2014-15 educational priorities/Archive
- This page is currently dormant, the material here having gone to the Education committee: see Education Committee/Education Committee meeting 14 January 2014/Minutes. The content was reconsidered after the release of the draft Board strategy plan, at the beginning of February 2014.
During the Education Committee meeting on 12 November 2013 the group discussed the way in which educational priorities for Wikimedia UK are established and decided upon. There was a feeling that there should be a review of Wikimedia UK's educational priorities, led by the EduComm with contributions from the wider community. This page exists to help support the development of these priorities and to facilitate an appropriate discussion around them. Please get involved.
It would also help to refer to the Activity Plan which captured initial ideas 2014_Activity_Plan#University_and_Education_Outreach.
Refocus VLE to be more conversational
Thoughts from WMDE
I was recently discussing the education programme with WMDE, and what they are planning to focus on in 2014-15. I've picked out a couple of threads that I think would be useful for us:
- MOOCs - working to make the ones around Wikimedia more widely used, perhaps contributing to some content
- advocacy and open resources - it seems MOOCs are not widely used in education in Germany, so part of the work in the programme will be convincing institutions otherwise. Working with scientific community, working on ways to encourage use of open resources in the classroom. In this area, working with NGOs that share WMDE's values.
- creating education materials - others than just the ones explaining how to use Wikipedia as a part of the classroom assignment. One planned resource will be a booklet for teachers called 'Wikipedia - creating knowledge together"
- growing the network of educators committed to Wikipedia, aiming to get the engagement from a whole university and not just one educator. Growing the community of volunteers interested in supporting the education work of the chapter
At the same time, not alienating the Wikimedia volunteer community, continuing to working with them on projects of importance to them.
Add onto the draft Education strategy paper
(the paper is here). It talks about a general goal in our education outreach. What would that be?
A goal would be: supporting and evaluating a variety of educational assignments in universities.
Goals building towards that could be:
- Learning support staff in many universities being aware of Wikipedia assignments, what they offer, and how to manage the risks.
- Visibility of Wikimedia UK in mailing lists and events about open education or innovative education.
- Developing an education programme in which we specify what support we give universities and what we expect them to commit.
Explanations behind possible priorities
- Raising awareness of the potential of Wikipedia/Wikimedia projects in the formal education to build contacts
- Establish a publicly available set of full case studies on the current use of Wikipedia in higher education to use as an evidence base when promoting WP in HE - These case studies are important because they help to establish a narrative that we can share with other institutions. Engaging with Wikipedia becomes less daunting and risky if we can successfully demonstrate examples of how it is already being done in effective ways.
- Have regular (volunteer where possible) representation at important education conferences to increase the chapter's visibility in this area and highlight the potential of WP in a formal education context - Visibility of the chapter and an awareness of its potential as actors in the wider education sector are very important. This kind of large scale outreach is effective at events where there is a concentration of people with a shared interest to whom you want to promote a project, an idea or a concept.
- Focus on training, spreading skills.
- Supporting international movement
- Get the VLE released - It provides proof of concept that Wikimedia UK can provide teaching and training tools that are of use to the whole movement. A chapter of our size should be able to contribute something internationally and not just locally. Additionally, it offers a new way for people to learn about Wikipedia and how to become a Wikipedian in a self taught setting. This encourages momentum to be maintained - a person leaving a training session is immediately presented with a tool that they can use to learn independently.
- Develop a coherent, effective digital literacy training course / program - Digital literacy is a key concept. There is a great deal of research that demonstrates that teachers believe young people to be lacking in critical skills such as identifying credible and reliable information, conducting research and understanding who to trust and who to mistrust. Equally, research shows that teachers also lack these skills (see the Demos paper - Truth, Lies and the Internet for more). The use of Wikipedia in formal educational settings, such as sixth form, can help young people to develop these important skills and potentially lead to them becoming active Wikipedians in future.
- Carry out an effective analysis of current education activities to separate what works and should be scaled from what is less effective and should be dropped - To a certain degree we are working blindfolded here. We are trying to establish lots of activities but I don't believe we have enough of an understanding of what is successful and what isn't. We should test this so we can work in a way that is much more focused on evidence.
-- Thoughts from Stevie
I agree with Daria's point about different kinds of writing. It would be good to work on a whole range of training materials, for example:
- Hard copy
- in the handout and cheatsheat range (for various audiences); and
- in the flyer and booklet range.
- Online content
For that we need some definite idea of message, audience and intention.
And I also want to point up the value of quiz material, which has opened up quite recently as a new front. In 2014 we should have a bank of quiz questions that can be used on the VLE and within MediaWiki via the Quiz extension. We should look on it as a valuable resource, and digest various kinds of FAQ material and expertise.
2014 Activity Plan for University and Education Outreach
As indicated above (just beneath the lead paragraph), it would also help to refer to the Activity Plan which captures initial ideas for University and Education Outreach 2014 plans, as this is my main guidance document for the work I do as WMUK's Education Organiser. Although there are still major changes taking place on the wiki pages associated with the 2014 Activity Plan for University and Education Outreach, we expect the main outline to be in place by the time of the first Education Committee meeting in 2014. --Toni Sant (WMUK) (talk) 16:04, 30 December 2013 (UTC)