Grants talk:IEG/Women Scientists Workshop Development/Renewal

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Fleshing out this request a bit more[edit]

Hi Keilana,

Thanks for submitting this renewal request. Based on reading your final report, I can see there is potential for growth to ensure uptake of the kit and methods you've piloted to more communities.

To help us make a decision on this renewal request, I also see a few gaps that would be helpful to have you flesh out further:

  • As the primary benefit is really taking your kit & methods out out more potential workshop leaders in the rest of the US and piloting internationally as well, I'm wondering how we might benchmark success in terms of usage: How many people/groups have used your kit so far? Any sense of the active workshops that have resulted? It is hard to see right now if your target of 15 new workshop series is a large increase, or not, based on what you know has come out of the kit so far, so any context you can share there would be useful.
  • I'm very familiar from our past conversations with the DC workshop and WMDC's future plans to host more training events, but I'm not sure that's true for others reading this request. From this page, it isn't very clear, for example, why 2 trips to DC are required. Or how you're thinking about the international component. Would you care to flesh out the activities you've got planned for the next 6 months in a bit more detail, either by expanding your scope section, or adding an activities section? If approved, these can later be used to build out your new timeline, etc, so this exercise should not only help readers, it is likely to also help you form a useful project plan for the future.
  • Once you feel like the most relevant info has been captured here, please go ahead and notify the relevant target community, and add a link to this notification on your page. You might consider posting both a link to your final report, and to this renewal request using the same communication channels you used for the original grant request. Although the final decision to renew is WMF's, I'd like to see some relevant community input before we make this decision.

Looking forward to your updates! Best wishes, Siko (WMF) (talk) 22:39, 16 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

@Siko (WMF): Okay, I think I've fleshed this out. To clarify, I anticipate the target of 15 series being a large increase. We will be collecting data for the first facilitator training at the 6 and 12 month benchmarks, so we'll have more of an idea of how large an increase when we collect that follow-up data. I've added an Activities section to discuss in more detail what exactly I plan on doing. I've notified the communities I notified before that I'm working on this renewal request and hopefully we will garner some more feedback. Thanks, Keilana|Parlez ici 16:03, 31 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Questions from an IEGCom member[edit]

Thanks for the report and proposal. Interestingly, we had multiple editors discussing gendergap outreach work at our most recent Cascadia Wikimedians meeting. It would be interesting if we could get one or more Cascadians to a workshop, or get one of the trainers to come to us.

Is your goal with the renewal to personally conduct the 15 new workshops or for your trainees to conduct those workshops?

I would like to see international workshops done at Wikimania and/or what I will call the Wikimedia Affiliates Conference. A USA workshop at WikiConference USA in Boston would also be good.

My reading of this request as I look through it is that I'm not sure that you will average 20 hours per week; I think it is likely to be more than that rather than less. As someone who is currently writing a research proposal and discovering how difficult it is to plot timelines for novel R&D work (and yes, I asked a Ph.D. researcher outside of WMF about this and was told this is a common and in many cases unsolvable problem with R&D), I think your work falls more under "event planning" and "media production" than research, so perhaps you could be more specific about how many hours you estimate will be needed per event that you propose. This may average more than 20 hours per week, but in any case it would be useful to see a more specific estimate and how you made it.

Thanks again, --Pine 23:56, 16 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

@Pine: Hi, and thanks for your feedback! I would love to work with WM Cascadia, either by bringing some members to a facilitator training or by heading out there to do some training with you. My goal is definitely not to conduct 15 workshop series all by myself! I'm not even sure that's humanly plan is to get 15 individuals doing workshop series with my materials. I do plan to do a training session at Wikimania in Mexico City and I will be at the Chapters Conference and would really like to do a session there as well! As for the budget, from my last 6 months, I found that some weeks were much, much more than 20 hours a week, and some weeks were next to nothing. Let's talk about Cascadia soon - I will send you an email shortly. (Please excuse if this is a bit choppy, I haven't yet had a cup of coffee.) Best, Keilana|Parlez ici 16:11, 31 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]


Hi Keilana, another IEGCom member here...

Thanks for your final report and proposal for renewal. Congratulations also on your work to date!

I'm wondering if you could provide a bit more info about how you decided that a series of videos should be the next step for the project (along with the continuation of workshops)? For example, was a video tie-in or component something mentioned by workshop participants? If it's part of the goal to have more of an international impact, will some of the video content be developed in a way that allows for easy translation? From your final report's "Next steps and opportunities" section, it sounds like you envision the videos as additional training support for those unable to attend the workshops; is the idea then that videos will cover or address the sessions and skills that were found to be the most valuable to workshop participants?

One thing I found interesting (and awesome) was how the workshops gave participants the confidence to feel qualified to teach; it'd be interesting to see if/how that could be achieved through videos.

Finally, I also am curious as to how you're planning on measuring the impact of the videos. Some obvious measures (like # of views) come to mind, but it is not clear to me how to link those to the larger aims of the project related to editor retention and quality of edits.

Thanks again and looking forward to more information,
-Thepwnco (talk) 19:45, 18 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

I think these are very good questions, and I would also be very much interested in the answer. In addition I would really like to know more about how exactly you plan to produce these videos. From my perspective, planning and organizing workshops and a worksop kit are one thing - production of audiovisual material may be something totally different. Would these videos follow the lines of how you have done the workshops? Or would you want to develop a new methodology based on the specific technique of videos? Do you have any experience in creating educational videos? Also, and this is similar to waht Pine has already asked: Are they meant to substitute further workshops? Or are they rather meant as an add-on, so people can refresh their knowledge outside the events? What impact do you reckon could these videos have on retention outside of events? Thank you and I look forwad to your answers! Best,--Poupou l'quourouce (talk) 09:52, 19 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]


Hi Keilana,

I have read you report with great interest (especially since I was running a monthly editing event in Berlin, too - meanwhile it runs "on its own wheels"...) and it is very valuable to follow your learnings. One thing, however, made me think. You wrote that you regard the project as a success in increasing participation as well in improving quality. Also, during the course of the project, you came to the conclusion that since only one participant was actually editing beyond the event setting, the metric "editing outside the event" was not a viable one and therefore that metric should be changed. Did you also consider, whether and how your approach could have been modified to encourage more editing outside these events? I personally, others may differ in this point, would not regard this as a success as increasing participation. I absolute agree, that the workshops you have created, have helped to improve the quality. Iregard them as a good tool to encourage creation of content in underrepresented areas. However, I don't think that new editors who are editing during such events only, mean a sustainable increase of participation. In German we call such a phenomenon "having to carry the dog to the hunt". Instead I would love to see that participants of such workshops "get infected with the wiki-virus" and start editing out of their own intrinsic motivation - maybe supported by occasional events. In my view such events should not remain the only setting, where people feel motivated or safe enough to edit. Do you have any ideas, how that could be addressed in the workshops?--Poupou l'quourouce (talk) 10:11, 19 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

@Poupou: Hi Poupou, sorry it took me so long to reply. So, I think that people returning to events that are already being held is a good metric for intrinsic motivation, especially in the environment of a university. Students are so busy that they really prefer to have a scheduled activity for them to attend. I think both metrics are valid to a degree, though. I do have a thought about "born editors" - those that will edit no matter what, who are motivated and do not need a social environment or really any extrinsic motivation - and "made editors", who will be very productive given just a little bit of extra support. I think that a social, supportive, offline environment for editing is actually really important, especially for a lot of women. The university I attend is 65-70% female, and we tend to have a very social model of engagement in things. Also, I don't want to neglect the importance of fun! It is far more enjoyable to edit with 5-10 other interesting women, cracking jokes and sharing our successes. I hope that makes sense - I'm happy to discuss further! Best, Keilana|Parlez ici 14:58, 18 November 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this! I absolutely agree that all these factors contribute to motivating what you call "made editors" - but still: I would like to see some effort going also to turning these editors into more "independant editors". On the long term we do need people, and especially women, that engage more frequently than you could probably schedule and fund events. I am convinced that in order to have a lasting effect on the gender gap issue, we must get people involved on all levels. So while I certainly value your program, I would like to see more effort to go beyond that "safe setting" and to support people in getting independent. Like when you might teach a swimming class, you should have in mind that at some point you should want them to feel comfortable to swim freely in a lake. So in my view you should "have the lake in mind" already in your lessons in the swimming pool when they are still wearing floaties. So how do you train the people for the "wild wikipedia"? Best regards,--Poupou l'quourouce (talk) 16:22, 23 November 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Floaties may be helpful to get started, but they are not forever...

some comments[edit]

When you say "seed more programs", is the purpose is to run more workshops for participants or to run workshops for facilitators in order than they can run their own workshops? My concern here is that outreach often succeeds in a small scale way because of the natural talents and enthusiasm of the local facilitator, but can be difficult to roll out in a large-scale way as the limiting resources are the availability of equally talented and committed facilitators and how to maintain their enthusiasm for the number of events required of them (are they volunteers? are they staff? who is covering their travel expenses? etc). If the previous grant has shown small-scale success, this second grant really needs address the issues of scaling, as big impact comes from the ability to scale effectively rather than the specific program of activities undertaken.

When you say "the kit", what sort of thing is in this kit? Is it training materials? Is it train-the-trainer materials? Both?

Obviously workshops of this nature do occur in other places. Have you gathered information on what has happened elsewhere to incorporate into the program, particularly in relation to those that occur in other countries. It's best to avoid cocacolonisation. Kerry Raymond (talk) 20:40, 2 November 2014 (UTC)[reply]

@Kerry Raymond: Hi Kerry! Thanks for your comments. So there's a lot of things rolled in here. The purpose is to run workshops for facilitators to help them create their own programs and give them helpful tools they need to succeed. My goal is to enable that group of local facilitators with talent and enthusiasm and create large-scale success with a bunch of small-scale successes. The kit is at commons:File:Systemic bias workshop kit.pdf and contains training materials and facilitator training materials, a sort of "just add Wikipedians" model. I've talked extensively to people all around the world and looked at chapter programs to see what works and what doesn't. Best, Keilana|Parlez ici 15:05, 18 November 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Hi, Keilana! I am really surprised that you mention the chapters as I didn't see any correspondence in our chapter about this, nor any discussion on the chapters mailing list, so I am not quite sure how you communicated with the chapters. Which is a pity because our situation seems nothing like the scenario your kit describes. Our attendees at our events can be much bigger than the 7-10 people you mention in the kit. I think Wikipedia:Meetup/Canberra/2014-08-14-Wikibomb our highest was over 100 people and over 100 new articles. Costs include airfares and accommodation; we don't always have local people willing and able to organise our events. Our events are almost always organised with a partner who does most of the recruitment of participants and usually provides the venue. Many of our events are on a weekday. In addition to notability and copyright, conflict-of-interest is often a major issue with such events; people motivated to come often want to write about someone or something that is a bit too close to home for comfort. Low IT skills is a major factor, particularly when working with groups where there is a "diversity gap". What do you do when someone turns up and doesn't understand how to copy and paste a URL from the address bar of the browser into the citation? It's a very common problem at most of our events. Venues. Do they come with computers or are people expected to bring their own laptops? What if they don't have their own laptop? Projection facilities? And the comment about getting a "junior" to take over is exactly this scale question that I am raising. We find ourselves drawing on the same small set of people because the people who attend such events often have low confidence or low IT skills, so they don't tend to be people who can take over from you as the facilitator. Newly-created accounts have limitations on them; how do you deal with these? Are articles created via Article for Creation? Or in sandboxes or in mainspace? If not in mainspace, when/how do you get them there? There is also the issue of media coverage (which could be good or bad). All of these things are real issues for us but don't rate a mention in your kit. So this is why I raise the concern about needing to getting a better awareness of the bigger picture worldwide. Kerry Raymond (talk) 20:48, 18 November 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Approved for another 6 months[edit]

Hi Keilana,

Congratulations on your successes so far! Based on what you've created to-date, and our understanding that continued support is needed in order to experiment with best ways to scale this model of small recurring events aimed at decreasing systemic bias by improving Wikipedia's coverage of notable women, I'm approving this 6-month renewal. Looking forward to partnering with you as you begin to adapt your local model for other regions in the US and beyond. Our grants administrator will be in touch soon to setup your renewed agreement so you can continue this IEG for another 6 months.

Best wishes, Siko (WMF) (talk) 18:05, 3 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]