What problem are you trying to solve?
During the experiences developed in the long distance course, «Puentes entre las culturas escolares, digitales y libres» (Bridges between school, digital and free cultures) made in 2014 and 2015 we found the difficulty in engaging and supporting teachers in the course and in editing articles on Wikipedia. In the edition of the virtual course conducted from May to July 2016, we have drawn, from our previous experiences, different strategies for retaining teachers. In this edition during the first two weeks we worked on theoretical activities in relation to Wikimedia and its projects. In the third week we decided to start editing on Wikipedia. The activity proposed was about translating articles from Spanish to English and English to Spanish, using the translation tool in Wikipedia. During the fourth and fifth week of the course, we engaged teachers to edit subjects proposed by themselves according to their areas of interest. They were based on different subjects: history,mathematics, chemistry, feminism, technologies, communities, humans rights, etc. In the last weeks of the course teachers designed educational projects,using Wikimedia projects as a learning tool. Now, how can we, as Wikimedia Argentina, follow up this process and what we believed was the key for good results and a large number of articles published?
Qual é a solução?
Our assessment in relation to the results in terms of editing Wikipedia and the efforts of the teachers to support their participation, was evaluated as they carried out the development of the course. We believe that the key in retaining teachers and their enthusiasm in editing articles had to do with the personalized support realized by the course’s tutors.
- First, we followed all their questions in the forums of the virtual campus, we also put at the disposal of the virtual course resources and tutorials to be used as supporting material regarding how to edit.
- Second, we asked the participants to let us know their areas of interests and we provide them a list with specific articles to be translated, articles to be created and articles to be improved, according to their interests.
- Then, as teachers started editing and creating new content, we tracked all the articles improved and created. We also included in their articles a "doing article" template and gave to them a feedback. With this personal tracking 260 articles were edited (+ 600,000 bytes), 64 of them created in Wikipedia by 185 participants.
- We also believe that part of good result achieved, is related to encourage teachers in the edition of their subjects. Editing about subjects their work daily, helped the participants to understand how to work with Wikipedia in the classroom.
- The aim of the course is never only learn how to edit. Even working on Wikipedia for at least the 80% of the course, the last activity is about designing an educational project, ready to be used in the classroom. All the projects submitted will be published in a digital publication to inspire other teachers to use Wikimedia projects as a learning tool.
- To make teachers feel that their work is important and put it in value is critical to understanding the success of our proposal