Training the Trainers/June 2012 event

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Summary: The train-the-trainers workshop took place in London on the weekend of 9-10 June 2012, in Wikimedia UK offices.
Volunteers who want to take a leading role in Wikimedia UK's training programme were encouraged to attend.

The timings of the event were: Saturday 9:30 am - 6:30pm, Sunday 9am - 5pm (prompt start). Light breakfast and lunch was be provided; together with social dinner after the training on Sunday. We were able to cover travel and accommodation, according to the WMUK expense policy.

This was an update on the way forward for our Train the Trainers programme. The next step was two-day training workshop at the WMUK office in London, run by professional consultants. The trainer-trainers who are thus trained (yes, this gets very meta) are afterwards collectively responsible for putting together a training and accreditation programme, and run later training/skill-sharing events for other interested trainers. This expanded group is expected to deliver training to end users, including members of partner organisations.

I think this is a best-of-both-worlds solution: it's sustainable and owned by our community, but will be credible because it will have been started off by an external organisation. There's an analogy with how we use Wikipedia to spread knowledge: a reliable source external to Wikipedia vouches for it, and we adapt it, integrate it with other knowledge and make sure it's freely and widely available.

We know that some of our members are already delivering professional-quality training, but it was identified as especially important for them to sign up. The event was a chance to:

  1. Get accredited. Being a wiki expert does not necessarily mean you can pass it on to other people: this makes it all the more important that we recognise and appreciate people who have that expertise and also the ability to train.
  2. Share your skills with others.
  3. Help design a training and accreditation programme that serves WMUK in the long term.

There is a demanding assessment process linked to the training programme: no-one's guaranteed a certificate. In general, there is more than one way you can be involved in training programme; whether it's designing a syllabus, delivering that training to a room full of people, or helping learners one-to-one. This workshop explored participants' skills profile and related them to the role trainer would be suited for. Everyone can and should seek to improve, so if you are not accredited at the event, then this does not rule out being accredited in future.

The places for this first workshop were open to WMUK volunteers who can make a credible commitment to support training in future and possibly having already been involved in training events. If for whatever reason you weren't included in the initial group, you are not excluded from being an approved trainer in the future. It should be noted that if your interest is in training people to contribute to a sister project such as Commons or Wikinews, rather than to Wikipedia, that's no disadvantage. If anything, a diversity of training interests is a plus.

Note that this type of event is about training, not presenting. There is no plan for WMUK to assess, accredit or regulate presentations or lectures on any aspect of Wikimedia. Similarly, there is no intention to restrict training to an elite clique. On the contrary, I think a clear process for becoming a WMUK approved trainer would encourage more volunteers to volunteer at training events and get themselves accredited. When we are putting together a high-profile event with a partner organisation, we will prefer to use accredited trainers in preference to others. It'll operate as a white-list rather than a black-list.

MartinPoulter (talk) 14:01, 9 April 2012 (UTC), updated 26 April 2013.


Participants were asked to tell us about their training background (inside or outside Wikimedia). This training represented an investment by Wikimedia in its future, so the decision in case of oversubscription was made on the basis of how credibly each individual can commit to delivering future events. This was not a first-come, first-served list.


  • Martin Poulter. Delivered training at Institute of Physics Workshop, At-Bristol Workshop, Bristol Wiki Academy 2. Assisted at London Medical Research Council Workshop, ARKive project events, Cancer Research UK Workshop, Bristol Wikimedia Girl Geek Dinner. Professional background includes six years as a part-time teaching assistant at the University of Bristol, running seminars in Philosophy and Logic. Free any weekend in June.
  • Doug Taylor. Delivered new editor training at Manchester Uni, Manchester Girl Geeks, Liverpool U, Monmouth (both Girls' and Boys' Schools); assisted editors at Geological Society workshop and Coventry History Editathon. Qualified teacher, worked in 11-18 inner-city comprehensives (1973-1997), HoD, Senior Teacher; Post 1997: F&HE delivering IT and project work, delivered Microsoft certifications to NHS and other business clients; scuba diving National Instructor, RYA Power Boat Instructor. Should be able to free up a weekend in June. User:RexxS has email enabled.
  • John Cummings. Teach people how to edit in Monmouth, mainly Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. Run small group sessions and individual sessions including schools, community groups and the council. Mrjohncummings (talk) 16:44, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Charles Matthews. I have three types of relevant background: (a) WMUK workshops (MRC and Geological Society) and GLAM events (two at the British Museum, working with curators); plus published expository writing on many of the issues (co-author of How Wikipedia Works); (b) about a decade of coaching (for the game of Go), in varied contexts, giving short talks and working one-to-one, continuing now with the charity Headway UK where I have participated in several training events; (c) in academia, as university lecturer and with small groups.
  • Ann O'Ther from the Wiki-cy Full educ certificate and years of teaching IT to teachers, as well as pupils. Also worked as lecturer in further ed colleges; head for 12 years. I'm usually on the Welsh Wiki (Wiki-cy) and could teach through both languages. Available throughout June: any time, any place!
  • Joe Raftery. I feel a bit inadequate in this company as I have never delivered any formal training. Over 30 years as a consultant engineer I have acted as mentor. I think, with a bit of training, I could be good at training wiki editors and would like the opportunity to do this. Filceolaire (talk) 19:21, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I've organised, led, or assisted with training sessions in Manchester, Liverpool, Monmouth, London, and Coventry (I've created this small document to keep track of the various things I've done), and I sat on the panel that determined who would be delivering the Train the Trainers programme. I've taught almost every age group from secondary school pupils to octogenarians at least once. I am elsewhere on WMUK business on the morning of the 10th and all day on the 16th of June. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 12:38, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I have more experience with running and creating training courses for management and executive teams over the last quarter of a century that I have with public Wikimedia training. However I have run editathons, trained individuals, helped with workshops and I'm still the main person for our GLAM conference in September which will include training and case study workshops. You can see my partial diary of things delivered at User:Fæ/events. (talk)
  • Andy Mabbett
  • Daria Cybulska (talk) 11:58, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Didn't attend (all have been invited to the 27-28 October session):

  • Have run various training events in real life from one on one to class size audiences. Recent wiki related training includes a one on one for one of our new staffers. Am quite capable of getting my netbook out in a pizza place or pub and introducing a fellow editor to the delights of hotcat or catalot. Will expect to continue delivering training in future WereSpielChequers (talk) 16:08, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
  • The Land (talk) - have assisted in training new editors at events at CR UK and the British Library. I also have quite a lot of experience running training sessions for volunteers in politics - most notably, I co-ordinated the Liberal Democrats' training for election agents in the 2010 General Election. chris dot keating at
  • Johnbod: Organized and led 2 group basic editing training sessions for British Museum staff, & participated in other events with training at V&A Tipu's Tiger drop-in, Hoxne Hoard etc. Not available June 4-10. Johnbod (talk) 16:30, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Darren Logan. Delivered or assisted with training at both London and Cambridge Medical Research Council Workshops, Cancer Research UK Workshop, European Bioinformatics Institute, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and International Institute for Environment and Development Workshops. Co-founded Lunchipedia and is an author of Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia. I also train students in my job as a research scientist. Can only make the first two weekends in June, I'm afraid. Rockpocket (talk) 14:01, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Fabian Tompsett I have delivered wiki training as part of course at University of Westminster run in conjunction with wikiversity. I am also a Wikibuddy on Wikieducator and delivered training in a number of differing community settings. I have a Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector qualification.Leutha (talk) 16:58, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Andrew Gray - Wikipedian in Residence at the BL; will be running training sessions through the residency. I've some experience of WP training (at editing events, and plenty of informal in-peron work with new contributors) and more general training - as a librarian, I taught research skills and information literacy to teenagers. Can't make the weekend of 9th/10th or 16th/17th, but otherwise free in June.
  • LoopZilla (talk) 12:49, 10 April 2012 (UTC) Assisted at British Museum and Geological Society workshop