Grants talk:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Wiki Education Annual Plan Grant

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Question about infrastructure[edit]

@LiAnna (Wiki Ed): Thanks for the proposal. As I was going through it, I was hoping if you could point out what the (estimated) portion of the budget is that goes towards making your tool(s) available to the wider Wikimedia community. While I encourage you to use a definition that is convenient to you to collect the number for, I would imagine something along the lines of 'all costs that are spent/invested to maintain, scale, upgrade and adapt the tool that would not be spent/invested if it were only used in your own projects'. Thanks in advance! Effeietsanders (talk) 15:02, 22 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for the question, Effeietsanders! The budget document asks for $150,000 for technology spending; generally, this is the total we anticipate spending in 2022 dedicated to the P&E Dashboard that we would not otherwise spend if we were just focusing on our own technical needs; our entire technical budget is nearly double that. The other half will be spent to develop/maintain technical tools we use for our own projects. --LiAnna (Wiki Ed) (talk) 18:00, 22 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


@LiAnna (Wiki Ed): In the proposal you mention (...) student editors, who typically don’t stick around after the conclusion of their assignment (...). Do you have a ballpark estimate for retention of student editors significantly beyond the completion of their assignment, and any understanding of how dependent those rates are on efforts from your side to retain them? Effeietsanders (talk) 15:12, 22 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Effeietsanders: Sadly, the demise of the WikiMetrics tool has removed the easy way I used to run long term student editor retention numbers every term, so I don't have a good sense of our exact percentage anymore. Since we spend no effort to retain them beyond a generally encouraging message (we instead spend significant effort instead to retain good instructors, who bring a fresh crop of student editors each term), we haven't prioritized developing an easy way to measure this. I can tell you when I used to look this up on WikiMetrics 6 months after the end of each term, we'd usually have about 1% of students being retained, plus another percentage widely varying each term who looked retained but were actually just taking another class with a Wikipedia assignment supported by us the next term. Please let me know if you're aware of a tool to measure long-term retention (Event Metrics and the Dashboard's retention metrics are both optimized for edit-a-thons and only check 7 days after the conclusion of an event, whereas I am more interested in 6 months; 7 days in an education program can just be submitting the assignment late). --LiAnna (Wiki Ed) (talk) 18:15, 22 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't know of such a tool either, but if you have a list of contributors, it should be possible to write a python script for it. 1% is comparable with some other programs, but it depends on the definitions. I don't know if 1% is that bad, actually! But that is more a personal opinions :) It may be a relatively easy feature to add to your dashboard, I suspect (compared to building something new), but that is not why I was asking :). Effeietsanders (talk) 20:34, 22 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Question about community engagement[edit]

In response to the community engagement question, you responded about your work on the dashboard. Am I correct in understanding that no attempt was made to engage (relevant) community input and feedback on this proposal, or perhaps in the annual plan/strategy development that led to it? Thanks! Effeietsanders (talk) 17:58, 22 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ah thanks for the opportunity to clarify that! I had focused more on the Dashboard in that question since that's the bulk of the Wikimedia community engagement work we did. Of course we also engage our program participant community as well. At the higher-level plan and strategy level, our Board was intricately involved in developing the strategy, and we provide a first draft of the annual plan each year to the Board, take their input and feedback, and create the final version then that incorporates their feedback. At the more detailed level of how we support program participants, we run extensive surveys of participants throughout the term. Every training module has a feedback request at the end of it, so students and our Scholars & Scientists participants are encouraged to provide feedback on the quality of the training modules and where they're still confused. We monitor the input we get on this channel and make edits to our support materials based on the input we get there. We also run end of course surveys of both instructors who teach in the Student Program and participants in the Scholars & Scientists program. These extensive surveys ask lots of questions about our work and our support of program participants; through the feedback we get on these, we make plans to adapt the support we're providing to meet needs. (We also ask questions about their perceptions of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia community; we shared those results at WikiCon North America). We host regular Office Hours for instructors participating in the Student Program to give them a chance to ask questions, and we take the questions and confusion points people bring to these video calls into account as we adapt our support materials. Finally, we regularly monitor the Education Noticeboard on English Wikipedia to address the concerns of the editing community, ensuring we're intervening into any problem classes. All of these inputs are central to the internal annual planning work we do as staff to ensure that our plan for the year (and thus the proposal we put forth here) address the needs of our community. --LiAnna (Wiki Ed) (talk) 18:27, 22 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

General Support Fund proposal approved in the amount of 500,000 USD[edit]

Congratulations! Your grant is approved in the amount of 500,000 USD for your first year with a grant term starting 1 January 2022 and ending 31 December 2023.

The Wiki Education Foundation is doing great work, and has adapted well to the changed circumstances, with some tough choices and changes. The Committee especially appreciates the efforts to diversify funding with external funds, revenue-generating activities and the efforts put into tooling such as the Dashboard that benefits the entire movement. The organization and its staff seem qualified and well placed to execute the proposed program.

The committee has little concerns with the specifics of the proposal, but does have some concerns over the increasingly large budget footprint that the grantee has compared to the remaining grantees from the US/Canada region, especially as other grantees mature. While education programs are important in our movement, we can't justify a continued growth at this rate under the General Support Fund, given limitations in the extent to which we are able to grow the available funding for this region. Due to these factors, the Wiki Education Foundation may have reached a ceiling. The committee therefore makes the following remarks:

  • We encourage the Wikimedia Foundation to support and facilitate the Wiki Education Foundation in their fundraising efforts (to the extent this does not happen already).
  • We would like to consider ways that budget components that are primarily supporting other movement affiliates to be more effective/efficient are treated separately.

Given these considerations, the committee recommends:

  • 2-year funding at $500,000 for the general budget
  • While this funding is unrestricted, the committee expresses its understanding and recommends that this include $150,000 for technology infrastructure that directly benefits other affiliates (Dashboard) and that attempts may be made to fund this through another granting method if this becomes a possibility.
  • Wiki Education Foundation can elect to apply for a budget increase in their second year, rather than to continue with the approved funding in its second year. This may allow for a re-evaluation when the dust in the new grant landscape has settled.

We look forward to working together with you to support your current and future initiatives in education and technology. On behalf of the Regional Committee, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 23:07, 15 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]