Talk:Learning and Evaluation/Archives/2013

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Budapest workshop share space

I'm putting this here, instead of in the boiler room, so people can find them a bit easier.

Until we determine where we want to place them. SarahStierch (talk) 01:24, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Pattern languages

Hi. I'm wondering if there's a better link for "patterns" in the first sentence (perhaps one of w:Pattern language, w:Design pattern, w:Pedagogical patterns, or w:Interaction design pattern), and if there's a reference for "learning patterns" as a distinct concept (or if that's an in-house name for one of the existing topic-names)?

Aside from that, I like what you've got so far. :) Quiddity (talk) 06:48, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks! I've updated the link. "Learning pattern" is indeed an in-house name for design patterns used to capture important Wikimedia knowledge. On that topic: do you think "pattern" is too jargon-y? We've discussed the idea of using a term like "Learning points" instead. I prefer pattern, but I don't want folks to not contribute because they're confused or put off by the name. Cheers, Jmorgan (WMF) (talk) 23:47, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
For Wikimedians? Definitely not! We like precise terminology. (Although I'm biased, as A Pattern Language is one of my favourite books... ;) Also, it is a useful, as well as widespread, concept throughout the design and educational disciplines, so it's good to know/teach it. Quiddity (talk) 16:25, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
The biggest concern has been our friends and colleagues who use English as a second language. I'm rather smart native English speaker and the patterns concept still overwhelms me when I try to explain it to people. So that's a big concern - is this easily translatable for our friends who speak over 200 languages? SarahStierch (talk) 17:29, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
I'd probably (if given time to prepare!) explain it with a definition, and an example.
This extract from Alexander's definition is short enough to be memorable: "Each pattern describes a problem that occurs over and over again in our environment, and then describes the core of the solution to that problem".
Alternatively: A pattern is a concise abstract description of a best practice in a particular discipline, linked with a memorable keyword, and a set of notes detailing repercussions/ramifications. Big collections of patterns, that reference each other, are named pattern languages.
The "You might think of it along these lines" section in Documenting good education and training practices through design patterns is also good.
Examples abound, from the original architecture (129. Common areas at the heart. 159. Light on two sides of every room. 192. Windows overlooking life.) to your growing selection here (Cookies by the exit), the difficulty is in selecting one that is perfect for one's audience! Quiddity (talk) 04:02, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
That Alexander definition is the best and simplest I've had shared with me yet. WIN. (Seriously) SarahStierch (talk) 05:11, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Superb. I'm going to be head-down coding the rest of the week. So if either of you want to take a crack at improving the descriptions on Grants:Learning patterns I would <3 that. Jmorgan (WMF) (talk) 16:39, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Rename "Learning Modules"

Hi everyone. I'd like to purpose renaming "Learning Modules" to perhaps "Teaching guides" or "How-to's" and remove the rather robotic and computery term "module." Let me know what you guys think. Thanks. SarahStierch (talk) 18:42, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Grantsbot not loading Q&A?

Hi. I don't think Grantsbot is loading Q&A for the activity list. We have a new question up there and I noticed it hasn't been loaded up, but perhaps I'm unclear on when grantsbot loads things...I just noticed it updated a few minutes was curious! SarahStierch (talk) 22:59, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Nope. Haven't built that in yet, but it's in the plan. I'm still coding away... Jmorgan (WMF) (talk) 23:37, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Ah, ok :) Is it OK if I update it myself? I don't want to confuse the bot! SarahStierch (talk) 00:17, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
Totally fine to update it yourself. The worse that will happen is GrantsBot will overwrite your manual edits next time it updates the feed. And hopefully by that point (possibly even later today), the automatic updates will include recent questions.
Here's what I'm currently working on. Let me know if you think I should prioritize something else (I'm open to that!), or if you have questions about this list.
  • updating activity feed so that it includes more types of activities (inc. questions)
  • updating lists of patterns in the library so that they are sorted by recent edits and endorsements
  • setting up automatic updates of the "featured" galleries on Evaluation portal.
  • generally trying to make my code suck less, and be easier to update.

Cheers Sar! Jmorgan (WMF) (talk) 17:37, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Problem with "Join this discussion" window

I think there is some problem with the "Join this discussion" window. I've typed there my reply to the question about why people execute edit-a-thons (is the first one at the moment), but when I clicked on "Add my response" the window closed and nothing appeared on the page, not even after refreshing it several times (the response you see now was written later using the traditional method!). Did that happen to someone else? --Atropine (talk) 11:37, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up, Atropine. Hmm... there have been some problems with this gadget before (it's the same one we use at the Wikipedia Teahouse). Usually it has to do with how different browsers handle Javascript. Can you tell me your operating system and your browser? Best, Jmorgan (WMF) (talk) 20:54, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi Jmorgan (WMF), my operating system is Windows XP and my browser is Firefox. I added my signature by copy-pasting the tildes from the notice reminding to sign the comment, perhaps that could be what caused the problem? --Atropine (talk) 04:35, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Menu on Grants:Evaluation/Library

Hi everyone,

I've been thinking a lot about the layout of the Grants:Evaluation/Library page. It's been awesome to see so many learning patterns being produced. However, it's a really long list. So long that I become "TL:DR" and almost find myself no longer scrolling, and it also makes it harder to surface the rest of the content on the page. Being the most prolific section on the page, I've got a few ideas, and I hope they can be implemented or found useful:

  • Make the learning patterns section collapsible. Being at the top of the page, and having the largest amount of resources (with more to come based on how quick they are being produced) it's becoming very long. Perhaps collapsing it so people either get a sneak peek of 3 or 4 learning patterns and have to click to expand might help, or something like that.
  • I also think it'd be really valuable to have the learning patterns placed into categories. I know some of them are in multiple categories, but, most of them appear to have primary categories - surveying, participation, event planning, account creation, or whatever. I think it'd be useful and make for more specific navigation instead of just seeing them randomized on the page in no specific organized manner.
  • I was unable to figure out how to include reporting and other things into the announcements. For example, I added Grants:Evaluation/Library/Edit-a-thons to the proper category, but, the bot doesn't seem to be reading it and announcing with action takes place there. Perhaps it doesn't need to be surfaced, but, it'd be cool to have it involved some how. SInce it is part of evaluation :) Thanks for help on that.

Great work everyone, as always. SarahStierch (talk) 22:37, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Hey Sarah. Good points. Here's what I can contribute:
  • library page organization. Agree that patterns were crowding out the rest of the stuff. I've reorganized the page so that the guide for patterns comes last. I'm already thinking about ways to make the pattern list scrollable or expandable. Both are good approaches; let's give some thought to which one we prefer.
  • listing patterns by category. Agree! This is also on my radar, especially now that we have a good number of populated subcategories. I'm already thinking of different ways we might do it. Since the pattern guide (the list of patterns) is generated by a bot, I'll have to update the code to make this work. I'll propose a solution and hopefully we can have better categorization in place by sometime in January. BTW: the patterns are currently ordered by recent edits (like the activity feed). I've also thought about ranking them by number of endorsers.
  • Updating the activity feed manually. The bot is still somewhat limited in what it can "feature" on the activity feed, and in the featured content galleries (1, 2). Unfortunately, I haven't had the bandwidth to document this well yet (and it has been changing as I update the code). Currently, here's what is featured automatically:
    • Activity feed
      new patterns, recently endorsed patterns, new participant intros, new questions
      Featured content galleries
      patterns, case studies, modules, participant intros, questions.
Now, it is possible to get something like your edit-a-thon report featured in the gallery. The bot just grabs the top items from these lists, and copies them to the gallery in a slightly different template--so if you add a resource you want to feature to the top of, say, this list, it will show up. I've done that for you in this case for the sake of example (feel free to revert me) and the bot should add it to the gallery tomorrow morning. However, making resources like this show up on the activity feed will require some more development work on my part. The activity feed can't be updated manually at the moment: if you do, the bot will just overwrite you the next time it runs. If we want a short-term solution that allows us to advertise new stuff that's not yet set up to be automated, we could add a manually-updated announcements board to the front page, like the one we have in the Teahouse host lounge. Again, I might not be able to make the necessary GrantsBot updates until after our next portal meeting in January. That said, if you need me to turn "off" some automated feature you can manually curate, or if some piece of new automation is critical to have before January, we should talk about how to make that happen. Cheers, Jmorgan (WMF) (talk) 00:39, 5 December 2013 (UTC)