Talk:Africa Growth Pilot/Live Tutorials on Core Policies

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Latest comment: 5 months ago by DarwIn in topic Training in Portuguese?

We want your feedback:
Leave us a comment about the general conception of this pilot and its aims. We will do our best to respond or incorporate your feedback into the pilot design.


While sourcing is appropriate I suggest that this module changed to Reference or referencing as it sound common are for Academic writing. 12:04, 26 June 2023 (UTC)Reply

English is a second language for Africans[edit]

It appears that there is a basic assumption in Module 1 and 2 that everyone can write ‘good’ English. We recruit editors/volunteers into the Wikimedia movement based on expressed enthusiasm, genuine interest, opportunities and lure of freebies. Many, may not be skilled in writing in English but we take them in, do some training, mention the 5pillars of Wikipedia and vrooooooom, they are good to go. This invariably leads to mistakes. New editors need to understand and remember basic grammatical rules in English language even if all they do is to fix typos and add citations.

There is a reason many Africans are asked to take IELTS before studying or working abroad! No one is saying that people cannot tell the difference in spelling between ‘being’ and ‘been’, 'I am' and 'am', 'hale' and 'hail', 'scene' and 'sin', but African English Wikipedia editors may need assistance to do better grammatically in writing English language. It may seem burdensome and quite elementary but I humbly suggest we reconfigure the basic assumption that everyone can write English properly and that Module 1 includes how to check for spellings and synonyms when one is confused, words that sound alike but are spelt differently and how to ensure grammatical congruence between the different parts of speech. I am suggesting this based on the fact that English is our second language in Africa. Thank you.

AfricanLibrarian (talk) 19:00, 26 June 2023 (UTC)Reply

Hi AfricanLibrarian, I don't think there is an assumption that everyone can speak English, but I think the majority of African editors get introduced to English Wikipedia before any other language Wikipedia so it only goes without saying there will be more emphasis on it. But I love the point you made so much about your reservation.
Owula kpakpo (talk) 19:38, 26 June 2023 (UTC)Reply
@AfricanLibrarian: Yes, I came here to say the same thing. Another problem I've encountered (and not just with newer African editors, but non-native English speakers from all around the world) is that people overestimate their English abilities and try to apply grammatical rules seemingly based on their native language to English, which can generate ... interesting results. The Dunning–Kruger effect is relevant here. Graham87 (talk) 07:16, 3 July 2023 (UTC)Reply
Thank you, everyone. Yes, we have also observed this to be an issue, and module 1 will seek to explicitly address this, by emphasizing that standard, grammatical English is expected in all contributions, and that if this is difficult for some learners to produce, they will need to find ways to produce acceptable English contributions via writing partners, or publishing drafts and asking for help, etc. Asaf (WMF) (talk) 14:09, 5 July 2023 (UTC)Reply

Social media links?[edit]

Hi, I got the email about this Pilot and wanted to share it on social media. Are there some posts already that I could repost/retweet, or some sample text that I can use to share this? Thanks Jimmyjrg (talk) 00:25, 28 June 2023 (UTC)Reply

Hi, @Jimmyjrg. You could share a link to this page, but at this point we are not attempting a massive campaign to reach learners. We are consulting with existing contributors to make our module outlines the best they can be, in preparation of the course. Once we are ready to recruit learners, we will be preparing shareable social media posts as well. Asaf (WMF) (talk) 14:12, 5 July 2023 (UTC)Reply

Copyright and plagiarism[edit]

I have not seen these mentioned in any detail, but they are important. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 11:18, 30 June 2023 (UTC)Reply

Yes, indeed, and thank you for calling it out. It will definitely be included in module 1. Asaf (WMF) (talk) 14:12, 5 July 2023 (UTC)Reply

Wikilinks and see also entries mentioned in module 2[edit]

This might be a good idea to mention for smaller wikis, but not for the English Wikipedia which has extensive guidelines about links along with "See also" sections, that newer editors are very likely to fall afoul of. I've encountered situations where these guidelines have been breached in the past. Graham87 (talk) 07:34, 3 July 2023 (UTC)Reply

Yes. Most of the other ways of contributing featured in module 2 require learning some rules and processes, and we do not purport to be teaching them in this module set. The goal, rather, is to at least make learners aware of these other ways of contributing, so that people can self-select out of modules 3 and 4 (which do focus on contributing text content to Wikipedia) and pursue one of these other ways on their own, beginning with the best first-step resource we can point them to -- a wiki page, someone else's tutorial, etc.
Eventually, if this approach proves effective during this pilot phase, it is likely we will also be developing tutorial modules on some of these other ways of contributing. Asaf (WMF) (talk) 14:16, 5 July 2023 (UTC)Reply

Some points[edit]

Good morning, This possibility is a good opportunity for learning new Wikimedians and monitoring old ones.

To begin with, I would say, it would be important to make a section on the founding principles, the basis of contribution for any wikipedian or even wikimedian.

There are help links that may well facilitate the achievement of the desired objectives.

Also, learning by videos would be a good option, I hope you have thought of it.

Finally, the notion of languages is a means of inclusion that should be taken into account, I can see that you have thought of the best known ones and I hope for an extension that will see more languages.

I stand ready to accompany more on the project,

Cordially, Bile rene (talk) 13:50, 3 July 2023 (UTC)Reply

Thanks, @Bile rene. Yes, the modules will be delivered by video (with English subtitles), and will include links to other resources. The principles are indeed the subject of the whole course, from module 1 to module 4.
As for languages, this pilot is in English, and describes and gives examples from English Wikipedia. If the approach this pilot experiments with proves effective, it is very likely we will proceed to invest in similar modules in French. Also, the materials we prepare will be hosted on the WikiLearn platform, and everyone is welcome to translate them into other languages. Asaf (WMF) (talk) 14:21, 5 July 2023 (UTC)Reply

Barriers to new editors[edit]

Thank you very much for the good project.

The organized course would provide for interaction times in the form of mentoring between coachers and the learners and, during these times, the learners would choose a subject to edit and be gradually assisted by the coachers.

Often new editors come up against blockages and, do not knowing how to go about it, they gradually become discouraged. This is the example of a lack of resources to take as a reference during editions, how and where to look for references and/or resources, how to find articles that require modifications, etc.

Coach-guided learner exercises would help make it clear to editors how to go about contributing to Wikimedia projects.

Another barrier new contributors face is the lack of educational resources available in their languages ​​of choice. My proposal is therefore to think about linguistic inclusion as much as possible in terms of the availability of resources, which are often already available in a few languages. Gilbert Ndihokubwayo (talk) 08:59, 8 July 2023 (UTC)Reply

Thank you Gilbert Ndihokubwayo. I am glad to see your support and suggestions for the project. For this first try at this experiment, resources will only be provided in the English language. However, if the approach we are piloting here works well, we will encourage the translation of the materials into other languages.FNartey (WMF) (talk) 07:49, 18 July 2023 (UTC)Reply

Request for Participation[edit]

Hi! I have been quite away from Wikimedia after creating an account to enable me contribute meaningfully to bridge the knowledge gap on African history, people, and heritage.

Unfortunately, IP blocking discouraged me a lot and I felt unwelcome. I recently saw the call for participation in the Pilot African Growth Initiative Project. Which I understand the application window has closed however if I would granted the opportunity to participate it will be much appreciated as it give me a strong footing in understanding Wikipedia policies and how to contribute meaningfully. Thanks for your kind consideration. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by AnugeT (talk)

@AnugeT: Thanks for expressing interest! We are happy to include you in the program. Please fill in this application form as soon as possible. Asaf (WMF) (talk) 16:05, 27 August 2023 (UTC)Reply

Training in Portuguese?[edit]

@Asaf (WMF) Hello, and congratulations for the great initiative. I would like to help spreading the word about it in the Portuguese speaking African countries, where I know it will be very useful, and have 3 questions related to that:

  • Will the training be available in Portuguese at some point (when, if possible)?
  • Is the training directed to editing via mobile or desktop (or both, but they are considerably different)?
  • Will the training hours be flexible, so that people can follow it even with weak or intermittent network connection?

Thanks, - Darwin Ahoy! 15:39, 19 October 2023 (UTC)Reply

Hi, Darwin! I'm glad you like the initiative. To your questions:
  1. The training is being delivered live in English, and deals specifically with English Wikipedia policies. After the training is complete, the videos of the trainings will be processed into much shorter segments, and a self-paced online course will be created on the WikiLearn platform, using the video segments along with comprehension exercises, for any other learners that would be interested in taking the course (or who would be referred to it by people in lieu of live training).
    That course would be open for volunteer translation on WikiLearn; if volunteers would want to translate it into Portuguese, they would be able to do so.
    However, because modules 3 and 4 teach specifically English Wikipedia's policies, we expect that a straight translation of those modules may be less useful for a Lusophone learner; it seems to us it would make more sense for a trainer familiar with those respective policies on the Portuguese Wikipedia to create their own modules; if they like our approach or examples, they would of course be more than welcome to re-use them in their modules.
    Once we make the material public, let us know if you think you or anyone else from the Portuguese community would like to work on it.
  2. The training is really focused on the principles and the spirit of the policies, and barely touches on the mechanics of editing. In fact, there isn't a single screenshot of the Wikipedia interface in the entire module 3 on Neutral Point of View. So the training should equally apply to desktop or mobile editors.
  3. The training hours have been set to accommodate the maximal number of learners. Of the hundreds of people who initially signed up, we identified two distinct cohorts -- one of people who prefer learning on Saturday evenings (Central Africa Time), and one of people who prefer a weekday evening (and Monday was identified). So each module is delivered twice: once on Saturday evening, and once on Monday evening.
Cheers! Asaf (WMF) (talk) 16:45, 20 October 2023 (UTC)Reply
@Asaf (WMF) hello, and thank you very much for the quick answer. I hadn't the opportunity to thank you before, as I was traveling aboard at the time I've seen this, but your answer was very clarifying, and I hope it can be the start of something much bigger and with a noticeable and positive impact. - Darwin Ahoy! 18:11, 17 December 2023 (UTC)Reply