Grants:TPS/Rburdette/ELI 2012

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This had been a submission to the Wikimedia Participation Support process, but was withdrawn or otherwise cancelled (not denied).

User name
User location (country)
Event name
Educause Learning Initiative 2012 Annual Conference
Event date(s)
February 13-15, 2012
Event location (city)
Austin, TX
Amount requested
$1,287 USD
Annie Lin, WMF (not involved in grant decision-making)

Budget breakdown[edit]

The proposal submitted to ELI was for a 1/2-day workshop and considered a premium speaker spot. As such, ELI will cover my conference registration and provide a $750 travel stipend for me. The remainder of my travel beyond the $750 will be covered by Louisiana State University.

This request is to cover expenses for Regional Ambassador Dylan Staley so that he may co-present with me the workshop entitled "Engaging and Empowering the 21st-Century Student Using Wikipedia."

  • Flight, BTR to AUS: $349 USD (current rate w/ tax)
  • Hotel, Hilton Austin (designated conference hotel), 3 nights w/ tax: $633 USD
  • Hotel/Airport Shuttle Round-trip: $25 USD
  • Meals, $53.25/day: $213 USD
  • Conference Registration: Comped by ELI as a co-presenter

* Because Dylan is a student, I would request the Foundation consider advanced disbursement to make it easier for him to absorb the travel arrangements.

Proposed Participation[edit]

KEY QUESTION TO BE ANSWERED: How would your participation at this event further the Wikimedia Mission?

About ELI[edit]

The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) is a community of higher education institutions and organizations committed to advancing learning through information technology (IT) innovation. As a strategic initiative within EDUCAUSE, ELI specifically explores innovative technologies and practices that advance learning.

ELI members believe that effectively using IT to improve learning requires a solid understanding of learners and how they learn. For this reason, ELI explores three primary areas: Learners, Learning Principles and Practices, and Learning Technologies.

By understanding learners and learning principles--and how to use technology to appropriately support them--institutions can ensure successful learning. ELI focuses not just on technology, but on the learning IT can enable.

Workshop Presentation at ELI: "Engaging and Empowering the 21st-Century Student Using Wikipedia"[edit]

ELI has accepted our proposal to present a 1/2-day conference workshop on "Engaging and Empowering the 21st-Century Student Using Wikipedia." We originally devised and presented this workshop for faculty, staff and graduate students at Louisiana State University who are using Wikipedia in the classroom. It's context is rooted in the Campus Ambassador training developed by the Wikimedia Foundation and expands into specifics about teaching and learning with Wikipedia. It is targeted primarily at faculty with a focus on exploring lessons learned from LSU Wikipedia courses across the disciplines and applying those lessons to develop effective Wikipedia projects specific to your course.

We have offered this workshop in various formats on three different occasions at LSU. We have found it to be extremely effective in turning "interested" faculty into dedicated Wikipedia teaching fellows. The immersive approach to this training allows them to quickly master basic Wikipedia editing, understand Wikipedia culture and the pros and cons of using Wikipedia as a teaching and learning tool, and allows time for designing their own assignments specific to their course.

Here is a draft agenda for the ELI 1/2 day workshop:

  • Welcome / overview of the Wikipedia Global University Program
Mission, vision, purpose, structure
  • Roundtable introductions
  • Intro to Wikipedia culture and governance
WP pillars, admins, WikiProjects, multi-languages, simple English, discussion pages, WikiCommons
  • Basics of Wikipedia editing
create an account, set up a sandbox, work with editing tools, gadgets, references, images
  • How to track who did what: working with revision histories
  • Best practices for teaching with Wikipedia
case studies, lessons learned, DYK, Good Article Status, Campus/Online Ambassador pairings, how to use IRC
  • Let's design a Wikipedia project for your course!
ideas, challenges, questions
  • Engaging with the Wikipedia community
discussion pages, banner notifications, inviting feedback on sandbox articles, dealing with disputes

About Us[edit]

I am the Associate Director of LSU Communication across the Curriculum (CxC), a program that works with LSU faculty in all disciplines to help LSU undergraduate students improve their written, oral, visual, and technological communication skills. In addition to managing the overall CxC program, my daily focus is on training faculty and supporting them in their efforts to employ communication-intensive teaching methods that help students learn and retain course content at a higher level, while also enabling the students to advance their communication skills.

I connected with the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) in the Fall of 2010 because I was intrigued at the idea of using Wikipedia-based projects to enhance students writing skills. Our relationship with WMF developed very quickly and we hosted a Regional Campus Ambassador training at LSU in December 2012 in which the WMF trained 4 Campus Ambassadors for LSU 3 for other southern universities, 3 LSU professors. I worked with several dedicated faculty to integrated Wikipedia projects into 4 courses during Spring 2011 and then into 6 courses for Fall 2011, impacting a total of 200+ students. Our WP courses have spanned disciplines, including Landscape Architecture, Computer Science, Theatre, Geology, Sports Medicine, Biology, Architecture, and Political Communication. In working with these courses we have learned many lessons at LSU, but each has shown us a variety of ways in which learning of content and communication skills can be enhanced through the effective use of Wikipedia-based projects.

I consider myself to be well-versed in the pedagogy of Wikipedia, but admit that I am still a basic user and not a technical expert. For this reason, I recruited a highly-motivated undergraduate who willingly took on the task of becoming our "LSU Wikipedian", Dylan Staley. Dylan not only became an advanced WP user, he was named as the Southern Regional Ambassador by the WMF. As explained above, the funds requested in this grant are to support Dylan's travel to co-present with me at ELI. He will be able to offer advanced guidance and support to some of the more tech-savvy faculty attending. In addition, our faculty have found it refreshing to hear from students on their perspective of Wikipedia and I expect the same to be true of the faculty Dylan will interact with at ELI.

Goal and Expected Impact[edit]

KEY QUESTION TO BE ANSWERED: What will be accomplished if your participation is successful?

Increase Reach

ELI is a gathering of 500+ higher education professionals, representing 200+ colleges and universities from across the nation. The meeting attracted a diverse group of leading higher education professionals, who significantly influence the direction of teaching, learning, and technology. More than 40% of the attendees are faculty who are committed to innovative learning and teaching with technology. In addition to the in-person conference attendees, our Wikipedia workshop will be offered as a live webinar session, making it accessible by a large number of non-ELI members, as well as those who may be unable to travel to Austin, TX due to budget restrictions. After the conference, the recording will be available to all ELI members and any non-members wishing to purchase the conference video proceedings, further expanding the reach of our Wikipedia session.

Increase Participation

Our Wikipedia workshop is designed to not only on-board faculty interested in using Wikipedia, but to educate them in an effective and efficient manner that allows them to leave the session ready to incorporate Wikipedia-based projects into their course without hesitation.

Improve Quality

Our belief is that Wikipedia-based projects are another tool by which educators can engage students in learning course content while helping students to improve their critical thinking, research, and communication skills. This will be emphasized within the workshop and help foster faculty who will emphasize quality contributions within their courses.

Encourage Innovation

LSU CxC is an innovative program, the first of its kind in the nation, and we are committed to bringing tools to our faculty that are indicative of that. We originally introduced this to LSU faculty as an innovative means by which to help students gain better writing and research skills. While we have certainly done that, the LSU Wikipedia initiative has grown into so much more. One of our Landscape Architecture professors was the first WP Faculty Fellow to have students create images for existing Wikipedia articles as their course project rather than contributing written content. This past semester, an LSU Geology professor had his students create both written and graphical content for non-existing articles. In keeping with the mission of LSU CxC, we have used Wikipedia to deepen students learning of the course content while also improving their writing and visual communication skills (not to mention their technological communication skills which is an inherent lesson given the WP platform). Our workshop is designed to encourage faculty not to fit a typical mold of how others have done it, but to keep focused on their course learning objectives and find ways that Wikipedia might help to achieve those objectives.