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CIS-A2K/Education Program/Comments & Ideas

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This page aims to bring together all ideas and comments that individual community members have for the next India Education Pilot.

Over the past few weeks I've been talking 1-on-1 with community members from India (I was able to talk with 12 of them) about how they think we should design and implement the next phase of India Education Pilot. I also went through some of the Wiki pages where Indian and global community members had left comments, ideas and their opinions on how the program should be structured and executed.

I've tried to collate and create a synopsis of all these comments that we received from 1-on-1 conversations + various talk pages. Talk pages that I looked at include: (Please let me know if I have left out any)

For the sake of simplicity I've divided these comments and ideas into 23 different broad categories like: what language should we do it in, high school V/S university, scale of the project, selection of students, higher standards of selection & training CAs and so on. You'll observe that many suggestions and comments are different from each other and at times even contradictory.

Higher Involvement from Community Members[edit]

Inputs Source
Make local communities true stakeholders throughout the process. Tory Read report/talk page
Listen carefully to them as they bring a set of ideas, experiences which would not probably come from other stakeholders. Tory Read report/talk page
They can provide opportunities, point out threats and stand behind the project locally all of which may be necessary. Tory Read report/talk page
You may succeed without local community support but your chances of going astray or not succeeding are also greater. Tory Read report/talk page
Broadcast information about the pilot project on village pumps, notice boards and mailing lists, and include links to key planning documents and discussion pages. Keep the native Wikipedia community informed of deadlines and progress against goals. Tory Read report/talk page
Existing and aspiring CAs in Pune work on Wikipedia, with experienced editors serving as their mentors. Tory Read report/talk page
Consult with the community before, during and after the project. This means posting and responding to community concerns in highly visible fora. User talk Pages
  • Be as transparent as you can be. Even the one-on-one discussions you're having with community members about IEP should be made public.
  • Send a call for participation invite on the mailing list. Volunteers can choose what they'd want to help out with - designing the program, training CAs/OAs etc.
1-on-1 conversations
  • Community member should be able to speak with - course co-ordinator, CAs, OAs, and the person who says that article is ready for mainspace inclusion.
  • Global community members should mentor students 1-1 about WP culture, WP editing and not only specific to the program.
  • You should have a platform for editor to step in make their little contribution and walk out. Make it easier for editors to get involved. Break down tasks - check images, referenced are corrected, there should be a project co-ordinator who should check before moving into article mainspace. Anyone who wants to contribute should be able to do so. Come in - do some work - and step out!
  • Community should get complete view from beginning to end. Like you do in project methodology. You need to point out what is the beginning state? What will be the end state? What are the deliverable? This kind of approach will force you to structure well. Even if you conduct an experiment it should be done in a structured fashion. You need to create a complete view or methodology. Getting methodology wrong is wrong - and thats what happened last time. We clearly need to state how journey begins - how journey will end - and them make the journey path. Build a plan and an end report - leave statistics, results, metrics blank. The structure your overall project plan.
  • Let the communication be done with one person that community believes in that is you. When Hisham comes in whatever he says is examined. Majority of answering should be done by you and only at higher level should Hisham come in.
  • Be more open. Listen to the community. They want to be informed. They want to come in and put their 2 bits and want to be engaged. You need to listen, reply, that kind of thing and all.
1-on-1 conversations
We need to get Indian community support from the heart. Still a lot of people talk against it but we have to change their mindsets. We should be more transparent with the India community. A lot of them were complaining that all decisions were taken on CA mailing list. This time we should also post our decisions on wiki. 1-on-1 conversations
  • Contact SIG in which u intend to do the program
  • basic editing and trainig to CAs should be done by "friendly" experienced editors
  • should have more on wiki communication
  • all decisions to be made on Wiki
  • We should have tea house kind of project for IEP students - a common place for students to write their questions where community members can respond.
1-on-1 conversations
  • Have total transparency in the project - from the very beginning.
  • Make it human - such as having leaderboards of actual contributions, profiles of teachers and students, who is who on the project, etc. Get students to be aware of each other's contributions from same and other colleges.
  • Have an on wiki place for discussions amongst students, etc. to sort out their own problems. The best learning can happen among themseleves. Also, it helps to have a central page for the community to monitor and give help.
  • Engage with the community but don't feel that you have to listen to everyone. You need to take decisions and while dialogue is important, you will often not get consensus.
  • Acknowledge that it is a tough project and put a dedicated staff resource on it
  • Do it in Delhi to reduce travel costs (which is something the community will hold against the project if there is major flights involved for staff.) Does acknowledge that the lack of a community in Delhi is counterpoint to this.
1-on-1 conversations
  • Keep everything transparent
  • Do more on-wiki discussions. Only reminders should be sent on mailing list but all dicussion to happen on wiki.
  • Start discussion on wiki for a time frame where everyone can put their comments.
  • Engage active editors on their talk pages specially the ones who helped IEP last time around. Send them a personalized invitation like "Thank you for helping us detect plagiarized content last time around and helping the CAs. We're starting the discussion for next IEP and would love to hear your suggestions and opinion. Here is the link to the discussion page." Send these invites manually and do not use bots. Write as personalized notes as possible.
1-on-1 conversations
  • More editing hours from community members to CAs
  • Experienced editors to train CAs
  • Higher interaction between CAs and community
  • CAs should submit regular performance report to community members
  • start on wiki decision but you guys (Foundation) should take the call since each community member would have 1000 ways and suggestions
1-on-1 conversations

Higher Level of communication between CAs & OAs[edit]

Inputs Source
Direct communication between CAs and Oas Tory Read report/talk page
Develop streamlined communication mechanisms so OAs and CAs can work together efficiently. Tory Read report/talk page

Higher standards of selection & training CAs[edit]

Inputs Source
Encourage more main space edits from the Cas Tory Read report/talk page
500 edits may be a challenging goal, but it's actually the number Wikipedians require for other Wikipedians to sign up as mentors; see en:Wikipedia:Adopt-a-user/Adopter's Area.The edit threshold needs to be tempered a bit to encourage people to sign up, but ensure they have enough experience to be of good help to their classes. Project talk pages
Don't underestimate how much experience is needed on Wikipedia. - Once they were chosen as CAs, did anyone look over their previous edits and give them feedback before expecting them to to start approving article topics and mentoring other students? Maybe this happens offline (which it shouldn't), but I doubt it since the copyvio was fairly long-standing (from the summer) and none of the CAs went back to repair their mistakes. Project talk pages
CAs obviously haven't had adequate training in spotting copyvio, Project talk pages
Must to have CAs who have reasonable experience in editing wikipedia. India mailing list
I would say make CAs as wikipedians with atleast 500+ edits on en.wiki to give them a flavor of complexities in enwiki before they help out others. In other words, start early on CA's get more commitment early on, that before they go ahead and preach("teach") they practice("edit") enough. India mailing list
For future extensions of the project, it is paramount that the Indian Campus Ambassadors are more accurately selected and trained, and have an adequate working knowledge of editing and basic policies. Signpost article/talk page
Train CAs in Wikipedia culture and policies, creating and editing articles, interacting on talk pages and where to go to get help. Train them to identify copyvios and plagiarized content. Tory Read report/talk page
Require that professors and CAs edit on Wikipedia as the semester progresses, because students look to them as role models. Tory Read report/talk page

Intensive training for students[edit]

Inputs Source
Altre the training module so that students are told the importance of talk pages and protocol of communication on wiki Tory Read report/talk page
In the case of the IEP students should have been warned about copyright prior to starting editing, so I think we ought to just dispense with warnings and block students caught adding copyvios. or Fail the project Tory Read report/talk page
A common theme among the students spoken to after the program seems to be that they didn't think of Wikipedia as "real", that they didn't understand that real people were looking at their production, and that their mindset was that copyvios didn't actually matter much. I think we'd get more benefit from offering an onwiki warning highlighting the truth of these facts than we would from just immediately putting the students into a block-based no man's land on their first infraction. Tory Read report/talk page
Wikipedia should be presented as a community which they are invited to join and work with, a complex community of thousands of people with a ten-year history and its own ways of doing things. They should be able to understand that view, because they all have recent experience of joining another community - their college - and having to find out how to get along with its ways of doing things. Tory Read report/talk page
Design detailed, face-to-face lessons on copyvio and plagiarism for students and professors, and teach the skills of citation, paraphrasing and the acceptable and unacceptable ways to reflect copied text and ideas in Wikipedia articles. Tory Read report/talk page
Include a research phase for students so they are knowledgeable about their topic before they begin to write. Tory Read report/talk page

Need for tools[edit]

Inputs Source
Provide a dashboard where the pending articles and tasks can be listed for normal wikimedians to participate too. Tory Read report/talk page
I'd like to add that one admin specifically requested that WMF support new tools for New Page Patrol and the cleanup system. Tory Read report/talk page
Perhaps should wait until the new 'new user' and page patrolling systems are up and running, and CorenBot is back in service. Project talk page
A solution for CorenSearchBot must be found quickly - this tool had become an essential aid for locating copyvio. Project talk page
It would be good if the tool at http://toolserver.org/~fschulenburg/student-o-meter.php (Student-O-meter) could be developed as quickly as possible for the IEP students' and CAs' articles. Project talk page
A via-media is to run all submission through some

http://turnitin.com/ type system to check. || India mailing list

I'd like to echo Kudpung's concern that we need to get CorenSearchBot back up and running as soon as possible. Signpost talk page/talk page
It is equally imperative that new editors can benefit from user friendly page creation tools, and that a much improved system for the control of new pages along with a replacement for CorenSearchBot are made available to page patrollers as soon as possible – the next wave of Indian students and their ambassadors is going to need them. Signpost article/talk page
Create an accurate, machine-readable list of students, usernames and article topics. Tory Read report/talk page
Provide a machine readable, accurate and comprehensive list of all students. User talk pages

Userspace to mainspace transition[edit]

Inputs Source
The userspace to mainspace transition can be used to control this. Have two models: Articles on new topics can be developed in userspace and passed before moving. Specific information added to existing articles be placed on talk pages, asking normal Wikipedians to approve the edits before merging Tory Read report/talk page
but we cannot have copyright material anywhere in Wikipedia, not even in sandboxes, not even temporarily. Project talk page
Professors should review student contributions before they go into article space - that way we can know whether the problem is with the students or with the professors. Signpost article/talk page

Careful selection of students[edit]

Inputs Source
It is essential that students who are to contribute to en:wp should have reasonably fluent written English. Tory Read report/talk page
completely ignored one basic premise. "Quality of Indian Students & Faculty". If you dont select only the interested / qualified ones, we will fail again miserably, no matter how many ambassadors are there. India mailing list
"Probably the students in the program must be selected how ambassadors were selected in Pune and then try the pilot with 20-30 *interested* students/faculty instead of heading to a college, pushing through top management of College " India mailing list
Also certain level of competence is required for article creation (or even basic editing for that matter), I think we need to acknowledge it and shouldnt just be going around with the notion "Everyone can edit" simply without adding a pinch of Salt. India mailing list
As might the idea of pairing/twining either the students together (they check each other) or student with current editor (which may have already failed). India mailing list
The project should target better collection of students. This may be done by targeting top institutes, such as Indian Institute of Technology or Indian Institute of Management or institutes of such stature. Although some universities included in this pilot project could be quite good, (and of course some students must have done fabulous jobs), the middle grade institutes like Symbiosis would mostly present mediocre students. Now, one or two or a few students even from such institutes may be really good contributor, but to increase the probability of getting contributors, better institutes need to be targeted. Signpost article/ talk page
Target advanced undergraduates. Tory Read report/talk page
Target students who already write well in English. Professors and school directors suggested that students majoring in social sciences, humanities and economics are most likely to have this skill. Tory Read report/talk page
Attract talented students by highlighting the aspects of doing the assignment that attracted the students who succeeded in the first pilot project: Reaching a global audience, getting feedback on work from global editors, learning to collaborate and learning research and writing skills. Tory Read report/talk page
Ensure that students are capable computer users, have clue, demonstrate English language competency and have access to the necessary software. User talk pages

Scale of the project[edit]

Inputs Source
This large disparity of class sizes means that an Indian professor will need much more support. (It's notable that two of the most successful education programs are those of User:Jbmurray and User:JimmyButler, two extremely hands-on teachers with smallish classes). Tory Read report/talk page
The whole idea of a pilot is that it is small, contained, and doesn't risk resources Project talk page
*Keep the number low* - The next round should have less than 50 students. No classwide / collegewide blanket programs. Make this a "interested students only" program. We have clearly demonstrated there is no manpower to handle anything more. We have about exhausted the goodwill of the en wiki community. If this repeats, you are looking at a wholesale blocks for the students and IP addresses. India mailing list
Go back to the drawing board. Dont start with 1000. not even a 100, start with a 50. India mailing list
Having said that we should have looked at much lower student numbers. India mailing list
Small class sizes and close prof / TA involvement is *vital* for getting good Wikipedia articles Signpost article/talk page
Project size should be limited, say to 100 students, until a fully successful project has been completed. Signpost article/talk page
Projects need to start small in each new market to see what the issues will be before expanding. Signpost article/talk page
The idea is good, it's a question of scale. There needs to be more one-on-one hand-holding, content creator to content creator, and less throwing shit against the wall and letting quality control supervisors pick through it for copy vio. That's not gonna work. Scale it back, keep it going. And hurray for the good Indian contributors. Signpost article/talk page
Keep the phase-two pilot small. Tory Read report/talk page
Acknowledge that in most cases, support from the Wikipedia community is the limiting resource. Do not expand programs beyond what the community can handle. In fact, we're already past that point. In the case of the IEP, maybe a 80% haircut in student numbers (90% if the below suggestion is not followed). For the USEP, maybe a 25% reduction. User talk pages

Contacting Admins & WP:Projects[edit]

Inputs Source
WikiProjects could have been a valuable resource in planning the IEP project had anyone thought to consult them. There probably should have been some kind of contact made on the Administrators' Noticeboard too, once the IEP began (perhaps there was and I missed it?) They're the ones who will be deleting articles. If they knew the background, they might have userfied more of the poor or inappropriate articles (although obviously not the copyvio ones) rather simply deleting them. As of now, userfication of these sub-standard articles has been very hit or miss. Project talk page
I hope too that when the IEP gets back on the horse, the organisers will reach out to the subject-specialised WikiProjects who could have provided an enormous amount of help and advice, but were never even contacted. Please don't ignore that valuable resource. Signpost article/talk page
Communicate regularly with editors in relevant WikiProjects and maintenance-based projects. Tory Read report/talk page
Connect professors to editors in relevant WikiProjects so they can work together to select topics for student articles. Tory Read report/talk page

Lower students to CA ratio[edit]

Inputs Source
The ratio of students to CAs is way too high in some courses. keep lower ratios Project talk page
*The CA to student ratio has to be 5 to 1. *Anything more seems to non-workable. Online Ambassadors/mentors are not handholders and error correctors. I signed up to be an online ambassador. But stopped reading the IEP mails that were sent to me after i realised, that the IEP program essentially wanted to me to do the students' work. Project talk page
A high ratio of ambassadors to students in smaller pilot projects is essential. Signpost article/talk page
The ratio of newbie content-creators to mentors should be no greater than 5-to-1, I'll say that for sure Signpost article/talk page
Have reasonable CA-to-student and OA-to-student ratios. Tory Read report/talk page

Careful selection of faculty[edit]

Inputs Source
instructors should be actively encouraged to use Wikipedia as a class assignment only if they are willing to roll up their sleeves, gain adequate editing experience first, and then work side-by-side with their students for the duration of the assignment in the articles themselves, on their project's talk page, and on the relevant talk pages of editors, admins, and WikiProjects, answering questions and responding to the issues raised. They shouldn't be relying on the CAs to do their work for them, and frankly they shouldn't be setting an assignment when they haven't an understanding of what using this medium (Wikipedia) as an assignment really involves. The truly successful projects of this type have had hands-on instructors, or at least ones who are willing to communicate openly on Wikipedia (not via email or IRC), and take responsibility for issues arising from the work they've set. Project talk page
We want some more participation from the Teachers, so that the articles are checked regularly. India mailing list
70 dedicated students across 3 Wikipedia-savvy professors would have done far more good than a giant haphazard program, I'm sure. If Wikipedia absolutely had to be part of a large class project... I'd still want to break it down into "labs" where a TA has a responsibility to chat with a specific set of 15-20 students, and check their work. Example
Choose professors who can write well in English, have deep content expertise, want to work on Wikipedia, want to engage with students on talk pages and understand that the task involves continuous evaluation over the course of the semester. Tory Read report/talk page
Require that professors and CAs edit on Wikipedia as the semester progresses, because students look to them as role models. Tory Read report/talk page
Professors get more experience editing articles, interacting on talk pages and selecting viable article topics for the next cohort of students. Tory Read report/talk page
Encourage professors to contribute to Wikipedia and become established editors before the program starts. Those that are willing to put in the effort should be prioritized. User talk page

Optional assignment[edit]

Inputs Source
Perhaps in the future these Wikipedia assignments could be made optional by the instructors, with an alternative form of assessment available to students who are not comfortable writing in English. Project talk page
but not giving the students a choice of whether or not to do a Wikipedia-based assignment, goes entirely against the ethos of Wikipedia Project talk page
About the student selection in future I think it is better to keep it optional so that we get more QUALITY instead of QUANTITY. India mailing list
I'd suggest not making the project mandatory for a grade, rather make student contributions "extra credit" assignments. Wikipedia has always been about volunteer contributors - there's no reason to change this now. Signpost article/talk page
Expecting and forcing entire classes to contribute is a failed idea; there are probably a serious few in each class of 25 or 50 that will be willing to learn the ropes — these should be encouraged to participate. Forced participation of lower echelon students is going to result in a mess which exceeds benefit created. Signpost article/talk page
Give students a choice between the Wikipedia article and a more traditional assignment. Consider giving students incentive to choose the Wikipedia assignment (extra credit, a certificate). Tory Read report/talk page
Urge that professors make Wikipedia editing assignments voluntary. User talk page
Im not sure about this one. If we make it compulsory students will game the system and do all kind of non-sense activities to get rid of their assignment. On the other side Im not sure if we'll get that much involvement if we make it voluntary. 1-on-1 conversations
Should be made as a voluntary activity that can graded by staff. 1-on-1 conversations
Leave it to the professor. Though, its prefered that the whole class does the assignment. Students should learn about Wikipedia and we should tell them about editing as an additional feature. Those who are interested in editing should come forward to learn more. The game is not to push. 1-on-1 conversations

More on-wiki communication[edit]

Inputs Comments
I never use IRC because I prefer transparent "on the record" communication for issues on Wikipedia. Project talk page
I feel that it's important that both you and Hisham make sure you follow and read all the comments there on a daily basis and start interacting much more on that page. Project talk page
Pilot wiki-based communication channels for CAs and OAs. Tory Read report/talk page
Do not undertake echo chamber "consultation" on obscure mailing lists and quasi-fishbowl wikis which nobody reads on any frequent basis. User talk page

Selection of subjects/articles[edit]

Inputs Source
A more useful approach would be to look for stub articles in the area of interest, which could be expanded. Many WikiProjects have lists of stub articles and articles that need development, and could well be willing to assist. The presence of a stub probably means that somebody has thought this is a notable subject, and that it is not already covered. Project talk page
I suggest that for these students you consider getting them to translate an existing Wikipedia article into one of the Indic language WPs. If a good article from en:wp is chosen, that would strengthen the receiving WP, enable the students to exercise their English in translating without requiring them to undertake the more difficult task of writing English, give them editing experience, give them a sense of achievement, and perhaps lead to them continuing to edit that WP. Project talk page
What we could do is branch out into other streams (other than engineering I mean); Law for example: Why not have law students editing about Intellectual Property Rights (I know the irony we'll have in case we have copyvios out of that). And the course structuring in other colleges are a bit different, so they could accommodate programs like the Wikimedia education programs much easier. India mailing list
Encourage the selection of articles that are less well developed. User talk page


Inputs Comments
We used to have this mainspace-sandbox debate in the US Public Policy program last semester, and we decided that the aim of the program was students getting hands on community experience, and editing first in sandbox will not give that kind of experience to students. However, considering the massive problems we have had to face with India Education Program this year, I think sandbox editing before going to mainspace would work out well here. Also, editing on an enwiki sandbox will enable better feedback from various sources (perhaps from more experienced editors on enwiki), as opposed to a local sandbox, where feedback is only from the selected pool of Online Ambassadors. India mailing list
I think sandbox editing before going to mainspace would work out well here. India mailing list
Have students compose new articles in sandboxes. Tory Read report/talk page

Students blocked without a warning?[edit]

Inputs Source
Unless the students are penalised for plagiarism by being failed in the course, they are not going to change the behaviour." India mailing list
*Penalise those who copy paste* - either they should be failed by their professors. If the professors dont care, drop the program and stop going back to that institution. Wikipedia is a work in progress, we dont need plagiarism by Indian students to shore it up. We are not that desperate. India mailing list
Ensure that students are subject to disciplinary action if they engage in wholesale plagiarism and copyvios, just like they should be for any other assignment. Continually stress this in classes. User talk page

Clear role & responsibilities[edit]

Inputs Source
but it was very difficult to know who was in charge of various parts of the project and whom to address. Signpost article/talk page
publish clear information about each team member's role and responsibilities. Tory Read report/talk page

Overall Program Design[edit]

Inputs Source
Establish core metrics and put systems in place to track them. Do continuous evaluation and course-correct as the pilot unfolds. Tory Read report/talk page
Have a structured, logical sequence of deliverables over the course of the semester. Tory Read report/talk page
Establish benchmarks for all roles, and measure progress against them. Drop people who don't meet benchmarks. Make it clear to students from the beginning that if they copyvio, they will get dropped. Tory Read report/talk page
Use physical course materials and online "how to" videos created for the U.S. program, evaluate their effectiveness with Indian students, and create new materials and videos as necessary to support Indian students. Tory Read report/talk page
Foundation staff and consultants compile and synthesize all constructive input from relevant Wikipedia and Wikimedia communication channels Tory Read report/talk page
Establish transparency and accountability, providing clear channels of communication that can be used when things go wrong. User talk page
Open a request for comment about the program 1.5 months or so before starting it. User talk page
Give concrete start and end dates. No extensions (and if there are, update the pages accordingly). User talk page
Propagate the improvements made to the GEP as a whole. If the same problems occur in another subprogram of the GEP, the Foundation should expect arbitration to stop that subprogram; User talk page

Clear description of OA's role[edit]

Inputs Source
Line up OAs in relevant topic areas before classes begin and give them an accurate job description. Tory Read report/talk page
Recruit and train qualified OAs, and perfect the role. Bear in mind that the OA talent pool is finite. Based on interviews, OAs want to mentor students in content, Wikipedia policy and writing style. They are less interested in cleanup. Tory Read report/talk page

Better co-ordination between SFO & India Teams[edit]

Inputs Source
Improve Coordination Between the San Francisco and India Teams Tory Read report/talk page
On the India side, the India team should communicate clearly and in a timely manner about its decisions and its work on the ground. San Francisco team members aren't clear on how India team members spend their time, and vice versa. The two teams should discuss this, and create descriptions of roles and responsibilities and mutually agreed-upon milestones. The Wikipedia Education Program should post this information on English Wikipedia. Tory Read report/talk page
The Foundation is right to empower locals to lead, but it also has to provide a safety net and step in with relevant knowledge when it's needed Tory Read report/talk page

What language should we do it in?[edit]

Inputs Source
IEP should be bi-lingual. The students should have an option whether they want to do it in their local language or in English. We should do it in Tamil/Malayalam in conjunction with English. The community is string enough to support a program of this scale. 1-on-1 conversations
Should do it in Indic language.
  • Indic Wikipedians highly appreciate when something is done on Indic language Wikipedias.
  • Its not that difficult to edit Indic langauge Wikipedias since they don't have a lot of rules and regulations. Fr example I edit on Gujarati Wikipedia - we just care if content put on an article is a copyvio or not. Or else we don't care if referencing is not done, if inline citation isn't there. Thou, we encourage people to do it but don't care much.
  • A lot of students might also be interested to write in their own language.

Should do it in ML since:

  • They have been doing massive outreach on Wikisource and Wiktionary.
  • Have a strong community
  • A lot of open source advocates
  • I don't have much idea about TA, KN communities.
1-on-1 conversations
English - for sure. English is the way forward. If students want to study in universities, get good jobs they have to comfortable talking in English. Also by contributing on English Wikipedia we'll benefit those living outside of India but are looking for India related content. But we can try doing it in one of the Indian languages as well.
1-on-1 conversations
Depends - if you do the pilot in Kolkata you should do it in English or/and Benagli; if you're running the pilot in Maharashtra you should do it in English and/or Marathi. Doesn't matter if you don't have community members in that city you can fly them down. Let's say you're doing the program in Nasik you can fly people from Mumbai to Nasik. 1-on-1 conversations
  • We should look at Indic and English. Maybe there could be 2 pilots - 1 in English and 1 in Indic.
  • A community like the Malayalam community does not have "awkward tensions" and you need a friendly community to manage the project and newbies. The options that one has Malayalam, Tamil or Bengali.
  • If you are approaching these communities, explicitly take their buy-ins and get them involved from the beginning.
1-on-1 conversations
  • Think Indic languages will be more welcoming and have much less complexity than English - but English can also be looked at. Maybe there could be multiple pilots
  • There is also more stuff to write on Indic that in English.
  • Reach out to local communities beforehand and find out if they are willing to take it up. Avoid the issue in Pune where you did not consult the local community.
1-on-1 conversations
Doing it in an Indian language is not a good idea. There isn't a strong community to support it. In addition to that most of the students studying in school and colleges are more comfortable reading and typing in English. Also, since its called India Education Program - English is one language that binds us all together. If we pick Indian language then we should do pilots in multiple languages (10 students in ML, 10 in GU, 10 in Hi) to make it a pan-India project. 1-on-1 conversations
Any program needs community support both online and offline. We can do it in English since we have sizeable number of English Wikipedia community members in India. However, if we want to do it in an Indic langauge then you can do it ML - since the community size is big and they are ready for such a program. But you cant do it in AS since community is small. BN - is not an option very few are active. It also involves another country which makes it a little more complicated and involves higher risks. TL - the community size is big but not sur if they approve of the program.

And if we do it in Kerela we can do it in both - EN and ML in 2 different schools.

1-on-1 conversations
As an internet using generation students will be more comfortable in English. So don't give up on English for sure. But on the same side there is a lot of scope to be worked on in Indic as well. SO maybe in the same class you should give an option so that students can choose whichever language they'd like to write in. 1-on-1 conversations
We should do it in language which is not fairly active. Very active communities are very sensitive too. Working with an active community will bring in a lot of acquisitions. It will be safer if we work with a relatively inactive/growing community like Hindi or Odia. We should not go for any community which is more active than Odia. On the other side communities which are inactive also have a huge potential to growth. 1-on-1 conversations
Most of the people surfing on internt today are relatively more comfortable typing in English. Typing in Indian language might be a problem for a lot of students. However, you can relax the rules a bit and give an option to the students to choose the language in which they want to edit. If they are comfortable in Marathi they should go for that option if not, English 1-on-1 conversations
My recommendation would be English.
  • English Wikipedia ha s a lot of complexities
  • Once comfortable here they can go to any Indic Wikipedia and edit
  • There are lot of rules and eyeballs
  • Can easily absorb the students


  • Only knows 5 pillars
  • Do not have enough WPs
  • No Indic is going to get a job because he knows an Indic language. He will get a job because he is proficient in English.
1-on-1 conversations

Should we do it in high school or university level?[edit]

Inputs Source
We should do it in 8th-12th grade where students are studying at least two languages English and regional language. Students should be given the option of editing in either.
  • In school students have a more focused goal since they have 10th & 12th board exams.
  • However in the middle of all this they want to do something fun and relaxing which could be the Wikipedia assignment.
  • Students are also capable of understanding finer details
  • Maturity level doesn't not increase as soon as your in college until you reach your final year stage when you have to start looking for a job or start analyzing the real world. Until that point in life the outlooks remains the same.
  • College students are not disciplined and they are more interested in multi tasking and have varied interest.
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Should do it in school
  • but not in 10th or 12th - students are busy with boards
  • in 9th or 11th classes
  • work well under the pressure of profs and parents
  • care about marks
  • need to perform well
  • they will start early age editing
  • I fear that they might not be that mature - but we can help them understand how important Wikipedia is and what all has been invested to make what it is today so that they dont mess with it.

Not college because:

  • dont give a shit about professors
  • dont care about 15-20 marks.
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Not sure. But undergraduate students would be more comfortable writing the assignment in English however high school students could be asked to write in Indic language. 1-on-1 conversations
Should do it in a school (8-12 grade) as students are more receptive to new ways of doing things. By college students have already framed their mind and are opinionated about what they like and what they don't. It becomes difficult for them also to think from NPOV. 1-on-1 conversations
  • Don't go below 10th, but school is a good option. 11th or 12standard have the "right incentive"; 11th more so than 12th.
  • Look at post graduate more than others - as the students have the maturity to handle the kind of work that is involved.
1-on-1 conversations

We can try doing it in high school

  • 8th, 9th or 11th standard
  • could try in history, geography - so that students can add India related content and there is a lot of scope of expansion in these subject areas.
  • thou i doubt the quality of edits coming from high school
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We should do it in High School.
  • From my past experience I know many of the current Wikipedians started editing when they were in school. So maybe you have a high probability of converting high school kids to long term editors.
  • Even in ML Wikipedia high school students have been working fairly well on Wikisource.
  • These students have the maturity level to understand and handle a Wikipedia assignment. They are the generation of Facebook.
1-on-1 conversations
Not sure. But undergraduate students would be more comfortable writing the assignment in English however high school students could be asked to write in Indic language. 1-on-1 conversations
I'm not sure about this one. Though if you look at the global editors most of them are high school students. However, the quality of high school students from India is relatively low. It might be a little difficult to penetrate into the high schools segment. But you never know. I cant be sure. 1-on-1 conversations
You could do it in school level as well. Students are more diligent and hardworking. However if you also look at MA students to contribute in subjects like History or Geography that might have a lot of content to add because they have studies the subject in greater detail. Also MA students are used to writing competitive exams - their hold on English will be better, they'll more more mature as well. 1-on-1 conversations
If we run this program at high school we'll need another pilot. You'll have to start with a clean slate and re-think in a way that you haven't done any program before. You can't apply university learning at a school level. You have experimented with university and learnined a lot of stuff - reapply these learnings in another university. 1-on-1 conversations

Careful Selection of subject area[edit]

Inputs Source
Choose classes in subjects that are underrepresented on English Wikipedia. Tory Read report/talk page
Since we are doing it at the school level where students are studying all subjects they should be given the option of doing it in any subject (Commerce, Arts, History, Geography). However we should encourage them to pick more Indian centric articles so that we can increase the quality of these articles. 1-on-1 conversations
Students should be given the options of browsing the subjects areas and choose to write in whatever subject/topic that they like to. We should be just the medium of giving them options but they should be free to write on any subject. 1-on-1 conversations
Look at the statistics to analyse the subject area that is not well covered on Wikipedia. Students should have enough number of articles to choose from which are currently not well covered/documented. However, we shouldn't give a very broad topic to students like History, Geography - we should narrow it down for thew or else the might feel lost. We shouldn't let them loose but guide them. 1-on-1 conversations
Indian content for sure. Could be Indian biographies, places, literature etc. Example
  • Think you should not look only at India related topics. In Indic languages, you can pretty much write about ANYTHING. For sure, in English, you will be better off writing on topics with an Indian angle or improving the sections of Indian context in articles.
  • Tend to agree that we should avoid engineering and look more at humanities - but that logic does not hold good if one is doing in Indic languages.
1-on-1 conversations
  • Think you should look at subjects where writing and (even if it is only) some amount of research is an important part of the course, such as arts. Avoid engineering because they are just not into writing for their courses.
  • Look at subjects with a social cause to document and provide accessible information as a good complimentarity with a wikipedia project.
1-on-1 conversations
If we do in High school, we should do it in Geography or History so that students can add more Indian context. We should definitely not go for Engineering studnets because most of the articles are very well covered. 1-on-1 conversations
We should do it in non-tech and non-science subject areas. If a student converts English science words into an Indic language he faces a lot problems because many times he doesn't know the equivalent Indian word for it. Arts and humanities articles on the other side are easy to contribute to. And more so these articles on well covered on Wikipedia. 1-on-1 conversations
Subject selection should be their own though I dont know how well would it go with the professors because they have to grade the students. But if we work with an English professor then her students can select whatever article they'd like. 1-on-1 conversations
If we choose Wiktionary or Wikisource then it doesn't need to be subject bound. 1-on-1 conversations
You should not pick a very basic topic like software engineering since most of the articles are well covered. Im not sure about humanities and other courses. 1-on-1 conversations
Mathematical technologies is not suitable for Wikipedia since it has a lot of equations. Science/Engineering topics are more suitable, specially if a MA student is writing these since they have deeper understanding of the subject. Students should be given the option of full blast of international and global articles to select from. If they write only about Indian content they'll be limiting themselves. 1-on-1 conversations