Learning and Evaluation/L&E Workshop Kits/Fail Fest/uk

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Quick Links
Правила для Фестивалю невдач
  1. Do not record stories. This means no tweeting quotes or making videos.
  2. Laugh at stories, not people. We are not here to make fun of anyone.
  3. Keep your story short. Give everyone a chance to talk
  4. Questions should only ask for clarity. This is not an interrogation.
  5. Keep an open mind and seek to contribute to shared learning and problem solving.
Starter phrases for telling a failure story
  1. We planned this thing: ___________________________________________________________________________
  2. This is how we knew it wasn’t working: ___________________________________________________________________________
  3. We think that this went wrong: ___________________________________________________________________________
  4. Here is how to fix it: ___________________________________________________________________________
Form for writing a Learning Pattern

Learning Patterns are templates that help program leaders share knowledge across programs. These are the items you have to think about:

  • Problem statement: _________________________________________________________________________
  • Solution statement: _________________________________________________________________________
    • Things to consider: ________________________________________________________________________
    • When to use: _____________________________________________________________________________
  • Endorsements: _____________________________________________________________________________
  • See also
    • Related patterns
    • External links
    • References

Go to Learning Pattern Library Download Learning Pattern + Fail Story templates


« It's a failure only if you don't get anything out of it, Thomas Edison said he knew 999 ways that a light bulb did not work; yet we have lights today. »

— Ben Carson, Take The Risk (p. 36)

This interactive 90 minute workshop demonstrates the importance of learning from failure and provides an opportunity for Wikimedia project leaders to learn from each other.

Participants learn how fail fests are accelerating knowledge sharing and innovation through a safe and structured peer learning exchange.

Course goals
  • Participants will find value in learning from failure.
  • Participants will learn, practice and gain comfort in sharing stories of failure.
  • Participants will learn how to easily share learning through creating learning patterns.
Target Audience

The audience for this workshop are program and chapter leaders who wish to share what they learned executing a program or activity. It is likely that participants will represent both volunteers and some chapter staff.

Ideal for a group of (10 - 20).

Hosting and Activities Logistics

Fail Fest is a peer learning session that can be facilitated by Wikimedia Community Leaders.
Is is appropriate as a conference format or can be used as a tool for curating knowledge in any community.

Room Requirements
  • Ideal room set-up is round tables with 6 - 8 people.
  • Computer/LCD Projector with speakers required.
  • Paper Chart for posting ground rules
  • Wifi
  • Markers

Supplies and Materials
  • Fail Fest Reference Guide for each Participant
  • Learning Pattern Templates (2 - 3) for each table of 6
  • Fail Fest Facilitator-Certificate of Appreciation


Chocolate Chip Cookies for Participants.

Course Agenda [1]
Time Module
10 minutes Overview and the Fail Fest Frame
10 minutes Opening Fail Fest Story
30 minutes Peer Sharing Process
30 minutes Learning Pattern Creation
10 minutes Reflections and Next Steps

Fail Fest

The workshop consist of outlining the power of failure stories to prompt innovation and the rich sharing of experiences by Wikimedia leaders, who tried something that didn’t work as they had planned and their reflection on what they would do differently.

Be prepared to learn, laugh, lead and listen to the failures and lessons learned, so as a movement we can fail fast and grow faster through shared learning and problem solving.

Go to slides on Drive «A salute to failure» Download Learning Pattern + Fail Story templates Create an etherpad for the workshop

  • Be prepared to share or reach out to community leaders who can think about a story of failure to launch the peer exchange. (Use the guide to Fail Fest Storytelling ) as a Frame.
  • A sample letter to participants can be used if you know who the participants are in advance.
  • Review the Fail Fest Quick Reference Guide for Sharing Failures and Creating Learning Patterns
  • Print off the template for Learning Patterns (1 or 2 per table)
  • Supplies:
    • LCD Projector with Speaker
    • Round Tables
    • Fail Fest Quick Reference Guide
    • Learning Pattern Templates (3 - 4 per table)
    • Chocolate Chip Cookies for Participants (Connected with a story shared in the module about failure).
  • Post the Ground Rules for Fail Fest on a Paper Chart
  • Play the multi-media with stories and quotes of famous failures. Have this playing as participants arrive to set the mood. (Link to be provided).
  • Bring Chocolate Chip Cookies if you can (They will be enjoyed and are linked to a story of failure)
  • Use slides and instructional guidance provided in the notes to facilitate your session.
  • Keep program on time with the agenda suggested to insure sufficient time for peer sharing and capturing of the knowledge pattern.
  • Have participants complete session evaluation.
  • Post Learning Pattern in the Learning Pattern Library.
  • Collect Evaluations
  1. Breaks may vary from site to site according to local guidelines or class preference.

About this journal

Use this learning journal to capture your Ah Ha Ideas and next steps to apply course content to your Wikimedia Community Projects. Also write down community members you connect with on the topic for ongoing knowledge sharing.
Document your experience

Module 1: Define how failures create successes

Questions for Reflection/Practical Application:

  1. What does "FAIL" stand for?
  2. Have you ever documented a failure to help others in the movement?
Module 2: Fail Fest story share
  1. How might you use the fail fest format in your community?
  2. What was one Ah-Ha idea you had from listening to stories of failures?
Module 3: Learning pattern creation

Questions and Reflections:

  1. How can you use the learning pattern library to improve program design in your community?
  2. As an experienced program leader, what learning patterns can you improve?
Module 4: Reflections and Next Steps

Questions and Reflections:

  1. What tools an resources did you learn from this session that would be helpful?
  2. What community members/staff do you want to connect with for ongoing learning exchange?