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Wikimedia monthly activities meetings/Quarterly reviews/Wikipedia Education Program/September 2014

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The following are notes from the mid-year review of the Wikimedia Foundation's Wikipedia Education Program team, September 25, 2014, 3:30PM - 5PM PDT.

Present (in the office): Floor Koudijs, Anna Koval, Tilman Bayer (taking minutes), Anasuya Sengupta, Erik Möller, Lila Tretikov

Participating remotely: Tighe Flanagan

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

Presentation slides from the meeting

this is the newly minted education team
Lila: why is it called mid-year review?
Anasuya: team did one six months ago
Erik: we started with quarterly reviews for high priority teams, then extended to other teams, but not in quarterly rhythm here
Anasuya: context: ed program has been great in bringing in content
Wiki Education foundation split off recently
now WMF ed team looking more globally

slide 2

[slide 2]

Floor: agenda

Who we are


Wikipedia evolving to meet needs of students, educators, and researchers

slide 4

[slide 4]

Floor leads the team (in SF) speaks English, Dutch, Spanish
Tighe based in DC, lived and taught in Jordan, speaks Arabic
(myself) Anna based in Bay Area, teacher and librarian
our role: we know that this program works and we're confident in the strategies we've devised to do that work even better...

slide 5

[slide 5]

history of the program: started as Public Policy Initiatitve in 2010
boots on the ground model: in contact with professors, help them run it
expanded to other countries - problems in e.g. India: classroom model does not work the same way as in US
focus was always on creation of high quality content, not editor retention

slide 6

[slide 6]

transition - started in 2013
empower local leaders
all about gender diversity and GS participation
US and Canada still thriving, now run by Wiki Education Foundation - they do classroom model, we support them
although they don't need a lot of e.g. material... but one thing we have a shared interest in is technical tools

slide 7

[slide 7]

team is new (Tighe has longest tenure: since summer 2013), there has been a lot of transition:
Wiki Edu spinoff
boots on the ground model -> more facilitative role
programs department -> integrated into Grantmaking
Rod Dunican left, Floor became team leader.
had to re-focus, make choices
Outreach: interviewed volunteers to map what the world is doing in education

slide 8

[slide 8]

retention: mostly for professors
Anasuya: professors are the core resource in a sense

slide 10

[slide 10]

What we know

slide 11

[slide 11]

interviewed 49 programs (out of 70+ total). We have solid data for 10 programs.

slide 12

[slide 12]

enormous diversity - eg. in scope, from just 1 volunteer scrambling for time, to Wiki Edu in US/Canada
Greece went from one course at one university, to numerous including secondary education
Lila: how is it organized, with one volunteer starting it...
so they hear about it by word of mouth?
Anna, Floor: Some get the idea by themselves
Anasuya: Also, Asaf visited Greece last year, talked about edu program
Lila: how different are these programs?
which survive?
Floor: difference in people, community receptiveness, and other factors
Tighe: example from Jordan:
started in traditional way at uni
our professor had contact at a school for gifted students (10th graders), expanded to that
Lila: what is it that the successful programs do differently?
Floor: finding that out is one of our next goals
we did ask, but need to (figure it out)
have to have good leaders, able to rally community (example: Armenia)
one of the things Frank learned: differences between educational institutions matter (e.g. tech colleges in India: no background on plagiarism)
also, local community (and contact to it) matters
Lila: also need to think of education program as education... e.g. literacy in Africa
programs that have legs have active local community
that's one of the problems in Africa
break that circle
this was one of things we talked about at WikiIndaba conference
Wikipedia still a middle class (access) thing
Lila: should have a line from awareness to contribution
US is on one extreme...
could have awareness campaigns...but they need to scale

slide 13

[slide 13]

diversity in model: now also high school or even primary school

slide 14

[slide 14]

classroom is just one model
wikicamp (idea from Armenia) spend a whole day editing
government involvement - can have huge impact, but takes long before it proves itself
Israel, Uruguay, Serbia
Lila: for Israel, we know how many teachers are going to be involved
Anasuya: planned, yes

slide 15

[slide 15]

Floor: online training material
[see slides 16-18]

slide 19

[slide 19]

Tighe: data overview
with help of Wikimetrics
allows comparison, overview of scale, size impact
(caveat: e.g. Arabic content for byte number)

slide 20

[slide 20]

a lot of nonlatin languages

slide 21

[slide 21]

shows example country page on Outreach wiki (these are in various stages of uptodateness)
Anasuya: this hasn't been done before

slide 22

[slide 22]

Erik: what is happening in Armenia?
Floor: heard that they took a Soviet era dictionary, built on that
Anasuya: and, strong community organizing
Erik: it's always bit of a concern if an existing community has to deal with a lot of external content coming in
Anasuya: but active editor community grew rapidly (https://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/SummaryHY.htm)
Anna: call from government to edit WP (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Wikipedia#.22One_Armenian.2C_One_Article.22)
Anasuya: it is run by a woman who is really active
apparently Armenian WP is one of the most gender-equal
really want to do a case study on this, identify success factors
Lila: need to normalize this table (different time spans)

Goals and needs

slide 24

[slide 24]

we have facilitative role, enable program leaders
Erik: on high level, e.g. # of educators trained is secondary goal
have you thought on this?
Anasuya: ...

slide 25

[slide 25]

tech tools - edu extension
best practices
regional coordination - often people work in isolation
funding - from WMF or help from other sources

slide 26

[slide 26]

14/15 goals - written in May, tweaked since (had not done outreach yet)

slide 27

[slide 27]

current goals
Lila: can you quantify "effectiveness"?
Anasuya: that's exactly the question
Floor: working on that
Anasuya: identify content & contributor goals
Erik: recall the Evaluation team's study of Wiki Loves Monuments programs
found that funding does not correlate to outcomes
Anasuya: they do Education this year
Floor: we don't have a lot of data
Lila: so this might be the wrong goal
Anasuya: the education team has the problem that they don't have the data themselves. They work with program leaders that have (or don't have) the data.
Erik: important to have money in the equation
Lila: surely we can at least tell how many students are in a program?
Floor: sometimes not even that
Anasuya: Also, they need the tools - e.g. Wikimetrics
Lila: yes - but not for number of people in a class?
Anasuya: Actually, we did learning patterns even on such things - participants numbers
(Teacher might know, but not the program leader)
Where we do have classroom size numbers is where we know the professors ourselves
Erik: numbers might not tell everything, we do need qualitative evaluation. some really large outreach effort might only look successful on paper
Floor: how does one measure awareness?
Lila: there are many ways to do that
Anasuya: we will always have a contribution / attribution gap for this kind of program
Erik: do we have estimate of what movement as a whole (including chapters, Wiki Edu) spends on education?
Lila: need to be able to show results when spending money
Anasuya: it's one of the reasons why integration of team with Grantmaking (including Eval) has been great
Erik: Tighe, do we have a ballpark?
Tighe: e.g. new Egypt user group about $10k, and about half goes to education
Lila: small amounts
Lila: I was in NYC recently, there were a lot of edu charities with interest in WP
e.g. one SF-based charity deployed about a million Kindles with preloaded books including WP
some experimental goals are fine, but need quantitative goals
Erik: some goals will need to be qualitative
recommend reading the India case study, about pilot which had great numbers in the start, but...

Focus areas

slide 29

[slide 29]

focus countries vs. Collab countries
involve community more

slide 30

[slide 30]

consolidating portals (formerly 5)

slide 31

[slide 31]


slide 32

[slide 32]

often heard: significant gap between community and professors
help with that
Lila: should have toolkit stuff
Erik: there is good material
Lila: slice it by contribution type (upload, referencing)
Anasuya: think about whether need to do tool development on our own
Erik: edu extension still receives some love - just checked: around 100 commits last month(Correction - around a dozen non-l10n commits in August/September --Erik Moeller (WMF) (talk) 23:53, 1 October 2014 (UTC))[reply]
Anasuya: thinking about starting anew
Lila: engineers always want to start all over again ;)

slide 33

[slide 33]

Education Collaborative: program leaders who have interest in collaborating internationally
it's an experiment, thought up at Prague meeting earlier this year
Anna: actually, Frank had the idea earlier
Floor: upcoming Edinburgh meeting
share best practices
extra burden on these volunteers though
Lila: Wikimania scholarships as incentive?
Anasuya: good idea

slide 34

[slide 34]

new user group in Egypt: about half of their activities are dedicated to edu program
no shortage in student interest there, but need volunteeres who can run program
In Jordan: earlier issue: two communities - edu volunteers vs. usual editors. Trying to bring them together.
going to work with female students in Saudi Arabia, who formed a wiki cclub
Yemen: enthusiastic volunteers, but bad political situation
will also focus on Tunesia, North Africa

slide 35

[slide 35]

photo from Amman hackathon I organized

slide 36

[slide 36]

collect best practices
more data collection
give them a voice
Lila: CentralNotice banners

slide 37

[slide 37]

Lila: not all parameters need to be quantitative, but be specific
example [for qualitative]: community responses, student reporting negative experiences
"did your students get a lot of pushback?"
"did your students copy+paste content without permission?"
bridging is one of our strengths
Lila: from what I see, communities are often concerned about influx
Anasuya: Jake's work on TWL should help connect
Floor: reach out to people who do education work, offer to connect

slide 38

[slide 38]

Key needs: comes back to tech support
edu extension is not very user friendly
Erik: could work on UX, architecture issues
can I have another half a million $ for dev work? ;)
Anna: used to have dedicated tech person, but he left for Wiki Edu
Erik: he wasn't a developer per se, though

slide 39

[slide 39]

Floor: opportunities - we're not all needy ;)
GLEE, WP0, ..
Anasuya: see different pipelines
they know more now
first time this kind of analysis was done, they now have this data
Lila: let's do this quarterly
have quarterly goals
Anasuya: perhaps break up all of Grantmaking's qr into team reviews[?]
Lila: be more focused on what you want to do and achieve, don't take on too much
next time we meet, be precise about what was done/achieved/not, what was learned
Anna: can we work with you to write the goals?
Lila: of course
Anasuya: you guys did a lot of good work in last 3 months
Lila: .. can give you fundamental tools to map this user journey