Talk:2014-15 educational priorities/Archive

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Refocus VLE to be more conversational[edit source]

I found David Whites keynote speech very interesting, and have followed up listening to some of his other presentations. I found this very interesting. His discussion of broadcast vs conversation very interesting. One thing he points out is that "contact is as important as content". "Openness is as much about conversations as throwing content around." I think we should refocus the VLE so that it is more converstional.Leutha (talk) 17:21, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

To go back to the beginning, "This VLE would include customised learning and assessment materials as well as private discussion spaces." That is from Train the Trainers/Tender, and constitutes the brief.
The brief can be changed, naturally, and I asked for it to be reviewed a few days ago. Assessment materials in the form of quizzes have been written. I know this brief is not what you are asking for. As the contractor, I can't just vary the deal in a one-sided way.
Let me make the point that VLE discussions get complicated because you have to think in three dimensions: content, presentation, technology. Currently tech and its budget are the sticking point. There is the fourth dimension, features. My intention for about 18 months is to have a wiki integrated with the Moodle site, and work has gone on to that end. Turns out that technology is driving the choice of features right now. Charles Matthews (talk) 11:53, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Charles that at the moment we have a development plan which we should see through. Editing a Wiki is, by its very nature, conversational. Let's see how the VLE and our resources develop, then we should talk about formative assessment and social aspects...this is something I can imagine multiple papers on if I had time! One thing I might do at some point, partly because it'd be useful to me, is pull together various educationally salient research papers, happily other people have made huge starts on that so it's just a collation of multiple lists I think Sjgknight (talk) 08:18, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Supporting assignments[edit source]

WMUK doesn't really do much in terms of supporting Wikipedia-related assignments/projects right now. They sort of happen without WMUK support, or often even knowledge. Leaflets help, but having experienced Wikimedians available to ensure that the courses go the right way would be far more valuable. Can I suggest aiming to ensure that each assignment project that takes place gets two visits from an experienced Wikimedian - one near the start to help get things going, and one near the end to make sure everything turned out OK in the end - and that some sort of light report containing lessons learnt is encouraged at the end? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:24, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

The assumption there is that those running such projects want that. I don't think that there any way to "ensure" invitations into other people's homes.
I have been involved in one project from earlier this year within the Oxford Zoology department. I followed up with mails offering further contact and support, which was not needed. I did make a point of finding out the basis of their assessment scheme, which was some marks for markup, though mostly for content. I honestly don't know what more I could have done.
The chances are it will happen again in 2014, and that surely is the desired outcome. Charles Matthews (talk) 11:21, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

General thoughts[edit source]

The "education arena" is huge, in the UK alone. There are any number of networking and outreach opportunities that might be worth pursuing. And there is no shortage of general thoughts on education to discuss.

What we do currently includes:

  • A1 EduWiki which I don't need to dwell on;
  • A2 Student projects and student societies, as another interface with the university system.
  • B1 The training strand comprising train-the-trainers and training events (workshops, editathons, and some possibility of broader scope in digital literacy);
  • B2 Our attempts to get an online training presence up and running, by the VLE, MediaWiki+Moodle integration, quizzes, videos, badges (a big package of issues that is supposed to be subordinate to training, which is becoming a stretch).
  • Other literature and online content.

Let's just concentrate for a moment on audience. EduWiki is basically for the "education professional" audience? That is a question, not an assertion. It is complemented by what we can do with students. Train-the-trainers is directed towards our own community; while the training events we run have turned out to be directed largely at institutions (let's not get sidetracked right now into a taxonomy of which institutions, though I think that does matter). Digital literacy as an issue is directed towards an audience of the "excluded", so let's say it is functioning as "none of the above" here. And an online training programme is similarly directed towards people who are not served by existing training (which is almost everyone, of course) and are not helped by existing online guides to Wikipedia (still almost everyone, of course).

Stevie wants more emphasis on parts of B1 and B2, more or less because the exclusion issues. Fabian has argued for a dimension of B2 which I think is important, because we do have a chance to be distinctive. As Wikimedians we think in communitarian terms. Comes down to saying that MediaWiki+Moodle integration is a techie way of looking at the feature sets of the wiki and the VLE, and wanting some of each.

Daria and I are both thinking about C also. I am basically a content guy. As a trainer, for example, I like to get some ideas down and then work out how to project them as a speaker. But here's a caveat: based on my time in another field, I would guess that introductory content about Wikipedia gets maybe six times the attention of other matters. I'm not convinced we have the sort of content available anywhere yet that would "transform" people into hobby-Wikimedians. That is anyway the wrong way of looking at it. We have a demographic to aim at, and they are spread across all the audiences mentioned so far. (Wikimedians are quite likely to be really young, or retired ...) As Wikipedia turns 12, is there any chance we could understand our own project well enough to educate people generally in it?

Charles Matthews (talk) 11:29, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

Medium-message crosstable[edit source]

This is one of my reactions to reading over the material generated by this discussion. Some conclusions are simplistic enough:

  • Audience - understand segmentation;
  • Effectiveness - understand metrics;
  • Toeholds in the academic sector - log assiduously.

But there seems to be a much more complex medium/message discussion. I think we know what we want, that everyone is on-message (consistency), in addition to matching message to audience and having effective messages. It is, however, complicated. I'm posting this as a table with ten media and six message areas, to see how it looks. Obviously the content is a bit negotiable, but here it is anyway, as a baseline for discussion.

The point, to be clear, is to fill in whether a medium is typically used by WMUK for a given type of message, not whether it could be used at a pinch. So the "hack day" line is about what you would expect to communicate about at the event: you could talk about NPOV and COI there, but really you wouldn't, much. Charles Matthews (talk) 15:42, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Medium Wikitext Wikipedia writing Wikipedia community Wikimedia Wikimedia case studies Open content Internet savvy
(digital literacy)
Hard copy materials Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY ? Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY ? X mark.svgN
Web pages (generic)
E.g. on this wiki
X mark.svgN X mark.svgN Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY X mark.svgN Yes check.svgY ?
Web pages, Wikipedia-style
supplying reference material.

WMUK is not in this business currently;
this row is for comparison.

Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY X mark.svgN Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY
VLE pages Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY
Quiz materials Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY X mark.svgN Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY
Videos Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY X mark.svgN Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY
Training workshops Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY
Editathons Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY X mark.svgN X mark.svgN X mark.svgN Yes check.svgY X mark.svgN
Hack days Yes check.svgY
X mark.svgN X mark.svgN X mark.svgN X mark.svgN Yes check.svgY Yes check.svgY
Conference presentations X mark.svgN X mark.svgN X mark.svgN Yes check.svgY ? Yes check.svgY X mark.svgN