Learning patterns/You are teaching, but are they learning?

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A learning pattern foreducation
You are teaching, but are they learning?
problemHow can you tell if students or workshop participants understand and are using skills you have taught them?
solutionCheck user contribution history, use features in the education extension, or just ask new editors if they understand.
creatorKHarold (WMF)
created on02:06, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

What problem does this solve?[edit]

When you are teaching a new group of editors how to contribute to Wikimedia projects, it is helpful to know whether they understand what you are teaching them and if they are doing the things that you have instructed them to do (like using a Sandbox, for instance). Finding out what concepts people have learned and what skills they struggle with will help you identify whether individual students may need extra training, or whether you need to change how you are teaching.

What is the solution?[edit]

You can look for mistakes, check editor contribution history, or ask new editors if they understand and are using the things you are teaching.

  • Are students using sandboxes? Are they engaging others on user talk pages or article talk pages? Each course page on the education extension shows all on-wiki activity for the student usernames that are registered (just click on the "View activity" tab near the "Edit" and "History" tabs).
  • You can also run reports on a specific namespace with a cohort of users on WikiMetrics, to see the number of edits or size of activity in other areas of the wiki besides the main article namespace. You can look at trends over time. Are student edits more frequent in their sandboxes at the beginning of the semester? Do they shift to the article namespace? Do they use talk pages? Your experiences from this type of investigation may impact how you design your courses in the future.

Things to consider[edit]

  • How are you going to keep track of your participants?
This needs to be considered at the beginning. Will people need an account before adding their name on list, or will you have another method of signing up for the event (Eventbright, for example). Making a good decision at the beginning makes life easier for your self later on.
  • How long are you going to look at the progress of your new editors?
  • Will you aggregate the information into larger data pools?

When to use[edit]

If you integrate this issue into your planning stage, you will be able to see when and how you want to carry out educational assessment, and also consider to what extent this will be in terms of immediately responding to the leaners perceived needs (formative assessment, or to modifying future practice summative assessment, personally or in a more shared way through learning patterns.


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]