Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went?
We are extremely happy with the outcomes of our March 24th Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at Rod Library. We had six experienced Wikipedians train and assist students, faculty, staff, and community participants as they created and edited articles at the intersection of art and feminism. The majority of articles were about artists, especially Haitian artists, and art educators, primarily from the United States, and were written by new student editors as part of class assignments.
We definitely succeeded in recruiting new editors, increasing skills of existing editors, and adding and improving content on Wikipedia. In a post-event survey distributed to participants, 73% of respondents indicated they enjoyed participating, two-thirds said they would participate in a future edit-a-thon, and another 27% said they might participate again; the vast majority of respondents were participating as part of a class project. The fact that so many want to participate again or would consider doing so is very encouraging and indicates a successful event. Learning with Wikipedia is fun! Despite the challenges (see below) we plan to make adjustments and have even more edit-a-thons during the next academic year. The educational opportunity coupled with issues of increasing diversity and access to reliable information have energized us and our students to continue our efforts to teach and improve Wikipedia.
Please report on your original project targets.
|We also held a pilot event to make sure the big event went as smoothly as possible.
|Some participants attended so they could learn more about Wikipedia and support the event, but they were not ready to start editing.
|30 new editors
|up to 40 new editors
|It is unclear the exact number of new editors, but we believe all of the student editors were new.
|60 articles created or improved
|46 articles created or improved
|Some editors had a difficult time establishing notability of their chosen artist of art educator, so the articles they created were deleted.
Projects do not always go according to plan. Sharing what you learned can help you and others plan similar projects in the future. Help the movement learn from your experience by answering the following questions: What worked well? What did not work so well? What would you do differently next time?
Partnering with professors in the art department was the primary reason the event was successful. The students in these classes were required to select a topic and collect reliable resources so they could create or improve articles during the edit-a-thon.
The student co-coordinators were highly invested in sharing their knowledge about Wikipedia and research with the edit-a-thon participants. The edit-a-thon was a deeply significant learning experience for them. It gave them a real-world application for the issues and skills they had worked hard to grasp and develop in class. It also demonstrated to them how much they actually know. Going into the event they were nervous they didn't know enough to be expert presenters. By the end of the event, it was clear to all of them that they are. Student participants shared how meaningful the event and assignment was. Some of them hope to become teachers and want to include similar Wikipedia-based assignments in their future classes.
The day of the edit-a-thon we had a snow storm. During the window of opportunity to reschedule the morning before the event, we thought there might only be a few inches. In our location, that is not such a big deal. However, the forecast changed, and we ended up having 14 inches of snow. The university's caterers had great difficulty delivering all of the food we ordered. (In fact, they did not deliver all of it, so we had some budgetary savings.) Even so, we had more about 50 people in the room and even more participating remotely. The fact that the event was successful despite 14 inches of snow tells us there was and is more excitement and investment in the event and project than we anticipated. We think there is opportunity to grow the event to include more community members and other students who care about sharing information on underrepresented people, topics, and issues on Wikipedia.
In future events we will encourage participants who are unsure if they can demonstrate notability at the time of the event to create their articles in the sandbox. This method of creation will give participants more time to improve their work and demonstrate notability so articles are not speedily deleted.
For this event we had experienced Wikipedians partner with new participants to create articles. A better method would be to have new participants create articles in their sandboxes, and then have experiences Wikipedians move those articles into the mainspace.
Grant funds spent
Please describe how much grant money you spent for approved expenses, and tell us what you spent it on.
- Food, drink, plates, napkins = $288.02
- Childcare stipend for 4 hrs = $200
- Supplies (name tags, markers) = $7.82
Do you have any remaining grant funds?
We have $194.16 in remaining funds due to cost savings from institutional discounts, issues with food delivery, and contracting for childcare at a lower rate than budgeted. Because our event was so successful, we plan to hold several edit-a-thons in the fall and spring semesters focusing on different diversity issues. We would like to use the remaining funds for these events. We will need to apply for additional funds as well. ($194.16 wouldn't be enough for multiple events.) We are in the planning stages for these edit-a-thons right now. We propose using the remaining $194.16 for childcare for one of the edit-a-thons to be held in the fall. We will be expanding outreach efforts for these future events and increasing the number of people and hours spend planning, promoting, and executing the event.
Anything else you want to share about your project?
We worked with a student group to provide childcare for a stipend. We had five childcare reservations. The student group (To Write Love on Her Arms--a suicide prevention and depression support group on campus) sent experienced childcare providers to the edit-a-thon in exchange for a flat fee for their group. This opportunity was mutually beneficial. We received skilled childcare care; the student group received funds to support their work aimed at preventing suicide and helpful folks struggling with depression, addiction, and self-harm on our campus.
In our grant application, we said we would thank participants on their talk pages. Instead, we used the "thank" feature. We did follow up with all known participants (most signed in and shared their email address) with an IRB-approved survey. Some of the results of that survey are shared in the "Goals" section of this report.
A short write-up of the event appeared in the MLA Newsletter no. 196 pages 15-16.