Grants talk:PEG/Manos Kefalas/Wikipedia School in Athens, Greece/Report
Comments from Geraki
The grant request was for equipment (hardware and software) that would be provided to a school lab in Kaisariani (Athens), and other expenses needed for four seasons of workshops (circles/schools) in this lab, using the curriculum stated in the grant request. Included, there was an ammount for a closing event. I believe that this was more like an experiment about the usefulness of a closed series of workshops lasting 9 weeks (or so). I do have some comments on this, and some questions that were not answered during the duration of this activity.
It seems that this report is mixed with results from other activities and workshops that involved the same wikipedian, or given the same title ("Wikipedia School"), or even preexisting activities of other Wikipedians, but had little to do with the activity that was granted with funds.
- The involvement in the "25th March" school contest (note: designed and held with no other community involvement) is irrelevant with the "Wikipedia School" workshops for adults, or for pupils that did not participate in the event. Even if it did, the grantee's report speaks about the success of the contest itself, when "failure was close" for the W-S.
- "Lessons held over the phone" seem an interesting activity but irrelevant with the 9 weeks series of workshops in a computer lab (except the umbrella term "W-S").
- Lectures in other institutions are also irrelevant with the grant request and report. Even if they are given the umbrella term of "W-S", the audience of these lectures are not participants of the original Wikipedia School 9-week series of workshops in the equiped computer lab.
- Wikipedians Ttzavaras and DADRITS were leading cultural programs in their own schools about Wikipedia, long ago before the creation of "W-S". Why the grantee is including them in the Grant Report when they did not request or receive funds and their activities were independent of the "W-S" activity? Also, some more data is needed on the involved editors (reported "9"). How many did teach in Kaisariani and how many hours each?
- Notes on Quantitative results
I would like to see more specific metrics on this program, essentially the metrics on numbers of people who are mentioned in some parts of the report as "Kaisariani adults" and "Kaisariani students" (the ones that participated in the project that was funded by this Grant request). On them, there would be handy some metrics on how many of them attended more than 6 hours, 12 hours etc.
During the Request, the grantee was asked for a curriculum. Also, I recall that it was stated somewhere that I trainee would complete their lessons with 32 hours of participation to get a written certificate (26 hours "if they study at home"). In the Report, and other messages, the trainer/grantee has stated that a curriculum is no longer followed but the training is done in a "fractal" way, and also that the trainees "were free to come to classes whenever they wanted", "some needed only one or two lessons" etc. So, with no curriculum and no predetermined time of training, how is the metric "Percent of participants who complete their lessons" calculated?
I run a report with a cohort created from the grantee's list of usernames, including edits in all wiki projects. What I got for NS:0 is
"negative_only_sum": -1394412.0, "net_sum": 3463545.0, "positive_only_sum": 4857957.0, "absolute_sum": 6252369.0
The report mentions an absolute_sum of 10874188 (8419981 positive + 2454207 negative) which is far from the above calculations.
I see than what is reported are edits not only during the attendance of the workshops, but all edits of the users even many months after finishing participation. Also, as is is stated in the Report the metrics include edits and article creations from trainees in workshops other than Kaisariani, as a far as in Karlovasi, Samos island. (?)
Looking more on that, 315 out of the 579 reported articles were created by a single user (AristoClass) who participated in the first season of workshops (ending December 2014) and continued on his own (very actively). The Report includes them in the sum of "Number of articles created" all articles created by him until July 31st, as if he was still a trainee.
On the other hand, 60 (51%) of the participants did not create any article, or even have more than 10 edits.
Some of them had started articles in their sandbox but never moved it to article namespace. This needs to move us from the quantitative to the qualitative analysis.
- Notes on Quantitative results
In fact, almost every participant edited only in their own sandbox, including the most active ones. As it is mentioned in the report, that there were "almost no reverts in contributions", is a fact. This happened solely because the participants were discouraged to work in article namespace, they created articles in their own sandbox, moved them into main namespace, and then forget about them. I don't recall any editing of existing articles, even the ones created by them after moving them in place. Most of them edited while being in a fishbowl, in a protected environment, with the trainer being a proxy in the few times that needed to communicate. Even if they were taught social skills inside the Wikipedia School, they did not use them in Wikipedia. Also, many of them seem to have been editing, only or mostly, in Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon, essentialy only during the workshop hours and never alone.
- On the use of money
The requested ammount would probably not be needed if the grantee had seeked other options, had seeked consultance from the community, or lowered the bar.
The server was probably designed with the idea of "more expensive is better", but some of the components were not really needed: The en:Nvidia Quadro graphics cards are designed for workstations to accelerate CAD (computer-aided design) and DCC (digital content creation) (3D), something irrelevant with the indented use on a server running some virtual machines with mostly 2D output.
The fact that Wikimedia, whose principles talk about using open source tools over proprietary one, spent 1010 euros on Microsoft licenses, will probably be annoying to many people. In fact, is this strange when there are known free/open souce alternatives that would do better job in any hardware. It is also annoying that this proprietary OS was installed in a school's computer lab, teaching the students that "there is no other way". It is even more annoying that on the other hand the Technical Support Department of the School Network in Greece itself promotes the use of free/open souce , and we did the other way. The alternative of LTSP and Epoptes would be sufficient, would cost nothing, and would be aligned with our values. In fact with this configuration, 60% of worlwide LTSP installations are inside Greek school labs. I guess Kaisariani is the only one with an installation of Microsoft's equivalent.
I see that while the Grant request was in fact for the Kaisariani lab, there was included an ammount for Soft Drinks & Light Snacks for Zografou & Poligono which in fact are not part of the program. Nevertheless this was accepted, but the report states that this budget for Wikipedia School in Athens was spent in Karlovasi, in Samos island.
About the closing event: This was meant to be (and was funded as this) the Closing Event of Wikipedia School, an activity in 2nd Gymnasium of Kaisariani where the WMF spent 3000 euros for its computer lab to hold four seasons of workshops. The ammount spent for the closing event itself was another 2000 euros. (?) Wikipedia community before, had always tried and most times succeeded to find free venues (municipalities, univesities, or even the National Hellenic Research Foundation). This Grant request stated that the intention was to hold the event in Hilton or a similar hotel, or the glamorous Technopolis center. I would like a report answering the question if the 1476 EUR spent for Technopolis were really essential for the event, if the venue was small, enough, or an overkill.
And while the ammount requested was for a specific event, it was spent for something else. The closing event was retitled as "Wikipedia Festival" and people from other projects, institutions, and businesses were invited to fill the program, while keeping full control of organising it. The community was not consulted about it (was invited to participate only as presenters and audience) and the program was full of surprises. So, it did create a controversy in el.wikipedia, since it was promoted as Wikipedia's event but in fact it was no representative and individually guided. Whatever the intention, the money requested for the closing event was used for something else. Something that I believe would need other prequesities for being granted with money.
- In brief
- The Report is mixed with information about projects irrelevant with the funded project.
- The Report needs more specific metrics about the trainees, but also the trainers.
- A lot of expenses were not really needed, and could be avoided if the project was more open to the community.
- Some expenses were spent for reasons other than what they were requested for.
Dear Alex Wang (WMF), I am addressing you in the capacity of user of Greek Wikipedia; I was also the other Greek scholarship recipient for Wikimania 2015 (apart from geraki... it's a pity we didn't have the chance to meet in person in Mexico City!). I spent the past 20 minutes looking through the other 12 grant reports currently under review here. From what I gather, you are the WMF person responsible for commenting on the grant reports. Your comments seem very constructive, and your attitude is polite and appreciative of the effort the grantees have put into delivering their projects and writing their reports. In short, there is a lot of Community Health going on in the Grant Reports discussion pages! As I assume you will soon be adding your comments to Manos Kefalas's grant report, I would like you to take cognizance of some input that would otherwise not reach you. I am saddened to see that the one and only grant report that could use a big dose of Community Health is this one. And I don't think that user:geraki is just being more diligent and responsible than other Wikimedians by expressing his criticism, nor do I believe that Manos is an exception to the diligence and responsibility that generally characterizes WMF grantees, and that he is trying to deceive the Wikimedia Community. This does not mean in any way that I am suggesting you should disregard geraki's comments; on the contrary! I would however like to bring your attention to the fact that geraki has been "attacking" Manos in other respects on other Wikimedia projects. A current example is the discussion now going on in Greek Wikipedia's village pump. The issue at stake here is the two representatives of the Greek Wikimedia Community who are to be awarded scholarships for the CEE meeting in Estonia next month. geraki "announced" to the Greek community that the position has been filled by ONE member and by decision of the Greek UserGroup, whereas the official announcement explicitly states that there are to be TWO representatives and that they need not necessarily be members of the Usergroup (see here). After the truth was illuminated by members of the Greek community (myself included), Manos will be attending the meeting in Estonia as well. In this light, I'm afraid there is much more behind geraki's exhaustive comments on this page than an effort to protect the international WM community from the fraudulent actions of an ill-natured Wikimedian. Please forgive me if this is not the right place for such a discussion; I chose to write here only because I wanted these details to reach all those involved in a direct and transparent manner. Thanks, --Saintfevrier (talk) 17:08, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
Hi Saintfevrier, I am glad to see you writing here! I may surprise you by writing that there are a couple of phrases in Geraki's text with which I could not agree more! I certainly do not share his conclusions, that is for sure... Well, here they are:
- "while the amount requested was for a specific event" (the closing event that is), "it was spent for something else"
- "the program was full of surprises"
Indeed, as I was reading the project proposal I imagined the closing ceremony to have an introductory speech, a sort of "graduation ceremony", some presentations from students and some article editing in between and at the end of the closing event. I must say that the ingenuity and inventiveness of Manos has pleasantly surprised me: He did not only do what he promised, but he did much more! He brought the students in contact with members of the Wikimedia projects community who went to the event, he brought them in contact with people who did other events about Wikipedia during the year, he actually presented to them a full, exciting day, which I am sure also surprised them, offering much more than originally planned. That was just the student's side. There is also another side: He brought together members of the Wikimedia projects' some of whom had never met before. He demonstrated that there were several activities going on about Wikipedia and furthermore, he successfully promoted Wikipedia in the press en:Συζήτηση Βικιπαίδεια:Δράσεις προώθησης/Τρίτη 12 Μαΐου 2015: Γιορτή Βικιπαίδειας στην Αθήνα (Τεχνόπολη, Γκάζι)#Προβολή στον τύπο. The opinion of Wikipedians expressed afterwards in the Greek Agora (Village Pump) en:Βικιπαίδεια:Αγορά/Αρχείο 2015/Μάιος#Αποτίμηση γιορτής was very positive, as witnessed from several users, as well as from User:Kalliope (WMF). It might be worth it to put the text from that paragraph in an automatic translator, non-Greek speakers can get a full inside on issues and arguments that were also raised, which certainly explain also what is being discussed here.
In conclusion, Manos gave much more to Wikimedia than the project plan promised, pleasantly surprising us - dear Manos, thank you and congratulations for the completion of this project. You have my wishes for the successful continuation of the Wikipedia School. I certainly encourage you to continue the "closing event" (or rather, "Γιορτή Βικιπαίδειας" (Wikipedia Feast or Festival, as you coined it, a name supported by vote from the Greek Wikipedia Community) next year and to inquire whether the Foundation would be willing to finance it. It is my opinion that even without WMF support, following the success of the event for this year, there will be support by wikipedians, both in actual helping hands as well as funding to book a location for the event. You certainly have my trust to organize it, having got the experience of this successful event. --FocalPoint (talk) 23:48, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
- Saintfevrier, thank you for illuminating the Truth. :-) What ManosHacker is considering as "attacks" (and informed you about) is the same set of comments and questions on this same page, that were expressed publicly throughout the year and he was not comfortable to answer or discuss. Let him do it here. All the above are simple facts based on metrics and quotes. You are free to check and question the validity of facts and calculations, but please don't try to invalidate the arguments ad hominem.
- FocalPoint, I recall two-three things: one is that you acknowledged that the "Wikipedia Feast" event was organised by a single person. The second is that there was a demand that be recognised as a "community event" after everything was finalised by this single organiser. As for the suprises of the program, I recall that it included at least a political organisation, a for profit company, and an organisation which in the past had received a cease-and-desist letter from the WMF under the advice of the community, and you had personally expressed long after that, that "we [the community] should not even talk to them". I did not see any community consultation on the character and program of the event and have a deep feeling that was just a single point of view about what Wikipedia is. I consider the event as organised contrary to all Wikimedia movement norms, and this happened only because the (single) organiser had money to spent, although approved for something else. I doubt that anyone would be funding an event that would be advertised as a "community event" with such an organisation scheme.
- Now lets leave ManosHacker to talk about his project. -Geraki TL 12:51, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Attacks have stopped on Greek Wikipedia to be continued here by User:Geraki. Interesting but I don't actually thing that the specific user is qualified to run a quantitative analysis and therefore report! I'll wait until somebody gives a real quantitative report--Kalogeropoulos (talk) 18:04, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
- Don't smile at all, this is the exact "mubla mubla" answer should everybody expect of somebody who is not qualified to run a quantitative research analysis on an "objective" sample, an trying with html tags to deteriorate or diminishe others reports equally important. That's you exactly and that's why you supported a "mubla mubla" failed desysoping request on greek wikipedia from a user who systematically failed to understand or follow Wikipedia Policy against Wikipedia Guidelines. So, I consider your former statement a personal attack and I ingnore it. Nevertheless here is the place you have to prove that you are able to run quoantitative and qualitative research in order support your argument and accuse User:ManosHacker on real evidence. By now you fail to do so. Cheers--Kalogeropoulos (talk) 17:53, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
- Kalogeropoulos, I agree that Geraki, after expressing negative opinion for this project even before it was started and in every occasion that ManosHacker reported his progress in the Agora (el-Village Pump), is not the person to be consulted for any analysis whatsoever due to his negative bias. In fact, he was the one who has actively sabotaged the project (in the words of a user: "more experienced users should help him and not sabotage him") (and another user wrote: "you are solely responsible for the polarization, not just because of disagreement as to the title obviously" and "...not to make war throwing mud and innuendoes 2-3 days before the final event.") by stopping twice putting up a banner to advertise the final event both in el-admin discussion and in Meta, with the pretext that he did not agree to its wording. This disagreement was voiced at the last minute (8 and 9th of May), when Manos had already announced the title of this event on Feb 28 as well as on April 26 to Agora (el-Village Pump). It has to be noted (ManosHacker, to his credit, did not mention it clearly) that eventually, the banner was not run 4-5 days before the event as originally intended due to geraki's actions. It is a pity that such a user, a frequent visitor of Wikimania's nonetheless, behaves in such a hostile way. I can only say that Saintfevrier is probably right when she wrote just above "I'm afraid there is much more behind geraki's exhaustive comments on this page than an effort to protect the international WM community". --FocalPoint (talk) 08:37, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
- The argument stated above, that my questions and comments should not be taken in account just because they are negative, is absurd. On the other hand you use the right verb somewhere: ManosHacker announced something, as he did announce everything concerning the Wikipedia School and never consulted the community. I recall that it wasn't only geraki's position that this "feast" or "festival" was not an event representing the community, but a lot more users. I recall that ManosHacker himself called me on phone and asked for my opinions and help a year ago. But he never wanted to discuss in wikipedia's Agora (village pump) about this project. What we get about this project is only announcements that "everything is great and successful" and a "no mistakes" attitude. What we don't have is information about what exactly is "everything". --Geraki TL 11:30, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
- I'm quite interested to see the results of a real quantitative and qualitative analysis on these matters FocalPoint, based on "objective" sample, but as it seems I can't expect it from User:Geraki, who prefers instead answering to find refugee in a failed last year attack against me by him and some haters for their own reasons of escaping Wikipedia Policy. I'll create one, based on all these kind of events, not only Wikipedia School, which can provide the necessary sample. Cheers --Kalogeropoulos (talk) 17:53, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
- In brief
- In editors remained active there is no gender gap.
- Editors who remained active usually followed many hours of classes, like 50 to 80 hours.
- People in retirement were between the most productive (& active) ones.
- One of ten law has ruled the project (approximately): One of ten people who clicked the banner followed the link to the school page to get more info, one of ten of those declared interest to participate in classes, one of ten of those came to watch, one of ten of those remained active.
Response from ManosHacker
- School contest: Wikipedia School participated officially in a national school contest for Wikipedia article writing under the aegis of the Ministry of Education.
- Students of secondary Wikipedia Schools participated at the contest and were extremely motivated. Creating target for students via contests is a significant replicable result that should be followed throughout countries and cities.
- Professors of 4 schools that participated in the contest followed courses in Wikipedia School. These schools were contributing to Wikipedia for their first time this school year.
- Phone lessons were part of Wikipedia School activities. It was a result of the demand for distant lessons throughout Greece. Phone students came to attend classes after they had achieved article creation by just phone lessons. They were far more excited with the learning group experience.
- Lectures in other institutions: Wikipedia School is an umbrella of actions, meant to spread, that teach Wikipedia for free in order to attract and activate people to participate under the Wikimedia Vision and in favor of Wikimedia Movement. Lectures in other institutions were not made on a personal basis but as Wikipedia School, increasing reach of Wikipedia and creating partnerships with these institutions and also bringing in new students to Wikipedia School to continue training.
- Wikipedians Ttzavaras and DADRITS: Ttzavaras is included in the grant report because he was mentioned as a team member in our grant proposal. DADRITS is a professor of Karlovasion Gymnasium of Samos island. Before Wikipedia School he was already teaching Wikipedia to his students. DADRITS reached and asked for exchange of education material and usage of logos of Wikipedia School. Education material was exchanged and Karlovasion Gymnasium of Samos island operated under the logo of Wikipedia School and held a celebration ceremony in Samos. They also received 67,49 euros (line 6 of expenses table on the grant report, one of the three local ceremony events budgeted on the grant proposal).
- Notes on Quantitative results
Out of the 9 Active Involved Editors, 4 participated in teaching of one to five courses, of two hours each, in Kaisariani. Others run Wikipedia Schools, produced education material, held lectures inviting Wikipedia School as a co-lecturer and helped in the organization of Wikipedia Festival closing event.
The metric "percentage of participants who complete their lessons" was met when three courses were attended and a writing of a new article was achieved.
The metrics include only edits and article creation from trainees in workshops run by Manos Kefalas. Edits from other Wikipedia Schools, like Karlovasion Gymnasium of Samos island, are therefore not included.
Aristo Class contributions: According to the en:Pareto principle, indeed we would expect 80% of the contributions to have been made from the 20% more active editors.
- On the use of money
Kaisariani School Equipment: Grant proposal accepted, specified Kaisariani School Equipment in lines 1, 2 and 3 of the budget table with 1874.94 + 214.97 + 795.07 = 2884.98 euros accordingly. Expenses were lines 1, 2 and 3 of the expenses table of grant report, with 1877.33 + 214.97 + 795.07 = 2887.37 euros accordingly. Specifications of server hardware, OS, and terminal licenses were exactly as approved by WMF.
Closing event was executed according to the grant proposal accepted, specified in Closing event (line 7) and Soft Drinks & Light Snacks (line 8) of the budget table with 1476 + 450 = 1926 euros accordingly. Expenses were lines 7 and 8 of the expenses table of grant report, with 1482 + 343.68 = 1825.68 euros accordingly. The event was open not only to Wikipedia School students but also to all wikipedians and people involved in Wikimedia projects. Students came in contact with other wikipedians and saw the work of others. In this event many more people than the students also participated. The money spent was according to budget. The venue included the room of presentations, part of which was used for the lab (12+1 computers brought in) and one room for the posters exhibition, which were adequate for the size of the event.
- Project or "umbrella of different activities"?
What it is verified here and literally expressed is that what is considered now as "Wikipedia School" is not as specific project (although funded as such), but it is considered as a personal institution. Is is acknowledged that while we should be talking about the project that was described in the grant request, is is referred as an "umbrella of actions" different from each other. The connection point of all these, is the grantee and the money he could move from his own project to other projects (freely in his opinion). This happened on the basis of the willingness or (ignorance) of people to put their activities under the title of this personal project, even if nothing changed for those projects.
I consider that the inclusion of the activities of this "umbrella of activities" in the report of a single activity, is creating an illusion of what were really the achievements of this activity/project.
You say that "Ttzavaras is included in the grant report because he was mentioned as a team member in our grant proposal". I am not sure about what he really did (training in his former school as every year?) and how he was helped with the grant. To my understanding, for many personal reasons he was not able to keep up with his project this year, therefore the results from his project are reported as "unknown/undocumented". (Note: I have seen Ttzavaras expressing support for your project but not stating that his own project is, or would be, under this "umbrella").
The question for DADRITS is simillar. What includes him in the report is the usage of the logo/title and receiving 67.49 euros for beverages? (I recall that approved budget - row 6 - was for three schools in Athens, not in Samos). Did this make that project more or less succesful (compared with last year)?
For any reason, summing up many different activities with many different scopes, methods, and practices, under the title ("umbrella") of a much different activity is troublesome. What works well and what not? Which practice should be replicated? For which activity the grant was a benefit? Can't be sure. Even for the activity that was originally funded.
Active Involved Editors: I calculate 40 weeks of running the School, 4 courses per week. Reporting that "4 participated in teaching of one to five courses" (assuming that you don't include yourself as present in every course as always present), it seems that about 92.5 % of the workshops were held by you alone, is this correct? You also include someone that just invited you for a lecture in some other venue. Is this correct?
- You say that "The metric 'percentage of participants who complete their lessons' was met when three courses were attended and a writing of a new article was achieved."
- I note that, according to the Report, people who started attending the workshops but did not proceed to create an account are not included in the metrics at all. Why?
- I recall that the initial plan was that, a complete set of lessons/workshops was at least 32 hours (to get a written certificate), 26 hours of attendace "if they also study at home". Here, you report that a participant is considered as having completed the lessons with only 6 hours of attendace. This is a change to the measure of success, based on the final outcome, since the initial goal was not met.
- You say that "the metrics include only edits and article creation from trainees in workshops run by Manos Kefalas. Edits from other Wikipedia Schools, like Karlovasion Gymnasium of Samos island, are therefore not included."
- This contradicts with the Report itself: "Yes, aproximately. 60 people wrote full articles form Kaisariani School only, 11 students from Karlovasion Gymnasium, and undocumented number of students at 24th Gymnasium of Athens." Also in Row 4 of the project metrics you explcitely mention about number of articles created: "225 (Kaisariani adults) 24 (Kaisariani students), 25 (Karlovasion students), unknown (Poligono students)". The difference in other metrics (bytes) that I reported above probably comes from the inclusion or not of other workshops trainees.
About the Aristo Class contributions. The question is why his contributions, even 6 months after he completed training, are included among the metrics about trainees. The same for a couple of other users.
- Worth of expenses
The questions about the use of money are not about the exact ammounts and if you can provide receipts etc. Of course you can, and there is no reason that you should not be trusted on this.
The question is if the 2887.37 euros about the lab did really worth the purpose. For example, can you report on how many times you had more than 5 or 10 people in the lab, at the same time? Would you suggest this configuration for every computer lab that we would like to have a series of workshops? Or you would suggest something different? Was it an overkill (bigger than needed) or small for your purpose?
The same goes for the event that was held instead of a closing event. Would you suggest that such an event should be always held in a venue of this size and price, or it could be have been done in a smaller and/or cheaper venue?
It is acknowledged by more editors that the event was open for participation and attendance, but organised mostly by yourself. As expressed in greek wikipedia and here, some users are calling it a personal success. Is it your point of view that "community events" can be more successful if they are organised by a single person or a closed group of users, and then inviting the rest of wikipedians just to attend? Is this the best you could do and you would suggest it as a good practice, or it could have been better organised and more successful?
Response from ManosHacker
- Project’s ambitious target to reproduce the concept of Wikipedia School
Under the ambitious target of reproducing new Wikipedia Schools, Wikipedia School education material was shared with Karlovasion Gymnasium of Samos island through collaboration with their professor DADRITS. His project was indeed more successful this year, producing 5 times more articles than the previous year. They also participated in the national school writing contest and actually won.
Other schools have also started and others schools are incubating.
One of the most significant effects of the project is contributors that have continuing participation after finishing their courses. This is a far more important metric than the lower impact potential of contributors whose participation is limited to the period of following their classes or tasks. In fact there are 10 Wikipedia School (Kefalas') contributors who are still active now (July-August). For people non familiar with Greek Wikipedia there are about 40 highly active users.
- Worth of expenses
It would be ideal if the computer lab in Kaisariani had up to date equipment. In this case no expense would be necessary and no need for work and donations to double the seats from 10 to 20 and build the new lab ourselves would be needed. On the other hand it was fortunate that the lab and facilities are provided for free for at least 3 years along with the invitation to teach to secondary students of 2nd Gymnasium of Kaisariani. We are also thankful that 400 hours of lessons have been provided for free from the teachers. The Wikipedia School of Athens is continuing its operation even after the end of the grant.
It has been shown that a closing event is an excellent opportunity to celebrate school results. Such an event is especially interesting for the students of Wikipedia School if it also includes active editors bringing them in contact with the Wikipedia community, and anybody else who promotes Wikipedia. This event can be smaller or preferably bigger. The most important thing is to keep the event open to everyone, as Wikipedia is.
Updates on Grant Report, after discussion on talk page
Hi ManosHacker, we are very impressed with the outcomes of this project. Not only did you meet most of your goals for participation and content creation, you developed many useful tools and resources that can be used by other education programs leaders. We would like to learn more about some of the unique strategies you used to engage with new editors, and where you see this program going in the future.
- Based on the numbers you have reported, 26 of the original 160 participants were still active editors 4 months after the project ended. 16% is an incredibly high rate for new editor retention. What factors do you think contributed to this achievement?
- Do you have plans for follow-up with students/adults that participated? Have you checked on retention?
- Adult participants reported that they enjoyed spending half of each session on “Wikipedia storytelling, analyzing behaviors, playing games and in many ways learning how to live together with others.” Do you have any observations or ideas about how this affected their editing experience?
- It is fantastic to hear that the closing ceremony made so many schools interested in becoming Wikipedia Schools. Do you have ideas for how to make program more sustainable (and less exhausting) for yourself
- You report that creating a safe editing space for new users was important for program participants. Is there anything you did, in addition to creating the sandbox toolkit and the sandbox-to-mainspace transfer tool, to create safe editing spaces?
- Your observation that 5 times more women expressed interest in the adult program after promoting it on a job search site, rather than using Wikipedia banners is really remarkable. How do you think this promotion strategy could be used for other projects?
- Thank you for sharing the lessons you have learned, particularly about using contests, certificates and recognition to motivate new editors. Featuring student edits on the school website is a great idea!
- Please confirm the total number of articles created or improved during the project -- under Project Metrics the total is 277 but under Global Metrics, the total is 578 for your students along.
Thank you for all of the effort you have put into this program, and into sharing the lessons you learned both in this report and in the learning pattern library. Please hold on to the remaining funds if you plan to submit a reallocation request in the next month. Cheers, --KHarold (WMF) (talk) 01:11, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Hi KHarold (WMF). Thank you for your nice comments, we are glad you find our effort useful for Wikimedia movement. Time has passed since the original report and we have more information to share, especially now we are having a break in school activities, after 2015 Christmas holidays.
Regarding the report up to July 2015, active editors reported come only from lessons in Kaisariani (adults and gymnasium students) and Penteli (educators), where we came in touch (with at least one lesson) with 120 adults and 20 gymnasium students, roughly. Karlovasion Gymnasium of Samos island has exchanged education material with Wikipedia School of Athens and asked to use the Wikipedia School logo, but they are not part of the global metrics or project metrics regarding article creation and editor retention. They are though, 13 students out of 160, who have been using our Wikipedia School's education material. 24th Gymnasium of Athens (Ttzavaras' school) has been running its Wikipedia program during 2014-2015 school year but has not announced participants or results so we did not have a clear view and just used an estimate in participation.
After July 2015 every participant has added the toolbox inside their main sandbox, from their first course. We run only adult courses in Kaisariani and Penteli this school year, reaching 57 participants until the end of December. A lot participated in just one course or very few. It is often more than one hour, and up to two hours, to come to Kaisariani from other places in Athens, and in Penteli it is even more far away from the Athens center and this has been proven to be an issue for participation. We are planning for better.
In 2nd Gymnasium of Kaisariani, students of 2014-2015 school year did not remain active after the end of their school year and we should consider creating WikiClubs to solve this rather than waiting for them to come back as university students. We conclude to this because of the following: by the memory of previous year's work, 40 students asked to participate in 2015-2016 school year's Wikipedia program. The participation number has doubled compared to previous year! This is a challenge for the educators. The teacher of informatics along with the principal of the school began Wikipedia program by themselves, without outside (our) help, for 2015-2016 school year. They are not as experienced with Wikipedia as we are and they have to deal with a lot more students. There is also no competition during this year, so far. They rely on the education material produced, which should be enriched. We gave them the idea of forming groups to compete each other and let the winning team decide the place of a school excursion for the Wikipedia project participants.
- We cannnot judge editor retention only by the time the report was placed, as the courses time window was shifted up to just before the report beginning later made us also end later (end of July 2015) in order to keep teaching the number of months the project promised to do. The number of the people we came in direct touch with, were 140 and not 160, as explained above. After five months after the last courses reported we count that 14 out of 140 trained participants (not icluding already highly active editors who participated in classes) were active during November-December 2015 period.
- The main factor to the editor retention achievement, apart from the unique feature of systematically training over long time periods, is that the students feel their teacher cares for them as much as he cares for Wikipedia and they cannot distinguish a direction of love. Secondary factors also add, like the protected environment space to develop their articles avoiding bad memories during their first steps and the colllapsible cheatsheet in which they rely instead of their memory. These factors had to overcome the opposite factor of students not seeing their teacher contribute enough, creating articles selected by heart, and take example. Waiting to see their articles uploaded in the school's page has also played its part, as well as giving stars for their contribution early, something we noticed lately.
- The first thing we did for following-up was to call students with recent and old contribution for a beer just before December 2015 Christmas holidays, and we had a gothering of near 25 Wikipedians. Next is an article contest, using money of the current program not spent yet, as prizes.
- The second half part of the lessons creates an inner value inside students, and yes, there were obvious observations and testimonies, during the courses and in private. Paradise and Hell story was the one students mentioned when they kept calm when old editors interfered improperly with their contribution. Ethics created by this work inside the group allowed for rethinking and readjusting after a strong content conflict, in a case recently.
- In some extent, and under the supervision of the school principal, we also worked with 2nd Gymnasium of Kaisariani students on behavior in Wikipedia, emotion handling etc and this proved to be important in more than contributing. More than 20 schools participated in the school contest and 2nd Gymnasium of Kaisariani participated with two teams, each producing by far more articles and photos than the other schools. Seeing this, the terms of the contest were changed by its organizers during the evaluation of the deliverables and only the main article was finally rated. Our students were so much disappointed that the school principal had to send a formal complaining letter to the organizers. I also had to deal with kids' faces towards the floor. I personally had let the students and professors of 2nd Gymnasium of Kaisariani deal with the contest themselves, and did not correct their mistakes in the articles in order to avoid giving them more advantage. The article mistakes played an important role giving me arguments, but if the school classes were only technical instructions on writing articles we might have failed on dealing with this, and I think we managed well. For the record, one of the two teams of 2nd Gymnasium of Kaisariani shared the third place in the contest winners along with Karlovasion Gymnasium of Samos island.
- It is true I was asked from schools that took part in the competition, to provide education material (work sheets) to begin their own program. Making more of this material that follows the guidance of work sheets for normal education program, by setting learning targets, making them unambiguous, attractive etc, would help scaling up with less effort, along with competitions announced early. Secondly it might be an advantage that computer labs of greek schools are not in a good condition and this might allow to ask for funding from local big institutions to enhance school computer labs that would in addition add value making school students capable of editing Wikipedia. Part of the funding could be used to help Wikipedia instructors with small fees.
- A safe editing space is Wikipedia School of Kaisariani itself. It is a nice, new and clean school, which as a school is generally felt as a safe place, and we are provided a guard while we are having our classes. Our lessons are warm in heart and welcome and we sometimes form a group circle to work things. The message of the school that brings people in feels safe enough for all to come and participate. During the autumn-winter 2015 period though we noticed that beautiful young women watching classes might be a thing to need additional attention in next classes. Safety of the nursery article gardens, along with the antibodies cultivated during classes to not let newcomers feel like being bitten by other fellow contributors, and letting them understand through exercises how not applying critique on person helps (in order to keep them on the safety path), along with their teacher support, probably provide an adequate level of a safety for someone's first steps in Wikipedia.
- The site that hosts our calling for volunteers is really a site for volunteers and the job seeking site is just chanelling the calling to the right place. Bottom line: as known, women volunteers are a lot more than men so they respond more, even if it is known that women are a bit more unemployed than men. If contributing is to be connected more to voluntarism, meaning production of value to the society where needed, for which women seem to care more than men, we might have interesting results.
- Yes, it was a good idea, as students were seeking to see their articles uploaded in the school's page. I had time to do this only once or twice a month this year and I think it has costed us a little.
- It is better to stick with project metrics than global metrics. There were students who were already active Wikipedians and global metrics were affected, as they were not filtered out.
We are glad you liked our effort, approach and results. December 2015 contribution was a really good peak for the school, which has posponed its activities until March 2016. We are submitting for reallocation of funds not spent yet to hold a competition that will sustain editing (we hope) during this time period.