Talk:Programa Catalisador do Brasil/Planejamento 2012-2013/Parcerias/Ação Educativa/Proposal

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English is exclusionary when it comes to a Lusophone community - Raylton P. Sousa (talk) 23:55, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Hi Raylton! You're right. And this is not only for the Lushophone community. It's a challenge for people from many countries (including myself!). However, this would be the "common" language for most people. I'm happy to work on a task force to translate it. I'm much better in Portuguese as well, but the need of a global review, including WMF's, made us release it in English. Can we work on this page? Even though you may not feel 100% comformtable with English, I'm sur eyou can be of great help in this task too!--Oona (WMF) (talk) 00:14, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
Hi Raylton, I agree with you; language is always a struggle for a global movement, not just ours, of course. And we do need to think about ways in which we can get better at this, and I would love to have suggestions from you. As Oona says, practically speaking, English is the one language we have to reach out to our communities world-wide. I hope you can help with the translation of this proposal back into Portuguese, so it becomes a living document for the Brazilian community. thanks, ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 00:41, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
I can possibly help. But I think making documents accessible to the local community, should be a priority for you guys and not my - Raylton P. Sousa (talk) 14:12, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
We're working on it.--Oona (WMF) (talk) 01:36, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

FDC vs. Direct contracts[edit]

I'd find it interesting to see the FDC evaluating this plan. The size and complexity of that plans falls within the FDC's expertise, they have the experience and means (FDC staff, Due Diligence / Eligibility checklists) at hand to do a proper analysis which can then be commented by the community.

Which brings me to another question: We (WMF) have four different grant / funding instruments. Why is this going through a completely different process? There has been a lot of thought been put into FDC to "make it right" and now we doing direct contracts bypassing the instruments we have created. I'd like to stress that the instruments needed to be created in order to maintain fairness of distributed funds, obtain control of proper planning and use of the funds and make sure the maximal impact can be achieved. All this applies to Ação Educativa as well as to our own community and affiliations.

My suggestion is: The board decides to lift one eligibility requirement to Ação Educativa - the neccessity of having processed two successful WMF grants or fundraisers. Then the proposal follows the regular FDC path. --Manuel Schneider(bla) (+/-) 10:58, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Hi Manuel, this is not meant to be a bypass of the FDC process at all. It takes significant time and effort for local organisations - less familiar with the Wikimedia movement - to get to know the work, the communities and the processes, even when they might have significant value and experience to offer us, such as with CIS in India and, we believe, with Ação Educativa in Brazil. At the same time, these are well-established, highly credible organisations in their own right who also need the space to explore if a partnership with our communities has value-add for them. We believe that non-Wikimedian organisations allied to our mission should have some options to partner with us for some time before going through the FDC process if they - and the local Wikimedia communities they are partnering with - so desire it. Normally, this would be through the Project and Event Grants (with GAC review), but India and Brazil, as you know, are being moved into partnership grants from being WMF's Catalyst Programs, and therefore are different in nature. Since being a Wikimedia affiliate entity is another FDC eligibility criterion, AffCom should also have the time to decide if they should be given affiliate status or not. As I said here, this model will be used sparingly, if at all, in the future. We recognise that this is an unusual situation, but what we want to ensure is community review, both locally and globally, so thanks for participating in that process. :-) In a year (or two, in the case of Brazil), if CIS and AE (with approval from the Indian and Brazilian communities and recognition from AffCom) feel they would like to apply for the FDC process, we will encourage them to do so. In the meanwhile, I'd urge us all to learn from the opportunities offered to the movement by partnering with organisations like CIS and AE. Let me know if you have more questions, Manuel! ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 01:42, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Increased clarity in the definition of metrics of success[edit]

  1. Deadline: I could not find the period for these metrics of success are complete, For now seems very ambitious or intangible. But this goals needs a deadline to define the feasibility of this.
Hi Raylton, first of all, thank you so much for such detailed look into the proposal and also for the questions. This project is intended to be a two year project, being this part supposed to be accomplished by July 14. Could you please be more specific about which ones would seem unfeasible? Thanks! I will answer some of your questions today, and some tomorrow, ok?--Oona (WMF) (talk) 02:42, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
You're Welcome! What project? What part? - Raylton P. Sousa (talk) 13:13, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
  1. Accuracy: Some of items in metric of success, are not accurate. And it can't be measured. See below:
  • Ação Educativa continues to work with Wikimedia movement and on Wikimedia projects after this project finishes. - OK
  • Other organizations, movements and volunteers engage in the Wikimedia movement and projects [how much?]. - vague
  • I confess we were not really concerned about quantifying this at this point. Our aim is to have other players involved in looking for helping Wikimedia projects grow, and even better, taking the lead of it. If it's 2 in the next year, I wouldn't think it's few, because the important think would be to see it consistently being taken as an objective by other groups, organizations etc. But if you think we should stress a number here, we may do it. I would like to have your opinion on what you think would be reasonable and good? As I said, we were not looking into something big here, but into consistent appropriation. --Oona (WMF) (talk) 02:42, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
  • The "who" part we meant people just like you or orhter active volunteers who have been engaging often in data analysis, the education program and other activities or even an affiliated organization if the Brazilian community decides to go this way. Many volunteers already take the lead on many things on the online projects. But as you know, we expect to provide support and catalyse processes that we believe can help the growth of Wikimedia projects, but we also don't expect the catalyst programme to last forever, although we know how hard it is for community to take over the most time consuming activities. However, reflecting about your question and how to answer it, and hearing people talking at the WikiSampa 19 today, I think the vaguest thing about this is the definition of "taking the lead". There are already people working on promoting the growth in Wikimedia projects in Universities, volunteers like you and others doing workshops, so I think we actually should define better which activities we will develop we expect to be taken over by volunteers and in which extent. Do you agree this is a major problem than exactly the how many?--Oona (WMF) (talk) 02:42, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
  • The Wikimedia projects and communities [who?] [how much?] set up future goals, priorities and plannings. - vague
  • So, what is this about? We are setting up goals here which we intend to achieve (or help achieving) taking into consideration the amount of work we will be able to put into the project. There are two concerns we would like to address here: one is to see a future chapter, or usergroup, or even a group of volunteers not necessarily in any kind of affiliation setting up goals together, in a collective way, and working together to achieve them. The second one is that we would love to work upon it too, helping you volunteers to achieve them. Here I come with a hypothetical example: if you say the main priority of the Wikipedia community is to improve filters and to achieve one million articles in, let's say, 2 years time, we would be able to think how we can help you achieve this. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, there are lots of opinions on what is needed to get Wikimedia projects to get better, but no real discussion on what should be the community plan to get those things done. How we expect to get this? Starting from now, stimulating a debate about this so we can build together a plan for the following year. So it may be 10, 20, 30 volunteers. It can start small and get bigger later. The important thing is that the culture of planning together starts growing. If you believe a number here would help us, I would say we expect about 20 people to participate in a discussion like this throughout the year.--Oona (WMF) (talk) 15:19, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
  • The Wikimedia projects become more widely known, read and used in Brazil [how much?]. - vague
  • You're totally right, but we're still getting the baselines for that. HAndrade (WMF) has been working on collecting access data from 2008 to 2013 (it hasn't run all the years long yet). As soon as we get the baselines we'll bring the metrics into here, ok? It must be soon. --Oona (WMF) (talk) 01:39, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
  • At least 30 professors continue to develop class assignments and make use of Wiki and other tools. - OK
  • The education program produce or improve at least 200 articles during the semester. - OK
  • The education program involve at least 300 students. - OK
  • Professors [who?] [how much?] take the lead of the Wikimedia Education program, coordinating actions, partnerships and keeping the network and program active. - vague
  • This is meant to be the professors already engaged in the education programme. Some already do a lot of independent work, but share little with each other. But you have interesting processes going on for example at UFGRS and UNIRIO, where professors engaged are bringing new professors into the programme, either through joint activities or through developing activities in partnership with other professors. The University of Pará is also interested in creating a project integrated with other groups and departments. So the idea is that those professors, together, can propose common projects and even apply for grants if necessary, outreach new professors, share how they work, etc.--Oona (WMF) (talk) 16:45, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Retention rates of newcomers through our projects increase 5% yearly. - OK
  • There is a consistent increase (year over year change) of 10% in the number of active editors in Wikipedia. - OK
  • There is a consistent increase (year over year change) of 20% in the number of new articles in Wikipedia. - OK
  • 150 public domain or free license content works from public libraries and partners are shared on Wikisource. - OK
  • The community[who?] [how much?] takes part in future photographic contests. - vague
  • We believe organizing a national contest can be a good experience to get to know better all the challenges involved and take part in international contests in the future. Having community members leading with us this first experience may help volunteers acquire this knowledge and expertise with us, so when it comes to organize WLM, the community might lead it, even if with the support of Ação Educativa or another organization you may want to partner with. But the idea is that from the rules making to the jury formation, community being part of it is key for this action to go beyond having additional pictures. It can be useful for the learnings it will definitely bring. On the "who" question we mean any group of volunteers, from 5 to 40. Not a big issue on how many. --Oona (WMF) (talk) 16:45, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
  • The Brazilian photographic contest results in the upload of 1500 new pictures re Brazilian scene into Commons. -OK
  • Have the group of volunteers involved in data analysis and in the development of tools in Wikimedia projects increased in 50% (from about 5/6 to 8/9). - OK
- Raylton P. Sousa (talk) 17:24, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

English Wikipedia and community vs. professors[edit]

I am an Ambassador (Regional, Campus, and Online) in the Wikipedia Education Program on English Wikipedia. Does this grant derive knowledge from en:WP:Student assignments on the English Wikipedia or the historical discussions that have taken place at the en:WP:Education noticeboard? I don't observe indications of knowledge transferral.

Regarding the following two points:

  • "Professors take the lead of the Wikimedia Education program, coordinating actions, partnerships and keeping the network and program active."
  • "The Wikimedia Community takes the lead of as many actions as possible."

I perceive a tension. On the English Wikipedia, I have to discuss with professors at length the valule of not setting arbitrary length guides for article development. But if professors are given autonomy then they might feel they have the right to ignore community consensus if it gets in the way of their assignment. The beginning of the grant states things such as "active authorship, autonomy, collaboration and sharing". But the autonomy of professors can conflict sharply with the idea of collaborating with the commnity, no?

On English Wikipedia, I observe that professor autonomy clashes with the idea of colloabrating with the community. I've recenting been trying to lead a class of 99 neuroscience students: en:Education Program:Georgia Institute of Technology/Introduction to Neuroscience (Fall 2013). It's quite a big and complex beast, with the professor delegating authority to librarians and TAs who are not familiar with Wikipedia. And it's left upon my shoulders (a volunteer) to manage all the individuals involved to the benefit of Wikipedia. Why would people like me show up if professors take the lead? To what extent will student assignments be molded to reflect community needs? Who will manage the process of syllabus design, so that courses are designed to meet community needs? I don't see any mention of these critical issues in the grant.

The first two sentences of en:WP:Student assignments say Student assignments can help improve Wikipedia, but sometimes they cause the encyclopedia more harm than good. Even experienced Wikipedia editors who are classroom instructors have had mixed experiences. And each two points have footnotes. I sense from this grant application that there isn't much awareness of this perspective. Biosthmors (talk) 14:34, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

Dear Biosthmors, first of all, I would like to thank you so much for your comment. That really brings perspective and knowledge. We have been piloting the Education Program for more than one year and a half in Brazil right now and we've had some similar and some different experiences from the one in the English Wikipedia. One of the differences was related to the engagement of professors.
It's hard to state the reason for that without in depth research, but in Brazil classes in which professors were deeply engaged had signifcant better results than in those in which, despite the involvement of ambassadors, professors were not leading the activities. Some ambassadors did very good job, but our experience in Brazil is that, if the professor is not in the lead, class assignments simply almost do not happen. That may be because of authority issues, or any other reason, but that has been a fact.
Also, when we say "Professors take the lead of the Wikimedia Education program, coordinating actions, partnerships and keeping the network and program active", we mean to have professors developing activities with the support of community members, but less dependent on the Brazil Catalyst Program support.
We have experienced professors needing our direct support for many individual activities, and we are trying to build an environment in which they will exchange experiences on their own, with no centralization on us. Now, we are already experiencing professors offering to host events on their universities for us to bring professors from all over the country together. This is new for us. And we want to see more of this. Hence I don't see the same tension you point out, because the lead is not supposed to be exclusive of professors or of community members - but a partnership.
So far, we haven't faced any real harm as we did in the English Wikipedia - also because based on the English Wikipedia experience, we have advised professors to get students working on test pages, and in the end, if the result is not good enough, contributions don't even get to the main domain. We've read the reports and we started really small. Which brings us to another challenge: to fulfill the objectives and metrics of the program, to have more impactful activities, more professors accomplishing the activities, professors that wouldn't need our physical presence to make things happen. When a professor understands well what a Wikipedia article should look like, activities are carried out smoothly and continuously. We've been getting more of this lately, but there is still a lot of room for growth.
Trying to answer your questions (why a volunteer would show up if professors take the lead?), we believe some of the most interesting experiences in Brazil is a case of a very committed professor who has been working for almost two years with the support of a very active wikipedian and they hardly need our support (it's worth saying we have been working as independent consultants for the Wikimedia Foundation). Another really good case has happened in the south of Brazil, with two professors very committed and engaged, being one of them also a very active wikipedian - they also didn't need our direct support. We have been to their city twice, participated in events organized by them with other professors and students, but they are leading the programme themselves. So when we say we would like to see professors taking the lead, and the community too, we mean we want the consultants team to become less and less necessary.
But I would like to borrow your rationale for our program: when we try to make the education program happen, are we pushing volunteers away from actively engaging in it (why would they lead it if there are consultants involved)? That's why we want to play a different role now. We want to provide the basic means, initial online support, and bring professors together and closer to the community, so that the program can become sustainable. We want to create a hub in which they do things together with community members. And we believe many professors are becoming community members as well.
If you are interested, I'd invite you to check out some learnings on the Brazil program experience:
Thank you for your comments and let me know if I wasn't clear at some point. Let's keep the conversation going. This can be very helpful to know more of your experience, so we can go through new and different challenges and mistakes. --Oona (WMF) (talk) 07:46, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I haven't been able to give the thought and time to it that it deserves, but I do have a couple follow up questions. Are you planning to try and train any potentially interested Wikipedians to be like the very involved one? Has that Wikipedian given any talks or presentations to try and inspire others to follow in their footsteps? Thanks again. Biosthmors (talk) 16:10, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
It should be included in our national meet-ups. In the past, wikipedians who had been ambassadors trained other newcomers and students who were supporting their professors. But I guess you are right this is a very important thing to do and we should plan specific activities for it more carefully. I'll make sure we stress this on the proposal. --Oona (WMF) (talk) 16:19, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
Great. Please let me know how this goes. On English Wikipedia it seems we sometimes have many more "ambassadors" listed than active ambassadors (we have a quirky anti-wiki software system set up over there by WMF at the moment). Maybe we could do something over there about making this a more dynamic/community/wiki-based page where being listed means you're doing something. That way people might be motivated to have their name associated with the project, lest they have their name removed. Anyhow, I'm interested in hearing how your efforts go. How can we help enable volunteers who want to help to become impactful volunteers? That's what I'm wondering about. Biosthmors (talk) 23:25, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
Sure, I will. I think it's also worth to interview volunteers who have been impactful. Most of them, coincidence or not, are somehow involved in the universities (either as professors, students or scholars). I guess this may be a clue, but will keep you posted. --Oona (WMF) (talk) 04:45, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
Great. Thank you. Biosthmors (talk) 10:16, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
I notice none of this converstion has prompted edits to the proposal itself. Shouldn't it have? Biosthmors (talk) 08:39, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
No only from this one, from the others as well. All agreed improvements will be included. Would you give me until Tuesday to update it? Thanks! -- 16:10, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
Great, thanks. =) Biosthmors (talk) 13:58, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi Biosthmors, I've included specific online sessions for ambassadors (and they'll obviously be invited for the meet-ups with professors too). We had already planned materials for ambassadors. Do you believe we should add any other specific activity?--Oona (WMF) (talk) 19:29, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm probably just not giving it the thought it deserves, and maybe some coffee would help, but how does that edit correspond to our discussion above, exactly? Biosthmors (talk) 08:13, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi Biosthmors, sorry, I didn't link to the diffs. Please check edit. The one you referred to was related to Raylton's concerns. --Oona (WMF) (talk) 08:26, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Beautiful. I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes. By the way, why is that edit on Programa Catalisador do Brasil/Planejamento 2012-2013/Parcerias/Ação Educativa/Proposal/Objectives and Activities? Why are there two separate pages? Thanks again. Biosthmors (talk) 18:06, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Actually, the full list of activities is on that page. We just worked on a table on the front page to make it easier for people to have a general idea of what the project is about - since the full project has about 50 pages, and we antecipated not everyone would be keen to go through it all. So the first page is a summary of the project. --Oona (WMF) (talk) 21:10, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Got it. Well I'm not sure if it is worth doing now, but I think it would have been a nice touch to have those 50 or so links listed to all the separate pages at the bottom of the summary page so that people readily access them should they choose to. Biosthmors (talk) 22:44, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
oops, I meant 50 text pages. About 7 or 8 links, which have been on the very top of the page in quite large letters in the blue box since the very beginning. You didn't notice it? I meant to call attention for it.--Oona (WMF) (talk)
No worries. I blew past the top portion, because I wanted to get to the meat. But then if you could link the 7 or 8 places at the bottom it might get more people who ignore your careful instructions to pay attention. =) Biosthmors (talk) 23:49, 9 October 2013 (UTC)


I apologize for arriving a little late in this discussion. I read all the project proposal and thought you did a good job! All the initiatives proposed are crucial for achieving the basic objectives of this partnership. The metrics established are also well designed and I think they will be enough to evaluate this program outcomes. I must highlight the care of the team in designing the activities as most sustainable as possible. This is the very first goal of this partnership and our community will be benefited from this. Finally, we’ll go in with the team, collaborating in every activity and doing our best to have the goals accomplished.

About one point that called my attention: we have some experience with professor’s engagement and we know that one of our challenges is try to provide them the best during their activities in Wikipedia. Sometimes, they have difficulties in understanding the community’s agreements and the project’s functioning. We tried to deal with this through workshops, online ambassadors, mailing lists etc. But we couldn’t avoid bad experiences during their work. I noticed that professors more next to the community (through previous longtime background as editor, campus ambassador’s support etc.) had better results in this aspect. In this way, I miss some activity related to engage the active community participation in the Education Program. It would be essential for guaranteeing the program’s sustainability as we have been discussed a long time and, consequently, achieve some of the indicators established.


Vinicius Siqueira (talk) 23:48, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

Dear Vini 175, thank you so much for your comment and your constant collaboration with this program. I believe your comment is somehow related to the one above and in part I would answer the same thing. I agree with you the class assignments experience is much better when it's done in partnership with professors, as I stated two examples above. I could also have mentioned your experience with professor Edivaldo. I think we should perhaps be more explicit about such joint activities we intend to develop. I think there is this great challenge with ambassadors in the Portuguese Wikipedia. For instance, when we invited volunteers to become online ambassadors, many community members offering to be ambassadors had almost no experience (this is only a short list, as we later did another call and received more offers from people with less than 10 edits, though I'm not finding the page right now). But what we intend to do, for instance, is to bring professors and community together in national meet-ups, creating the environment for engagement and collaboration. We want to offer the basic tutorials so volunteers may invite professors they know with a structured set of materials. We want to create online video and tutorial sessions, and document them, sharing learnings, so that volunteers benefit from our mistakes and successes. We want to invite volunteers to lead those sessions too and create a system for remote support. However, I would be extremely happy to hear your suggestions for more activities that help us build this joint efforts of volunteers and professors and I'm sure we can add them to this proposal. --Oona (WMF) (talk) 08:02, 1 October 2013 (UTC)