Grants talk:IEG/Wikitherapy

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Eligibility confirmed, round 2 2015[edit]

This Individual Engagement Grant proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 2 2015 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during this community comments period.

The committee's formal review for round 2 2015 begins on 20 October 2015, and grants will be announced in December. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

Marti (WMF) (talk) 15:44, 1 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

comments from Thepwnco[edit]

@Saintfevrier: hello and congrats on your grant proposal being confirmed as eligible for review! I have a few comments and questions for you, and am excited to watch this project develop before the formal review period begins (I am part of the IEG committee).

  1. It's really great to see that you've already put a lot of thought into this project and have begun talking with health professionals. I wonder if it might be possible to include them in the work of identifying and developing measures of success for this project given they know the most about the the needs and interests of therapy patients.
  2. Are you familiar with other (WMF or not) projects that have involved bringing computers/computing into therapy settings? I am curious about knowing more about the challenges of this work and key considerations when planning it and wonder if there is a good reference for this.
  3. I'm not clear on the relationship between the local community (which I understand to be a group of local editors) and the Wikitherapy participants - are they only brought together towards the end of the project as a sort of milestone/celebration?
  4. Can you provide more information about the Wikitherapy toolkit (for example, what it might include, and the process and timeline for its development)?

thanks! -Thepwnco (talk) 23:36, 5 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Hello Thepwnco and thank you for your insightful comments. I will try now to offer some feedback and return often as the discussion progresses. Instead of replying inline, I will address each item in the same order:
  1. As I have mentioned in the proposal, so far I have explained only the basics to the psychiatrist who works with the daycare patients on a daily basis. I have sent him the link to my proposal and hopefully he will have had a look at it by now (he's very busy so I don't want to press). He was very positive about the idea initially, indeed he thanked me for wanting to work with his patients. I expect to have feedback from him by the end of this week. I have also communicated the link to two surgeons in a major Athens hospital, who could bring me into contact with the right people in their setting (psychiatrists, social workers etc.). Again, they are very busy so perhaps it would be best if I ping them and ask for input before the official review period begins? Finally, I am excited that Manos has joined the project as an advisor. Manos is an experienced Wikimedian with an exceptional level of social awareness, plus he's situated in Athens: he could act as an interface when the right health professionals have been identified.
  2. To be frank, I am not aware of such CIT initiatives in therapy settings. However as I have mentioned in the proposal, I have years of experience teaching CIT and Wikimedia editing in particular in an evening school for second-chance learners: these people are almost always defacto from difficult living situations (i.e. social, health, financial etc. factors are what kept them from completing high school as youngsters in the first place!) and I believe a number of similarities will be identified in my first session with them (indeed one of the patients is also a student at my school, another is the son of a student). It's a small local community that we're piloting in, and indeed because this is a small place the school I have worked at for the past 9 years is often summoned to deal with difficult students who - in a larger town - would be catered for by special schools. Here there is no such option, so we do the best we can. And Wikimedia editing has done its part. That is what inspired me to introduce the WM projects to an even more challenging setting:)
  3. The local community is the plain local community (i.e. not as in local editors). Unfortunately there is not much awareness of Wikimedia editing in Kefalonia; e.g. to the best of my knowledge I am the only one running Wikipedia Education Programs on the island. That is why one of the first steps of the Wikitherapy project is to hold an editing workshop (or a series thereof), in the direction of establishing a community of editors. I have Wikimedian friends who are very eager to do this, we've been discussing it the past two years, maybe now is the time:)
  4. The way I see it, a wikitherapy toolkit would consist of a set of staged materials that would "walk" participants through the program. No, I have no timeline yet; I expect the material to be developed over the course of the project (which is why I have made allowance for 2hrs/wk in the budget) in accordance with the needs of the patients. I do have experience in preparing material to assist editing in a different context: In 2011 I wrote an editing guide in Q&A format for my students. A few months later the Ministry of Education decided to name 2011 as the "year of the digital encyclopedia", so I donated the material; it was printed in 10,000 copies as "The Wikipedia Notebook" and distributed at workshops all over Greece. I could actually use parts of the notebook as framework for the toolkit, as it is based on editing in a local (Kefalonian) context and the patients will be sure to identify with that! The toolkit would be written in Greek, but I would be happy to translate into English at the end of the program:) Oh, I have also written a wizard for a 45-minute workshop in Prague: there I had to very quick, no time for books or pamphlets so I followed the "quick start-up guide" (the illustrated big sheet of paper you get inside most IT equipment) approach and had the participants having an account and an edit at the end of the session. Perhaps the illustrated approach is the best way to go with the daycare patients, I'll consult with the staff on that.
Perhaps Manos would like to add his input to the discussion... thanks again for your comments, hope my feedback has proved useful, looking forward to even more fruitful discussion in the process! :-)--Saintfevrier (talk) 06:33, 6 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]
@Saintfevrier: great, thanks for clarifying and providing further information. The project sounds very interesting and it seems like you have a lot of relevant experience, both with teaching and creating educational materials. It's also nice to see Manos involved as an advisor! Please do keep us updated as you continue discussions with the psychiatrist. While I understand he and other health professionals are busy, I think the more details you can figure out together, the stronger a proposal you'll have. cheers -Thepwnco (talk) 11:55, 7 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]
@Thepwnco: A "parallel project" that I just started yesterday and I believe will help shape the program: At the Evening School there is a 20-year-old student who has been with us for several years and has not yet managed to complete the first year of middle school... apart from learning disorders, in the beginning he couldn't even speak Greek (he's from Albania). This year it so happens that he is the only student in his class, so it will be like a tutorship. I will be teaching Computer Science and a school project, and I have decided to do a Wikimedia-related theme. Yesterday we discussed and viewed the WMF sister projects and he set up an account. I helped him write two lines on his user page, showed him the user boxes on my page (which he loved!) and promised to help him customize his page next time. He seems excited, so I will work on keeping up his enthusiasm until I identify his preferences and encourage him to make his first edit. I will be keeping a log of each session with him, especially anything that might prove useful for the Wikitherapy material:)--Saintfevrier (talk) 12:01, 15 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Target audience[edit]

Dear @Saintfevrier: So, this is the help learning disabled students to learn to be Wiki editors? Can we get the doctors to edit articles in the field of medicine while teaching students how to edit? How many students will be taught? Geraldshields11 (talk) 20:07, 16 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

@Geraldshields11: thank you for your comment. At the planning stage yes, the purpose of this project is to teach disabled students to be Wiki editors. Engaging doctors in the editing process would be a superb plus, hopefully this will happen along the way (I will definitely encourage them, and train them if they are willing!). As for the size of the target audience, I will be meeting with the psychiatrist this week and he will give me the figures. Plus the one student at my school, with whom I have already started classes. On a different note, yesterday I attended a very interesting medical seminar that was open to the public; I am acquainted with the doctor who was in charge of the local event, she is one of the most devoted and caring health professionals I have ever met... I intend to share my idea with her and I am sure she will be interested in sharing with the rest of her team: she is the Director of a children's/teen's hematology/oncology clinic in a major Athens hospital, and their occupational therapist is open to new ways of keeping the patients' spirits high during therapy. The advantages of Wiki editing - patients adding value, the motto of my summary - are not well known in these circles. My intention is to "spread the word" as far as possible while focusing on the pilot for actual training. The outcome and metrics of the pilot will definitely help take the concept farther. I hope I have covered the points you made, thanks again:)--Saintfevrier (talk) 15:27, 18 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Dear @Saintfevrier: That is great that you are giving the good Doctor the opportunity to drink from the fountain of free knowledge. Geraldshields11 (talk) 19:28, 19 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Comments from AKoval (WMF)[edit]

Dear Saintfevrier,

Thank you for requesting my input about your IEG grant proposal for the Wikitherapy project. I am well acquainted with your education program at the Argostoli Evening Gymnasium in Kefalonia. Your work with these secondary school students is inspiring.

This concept is intriguing. I'm no medical expert to be sure, but it seems to me that "wiki therapy" could be considered a variant of art therapy, which has documented benefits, cited in the English Wikipedia article.

This project proposal, however, leaves me with several questions.

  • The age of the learners is unclear. The proposal does not explicitly explain this, neither does the website for the Day Center. The Google Translation simply says 'citizens'. And in the "target audience" section above, it simply says 'disabled students'. Are these teenagers or adults or both?
  • The focus of content to be created by the therapy patients is also unclear. Is it to be potentially everything and anything that they happen to know about and wish to contribute about? Or is the content to be related to the field of mental health and psychotherapy?
  • The model is unclear as well. It has elements of the WiR model and the WEP model. It could be connected to Wiki Project Med and to WikiProject Mental health. Truthfully, I'm not sure where exactly this project should live in the current Wikimedia ecosystem. It's a very good question.

To my knowledge, instructing medical or psychiatric patients in hospitals has never before been attempted in the Wikimedia Education Program. However, hospital schools do exist across the United States and around the world. The State of California even has a dedicated Home and Hospital Instruction Program. When I was a high school teacher, some of my own students participated in this program and progressed more medically and academically because of it.

This could be a new education program approach to pilot as more of a hybrid wiki club than a strict wiki course. It seems unlikely that this project will generate the quantities of outputs we have come to expect from traditional education programs, including your own high school. That doesn't discount the potential value to the participants, the movement, and the world.

As to your question about where you could document this work on wiki, here are some suggestions:

I hope this helps. Thank you for your interest in supporting an underserved population and welcoming new users to the movement.

All the best, Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 13:12, 24 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Dear Anna, thank you for taking the time to add your very useful comments and links. I especially liked this sentence in the art therapy article: It was also suggested that art therapy can provide a sense of “meaning making” because of the physical act of creating the art. It is the meaning-making aspect of Wikimedia editing that I wish to explore in the pilot project.
Addressing the bullet points:
  • This is an adult setting; I learned today that there are around 10 patients attending the Day Care Program. Tomorrow I have an appointment to meet with the head doctor and the rest of the staff and I will be back to provide more details.
  • You are right, the content shall include anything and everything they know about and wish to contribute about. If they feel comfortable contributing material related to their illness that's fine: it may be therapeutic. If they would rather "forget" about their illness while working on the WM projects that's fine too, they can contribute a photo of their beloved village, copy a book on Wikisource, add an article to Wiktionary and so forth. My intention is to tailor the program to individual and group needs. Let me give you an example: I have already started pilot work with a learning-disabled immigrant student at my school. I quickly discovered that he may be slow at understanding phonetics and writing but he's unbelievably fast at picking up mouse and keyboard movements e.g. to build a userpage (we're currently filling his userpage with content and userboxes and he's thrilled). My hunch is that if I get him contributing to Wikisource it will help him build self-confidence while not putting too much strain on his serious disabilities... plus the fact that he will have so much as "mechanical" contact with letters and symbols may help him in his lacking language skills.
  • To be frank, I have no idea... it has elements of "Education" and "Medical", without formally belonging to either. Maybe once the program starts we will see in what direction it will develop and "brand" it there (e.g. if many of the participants decide to contribute about their medical condition, it may fit well under Wiki Project Med. If they decide to focus on culture and local museums and archives, it would be GLAM. But I have the feeling that each participant will lay his/her own stepping stones so it may end up being a little of everything... and hopefully, a LOT of Wikitherapy:-)--Saintfevrier (talk) 13:09, 26 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Dear Saintfevrier,
Thanks for providing additional information about the proposed pilot. And thanks for the virtual introduction to your student. :) This is a great example of tailoring instruction to individual needs. I have no doubt in your ability to do likewise with adult learners at the day center.
As for the question about project placement, I have no idea either! :) And thankfully such decisions are not up to me. Was simply flagging the question for those who are more familiar with movement intricacies such as this.
I do hope that the above suggestions about where your project's documentation could live on wiki were helpful. Please let me know where you decide to share so that I can follow along. :)
All the best, Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:44, 26 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks again Anna). Indeed, I have not yet decided which would be the best place to shelter my notes, thanks for the suggestions! I will check them out soon and get back to you, thanks for your interest in my project:)
Good news: The psychiatrist is anxious to learn more and he set up an appointment for me to talk to the entire team at the Day Care Center (4-member workforce comprising psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker and nurse). I will be meeting them on Thursday 29/10; it will also be a good opportunity to check what IT equipment they have. I also learned that as of now the patients are in the 20-50 year-old age bracket. More details soon:) --Saintfevrier (talk) 22:39, 27 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I'm glad that you get to meet with the entire team soon. Having their understanding and support is essential. It's smart to scope out their technology prior to the pilot. This information will either reveal whether the proposed activities will be easy, impossible, or somewhere in between. It would also be good to know about the patients' level of comfort using computing technology and what is their familiarity with Wikipedia. Looking forward to another update after your meeting with medical team. Take care, Saintfevrier. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 16:25, 29 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Anna the meeting went very well! We had originally planned for half an hour however they were so interested in the project that we ended up talking for over an hour:) The only problem is that they have very frugal IT equipment: only one workstation for the entire unit (!!!). However they do have a wifi connection and some of the participants have laptops so we can work in groups of 3 or 4. They were only (fairly) acquainted with the Wikipedia concept BUT they were so excited to learn that WIKIMEDIA offers plenty of scope for contributions in the form of photos, video, source text etc. For example, they told me that they have other occupational therapy groups run mostly by volunteers, e.g. cooking, theater, knitting etc. I told them that they could upload a photo of a peculiar knitting technique and add it to the article on knitting and they really liked that. It also seems some of the participants are keen on photography, so Commons is a perfect outlet for their creativity. Some of the participants have no computer skills whatsoever, I told them I would be willing to dedicate extra time to teach them general CTI skills and they committed to try to find ways of obtaining computer equipment and perhaps set up a mini lab. In any case, this will be a fruitful cooperation, with open-minded and positive-thinking health professionals. If I get THEM to edit Wikipedia as well, it will be an extra bonus:)
On a tangent, the other therapy settings that have been approached are also very positive to the idea. I sent the link to the doctor I mentioned in an earlier paragraph and she said her team would definitely be interested. Manos already wrote about the hospital volunteers. It seems that the Wikitherapy project will soon "depart" from the limits of the island, however I need to get the pilot "rolling" so that it will be easier to share convincing evidence (preliminary metrics, artifacts etc.). Thanks again, all the best from Kefalonia :)--Saintfevrier (talk) 14:53, 31 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Aggregated feedback from the committee for Wikitherapy[edit]

Scoring criteria (see the rubric for background) Score
1=weak alignment 10=strong alignment
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it fit with Wikimedia's strategic priorities?
  • Does it have potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
(B) Innovation and learning
  • Does it take an Innovative approach to solving a key problem?
  • Is the potential impact greater than the risks?
  • Can we measure success?
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in 6 months?
  • How realistic/efficient is the budget?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
(D) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
  • Does it support diversity?
Comments from the committee:
  • The proposed project is an excellent fit to the strategic priority of increased participation. It offers a relatively untapped pool of potential contributors, and the potential for institutional backing to encourage participation.
  • Toolkits developed for participation programs (i.e. classroom assignments, university clubs) have been successfully adapted and sustained in the past, so it is likely that a toolkit developed here would be similarly scalable.
  • Could be adapted elsewhere
  • This project fits with the priority of increasing participation, particularly among marginalized people in a psychiatric therapy setting. While contributions by participants might not match those from WEP or edit-a-thons, there is potential for online impact, particularly because the project lead is interested in exploring the "meaning-making aspect of Wikimedia editing." This seems very relevant to ongoing research on editor engagement and retention. It seems unlikely that the program could easily be adapted to other contexts, but lessons learned and a resulting toolkit would be helpful for implementing similar programs in challenging contexts in the future.
  • Interesting project targeting people who have time availability.
  • Working with hospital patients is an innovative approach, with significant potential to increase our understanding of how to promote Wikipedia both in the context of therapy as well as in similar audience groups (such as retirees).
  • Very new approach, great potential impact. Measures of success could be a bit more specific i.e. measurable. For example press coverage in a local newspaper could be added as additional measure of success.
  • Very innovative approach, but I'm having a hard time identifying what the key problem is. I think the project could address areas where the movement is lacking in diversity and sensitivity.
  • Potential impact here is great. There are risks involved with working with vulnerable populations, but the project lead seems to have relevant experience and has been engaging with a team of experts (psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker and nurse).
  • Specific and concrete measures of success have not been provided, as they will be developed on an individual basis in consultation with the team of experts.
  • Plan appears to be well thought-out and realistic, with a reasonable budget given the potential impact of the project. The applicants have successfully engaged in similar work in the past.
  • There is a reasonable degree of community engagement and support. The proposed project strongly supports diversity, notably with respect to a factor that has traditionally received less attention than other aspects of movement diversity (such as gender or language).
  • I like that this project directs participants to commons, wiktionary and wikisource rather than Wikipedia. However, will the existing communities be welcoming and open to them? On the other hand, the endorsements are rather promising.
  • Communities have been notified and the project lead has been speaking to WEP reps
  • Very interesting
  • Go for it!
  • Needs more specific measures of success
  • This is exactly the type of experimentation we should be encouraging through IEG.

Round 2 2015 decision[edit]

Congratulations! Your proposal has been selected for an Individual Engagement Grant.

The committee has recommended this proposal and WMF has approved funding for the full amount of your request, 2,200 €

Comments regarding this decision:
We appreciate this team’s innovative perspective on cultivating volunteer contributors to Wikimedia projects. We’re glad to see the project piloted by a long-experienced teacher in the Wikipedia Education Program with a passion for mentoring underserved populations. Looking forward to seeing what kind of concrete outcomes will come from this experimental outreach project.

Next steps:

  1. You will be contacted to sign a grant agreement and setup a monthly check-in schedule.
  2. Review the information for grantees.
  3. Use the new buttons on your original proposal to create your project pages.
  4. Start work on your project!
Questions? Contact us.