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Movement Strategy/About/Transition/Reports/Wikipedia & Education User Group

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Part 1 of 2 - General Information[edit]

Field Information
Name of your group Wikipedia & Education User Group
Time and date of the event 17:00 UTC, December 1, 2020
Who attended? 19 people (some on and off) representing at least 14 different countries’ education programs and WMF staff
Who facilitated? LiAnna Davis
Who took notes? Ziko van Dijk

Part 2 of 2 - Prioritization[edit]

Q1. Which recommendations will respond to your community’s needs?[1]

Choose Your Top Priorities Why is it prioritized?
1. Recommendation 6, Invest in Skills and Leadership Development Scalability and sustainability is an important element of education work. Most of our programs aren’t just one-off events, but sustained, many-years programs, and investing in the people running these programs are critical for us having ongoing, sustained impact. We see this as being important in both the dimension of volunteers and providing funding to enable more staff roles to oversee design, implementation, and scaling of education programs at affiliates.
2. Recommendation 9, Innovate in Free Knowledge Our group discussed how it’s been so critical for us to innovate this year in response to the pandemic, where global learning moved virtual. We work extensively with external partners in the education sector, so we need to be adaptable to their needs and how our work connects with it.
3. Recommendation 2, Improve User Experience The Education Program globally brings an average of 10.4% of all new active editors globally across all languages and projects each month, meaning we have extensive experience with the new editor user experience, and we know how challenging it can be.

Q2.From the recommendations, which specific actions and changes would you want prioritized in 2021?[2]

Choose Your Top Priorities Why is it prioritized?
1. Initiative 33, Skill development infrastructure We discussed thinking of this as not just skill development but also competency development, which we feel includes attitudes as well as concrete skills. Since our program is global, with local instances led by affiliates and unaffiliated volunteers, we see ensuring everyone has access to learning how to successfully run and scale programs being critically important.
2. Initiative 41, Continuous experimentation, technology, and partnerships for content, formats, and devices The pandemic and change to virtual learning has demonstrated the Wikimedia movement’s lack of quality e-learning platforms. We need to adapt and grow with the global situations, and not just be stuck in one form of knowledge. Many of us regularly interact with young people as part of our programs, and we notice things like more people turning to video as a learning tool, something the Wikimedia movement has not yet tackled systematically, for example. To grow, we need to continue experimenting with supporting new ways of bringing knowledge to people.
3. Initiative 11, Resources for newcomers There are myriad challenges with our current resources: Some are written at a non-newbie-friendly level, some aren’t easily translatable, some are missing. As a group that works nearly exclusively with newcomers, we have a good sense of the flaws in the current approach to newbie references.
4. Initiative 31, Global approach for local skill development - gathering data, matching peers, mentorship, recognition This is something our user group has been trying to do, and has plans to do more of in the future with regard to education programs. But we feel like there is a lot of room for improvement both within our program and in other aspects of the movement.
5. Initiative 36, Identify the impact of Wikimedia projects & content As a group that works with outside partners, we know that most external partners aren’t willing to go out of their way to participate in projects with us just because: They want to understand the impact working with Wikimedia can have for their work. We need to better articulate how engaging in our projects will help impact others who we want to join us.

Q3. What human capacity and / or financial resources do you need to work on implementation?

This is a bit of a challenge for our group, because the barriers facing each of our programs is local context dependent. Sometimes it’s organizational, sometimes it’s humans, sometimes it’s financial; how grants are prioritized is a critical open question for some of our members, especially those in emerging communities/the Global South. Other specific requests:

  • User groups in emerging communities often lack the standing to enter into partnerships with educational institutions, who are looking for the backing of WMF more officially than the current light user group affiliation model.
  • Similarly, it can be difficult to receive funds in some countries.
  • Our movement lacks the understanding of how good e-learning works: It’s not just text and videos, but interactive educational experiences. We need additional capacity in this area.
  • We need deeper connections around Open Education policies at the government level.

Q4. Which initiatives do you think should be the top focus for global coordination? Skill development was the top priority identified by our group, and especially in the realm of technical platforms for e-learning and resources for newcomers.


We also identified some other priorities:

  • In particular, we recognize there is still hard work to be done to get content contributors from in particular the English and German Wikipedias on board, who have a more antagonistic relationship with the Foundation. We don’t have a good solution for how to do this, but we recognize work on that needs to be a priority.
  • While we didn’t note the safety and inclusion work as a top priority, it is critical for our work and we wanted to acknowledge that.
  • We want to continue to work on sustainability: How do we continue to keep people engaged in our movement?
  • We need to tie better into the UNESCO education work, especially in the context of lifelong learning.

Question 1 Survey Results:

Wikipedia & Education User Group Movement Strategy Prioritization December 2020

Question 2 Survey responses

  1. There are 10 recommendations to choose from. Think of the work you’re already doing in your community and what else you want to do. At the same time, think of the whole Wikimedia movement and what we should prioritize globally to face the future.
  2. Think about the initiatives that will respond to your community’s needs. Each of the 10 recommendations has multiple changes and actions or initiatives. There are 45 all together.