Learning patterns/Choosing an education program model

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Choosing an education program model
problemYou want to start an education program, but you are not sure what kind of educators and students you should work with.
solutionChoose a program model that fits well with the education system in your area.
creatorKHarold (WMF)
created on19:45, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
status:in progress

What problem does this solve?[edit]

When it comes to using Wikipedia in the classroom, one size does not fit all. There are many ways for students to contribute to Wikipedia and sister projects. Use the guidelines below to choose a program model that will work with your local education system.

What is the solution?[edit]

There are three basic program models being used in the global community education programs are offered as:

  • Part of a course
  • Structured extracurriculars
  • Teacher training

Within these models there are several different ways to work with students. These choices will depend on your educator’s focus and their student’s abilities. Examples of each model, and the conditions in which they may work, are outlined below.

Part of a course
Students learn to contribute to a Wikimedia project as part of a multi-session course where they receive a grade or credit for their contribution.


This model may work if:

  • Educators in your area are able to make choices about their curriculum.
  • Classes are small enough that educators are able to evaluate student work and give them feedback.
  • Students will all have access to necessary equipment.
  • Students are accustomed to doing assignments for a grade.
  • Your community has established adult education programs that serve adults with some computer/internet skills.


  • Think about whether a private school or a public school is best suited for starting an education program, based on their willingness to experiment with online learning and information literacy skills, and the freedom of the educators to shape or influence their curriculum.

Structured extracurricular
Students participate in a structured, multi-session program in a group or individually to contribute to Wikimedia projects with a particular goal in mind.


This model may work if:

  • Educators are not free to change their curriculum without significant administrative approval.
  • Classes are very large, and educators are not typically able to give students feedback or individual attention.
  • Students are required to complete social service hours or internships - schools with International Baccalaureate programs.
  • Your community has few or no options for young people such as scout organizations, summer camps, organized sports, clubs.
  • Limited equipment or connectivity - only a few people can participate.

Considerations: In a structured extracurricular program, it is important to pay attention to student motivation because work is not completed for a grade.

Teacher training
Teachers learn how to use Wikimedia projects in the classroom as part of a mandatory or optional multi-session professional development course.


This model may work if:

  • The education system in your area is very hierarchical. Educators and school administrators are not able to make changes to curriculum themselves.
  • Your education system requires educators to incorporate ‘wiki skills’ or information technology into teaching.


  • This program model may require some experience using Wikipedia in classrooms, and often requires established relationships with partners such as school administrators or government officials.
  • Just because you train educators to use Wikimedia in the classroom does not mean they will keep editing or plan a course using Wikimedia. Make a plan to keep participants involved after the course has ended, by inviting them to editing events or asking if they would like support to plan a Wikimedia assignment for their students.

Things to consider[edit]

When to use[edit]


See also[edit]

Education Toolkit Learning Pattern
This learning pattern is part of the Education Program Toolkit.
Go to the toolkit.

Related patterns[edit]

External links[edit]