Wiki Education Foundation/Monthly Reports/2015-3
Monthly report for March 2015
- We kicked off our strategic planning process with an in-person meeting in San Francisco. Members of Wiki Ed's board and senior staff met with a group of outside advisors. The strategic planning process will conclude in June 2015 and positions our organization to achieve its mission.
- In early March, Frank Schulenburg and Jami Mathewson joined the panel event, “Where are all the women? Wikipedia’s Gender Gap” at West Virginia University. Together with Sydney Poore, long-term Wikipedian, and Dr. Adeline Koh, associate professor of literature and the director of the Stockton University Center for the Digital Humanities, they addressed the lack of female editors on Wikipedia and why people should care.
- Jami and Frank visited West Virginia University for a panel discussion on Wikipedia's gender gap. They discussed Wiki Ed's role in closing content gaps related to gender representation, and met with faculty about partnerships at West Virginia University.
- Jami attended the Association of College Research & Libraries conference to learn about current trends in university libraries, and how Wiki Ed might help bring library resources to Wikipedia.
- Dr. Jim Council and Dr. Ann Burnett, professors at North Dakota State University, hosted Jami for two days of workshops and presentations at the end of March. Alongside workshops about Wikipedia's policies and culture, Wiki Ed's tools, and the gender gap, Jami spoke at a pedagogical luncheon with more than 100 faculty interested in about Wikipedia's role in universities. You can see more images from that visit here.
Current status of the Classroom Program (spring term 2015) in numbers, as of March 31, 2015:
- 103 Wiki Ed-supported courses have course pages
- 53 of the 103 classes (51%) are taught by returning instructors
- 1692 student editors are enrolled
- 883 (52%) of student editors have completed the online training
Wiki Ed is supporting 103 courses as of March 31. We've been busy providing feedback and other assistance to this term's students and instructors. We have been onboarding new courses for the spring 2015 term, while engaging with instructors and librarians with plans to teach with Wikipedia in the fall.
We're beginning to see more active student contributions this month. Students at quarter-system schools are finishing training, while students on the semester system begin active editing, such as moving work from sandboxes to articles.
There's a lot of work to highlight. Marriage 'à la façon du pays' from Christopher Dummitt's History of Western Canada class at Trent University, Rococo Revival from Amelia Rauser's London & Paris class at Franklin & Marshall College, and Lee Krasner from Alexandra Oliver's Art Since 1945 class at the University of Pittsburgh are all good examples of student work this term. Also, Alex Webb's Evolution of Terrestrial Planets class at Louisiana State University just finished up, with students contributing Lada Terra, Ovda Regio, Chaac-Camaxtli Region, Secondary crater, Zamama, Ganiki Chasma, Surface features of Venus, and Tessera (which we also linked to last month while it was still in the sandbox).
Several Wiki Ed Programs staff members led workshops on university campuses to spread the word about the Classroom Program. Libraries at four University of California branches hosted workshops: Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, and Riverside. Additionally, volunteer editor Jason Moore joined Director of Programs LiAnna Davis in presenting at the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. More than 100 people attended the workshops overall, including numerous librarians and faculty members who are interested in participating in the program in the future.
Communications Associate Eryk Salvaggio presented his Quarterly Review this month, detailing past communications challenges and future strategies. You can see the slides and notes on meta.
Eryk was interviewed for a West Virginia Public Radio story on the Wiki Gender Gap ahead of Frank and Jami's panel appearance at West Virginia University.
This month we focused many communications efforts toward outreach to potential instructors. Eryk, along with Jami Mathewson and Ryan McGrady, produced a webinar for interested instructors. There were technical difficulties with the live broadcast, but an 11-minute video recording is available on our website and on YouTube.
- The Roundup: Women and art, Part 1 (March 2)
- Staff joins art and feminism edit-a-thin at University of San Francisco (March 6)
- The Roundup: Women and art, Part 2 (March 9)
- Teaching with Wikipedia workshop at UC Davis (March 10)
- The Roundup: Women and writing (March 16)
- Monthly Report for February 2015 (March 23)
- Watch our Teaching with Wikipedia webinar (March 24)
- The Roundup: Women in history (March 30)
- Glynis Board, West Virginia Public Radio, "Wiki Gender Gap to Be Discussed in Morgantown" (March 3)
- Digital Rhetoric Collaborative blog, "Wiki Wednesday Guest Post: Eryk Salvaggio" (March 11)
This month, product manager Sage Ross and our development partners at WINTR began transforming the Wiki Ed course dashboard system into a full course platform that will work independently of the deprecated EducationProgram MediaWiki extension. There have been visible improvements to the mobile layout — dashboard.wikiedu.org now looks good on phone or tablet — and the addition of article ratings to the lists of pages each course has worked on (see here, for example). The rest of the work has been under the hood, as we prepare for users to log in to wikiedu.org using their Wikipedia accounts, and then create, edit and monitor courses directly from wikiedu.org.
We also began work on ask.wikiedu.org, our soon-to-launch question-and-answer tool that uses the free software Askbot framework. We are working with the lead developer of Askbot to create a Wiki Ed skin and to configure it for seamless login using a Wikipedia account.
Research and development
Outreach to high-achieving students
The outreach program team reviewed student surveys and held qualitative discussions with staff to review the first two student group workshops, which took place at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Arizona. In response, Samantha updated her communication materials to reflect broader storytelling about Wiki Ed's work, and focused her energy developing interactive student-editing exercises.
We have been talking to honors societies at a national level. We believe there is tremendous potential in national chapters, which can suggest student editing to smaller, local chapters within individual universities.
We've been working to communicate with and onboard new student chapters directly as well, including a new student chapter at the University of California, Santa Barbara — the Art, Design & Architecture Museum Club. Visits to student clubs at Oregon State and UC Santa Barbara are on the calendar for May, and a field trip with the Berkeley water group was planned for April.
Finance & Administration / Fundraising
Finance & Administration
For the month of March, expenses were $170,632 versus the plan of $196,216. The majority of $25k variance is due to fundraising and volunteer development events having been deferred.
Year-To-Date expenses are $1,240,339 versus the plan of $1,436,481. Included in the $196k year-to-date variance are deferred special events that account for $67k; the ongoing savings from the timing of staff hires ($55k); deferred payments for professional services ($55k); and deferred travel expenses ($20k).
Members of the Audit Committee joined by Bill Gong and Frank Schulenburg interviewed three local audit firms that participated in Wiki Ed's RFP process. The Audit Committee is expecting to chose an audit firm by the end of April 2015.
Office of the ED
- Current priorities:
- Next steps in the strategic planning process: analysis of possible strategic alternatives and corresponding case studies
- Finalizing the hiring of a Senior Manager of Development
- In early March, Frank and Jami traveled to Morgantown for the gender gap panel at West Virginia University (WVU). The event, which was part of the Talking Publicly symposium series organized by WVU Libraries and the Reed College of Media, attracted about 200 students and instructors and was streamed live on the web. WVU Dean of Libraries Jon Cawthorne dedicated WVU's year-long focus at WVU on women and Wikipedia to Wiki Education Foundation's board member and long-time Wikipedia editor Adrianne Wadewitz, who died in a tragic accident in 2014.
- On March 14, Wiki Ed staff members met with volunteers and representatives of Wikimedia DC and Wikimedia New York for a Wiki Conference USA 2105 planning meeting in Washington, D.C. Participants of the meeting agreed on the goals and basic outline of the conference as well as on the roles and responsibilities and a high-level timeline.
- Also in March, Wiki Ed's board of directors and senior management embarked on a strategy planning process that will conclude in June 2015. The first phase of this process kicked off with an in-person meeting in the Presidio of San Francisco. The main goal for the first "Level Setting" phase is to get everybody on the same page and to provide the board with an analysis of: (a) the environment our organization operates in, and (b) our current resource base. Questions discussed at the meeting in San Francisco were: What are the leverage points in our external environment? How, and to what extent, will an ongoing or emerging trend affect the Wiki Education Foundation’s ability to reach its mission (both in a positive or negative way)? What are the strengths and weaknesses in our organization’s human capital, financial situation, and work processes?
Visitors and Guests
- Howie Fung, former Director of Product Development at the Wikimedia Foundation
- Sue Gardner, former Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation
- Diana Strassmann, board chair
- PJ Tabit, board treasurer
- Lorraine Hariton, board member
- Bob Cummings, board member
- Richard Knipel, board member
- Jake Orlowitz, The Wikipedia Library
- Merrilee Proffitt, OCLC Research