Wiki Education Foundation/Quarterly reviews/2014-Q2 Classroom Program & Educational Partnerships

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Quarterly Report for the Wiki Education Foundation Classroom Program and Educational Partnerships

The following are notes from the Quarterly Review Meeting for the Wiki Education Foundation's Classroom Program and Educational Partnerships Programs on December 22, 2014

Present: LiAnna, Frank, Sara, Helaine, Bill, Eryk, Sage, Renee
Participating remotely: Jami, Ian, Adam

Please keep in mind that these minutes are mostly a rough transcript of what was said at the meeting, rather than a source of authoritative information. Consider referring to the presentation slides, blog posts, press releases, and other official material.

Classroom Program (Helaine, Ian & Adam)[edit]

By the numbers[edit]

Participation fall 2014
  • 98 courses
  • 73 universities
  • 89 professors
  • 2,613 students supported
  • 3,434 articles edited
  • 455 articles created
  • This is a peak for the program – highest ever
  • 16 million characters added to the main space
  • equivalent of 8 days of silent reading
  • 64 lbs of printed paper
  • 6.5 pieces of War and Peace
  • equals 41% of the Encyclopedia Britannica (vol 1–12)
Results vs targets
  • Target: 85 courses, result: 98 courses
  • Target: 50 courses with returning instructors, result: 42 instructors
  • Ambassadors Program revamped
  • All incidents addressed in 5 days
  • Many courses recruited by "champions" at different universities

[Frank] We should work towards presenting our work in a wider context, e.g. how do our numbers compare to Wikipedia's editing statistics in general?
[Jami] Please keep in mind that these are different comparisons since we are working to address the content gaps. And specific needs, vs wide contributions on Wikipedia contributions in general.

How we work: communication protocols[edit]

Incident response process
  • What to watch out for: who responds to what and how
  • Lots of intersecting for DYK and GA articles, which went well!
  • Medical articles: Helaine talked to professor first, then Adam and Ian went through student work
  • Set up feedback process, which allowed Ian and Adam to prioritize
  • Those instructors who ask for the most feedback don’t necessarily need the most help
  • Regular systematic check-ins with each course allow for more contact with courses that may seem to be going well, but actually need communication.
  • With the latest incidents, we compiled a spreadsheet of articles and Adam, Ian, and Sage went through each article – made tracking much easier. Evolved over the days of work, which was helpful and improved prognosis for the articles
Changes to make
  • Will pay more attention to medical articles
  • Wiki Ed will onboard professors, not the Ambassadors
  • LiAnna and Frank will lead a crisis management training at the upcoming Programs Team meeting in January
What went well
  • fast response time
  • team was able to resolve incidents within 5 days

Examples of good student work[edit]

  • Behavioral Ecology
  • 46 activated students
  • 92 articles
  • 19 Did You Knows
  • Positive aspects: articles are well structured, good outline pages
  • Needs improvement: lack of images, close paraphrase, lack of understanding of copyrights
  • African Archeology
  • 20 students
  • new and expanded articles
  • Positive aspects: good outline, engaged instructors, good work to expand area that is traditionally underserved
  • Prokaryotic Diversity
  • 13 students
  • 6 new articles
  • all started in sandboxes
  • 5 went through AFC, 1 moved directly
  • Positive aspects: instructor engagement, students used infoboxes well
  • Med / Vet Mycology
  • 25 students
  • used sandboxes, articles moved to main namespace by instructors
  • Positive aspects: engaged instructor, good course page
  • Needs improvement: copy/pasted articles by instructor

Other topics[edit]

Use of Sandboxes
  • how professors use sandboxes can determine numbers
  • people have to learn how to move out of sandboxes w/o cut/paste
Changes to support structure
  • has been announced last week, working on it all term, coincided well with incidents
  • in the future, Wiki Ed staff rather than ambassadors will be responsible
  • new ways for volunteers to contribute/help (making editing more based on what Wikipedians like to do)
  • we can’t expect volunteers to be up to date on our best practices and trainings
  • Ambassador titles will not be officially tied to Wiki Ed, but can be used in the community
  • moving toward a task based participation is better for tracking and responsibility


[Sara] How will we be supporting/engaging volunteers?
[LiAnna] Making it more accessible, fewer requirements, fewer barriers by way of offering tasks rather than a full commitment
[Sara] What will we do differently in the future?
[Sage] Dashboard will be very helpful for quick tracking/management. Also: added section for design wizard to ask about medical articles and flagging those who want their classes to work on them so Wiki Ed can keep an eye on their content and needs.
[LiAnna] We'll come up with a threshold for class size. Also planning to create a check list for Jami and Helaine for every new class who wants to partner with Wiki Ed. Helaine and Jami will be enrolled on course pages for courses they are managing.
[Ian] Learnings: Instructors who don’t ask for support, may need it more than others; students are active for brief spurts; anticipate issues
[Sara] With regard to copyright issues – would we like to get materials from Creative Commons?
[LiAnna] We have materials that are good, getting students to read it is a challenge. Getting them to understand it is also a challenge.
[Ian] More learnings: better timing for feedback, knowing where students are can guide us, and class timelines; trainings are not end all beat all, respond quickly when students waver on guidelines so they can quickly adjust their work; be proactive on problems before they become full incidents.
[Adam] Good work on gathering class schedules for Adam and Ian, however class timing is different and can be challenging; use of sandboxes: using them as a scratch pad can work, but the instructor needs to be highly engaged and students confident editors.

Partnerships (Jami)[edit]

University partners[edit]

  • Champions, teaching/learning/writing centers have become our program managers
  • These people understand the campus and resources in ways we just can’t
  • Great to talk to about recruitment and extending programs

Academic associations[edit]

  • Great for content gap targeting
  • Formalizing relationships from the past, now targeting other associations
  • Creating focused work and relationships
  • Great for outreach to individuals and increasing WikiEd credibility with communities that don’t know us

Memorandum of understanding[edit]

  • The document outlines who does what, how are we supporting one another
  • Helps to plan out the next 6 months to a year
  • Jami working on making expectations less open-ended

Wiki Ed support for partners[edit]

  • In-person visits
  • Subject specific trainings
  • Data gathering, outcomes, impact, feedback
  • Highlight relationships via blog posts articles; work with university communications departments

Review of individual partners[edit]

  • National Women’s Studies Association
  • Members teach in an area that is hugely underrepresented on Wikipedia
  • We had a booth and two workshops at their November conference
  • Baltimore visit: we've been invited to a regional meeting with deans of women’s studies programs
  • Association of Psychological Science
  • Have been working with them for a long time
  • With APS, we want to work to improve the overall quality of the articles
  • They hired a teaching fellow, and Jami is training her to use the Wiki Ed tools. She’s working on a list of articles for students to edit, as well as working with other people to expand the list.
  • LSU
  • Visited in November, did workshops, interested in expanding outside the science programs
  • Communication Across The Curriculum (CxC) also wants to sign and partner with us
  • Georgetown
  • met with them while we were in DC, we want to expand
  • Teaching with Technology Cohort: we want to work with them

Spring term targets for Partnerships and Classroom Program[edit]


  • Targets for the spring term are: 3 new academic associations, 2 new universities
  • Candidates: U of Mississippi, North Dakota, WVU, Indiana, Pomona, NCA, History of Science Society, American Political Science Association

Classroom Program[edit]

  • 60 returning instructors
  • 20% organic growth
  • 130 classes total

Open Questions[edit]

  • Medicine / psychology articles: how can we best support classes?
  • Unaffiliated courses: what to do? How to work/not work with them? How to respond to community who feels it’s our responsibility regardless of formal affiliation
  • Staff time: how to allocate, tracking, prioritizing,
  • Mobile editing: do we need to address it in our materials?


[Sara] Do we have a systematic way to get people onto the wizard?
[Jami] We'll be reaching out to spring and fall instructors so they are aware of the wizard.
[Sage] How hard will it be to get 60 new instructors?
[Jami] It won’t be a problem given out consistent growth and that the quality of support has gone up. We want to grow systematically within a university, vs a scattershot approach of one-offs.
[LiAnna] We want to work with smaller, returning classes rather than the large new classes so we can continue to improve processes and quality of student work.