Grants:Project/Rapid/SallyBrown ErinBrockCarlson(Art+Feminism)/Amplifying Appalachia Edit-a-thon @ WVU/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Rapid Grant approved in FY 2020-21 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Art+Feminism/Amplifying Appalachia Edit-a-thon @ WVU


Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went?

As outlined in our original proposal, our established goals for this project were to: 1. Recruit new editors within the academic community of West Virginia University 2. Increase skills for existing editors within campus community 3. Add or improve content on women, people of color, and LGBTQ individuals connected to the Appalachian region, as well as issues relevant to these identities, across a diversity of academic disciplines 4. Integrate the Edit-a-thon into spring courses across academic disciplines 5. Encourage wide participation to establish interest across campus for events in future years

We objectively met goals 1-4! We had the participation of 94 registered editors, who contributed to 59 Appalachia-focused Wikipedia articles ranging from Mothman to the Pittston Coal Strike to Kiki Petrosino. Participants made over 430 edits, adding 291 external references and more than 24,000 words across all articles. Many of those editors, according to our post-even survey, were new to Wikipedia: 42/50 respondents stated they did not have a Wikipedia account before the event. As for Goal 5, to encourage wide participation, we did have a lot of investment at the classroom level and did have a high degree of visibility, so we hope that there is more interest next year.


Please report on your original project targets. Please be sure to review and provide metrics required for Rapid Grants.

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
1 event 1 event
75-100 participants 94 participants 94 people registered and made edits; but we know that some classes worked collaboratively and some people did not create an account, so this number is probably higher
50-75 new editors At least 42 new editors 9 registered during the week-long event itself, but many created accounts leading up to the event because they were doing this as part of a class curriculum; 42 self-reported new editors through our survey, but only 50 people took the survey so this number is probably much higher out of our 94 participants
30 articles created or improved 59 articles improved and 2 articles created

We feel that we started a conversation on campus about Wikipedia that will continue on; we're talking about creating a Wikipedia working group that focuses on integrating Wikipedia beyond the edit-a-thon. See our Dashboard for official statistics.


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?

The asynchronous model worked really well for integrating into classes, since participants could work at their own pace, and individual instructors could really decide how they wanted to incorporate it into the class that week. The library was able to amplify the event and we had a lot of interest from different disciplines and students, and many reported that this was a really cool experience and that they feel their digital and information literacy skills improved as a result of it.

  • What did not work so well?

One of the things we struggled with was because of the distributed nature (i.e. no central meeting place) of the event, was technical help. We did have a kick-off event where we did some walk-throughs of editing, and provided written resources to help people, but both students in individual classes and survey respondents as a whole reported that they wanted more instruction on how to actually use the platform. We did offer help hours with a Wikipedia expert, but they weren't frequented heavily. Next time, we are going to have more centralized step-by-step guides.

  • What would you do differently next time?

We are going to begin planning even earlier than we had initially begun, including with logistics. The last several weeks were really hectic and since we might be able to do something synchronously next year, we'll definitely need to get started earlier. But we are considering offering a synchronous event within a larger asynchronous window since it seems people really liked that--potentially an editing meet-up, as well as a speaker to kick off the week.


Grant funds spent[edit]

Please describe how much grant money you spent for approved expenses, and tell us what you spent it on.

1. Visa gift cards to incentivize taking the post-event survey - 33 x $10 = $330 2. Activation fee for Visa gift cards - 33 x $2.95 = $97.35 3. Total costs: $427.35

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any remaining grant funds?

Remaining funds have been used or will be used for other approved mission-aligned activities. This use has been requested in writing and approved by WMF.

Yes. We have $90.65 left, and would like to save it to buy gift cards for next year to incentivize our survey once again, since it worked so well this year.

Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project?

This was our first time, as a committee, organizing an Edit-a-thon and we are so appreciative of how much the Wikimedia foundation was able to support us, through resources and through this grant. We learned from the survey that y'all helped us incentivize that participants liked the event's flexibility and the amount of articles we provided as suggestions; and that participants wanted clearer instructional resources and potentially more programming (i.e. a speaker of some sort). We are looking forward to next year!