Education projects/University Wikimedian in Residence

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This page is kept as an archival reference.
If you want to raise a point about it, please start a discussion thread on the community forum.

This page relates to work done in 2012.

This is a draft profile for a generic proposal for a Wikimedian in Residence at a UK university. Please add more ideas, case examples, and the like

Role Profile[edit | edit source]

  • Meet with researchers, teachers, students and support staff across the university (see Anatomy of a university) to meet with and discuss possible activities.
  • Providing advice and in-person help for activities that advance the goals of the university and Wikimedia (as well as the wider public benefit). These include:
    • Support teaching staff making use of Wikipedia in the classroom, by providing training to both staff and students, coordinating with the global Wikimedia community, sharing and developing best practice from the Wikipedia Education Programme
    • Work with academic staff and Wikimedia volunteers to review and enhance Wikipedia articles, improving their breadth and accuracy
    • Promote understanding of Wikimedia and its mission among staff and students through workshops and events - whether internal events focused on training staff, or "editathons" that bring academics / graduate students together with Wikipedia volunteers to improve Wikipedia articles
    • Work with library and archive staff to digitize, compile and organize resources that can be shared with the Wikimedia community.
    • Expose content generated within the institution via the Wikimedia projects (while respecting relevant Wikimedia policies)

Support[edit | edit source]

  • The WIR will have one mentor from Wikimedia UK and one from University staff, and will have meetings (in person or by phone/online) with at least one of them each week. This is a chance to report on progress and for the mentors to identify ways they can help.
  • The mentors are responsible induction training at the start of the placement, making sure the WIR understands how Wikimedia UK works with partner organisations for mutual and public benefit, and how the university is internally structured.
  • The university shall provide desk space and IT support for the duration of the placement.
  • Wikimedia UK shall provide reasonable event/workshop support as needed by sending training materials, merchandise
  • Both mentors are expected to share contact details held by their organisations with the WIR, where these help the goals of the placement.
  • The university will not expect the WIR to edit the Wikipedia article about the university.

Skills needed[edit | edit source]

  • Understanding of, and commitment to, the mission and values of the Wikimedia movement
  • Familiarity with MediaWiki editing and with processes by which Wikipedia articles are created, reviewed and improved
  • At least basic familiarity with the technical and legal issues of sharing text or digital media online under free and open licences.
  • Excellent communication, both written and in-person
  • Strong team work skills
  • Familiarity with the technical, metadata and legal issues around creating digital copies of physical content for online distribution.
  • Experience in running/supporting training events
  • Interest in education outreach

Benefits to a university[edit | edit source]

  • Builds students' critical capabilities and online skills. In the Wikipedia Education Programme, undergraduates are asked to contribute to and assess Wikipedia articles relevant to their subjects of study. This requires critical thought (what information in this openly edited article can be trusted? Are the sources used of high quality?) as well as the exercise of research and writing skills to improve Wikipedia articles. The understanding students gain from their training of Wikipedia, the concept of open licensing, and the Wikipedia online community also enhances their digital literacy. And, of course, students' contributions will remain in Wikipedia, improving its quality indefinitely.
  • Improving understanding of Wikipedia amongst staff and graduate students. Wikimedia projects are many things to the academic community - an educational and research resource, an image library, an example of the digital humanities, and a unique online community to be researched. Through holding staff workshops, the Wikipedian in Residence can demystify Wikipedia and help staff make appropriate use of these tools.
  • Enhancing opportunities to expose research and/or content to a global public audience, so increasing opportunities for public engagement.