Open Knowledge Ambassador training Oxford University

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In the Hilary (Spring) term of 2016, Martin Poulter (in his capacity as Wikimedian In Residence at the Bodleian Libraries) is running a four-part course to give Oxford University members a deeper understanding of Wikipedia and other open knowledge projects, and the ability to involve others in improving them. This is the first course of its type given by a UK university.

Approach[edit | edit source]

I typically find that what people find most interesting in workshops differs from person to person, and is often some insight or link that comes up as a response to a question. People will remember tips much better if they come as a response to a need, not if I brain-dump all I know into a big lecture. Hence the approach in these workshops is active, research-based learning: participants have exercises to carry out on their computer, which involve exploring an aspect of an open knowledge site, and then they report back to the group what they learned from it. I'm not looking for fixed answers, but am interested to see what people discover that's relevant to their own interests.

Participants are encouraged to build up a list of helpful links that they find during the course, by adding to their Wikipedia user page. w:User:MartinPoulter/tools is my example. If there is another platform that's more convenient for them to store links on, that's fine.

Sessions[edit | edit source]

Session 1: What would a world of open knowledge be like?[edit | edit source]

Wednesday 20 January

Topics
  • The ongoing open knowledge revolution. Open knowledge, Open access, Open data, Open education, Free culture, Knowledge philanthropy
  • How open knowledge is changing the world
  • Different kinds of open knowledge and the tools for exploring them, including maps, family trees, digital media.

Session 2: Getting knowledge out[edit | edit source]

Wednesday 3 February

Topics
  • Quality control in wiki communities: reviews and showcases
  • Finding and evaluating Wikipedia articles and other open resources in your academic subject
  • Examples of resources made by remixing open content and open data

Session 3: Putting knowledge in.[edit | edit source]

Wednesday 17 February

Topics
  • Running an edit-a-thon event for a specific subject
  • Why do articles get deleted from Wikipedia?
  • Diverse ways of improving open knowledge
  • Bringing in new users: tips and pitfalls

Session 4: Building collaborations[edit | edit source]

Wednesday 2 March

We went through the Wikimedia partnership workshop which involves gradually building up a "map" of different ways to collaborate with Wikimedia. See the separate page for that event.

In the second half of the session, we looked at, and discussed the possibilities of Wikipedia Educational Assignments, choosing from these specific examples:

Questions to ask, looking at the above course pages: What course were the students on? Were they working singly or in groups? What articles were they editing? How good are the resulting articles?

Topics
  • Sharing content with cultural institutions
  • Using open knowledge communities to crowdsource improvements to content

Coverage[edit | edit source]

Accounts of participants[edit | edit source]

New accounts
Others

Evaluation[edit | edit source]

Session 1[edit | edit source]

Seven attendees: 3 men and 4 women.

I enjoyed this workshop.

4 4 4 4 5 Mean: 4.2

I learnt new things in this workshop.

4 4 5 4 5 Mean: 4.4

The pace was about right.

4 5 4 4 5 Mean: 4.4

I would recommend other people take a workshop like this.

4 5 4 3 5 Mean: 4.2

I will do something different in my work as a result of attending.

3 5 4 4 5 Mean: 4.2

What is the most surprising thing you learnt about in this workshop?
  • the detail that is involved in creating wiki/ open resources
  • The existence of “peer-reviewed” (featured) articles on Wikipedia
  • Additional (and useful) resource
  • The timeline tool [Histropedia] - awesome!
  • I was not aware of Histropedia or Immap, or how they work.
Tell us at least one thing which would have improved this workshop for you.
  • can’t identify any.
  • Handout or online guide to refer to later or to make notes as going along.
  • Not sure!
  • A couple of times I found myself behind on the PC tasks.
  • [blank]
Any further comments to add- either positive or negative?
  • Thanks, very interesting
  • Martin is very clearly knowledgeable in this topic area. Thanks.
  • [rest blank]

Session 2[edit | edit source]

Three attendees: 1 woman and 2 men.

I enjoyed this workshop.

5 5 4 Mean: 4.7

I learnt new things in this workshop.

5 5 5 Mean: 5.0

The pace was about right.

5 5 4 Mean: 4.7

I would recommend other people take a workshop like this.

5 5 4 Mean: 4.7

I will do something different in my work as a result of attending.

4 5 3 Mean: 4.0

What is the most surprising thing you learnt about in this workshop?
  • Generally the amount of metadata available in relation to pages & projects
  • Differences between subject areas in level of detail for projects
  • The review process with regards to article status in Wikipedia
Tell us at least one thing which would have improved this workshop for you.
  • Since it was a small group is was easy to clarify things with you as we went along, eg. further questions regarding the instructions. This might have been more difficult with more people - not really a criticism, I realise.
  • If I had remembered my Bod log-in. Or had been able to think of a subject to explore (one that had projects)
  • Test of sandbox editing for a hands-on feel - though time may not allow.
Any further comments to add- either positive or negative?
  • Good atmosphere!
  • Another enjoyable session. Thanks.
  • [blank]

Session 3[edit | edit source]

Two attendees: one woman, one man. So I didn't use evaluation forms

Two apologies for absence

Session 4[edit | edit source]

Two attendees: both women, one of whom was a completely new user: had only just heard about the course and had not edited Wikipedia.

One apology for absence