Wiki Education Foundation/Monthly Reports/2014-06
Monthly report for June 2014
- As part of our ongoing work to develop a visual identity for our organization, we rolled out a new logo, which you can see at the top of this report. It was designed by David Peters of EXBROOK, who has done work with the Wikipedia Education Program, Wikimedia Foundation, and Creative Commons in the past. In conjunction with the new logo, which focuses in on "Wiki" and "Edu", we also acquired and rolled out a new domain for our website and email addresses, wikiedu.org.
- Jami and LiAnna traveled to London to participate in the Future of Education Workshop, part of the fringe aspect of Wikimania 2014. LiAnna served as the lead facilitator, and Jami assisted and talked about the work the Wiki Education Foundation has done in education in the United States and Canada. Participants at the workshop developed the schedule for an Education Pre-Conference to be held immediately prior to Wikimania in London, on August 6–7. LiAnna will lead a workshop training educators to use Wikipedia, and Jami is helping to plan an Ambassador training in London, based on their experiences running similar sessions in the United States.
- Classroom Program highlights:
- A student editor in Alex Webb’s course at Louisiana State University achieved “Did You Know” status on Wikipedia for her new article Mountains of Io. The day it was featured on the front page, the article got 20,000 page views.
- Wikipedia Ambassador Jonathan Obar hosted a teaching-with-Wikipedia workshop at Brock University with faculty members and instructors.
- The spring 2014 term concluded with results that we think are very positive (see the Classroom Program section below). This was the program's first term fully supported by Wiki Ed, and our program participants have helped transition the program while maintaining our support infrastructure.
Current status of the Classroom Program
As of the end of June, the spring 2014 term has officially concluded. This term:
- We supported 65 courses (42 or 65% that were led by returning instructors).
- We had 1,852 student editors, 1,577 of whom edited Wikipedia for the first time.
- 1,378 of the student editors made at least one edit in the article namespace on English Wikipedia.
- They edited 2,639 articles, including 253 new articles, and added 1,381 files to Wikimedia Commons.
- Articles students edited had 96 million page views from April 1 to June 30, 2014.
- Student editors contributed 11 million characters to the article namespace on English Wikipedia, which translates to more than 7,300 printed pages of new content added to Wikipedia.
- None of the classes supported by Wiki Ed had incidents come up on any of the education noticeboards.
Future of Education workshop
Jami and LiAnna traveled to London to participate in the Future of Education Workshop, part of the fringe aspect of Wikimania 2014. By participating in global events like this, the Wiki Education Foundation is able to exchange experiences with other global programs, keeping both sides from reinventing the wheel. LiAnna served as the lead facilitator, and Jami assisted and talked about the work the Wiki Education Foundation has done in education in the United States and Canada. We started the weekend with short lightning talks about the state of education globally, then created a vision of where we wanted to see Wikipedia and education in 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years. Out of this activity, we identified key action areas: getting recognition for the importance of Wikipedia in education, creating tools and resources, incorporating Wikipedia into education training and certification, and increasing the reach of the Wikipedia Education Program. From these areas, we asked the question: How can Wikimania help us achieve these goals? From there, participants at the workshop developed the schedule for an Education Pre-Conference to be held immediately prior to Wikimania in London, on August 6–7. For more information on the workshop, see our blog post about the weekend.
With Sage Ross coming on board this month as Product Manager for our digital services, we're excited to get started on our long-term plans for turning wikiedu.org into powerful interactive resource supporting all our programs. Our initial focus is on building a tool for instructors to design and customize great Wikipedia assignments based on Classroom Program best practices, and on providing an analytics dashboard to keep track of course activity. We also plan to make key improvements to the course page software on Wikipedia, to complement the digital services of wikiedu.org.
- After discussions with staff and other stakeholders about Wiki Ed's most important digital infrastructure priorities, Sage drafted a Request for Proposals for developing and launching the upcoming wikiedu.org 1.0 website in November 2014.
- Sage improved the MediaWiki Education Program extension's "List Students API", which can now provide lists of the articles assigned to student editors.
- The For Instructors page of wikiedu.org has been redesigned in preparation for the Fall 2014 term, providing easy access to all the key resources instructors need to get started with the Classroom Program.
- Sage and LiAnna worked to refine the overall design of wikiedu.org and improve the theme setup, and also prepared a new (soon-to-launch) "About Us" page.
- Sage implemented several improvements to the on-wiki workflow for onboarding new instructors and guiding them through the course page creation process.
- Sage began exploring the iThenticate plagiarism prevention system, as a potential backend for a system for checking Wikipedia edits for plagiarism.
- Expenses for the month is $71,009 versus plan of $80,536, primarily due to lower expenses in fundraising.
- Year-to-date expenses is $203,113 versus plan of $265,036, primarily due to delayed move into new office space and postponed in-person board meeting.
- Cash position is $105,273 as of June 30, 2014.
The Wiki Education Foundation board of directors elected another two members: Karen Twitchell and Karen George.
Twitchell brings experience in board governance and financial management, and she will chair the audit committee. She is currently a board member and on the audit committees of both Kraton Performance Polymers and KMG Chemicals, and previously worked in financial executive positions for more than 30 years.
An associate with private investment firm Ralph S. O’Connor & Associates since 1987, George brings experience working with non-profits and start-ups. She currently serves on the boards of the non-profits The Women’s Home and HSPVA Friends. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Women’s Resource of Greater Houston.
Office of the ED
- Current priorities:
- Adjusting operations to the needs of a growing organization (continued)
- Preparation for moving into our first office
- Planning the year ahead: annual plan & budget
- In June, Jessica set up business accounts and processes for a variety of different operational areas: travel planning and booking, purchase of computer equipment and office supplies, etc. Setting up an account with one of the major online travel agencies enabled us get our representatives ready for the trip to Wikimania in August.
- With the number of financial transactions growing very quickly, and the operational side of the organization getting more complex, Frank hired Bill Gong as a Financial and Operations Management part-time contractor. As such, Bill will support the creation of our first annual budget, help adjusting our accounting and payments system to our needs as a growing organization, and advise the ED on all financial and operational matters, including the creation and improvement of processes and systems that help the organization function smoothly.
- Frank also set the stage for the tracking of key performance indicators for our organization. In addition, he laid the foundation for a quarterly review system that will enable Wiki Education Foundation to measure success on a more frequent basis. The quarterly review system will kick off in July 2014; results will be published on a public website.
- Also in June, Frank continued reaching out to major donors before handing work in this area off to Sara Crouse, who started her job with the Wiki Education Foundation mid of the month.
- Supported by Jessica, Frank introduced a Wellness Reimbursement Program that is designed to promote and encourage wellness and personal growth.
- Finally, Frank closed in on the office search, visiting a number of relevant spaces in San Francisco and discussing the results with staff before getting ready for making a final decision.
- Larry Gordon, LA Times: Wikipedia pops up in bibliographies, and even college curricula (June 14)
- Press release: Karen A. Twitchell joins Wiki Education Foundation board (June 11)
- Press release: Wiki Education Foundation board adds Karen George (June 20)