits that will come out of your project. These should be benefits to the Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia communities. They should not be benefits to you individually. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

The top two project goals are: to increase the regular and ongoing creation of new and edited articles on Wikipedia about Africa and to establish a formal system to train new Wikipedians that is linked to the current higher education structure in the country. Given the success of this project, we will like to take the learnings to expand it to more institutions in the country and on the continent.

Project impact


How will you know if you have met your goals?


For each of your goals, we’d like you to answer the following questions:

  1. During your project, what will you do to achieve this goal? (These are your outputs.)
  2. Once your project is over, how will it continue to positively impact the Wikimedia community or projects? (These are your outcomes.)

For each of your answers, think about how you will capture this information. Will you capture it with a survey? With a story? Will you measure it with a number? Remember, if you plan to measure a number, you will need to set a numeric target in your proposal (e.g. 45 people, 10 articles, 100 scanned documents). Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

When it comes to increasing the regular and ongoing creation of new and edited articles on Wikipedia about Africa, we will measure achievement of our goal by the creation of 500 new and 1,000 edited articles written by 300 University students over a 12 month period.

As for the establishment of a formal system to train Wikipedians in partnership with Universities we will conduct a pilot with the University of Cape Town, Sustainability Institute in Stellenbosch and or the University of Western Cape, and will deem the project successful when we have trained

10 lecturers in total, and at least 60% of them have incorporated the writing of Wiki articles onto their students’ assignments.

Once the project is over, we expect the lecturers who were trained by our project to continue to evolve with the model they each developed that incorporates the writing and editing of Wiki articles onto their students’ assignments. This means that each semester, even after the project’s completion, new students will be trained and encouraged to write and edit Wiki articles as part of their normal University curriculum.

For those students who have gone through this experience, we see a number of them continuing on a voluntary basis to write for Wikipedia, as a means to share the academic knowledge they are acquiring and producing.

Due to the project advertisement of our learning centre to University students, even students who are not directly registered with the trained professors will become aware of a place where they can go to learn more about easy steps to become a Wikipedian and join onto the movement at their Universities.

Finally, we intend for this growing number of articles about Africa written by people living on the continent to spark the growth of additional contributors in the country and in the continent in the long run.

Do you have any goals around participation or content?


Are any of your goals related to increasing participation within the Wikimedia movement, or increasing/improving the content on Wikimedia projects? If so, we ask that you look through these three metrics, and include any that are relevant to your project. Please set a numeric target against the metrics, if applicable. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

Our project aims at increasing both the number of new registered users in South Africa (300 new users) as well as the number of content pages created and edited to be 1,500.

Project plan




Tell us how you'll carry out your project. What will you and other organizers spend your time doing? What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project?

By the end of the project, we will have completed the following: - Developed a lasting relationship with lecturers at the University of Cape Town, Sustainability Institute and University of Western Cape; - Trained 10 lecturers on how to train Wikipedians to write, edit and publish on Wikipedia on two single training sessions of 6h each; - Carried out refresher / Q&A sessions with lecturers every two months; - Provided on-going mentorship to all the lectures and students as needed; - Provided online tools to support the training and development of the Wikipedans; - Contributed to the creation of 1,500 new and edited Wiki articles within 12 months, by students completing their normal University course assignments; - Advertised our learning centre with University students, http://wikiafrica.net/learn/; and - Generated / gathered new courses for our learning centre.



How you will use the funds you are requesting? List bullet points for each expense. (You can create a table later if needed.) Don’t forget to include a total amount, and update this amount in the Probox at the top of your page too!

- Project manager: $10,000 - Training and refresher training sessions: $11,000 - Online support to the creation of articles: $8,500 - Advertisement of our online learning centre to University students: $5,000 - Updating online learning centre with new content: $6,000 - Travel costs: $4,000 - Data and wifi hotspots: $3,800 - Administrative Overheads: $11,000 - TOTAL: 59,300 USD

Community engagement


Community input and participation helps make projects successful. How will you let others in your community know about your project? Why are you targeting a specific audience? How will you engage the community you’re aiming to serve during your project?

The Community for this project is comprised of the students and staff at the various universities in South Africa, even though the pilot focuses on training lecturers at the University of Cape Town, Sustainability Institute and University of the Western Cape.

We will run a communication campaign on campuses and possibly a banner on Wikipedia pages showcasing the project when users access Wikipedia from the various ip address ranges at the South African campuses.

A competition board will be created showing the number of accepted entries per university, which can further be drilled down into the number of entries created per faculty within each university to spur on a healthy rivalry for the duration of the project.

Get involved




Please use this section to tell us more about who is working on this project. For each member of the team, please describe any project-related skills, experience, or other background you have that might help contribute to making this idea a success.

Our team is composed of Tanner Methvin, Eloah Ramalho, Thandiwe Tshabalala, and Nicholas Wiltshire.

Tanner has been the director of the Africa Centre since the organization’s foundation. In addition to his extensive knowledge and expertise in budgeting, project management and developing long lasting partnerships with key organizations, he has been involved with Wikipedia in South Africa for the past 6 years, with different project blocks we created under Wiki Africa.

Eloah has spent the last year supporting Wikipedia training and content creation with focus on the most underrepresented provinces of South Africa: Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and the Free State. Her project management skills in addition to her drive and out-of-the-box thinking are extremely aligned with what it takes to pilot a project, and ensure short and long term results.

Thandiwe has been part of the Africa Centre for the last three years. During this time, she has created valuable graphic design across medias to ensure our projects communicate clearly to targeted audiences, including the project blocks we have developed as part of Wiki Africa.

Nicholas has been our right arm when it comes to training and supporting new Wikipedians, as well as thinking what may be the most valuable contributions to the Creative Commons in the broader sense. He has 8 years of experience in creating and editing content himself, and has trained over 30 people during that time. Working at OpenHeritage, his knowledge of the Wikipedia realm is extensive, including networks of relevant people and organizations to reach out to. Nicholas was heavily involved in the first Wiki Loves Monuments competition in South Africa when he arranged the Memorandum of Agreement between WikiAfrica and the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) to upload the full list of declared heritage sites to Wikipedia in South Africa.

Community notification


Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. You are responsible for notifying relevant communities of your proposal, so that they can help you! Depending on your project, notification may be most appropriate on a Village Pump, talk page, mailing list, etc. Need notification tips?



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