Education Committee/Education Committee meeting 18 September 2013/Minutes

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WMUK education committee meeting 18 September 2013


Daria Cybulska (DC) Martin Poulter (MP) Charles Matthews (CM) Stevie Benton (SB) Fabian Tompsett (L) Toni Sant (TS)




Minutes of the previous meeting

Minutes from the previous meeting were approved. Actions arising are covered under other headings below.

VLE progress ( and workshop

CM gave an update on the VLE. He directed people to Module Wiki (linked above) which hosts much of the draft documentation. Much of the content of the Moodle as been copied over to the wiki in plain text. He is going to be working on some updates to include topics such as VisualEditor. The idea of including the content on the ModuleWiki is to enable people not on the VLE to review the content. The reason for delays on this is a lack of developer time (which of course is limited). Migration to WMUK hosting has caused broken internal links but this isn't too serious. The main technical task is the transclusion function from the wiki to the VLE. The Moodle client is being adapted but is having performance issues. Also need flagged revisions. CM is going to take the case for more developer time to the tech committee but promises can't be made on this. May be a delay to the workshop.

SB has been working on visual appearance ("skinning"), with help from Doug Taylor and an external designer. SB has inserted images into all modules and video clips into course introductions, and requests feedback from those with VLE access.

Train the Trainer report

DC discussed Jon's report on the Train the Trainer programme.

Wikimania report, and student education projects (matter arising)

MP attended & spoke at the education workshop at Wikimania. Alastair McCapra was also in attendance. Some points:

  • UK is the only country in which there are Wikipedia assignments but not a Wikipedia Education Program making these assignments visible to the community.
  • On the other hand, the UK is the only country in which Wikimedians are working with funders and government to influence the culture of the education sectors and make Wikimedia a mainstream option.
  • An argument for the Education Program is that educators set assignments on Wikipedia anyway, and that it is better that they do it in the open, showing the community what is being affected, rather than under the radar.
  • Although it is focused entirely on content and not editor retention, the Education Program is as successful at editor retention as projects that are focused on editor retention.

Leutha commented that sometimes specific education assessment exercises can cause problems on Wikipedia with students reluctant to see other editors working on content because it is "their" work. MP wondered if our role should be as a facilitator. MP pointed out that there are lots of things happening but we aren't always aware of each other's efforts and asked us to please list activities on the UK wiki. He pointed out that there are questions about how much ownership we want to take of education projects. Toni spoke about the change at the WMF with Sophie Osterberg replacing Annie Lin in the Education Program team. TS proposed that we discuss the way forward with Sophie and Rod when they come to the UK for EduWiki. I think that having the context of what's happening in the broader context will help us assert our on position better and more clearly.

Jisc Ambassador report

See This will be a recurring agenda point for these meetings until April. MP is reporting in detail on the WMUK public wiki, including monthly reports from now on. A detailed plan, stakeholder analysis, outcomes and time budget have been created and seen by DC, TS, and the WMUK board. Now being reviewed by Jisc before being made public.

  • The project involves changing processes and culture in Jisc to make Wikimedia engagement a routine part of how they and their funded projects work. MP has been encouraged to work across the whole organisation.
  • A large aspect of the project is outreach to academics in universities to get them to see the opportunities for education and for research impact in engaging with Wikimedia. The first of these will be at Oxford University and MP is seeking half a dozen other institutions (2 confirmed so far) to deliver the workshop. MP will also run events at the Learning and Teaching Experts Group and the Jisc Digital Festival.
  • Three public editathons are being organised as part of the project. Two have already been announced on the wiki and bookings are already being taken.
  • The project is also creating documentation, aimed at managers and directors, all of which will be freely licensed.

Student societies

We have interested parties at SOAS, Cardiff, and Hull@Scarborough. Toni is in the process of working with these institutions to support the development of student societies. There will be a case of prioritising those where there are active volunteers who are able to support the societies. Fabian said that he is willing to help with SOAS. Toni will put him in contact with the relevant volunteer from SOAS. He also explained that the idea is to collaborate with an existing student society for Black History Month. The Cardiff effort is related to EduWiki while the one in Hull@Scarborough will be linked to the Freshers' Fair. CM mentioned that there is a stand at the Cambridge Freshers' Fair and is going to be helping. He asked that the WMUK office send him some things to give to people on the stand on 8 & 9 October. TS will coordinate with CM on logistics.

EduWiki conference update

Talk proposals [1] - Toni began the conversation. Registration for the conference is now open and three people have registered already, two of whom are from the WMF. The registration link is on the EduWiki page. He is hoping to have a draft programme in place within the next couple of days - by 23 Sept. Toni thanked everyone for their comments on the proposed sessions. A draft programme will appear on the published schedule More feedback is welcome either via email or through the talk page for the conference. The wiki page itself will now turn into a conference announcement/information page rather than a planning page. Any further planning can continue on the talk page too.


TS will email education committee about a conference app that has been proposed through Ed Saperia. I think they'd like to try this ahead of Wikimania. We may be having a demo of this app at the WMUK office on (this coming) Wednesday.

TS encouraged to call a conference call before EduWiki if help is needed.

MP noted that the call for the Open Education Resources Conference 2014 is open. MP was funded by WMUK to attend this earlier this year and recommends that WMUK have a representation again. TS offered to coordinate this directly; we can make an open call for people interested in attending through support from WMUK.

TS proposed having an open education committee meeting at EduWiki; open to members and conference delegates.Everyone felt this was a good idea.

Date of next meeting

Within 1-2 weeks after EduWiki 2013