Campus Ambassador training
This is an outline for a one-day training event. If you want this kind of event in your institution, contact the Wikimedia UK office.
Objective: to give people in universities the understanding and skills needed to run educational assignments successfully on Wikipedia.
- 1 Target audience
- 2 Approach
- 3 Prerequisites
- 4 Before the session
- 5 Sessions
- 5.1 Why should you contribute to Wikipedia?
- 5.2 What is Wikipedia?
- 5.3 What sort of articles will the learners create or improve?
- 5.4 How does writing a Wikipedia assignment differ from normal essay-writing?
- 5.5 How are Wikipedia assignments assessed?
- 5.6 What could go wrong?
- 5.7 What will happen over the course of the assignment?
- 6 Assessment and accreditation
- 7 See also
- Lecturers looking to run a Wikipedia assignment as part of a university-level course
- Teaching assistants or other support staff looking to help with such a course, especially by training students to edit Wikipedia.
- Wikimedia staff or volunteers supporting educational assignments
- Note: Where this training is officially recognised by Wikimedia UK, satisfactory completion will entitle you to a UK Campus Ambassador certificate. (Provisional: there isn't a formal process yet for issuing CA certificates, but it's something WMUK should develop)
This day-long session will be informal and active, giving a chance for participants to build up an individual picture of how they will run or support Wikipedia assignments. It is not rigorously structured or timed because a lot depends on the interests and knowledge of the participants.
It is structured as a series of sessions. Each is based around a practical question. We will share and discuss our own reactions to the question, and you may be given a short period of time to research a topic on-wiki and present what you've found back to the group. In each unit, we will refresh our knowledge about a different core policy of Wikipedia (although all the policies are relevant to all the session topics). The point of each session is to think about what you already know, learn more by sharing within the group, then reflect about how you would apply this in a course, or how you would teach others.
In each unit, we will look at some of the resources available, such as handouts, videos or slide presentations. You may be asked to do a short presentation to the rest of the group, using one of the existing slide presentations: if so, you will be sent a link to the presentation beforehand. We will discuss whether or not each of these resources are helpful, and you can make an individual choice of whether or how to use them.
The basics of wiki editing are not covered in this session, but there are some wiki editing skills which are particularly relevant to educational projects. We will cover these as they come up throughout the day.
All the resources involved in this training are freely and openly available in the hope that people who have been through it will, in turn, train colleagues and others. If approved by Wikimedia UK, you will be able to approve trainees for UK Campus Ambassador certification.
- Understanding of, and enthusiasm for, the goals of Wikipedia
- Experience with Wikipedia editing. ‘’Some’’ experience expected for lecturers; a ‘’lot’’ expected for people who want to be campus or online ambassadors. How “some” and “a lot” are interpreted will depend on context and on the nature of your involvement, not on a numerical count of edits.
- A connection to academic content, meaning you must either be involved in an educational institution as teacher, learner or support staff; or have experience editing academic content on Wikipedia.
- Confidence to speak in front of others: If you have not yet taught in a formal setting, but have experience teaching or presenting in quite informal settings, that’s fine.
- Participants should have internet-connected computers available, whether laptops in a wifi area, or by having the session in a computer room. It is acceptable to have tablet devices, but it is preferable to use laptop or desktop computers.
- Participants should come prepared to take notes, preferably in electronic form where you can link to online resources. You are welcome to use your user space on Wikipedia or on this Wikimedia UK wiki. These notes will form the basis of the plan for your assignment and/or for the Wikipedia training you give to students.
- A quiet room with data projector, wireless internet, flipchart and pens.
Before the session
All participants should take an overview at Wikipedia's Training for Educators page. You don't have to learn every detail: some of this will be covered in the event. If any questions arise, make a note of them for the course leader. A lot of the information about editing will already be familiar to you if you have hands-on experience of improving Wikipedia.
Why should you contribute to Wikipedia?
- Key policy: Wikipedia is free content.
- Resources: Videos from the Outreach wiki; quotes from users of Wikipedia; Video: The Impact of Wikipedia; Instructor Basics booklet
- How can you enthuse others to contribute to Wikipedia?
What is Wikipedia?
- Active exercise: Is and Is Not
- Resources: Slide deck: Introduction to Wikipedia; Slide deck: Wikipedia Essentials; Slide deck: Campus Wikipedia Literacy; Markup Quick Reference
- Key policy: Verifiability
- On-wiki skill: creating a properly-formatted citation, the easy way
- What will student contributors need to know about Wikipedia editing?
What sort of articles will the learners create or improve?
- Key policy: Notability
- Potential opportunities: sub-articles; articles about applications of a concept; creating a diagram, annotated image or timeline rather than an article
- Potential pitfalls: duplicated content, "POV forks", theories or discoveries too recent to be part of established knowledge
- Wiki skill: finding the relevant Wikiproject assessment grid and using it to identify high-importance, low-quality articles.
- Break for lunch
How does writing a Wikipedia assignment differ from normal essay-writing?
- Key policy: Neutral Point Of View
- See the Appropriate tone exercise under Improving Wikipedia training
- How would you give feedback to someone who has written a Wikipedia article in an essay-like style?
How are Wikipedia assignments assessed?
- Key policy: No original research
- Discussion questions:
- How will critical thinking be assessed?
- How much credit will be given for on-wiki interaction with each other/ with other Wikipedia editors?
- Wiki skill: creating a draft in user-space
- Resource: the 26-point article quality scale
- Break for refreshments
What could go wrong?
- Discussion questions:
- What are the important steps to prevent something going wrong (some of these are covered in other sessions)?
- What should the learners or the ambassador do if something goes wrong?
- Where can you get help?
- Resources: handout: how to get help
- Key policy: Civility
- Wiki skill: creating an on-wiki presence for the course, including a course page, and tagging relevant pages. See Wikipedia:Ambassadors/Resources#Templates and Wikipedia:Training/For_educators/Setting_up_your_course
What will happen over the course of the assignment?
- Discussion questions:
- Will learners work in groups? If so, how?
- How soon will learners edit Wikipedia directly?
- How will the course Virtual Learning Environment support the Wikipedia work?
- How can learners get feedback on their work?
- How will the lecturer and ambassadors monitor progress?
- Will articles be submitted for review? If so, what kind?
- Resources: Did You Know eligibility; "Submitting an article to the Did You Know process" handout (PDF); the Good Article criteria (it's not normally in scope of an educational project to get an article past GA review, but these criteria give learners something concrete to aim for); Memorandum of Understanding for the Canada Education Program
- Wiki skill: creating a summary of a set of contributions to a target article using the "View History" feature.
Assessment and accreditation
The course leader will observe how people contribute over the course of the day, and learn their strengths and any areas in which they need more help. For trainees who have fully taken part, and have shown or developed an understanding of the issues around Wikipedia assignments, the training leader should recommended a Campus Ambassador certificate, which the Wikimedia UK office will issue. When someone is accredited, this fact should be recorded publicly in the Education section of the Wikimedia UK site.
Confidential individual feedback should be available from the course leader if trainees want it. This may involve putting the trainee in touch with other Wikimedia volunteers who can help them further.
Decisions about who can deliver this training are presently the responsibility of the Campus Ambassador Co-ordinator, who is presently Martin Poulter. However, decisions can be appealed to the Chief Executive and ultimately to the Board of Wikimedia UK.