Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2015/Feedback

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A post-conference survey was organised in the period 13. – 22. September 2015.

Total number of answers: 40 (67% participation rate; list of participants).

In this evaluation "participants" or "attendees" means people who attended the conference and "respondents" means people who answered the feedback survey.

Quantitative measures of success from the Grant Proposal[edit]

See Grants:PEG/WM EE/CEE Meeting 2015

  • At least 45 participants
  • At least 15 countries or languages represented
  • At least 20 attendees participating actively as speakers or table hosts, sharing their experience
  • All of the presentations documented in writing (Etherpad) and at least 75% of the presentation slides made publicly available.
    • 100% Etherpad
    • 42 uploaded presentations, total number of presentations unknown / hard to count
  • At least 85% of attendees find the conference useful in the post-conference survey.
    • 57,5% strongly agree, 37,5% agree that it was useful
  • At least 75% of attendees confirm having new ideas and/or better vision for the projects they want to work on.
    • 27,5% strongly agree, 57,5% agree that the conference “helped me join or start an initiative”
  • At least 75% of attendees confirm having learned new information regarding project management, running chapter projects, or community building.
    • 41% project management
    • 33% chapter efficiency
    • 72,2% community building
    • The question was not exclusive, but very probably 75% is reached

Qualitative measures of success from the Grant Proposal[edit]

  • Information collected about the needs of most of the organisations and communities of the region.
  • Countries without established chapters improve their organisation and the activities of their communities.
  • Improved regional cooperation, with launch of new cross-border activities or significant improvement of existing ones (related to at least 3 projects).
    • European Science Photo Competition started for the first time
    • CEE Spring will be improved
  • Designed working patterns for "standard" projects in the CEE region, such as WEP, GLAM, and article and photo contests.
  • Transfer of acquired knowledge, skills, know-how from meeting representatives to their local communities.
    • Different organisations used different ways of reporting – wiki meetups, blog posts, onwiki reports, board reports, etc.

General evaluation[edit]

Results compared to results from WMCON15 and WMCEEM14.

  • The conference was suitable for background and experience: 50% (52%) - 48% (46%) - 2% (2%) - 0% (2%) compared to WMCON15
  • The conference provided useful information for me and my organisation: 55% (52%) - 40% (48%) - 5% (0%) - 0% (0%) compared to WMCON15
  • The conference contributed to reaching a shared understanding of the future of our movement: 23% (28%) - 68% (41%) - 7% (29%) - 2% (3%) compared to WMCON15
    • better than at WMCON15, proof of importance of regional conferences, possibly because of good mutual understanding in the CEE region due to geographic and historic similarities.
  • The conference gave me the opportunity to exchange ideas with others on movement issues: 63% (84%) - 37% (16%) - 0% (0%) - 0% (0%) compared to WMCEEM14
  • The conference led to clearly defined next steps and documented outcomes: 18% (17%) - 54% (53%) - 26% (27%) - 2% (4%) compared to WMCEEM14
  • Communication with the organisational team before the conference: 44% (70%) - 36% (25%) - 15% (0%) - 5% (3%) compared to WMCEEM14

Usefulness[edit]

We asked the attendees if they found the conference was useful and compared the data to WMCEEM14.

  • Very useful: 57,5% (63% in 2014)
  • Useful: 37,5% (37% in 2014)
  • Neither useful nor useless: 5% (0% in 2014)
Criterion Very satisfied Satisfied Less satisfied Unsatisfied
Hotel / Voore Guesthouse (2014) 46%, 36% (43%) 49%, 51% (48%) 0%, 0% (9%) 0%, 3% (0%)
Venue (result better than university in Kyiv => retreat format works well?) 41% (37%) 54% (42%) 3% (21%) 3% (0%)
Food (result worse than student canteen and restaurant in Kyiv) 13% (34%) 39% (50%) 44% (8%) 5% (8%)
Logistics (Too long travel time) 13% (42%) 54% (50%) 13% (8%) 0% (0%)
Internet 15% (21%) 44% (46%) 28% (29%) 13% (4%)
Choice of topics 36% (35%) 54% (65%) 8% (0%) 3% (0%)
Timing 39% (29%) 49% (58%) 10% (13%) 3% (0%)
Breaks 49% (50%) 41% (50%) 8% (0%) 3% (0%)
Social events (Traditional music and sauna) 54% (48%) 36% (48%) 8% (4%) 3% (0%)
Quality of information provided by organizers before the conference 38% (39%) 52% (57%) 5% (4%) 5% (0%)

General[edit]

In the following chapters we have summarised the answers of contestants. Some witty quotes have been taken directly from the answers.

  • Better planning
  • Get grant proposal approved much sooner, travel costs are such big cost of expenses.
  • Passing the baton to guarantee the seamless transition of leadership of this regional working group from the past hosts to the current hosts to the next hosts
  • Capture past hosts' learnings, so we stop making the same mistakes over again and learn more
  • Cleaning during the conference (especially washroom, but also coffee break tables)
  • Ask for help sooner, too.
  • More free time for the participants to enjoy properly their new surroundings
  • Better Internet
  • Online video streaming
  • Make links to user page and organisation page in the list of participants
  • Ask for grant more in advance

Scholarships[edit]

  • More than 2 participants for strong communities (like Poland, Serbia, Armenia, Ukraine, and for next time Estonia) or more populated countries, if other countries have less than 2 participants
  • Keep it open to the Community (instead of Chapters and User Groups, note by author) to assign delegates.
  • Should be given earlier, so that participants can plan better
  • Reimbursements for bus should be paid out when people leave (if they do earlier), otherwise it can be more difficult.
  • Air travel arrangements need to be made for the participants
  • Inform recipient about necessity of online check-in of flight

Logistics[edit]

  • We need to make sure that people will arrive. Retreat in southern Estonia is already a stretch.
  • Have the venue closer to the airport
  • Add Information about tour to Tallin/Tartu on Monday to Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2015/Programme

Lodging & Catering[edit]

  • We don't need Hilton, but the rooms were a tad stinky.
  • Don't use plastic plates (protect environment!)
  • Remember about non-omnivores (e.g. vegetarians, vegans) for ALL meals (including all coffee breaks);
  • How information about not allowing taking photos on name badge
    • the organisers simply forgot that. Sorry.

Social activities[edit]

  • The social activities were a great plus.
  • Some of the special social activities in the evening were not part of the programme and were not announced before that day's sessions concluded.
  • Invite all member countries to share their culture's songs and dances. This is something special and unique to CEE and should be encouraged and celebrated.
  • Organize tour every day after dinner
  • Sport events or activities, paintball, football, basketball and similar would be good.

Support from the organising team[edit]

  • 5: 67% (79%) compared to WMCEEM14
  • 4: 33% (17%)
  • 3: 0% (0%)
  • 2: 0% (4%)

Scholarship experience[edit]

  • happy: 77% (80%) compared to WMCEEM14
  • okay: 23% (20%)

Programme[edit]

  • Overall scope: 40% (27%) - 55% (54%) - 5% (16%) - 0% (3%) compared to WMCON15
  • Number of conference participants and composition of audience: 53% (55%) - 45% (34%) - 2% (9%) - 0% (2%) compared to WMCON15
  • Communication of the programme team before the conference: 33% (47%) - 45% (38%) - 17% (7%) - 5% (8%) compared to WMCON15
  • Quality of contributions: 17% (27%) - 78% (59%) - 5% (14%) - 0% (0%) compared to WMCON15
  • Session moderation: 38% (60%) - 53% (36%) - 7% (4%) - 2% (0%) compared to WMCON15
  • Session formats: 28% (32%) - 55% (45%) - 12% (20%) - 5% (3%) compared to WMCON15
  • Schedule: 34% - 53% - 13% - 0%

How to make the programme better[edit]

  • A 2 days conference with less presentations from the WMF and only informal sessions after dinner. This year was too crowded.
  • Less presentations in general
  • More time for open socializing and discussion
  • Have a more thorough discussion about actual needs of the communities. Have more time available to discuss next steps.
  • WMF sessions were confusing at times, maybe because of format. Could be explained before.
  • Plan and finish grant proposal and program earlier
  • It depends on the number of participants. If it remains the same next year we can try to have 3 parallel sessions
  • Longer sessions and workshops about GLAM

Sessions[edit]

Least useful session[edit]

Methodological note[edit]

Our statistical information about the answers to this question is not usable, because of the different number of participants in each session - there were sessions, which were visited by everybody, and there were sessions, which happened at the same time as other, but we did not count the number of people participating in them. Therefore the data is not comparable and will not be shown here.

The session “Fail fest” was not on the list of possible answers to this question, because of a mistake in the feedback form.

The questions about the least useful and the most useful sessions were asked in a way, which did not give us the possibility to make a statistical analysis of the data. Different number of people visited different sessions, which could correlate with the number of people who found certain sessions good or bad. Therefore we concentrate on qualitative analysis of the data, since we also asked respondents about the reasons they found some sessions better than others.

High-level findings[edit]

  • 22% of the respondents answered that the least useful for them session was not relevant to their community or their context. 19% of the answered that they already knew that. 57% of the answers were about sessions without a parallel session. Had there been one, participants would perhaps have visited a session of more interest for them.
  • 17% of the respondents answered that they did not understand the session. The reasons for that answer was the lack of background knowledge, needed for understanding the sessions. A possible solution is to make the programme available earlier in future conferences.
  • 11% of the respondents answered that the session was boring or badly presented.
  • Among those who chose “other” (31%), 7% (of all responses) answered that the session was too late and 4% answered that participation from the participants was not good enough. Other reasons named for a least useful session were bad moderation, lack of call to action, lack of new ideas and too high-level presentations.
  • In general, respondents showed immense willingness to learn new things at the conference and were rightly critical about things, which might be considered normal (still not good) in typical work situations.
  • One category was bad presentation skills. In this category also falls the lack of call to action, and lack of focus on impact of the session, and of dedication to the results and follow-up (i.e. it is good to present the background of project and say how to reproduce it), lack of practical examples.
    • A possible solution would be to plead to the communities to send people who not only speak English at least at en-3 level, but also, if they will be presenting their results, to send participants who have good presentation skills. There is a risk here - to lose great nerds and make it a fancy “manager” meeting.
  • Since the participants have different backgrounds, some respondents said, that some of the sessions were on too high a level for them or were not relevant to their communities or contexts. Some respondents already knew the things they heard.
    • These two challenges could be solved by giving participants a better choice of simultaneous sessions. One respondent put it to the point: “Maybe you could actually talk about this inclusion of corporatese, and make the difference explicit, and thus maybe easier to handle for the volunteer community. It probably won't be useful to privilege either as the default in all cases.” We should try to find a quantitative measure for that and track our progress in creating even better programmes over the years.
  • Another participant wrote “The feedback forms for WMF also seemed a bit corporate. I guess it is good to teach the Wikimedians the corporate rules, as the volunteer principles differ from them a bit, but it did feel somewhat alienating too. The forms did not seemed designed for feedback (asking our opinion), but just for reporting to someone higher up in the hierarchy (on the impactfulness of the workshop according to metrics)“. This question will be discussed with participants from the WMF.
  • Some of the late-time sessions, which were introduced this year, were deemed to have been noisy, to have been too late which led to lack of concentration. In general sessions, which needed a lower concentration span as the lightning talks and the wikidojo did lose less quality because of the late hour and tiredness of participants. We should take that into consideration next time, because sleep might be for the weak, but hard thinking needs fresh people.
  • There are also organisational reasons for bad sessions. One of them is bad moderation, which includes low activity levels on Etherpad and lack of strictness about time.
    • Moderation would be better if moderators always knew in advance what the expected outcomes were, and had time to make themselves acquainted with the presentations (see following point). “1 picture only" presentations have also been asked for. Such presentations would not last more than two minutes each and would allow flashing ideas or solutions on topics, covered in the session. This can be achieved by planning five minutes for such presentations at the end of sessions.
    • A possible way to make sessions better is to upload presentations to Commons beforehand, so that interested participants can prepare themselves better. We could change the aim “[...] at least 75% of the presentation slides made publicly available” to “[...] at least 75% of the presentation slides made publicly available three days before the session”. That would also reduce the number of presentations created during other sessions, and up the percentage of well prepared presenters.
    • A harder to implement measure would be a peer-review of presentations before the conference.
    • A third possible solution is to give participants leaflets and information some time before a session, so that they can think about it beforehand.
  • Further proposals for improving the organisation of sessions were fair distribution of time slots, adjustments of talks to the audience, and more time for discussions.
  • Group work and “interactive stuff” are considered generally to be better than frontal presentations, since it activates participants better and allows for more discussions and less “show off”. In-depth presentations are deemed better than general presentations, which are as good as presentations on the Internet.
  • Technical issues with microphones should be non-existent next time. There was also video-recording of only one of the parallel sessions. It would be interesting to know how many views these videos get, to evaluate their importance.
  • One respondent deemed sessions too intensive in general. (S)he offered either inviting four instead of two participants per community - two experienced Wikimedians and two relative newbies, in order to transfer knowledge better, or to make everything “as simple as possible”. On the other hand other respondents asked for longer sessions. Since some communities had only one representative, they were unable to attend two parallel sessions simultaneously, although they considered both sessions important. A similar problem is known also at WMCON.
  • Joint work between WMF and WMCEE members is considered good.

Most useful session[edit]

The same consideration about the number of participants and its correlation with the number of respondents who deemed a certain session most useful as for the least useful sessions applies, therefore we present only qualitative analysis of the textual answers to the question.

The gatherings of participants were very diverse. The largest group of answers, amounting to less than a quarter of all answers, found that the usefulness of the conference for them was mostly in gathering experience, tips, answers, examples, attitudes, and practices from participants from other countries. That, combined with inspiration, enthusiasm, openness, and commitment are among the main reasons why people consider participation at Wikimedia CEE Meetings to be useful. Lightning talks, which were introduced at WMCON15 and adopted in the WMCEE Meeting Programme were considered a good format for introducing plenty of new ideas in short time to the community.

All other groups of answers amount to less than 10% of all answers.

Getting information about tools was considered useful. Important tools are wikitools, tools for Wikidata, metrics (including Wikimetrics), the program toolkits, but also practical bot-like tools.

New information was deemed most useful by some respondents. Wikimedia conferences are considered a good way for gathering information on new concrete projects and on improvement of existing ones. Article and photographic contests are both considered important for the communities in Central and Eastern Europe. The dependency between EU laws in Freedom of Panorama and photographic contests is important for some representatives.

The Wikidojo was explicitly named as a good way to see how articles are written by others, suited both for new and experienced editors, besides being “real, enormous fun”.

Good practices in organisation (chapter, user groups) management, volunteer management, management of education programmes, as well as information on institutional and media outreach (including practices like storytelling) are considered essential for communities and their work; tips and tricks about dealing with media are considered very useful by some, as are the state of the movement, and monetary resource management and information on Wikimedia’s financial policy.

Lastly, different opinions and experiences on gender gap were considered useful for some respondents.

Level of understanding of English[edit]

The level of understanding of English was good among respondents.

Wished topics[edit]

Most of those who wished for further topics named GLAM as a topic – wishing for more information on GLAM cooperations, for more governance and looking into cross-border GLAM cooperation and a How-To about having more GLAM and CC institutions.

Some also wished for room for poster exhibition and How-Tos about beginning a new chapter, teaching a community, transforming from a user group to a chapter.

Finance issues, institutional outreach, tackling newbie biting, leadership development for WMCEE members, and not obvious tips and tricks about article writing and editing were also named by a few respondents.

Outcomes[edit]

Project-based learnings (compared to WMCEEM14)

  • Projects they would like to join: 67% (63%)
  • Ideas of new projects for their communities: 86% (92%)
  • Improvements to existing projects for their communities: 72% (63%)

Community based learnings (compared to WMCEEM14)

  • Project management: 42% (33%)
  • Chapter efficiency: 33% (38%)
  • Community building: 72% (71%)

What are the two things that you feel motivated to try (or learn about) soon as a result of attending the conference?[edit]

Respondents answered that they felt motivated to try (or learn about) soon following very diverse topics:

Diverse
  • Czech MediaGrant
  • Record pronounciations on Commons (3)
  • Expand community
  • Contribute more (e.g. 100wikidays, wiktionary) (4)
Tools
  • Wikitools
  • Wikimetrics
  • Minority translate tools
  • Translation Corner
  • Trello for organisation
  • Education Program extension
Techniques
  • Implementing the storytelling technique (2)
  • Improvement of communication within a chapter (2)
  • Preparation of learning patterns about experiences and problems overcome during the conference and its preparation phase
  • Improvement of time management and planning
  • Build a larger community (2)
  • Use 100wikidays for community building
Events
  • Organisation of events (e.g. workshops) for new and existing editors (2)
  • Organisation of international Wikimedian visitors for inspirational talks
  • Spread the idea and implement of Wikidojo (2)
Politics
  • Creating a chapter
  • Improvement of the local Freedom of Panorama campaign
  • Chapter management according to the “Austrian model”
  • Media outreach
Contests
  • Organisation of a thematic article contests
  • Implementing new ways to give prizes at writing contests
  • Translation of a list of national monuments of significance
International projects
  • Ugro-Finish projects
  • Intensification of regional cooperations with chapters on common goals
  • CEE Spring
  • Science Photography Contest