Grants:Project/Wikipedia and the Aotearoa New Zealand History Curriculum

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Wikipedia and the Aotearoa New Zealand History Curriculum
summaryThis project will research teachers attitudes towards the use Wikipedia, as both a resource and a means for students to learn the application of historical method, in their teaching of the upcoming compulsory Aotearoa New Zealand history curriculum.
type of grantresearch
amount$11,400 USD
type of applicantorganization
created on00:32, 12 March 2021 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

This research has been completed and the report can be read here:

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

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.

In 2022, a new compulsory history curriculum is rolling out to schools across Aotearoa New Zealand. Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland Museum is located in the country’s largest city, Auckland, with the largest secondary school-age population (children aged 13-17). We are investigating how we can complement our on-site education programme with accessible, online resources. We see Wikipedia providing a crucial role in this space.

Auckland Museum is committed to open access for its collections and has a long involvement with Wikimedia Foundation platforms. We recently launched a Wikipedia Workplan to direct a targeted approach to our work with WMF projects, and to amplify the impact of the already over 170,000 collection images uploaded to Wikimedia Commons from our website and API.

Museum staff have been involved in discussions with the New Zealand Ministry of Education and other stakeholder groups regarding the development of the new history curriculum, and we have heard from teachers that they require local-history resources. We believe that growing the use of Wikipedia with teachers and students will be beneficial for the education sector, GLAM (Galleries, Archives, Libraries & Museums) sector, and the Wikimedia Foundation:

  • For the education sector we believe that Wikipedia has potential as both a learning resource, a starting point for research into local history, and a means of teaching and applying historical method. Learning to distinguish secondary versus primary sources, synthesizing secondary information, evaluating sources, and critical thinking are all important skills that can be learned and refined by editing and creating Wikipedia articles, particularly around local-history topics, which are a key component of the curriculum.
  • For the GLAM sector, it is a means of engaging with the curriculum at scale and opening up their resources and collections to a large audience of students. Local-history topic pages enhanced with content and resources from GLAM institutions would enable students to be self-directed and identify the resources and content they need to develop their own lines of research enquiry, while still being supported with the accuracy of information and media from a trusted and reliable source. It would also mean GLAMs are not overwhelmed by thousands of bespoke research enquiries, hence lowering the staffing resource that is required there.
  • For the Wikimedia Foundation, engaging secondary students at an early age exposes a large cohort to Wiki platforms and helps to grow the next generation of editors, a key component of the Wikimedia 2030 Strategy.

Our project proposes to undertake research to investigate teachers' attitudes towards the use of Wikipedia as both a resource in their teaching, and for students applying historical method. We will also survey whether teachers would be interested in taking part in edit-a-thons with their classes at local community spaces such as local libraries and art galleries, and at the Museum itself.

An initial search of academic literature on this topic indicates that this sort of study has not been undertaken in a New Zealand context, and that most previous research examines the use of Wikipedia in tertiary learning environments. Because of this a secondary aim of this project is to undertake a literature review of relevant studies of Wikipedia use in secondary classrooms.

We envision that the outcomes of this research project would provide a basis for whether to go ahead with a pilot project next financial year (2021–22), seeking to enhance the historical content of local Auckland Wikipedia pages using Auckland Museum collections, with particular emphasis on the pre-European history of the city's suburbs, and collaborating with other Auckland GLAM institutions to do the same. If this project goes ahead it will benefit the Wikipedia community by exposing both a younger and more ethnically diverse population to Wikipedia. This would grow the base of potential Wikipedia editors, and may encourage more minority groups (Māori, Pacifica and Asian children aged between 13—17) in Aotearoa New Zealand to contribute. It may also encourage and grow a more active editing community in Auckland in general, which is a key focus of the Museum's current WMF related work.

This project ties into two of Auckland Museum’s five-year strategic plan goals of reaching more schoolchildren and leading a digital revolution. It also contributes to our Wikipedia Workplan, which seeks to contribute the Museum’s open collections and expertise to increase engagement with Wikimedia platforms by local communities. We believe it also aligns to the Wikimedia 2030 strategy, particularly around being innovative in the dissemination of free knowledge and increasing the sustainability of movement: a generation of new, younger editors needs to be cultivated, and research that may lead to engagement efforts with secondary school students would be a way to encourage this.

What is your solution?[edit]

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.

Most recent research on Wikipedia as a pedagogical tool is focused on its use by university students or in the tertiary learning environment. On the other hand, there are anecdotal accounts of teachers’ perception of Wikimedia as a tool in the secondary classroom, and during our discussions with teachers around the new curriculum there was some skepticism raised around using Wikipedia as a learning resource or a source of research material.

To fill this gap, we are seeking to undertake empirical research around teachers’ perceptions of Wikipedia. The main research methodology we will undertake is to survey local teachers, speaking to education practitioners themselves to understand their viewpoint and enthusiasm (or lack thereof) for using Wikipedia in the classroom. A secondary aspect will be to produce a review of relevant academic literature - to understand the state of current best practice and compare results with any other similar research that has been previously undertaken.

The final outputs will be a report with analysis and recommendations, which we will upload to Wikimedia Commons and share with relevant Wikipedia editor groups, GLAM and teaching organisations (CC-BY license, approx. 1500-2500 words). We will also prepare a short blog post with the summary of results and share both using the Museum’s social media channels.

This work would be undertaken by a contract researcher with education expertise, who will be supported by Museum staff who work in research, online partnerships and education, while the survey would be designed in conjunction with Museum’s Visitor & Market Research team. We will also be collaborating with Dr Nina Hood, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Education and Social Work at University of Auckland, whose academic work focuses on online learning, including studies of Wikipedia edit-a-thons. She has agreed to be an advisor on this project and can also provide contacts within the local teaching profession.

Project goals[edit]

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.

  • Understand New Zealand secondary teachers' perceptions of Wikimedia for use as a resource in the classroom.
  • Understand whether New Zealand secondary teachers would use editing and creating Wikipedia articles as a form of applied learning of historical method.
  • Understand the appetite of New Zealand secondary school teachers for a pilot programme encouraging secondary students to take part in local history focused edit-a-thons.
  • Research and synthesize current academic literature around the use of Wikimedia in the secondary classroom.

Project impact[edit]

How will you know if you have met your goals?[edit]

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.

1) Outputs:

  • Understand New Zealand secondary teachers' perspectives of Wikimedia for use as a resource in the classroom.
  • Understand whether New Zealand secondary teachers would use editing and creating Wikipedia articles as a form of applied learning of historical method.
  • Understand the appetite of New Zealand secondary school teachers for a pilot programme encouraging secondary students to take part in local history focused edit-a-thons.
  1. Design a survey, advertise for participants in relevant professional networks.
  2. Conduct survey and analyse results.
  3. Findings will be communicated via final report and short blog post.
  • Research and synthesize current academic literature around the use of Wikimedia in the secondary classroom.
  1. This research will form part of the final report.

2) Outcomes:
This research will also provide empirical evidence of teacher’s attitudes towards using Wikipedia in the New Zealand classroom context and using it as a resource for the newly established History Curriculum. It will provide a synthesis of existing literature around secondary/high school use of Wikipedia in teaching in general.

Internally, we hope that the research would pave the way for executive level support for a pilot project using Wikipedia as a resource for the curriculum.

In the medium term the research could be used as part of a wider education campaign around the use of Wikipedia at this education level. It could also inform campaign seeking to change negative perceptions of Wikipedia. It is our ambition that the project will highlight the viability of the use of Wikipedia in secondary classrooms in New Zealand as a trusted starting point for research into local history. It will also make teachers aware that Wikipedia can be edited by anyone at any age, and they can make their students aware of this.

Our long term aim is to promote the uptake of Wikipedia editing by secondary students, and to have it normalised as a resource in secondary school classrooms and increase students engagement with open-access GLAM collections. Over time we hope this will grow a generation of new, younger more diverse editors both locally in Auckland and across New Zealand.

Do you have any goals around participation or content?[edit]

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.

This project has no direct goals around participation; however we have a long-term goal to promote the uptake of Wikipedia editing by secondary students, and to have it normalised as a resource in secondary school classrooms.

Project plan[edit]


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?

Recruitment - 3 weeks - 1-18 Nov

  • Recruit researcher

Literature Review - 3 weeks - 28 Nov - 16 Dec

  • Review & write up of relevant academic literature

Survey Design & Participant Recruitment - 4 weeks - 19 Dec - 13 Jan 2022

  • Survey design

Analysis, follow-up and report writing - 5 weeks - 16 Jan - 17 Feb 2022

  • Recruit minimum 40 participants for survey - online survey open to teachers across New Zealand
  • Analyse survey results
  • Workshops with smaller groups of interested teachers in Auckland
  • Prepare a report with analysis and recommendations
  • Participants will be sent final copy of report

Project completed 1 Mar 2022

Sharing results with communities of interest - 1-22 Mar 2022

  • Share with report with relevant Wiki, GLAM and teaching communities
  • Prepare short blog post with summary of results
  • Publicise work via Museum social media channels
  • Present results of research with colleagues in GLAM sector at relevant conferences (on-going)


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!

Proposed Budget
Expense Requested from Wikimedia NZD (USD) Provided by Auckland Museum NZD (USD) Notes
Contract Researcher NZD$15,750 (USD$11,387) NZD$35 (USD$25) p/hour for 12 weeks at 37.5 hours p/week. Auckland Museum will cover all administrative costs to support researchers work, including office space, computer etc.
Workshops NZD$2,000 (USD$1,446) Associated costs for workshops including koha for attendees
Total NZD$15,750 (USD$11,387) NZD$2,000 (USD$1,446) NZD$1 to USD$0.72 converted 15/05/2021

** All administrative costs and Museum project staff time associated with this project will be covered by Auckland Museum.

Community engagement[edit]

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?

There are a number of different communities who will have an interest in this project, and we will communicate with each throughout its lifecycle, from planning to the dissemination of results. Each community requires a different type and form of engagement.

Local New Zealand, education, research and GLAM Wikipedia communities will be informed about the project proposal and outcomes. Generally this will done be via posting on specific wiki noticeboards, but in the case of the Aotearoa New Zealand community we have project members that can join online meetups to discuss the project as it progresses. These include:

Aotearoa NZ Community - &

Wikipedia Education program -

GLAM Wiki -

Wikimedia Research Mailing List - Wiki-research-l

The education sector, including teachers, principals and the New Zealand Ministry of Education, is a key group who will be consulted about and involved with the project, particularly at the research stage. We will also promote the results of our research with them.

Members of the NZ History Teachers Association are the main participants of the survey and follow up workshops. Teachers will also be recruited via the Museum’s and Dr Nina Hood’s networks. The Museum has been working with the NZ Ministry of Education on the curriculum for the past two years, and they will be informed of the project and its results, with a stakeholder hui at the Museum on 25 March a key early event. The results of the research will be communicated to Principals of schools, who are key influencers in this space.

Auckland Museum is a leading institution within the New Zealand GLAM sector. We will inform local and national organizations about the progress and results of the survey, including collegial institutions in the Museums of Auckland group, Museums Aotearoa and the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa. We will also present the results of the research with peers at relevant national conferences, including the National Digital Forum (where presentations are uploaded to Youtube with a cc-by licence).

Get involved[edit]


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.

The project team includes staff from Auckland Museum who are specialists in the areas of online access, digital partnerships, research, education and market research. The core group of project staff have worked closely on the Museum’s open access and Wikipedia related work. We will also be drawing on academic advice from Dr Nina Hood who specialises in online education and has undertaken published research on Wikipedia related activities.

  • Adam Moriarty - Head of Collection Information & Access, Auckland Museum (Project Sponsor)
  • James Taylor - Online Collections & Information Partnership Manager, Auckland Museum (Project Manager)
  • Marty Blayney - Wikimedian in Residence, Auckland Museum (Project Support)
  • Hugh Lilly - Research Support Co-ordinator, Auckland Museum (Project Support)
  • Susan Tolich - Collection Technician Research Support, Auckland Museum (Project Support)
  • Dr Sarah Knowles - Research Manager, Auckland Museum (Museum Research Advisor)
  • Matthew Crumpton - Learning Manager, Auckland Museum (Museum Education Advisor)
  • Sheryl Graham- Head of Visitor and Market Research, Auckland Museum (Museum Market Research Advisor)
  • Dr Nina Hood - Advisor, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education & Social Work, University of Auckland (External Research Advisor)
  • Project Researcher - to be recruited

Community notification[edit]

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?

Posted on New Zealand Wikipedian's notice board -

Posted on WikiProject Auckland -

Grant application is on agenda for next Aotearoa New Zealand Online meetup -

Posted in Wikipedia New Zealand Facebook group -

Posted on GLAM WIKI -


Do you think this project should be selected for a Project Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).

  • Comments - not full endorsementGenerally supportive, but $13K US seems very pricey for just a survey with a minimum of 20 participants! If possible a part-time salary for the researcher, possibly for a longer period, would be more be more efficienmt & probably more effective. What have you done to seek other funding? What funding would you seek from WMF if/when the project moves to the next stages? Johnbod (talk) 01:59, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
Hi Johnbod, thanks for the feedback. I have changed the minimum number of participants to 30 after a conversation with our Visitor & Market Research team. In terms of the cost, we will also cover the workshops which reduces the total. The advice we received was that $35 p/hr was a fair rate in NZ for this sort of market research, and we are keen for this project to be completed before the end of the calendar year as the new curriculum starts next year. In terms of other funding there are limited opportunities for this sort of work here in NZ and further funding will depend on the outcome of this research and the appetite for the pilot project. However we may be able to work with the Ministry of Education or other providers on that. Jetaynz (talk) 02:43, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Support Would be happy to help. MargaretRDonald (talk) 23:19, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Support I'm a NZ Wikipedia editor (and also a NZ history graduate!) and I think this project has a great deal of potential to effect change in the perception and usage of Wikipedia by New Zealand secondary school teachers, and therefore by NZ teenagers. Happy to support. Would be very happy to assist at any editing trainings or workshops needed as part of the later part of the project. MurielMary (talk) 10:15, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Support I support this initiative and would happy to provide support if needed. Ambrosia10 (talk) 03:33, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Support I support the project and will be interested to see the results. I can help with support for new editors if needed. DrThneed (talk) 04:25, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
  • This research would help contribute to understanding Wikipedia editing in a specifically New Zealand context, and how it can help in the rollout of the new history curriculum. I especially support the outcome of exposing a more ethnically diverse population to Wikipedia. Catsandthings (talk) 07:33, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Support This is a really good idea: I've been wanting more information on NZ teachers' attitudes towards Wikipedia; based on anecdotes and my encounters with teachers, we are behind the rest of the Western world. There hasn't been any systematic Wikipedia outreach programme involving NZ teachers and school students before, so this would pave the way. We need a better understanding of this sector, to find out what the barriers to collaboration are and to help recruit more senior school students as editors – this simply hasn't been on the radar for any of the organised Wikimedia meetups in the main centres, and yet it's exactly this age group we need to be working with most. And anything that increases Māori and Pasifika participation in the movement is a good thing. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 08:11, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Support. This project is worthy to be funded. Good impact assessment. Good planning. --Exec8 (talk) 16:09, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Support. This is a good idea. I worry that there may need to be more experienced wikipedians involved, but there are some great ones who've expressed support here. I'm skeptical of the Māori and Pasifika aspects here, for reasons largely unrelated to this project (but I'm happy to expand on them if desired). I'm happy to do some support if required, preferably early in the project rather than later. Stuartyeates (talk) 05:23, 10 April 2021 (UTC)