Learning patterns/Mix newcomers and veterans

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Mix newcomers and veterans
problemNewcomers at editing events may be afraid of 'breaking' Wikipedia, or getting in trouble for editing.
solutionSet newcomers up with experienced editor mentors while they learn the ropes
creatorJmorgan (WMF)
created on17 December, 2013
status:in progress

What problem does this solve?

New Wikipedia editors are often intimidated by the editing interface, as well as concerned that they will make an embarrassing mistake (or even break Wikipedia!). This sense of intimidation doesn't only occur when new editors are working alone; it also happens at editing events.

What is the solution?

Connect new editors with experienced editor "mentors" who can provide them with personalized help. If you are running an editing event for new editors, have the mentors introduce themselves ahead of time.

General considerations

Effective mentors are conscious of the needs of newcomers, as well as newcomers' relative skill level. They should be patient and prepared to explain even the most basic concepts in detail, even multiple times if necessary.

When to use

  • An idea was brought up at the Editing Facilitator Training in Seattle to have workgroups: one experienced editor, one subject matter expert, and one person to look up resources. This represents different skillsets that could be helpful in developing Wikipedia articles.


"During WikiCamps organized by Wikimedia Armenia we always mix newcomers and experienced editors. All campers are divided into groups, which compete with each other. In each group we have experienced editors and newcomers. So to get high group points experienced editors help newcomers to edit in Wikimedia projects."[1]


  • Jmorgan (WMF)
  • I wrote a use case above. harej (talk) 05:17, 23 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • because i would like more as ateacher Helmutm4 (talk) 14:02, 18 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • We tried this at Punjabi Wikipedia Workshop, Chandigarh (16-17 October 2015) and it proved to be really effective. Satdeep Gill (talk) 11:21, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I do it all the time. the key is trying to be non relevant. You put people together, they deal with the issue(s). Sometimes they thank you, somtimes they don't. But there is always a good match to create.−−Alexmar983 (talk) 05:48, 18 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See also

Related patterns

External links