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Kanban for editathons[edit | edit source]

A kanban board at the Women in Classical Studies editathon at Senate House, London

I just saw the newsletter with a picture of the kanban board used at the Women in Classical Studies editathon. What a great idea! It helps people share what they are working on. Helps to avoid edit conflicts. Enables organisers to list all the articles that have been improved. It could possibly work well for a recap session at the end too, where people talk about the changes they made.

Who was involved with that editathon? Who has used it elsewhere? I would love to hear how it has been used in practice.

Yaris678 (talk) 15:09, 3 February 2017 (GMT)

Hi Yaris678, I was the lead trainer at the Women in Classical Studies editathon. I saw the kanban in an Instagram post for an Art+Feminism editathon. It worked much better than expected - a fantastic indicator of the achievements of the day.Eartha78 (talk) 19:02, 3 February 2017 (GMT)
Cool. So how did you use it? Did you get people to brainstorm a load of post-its of articles to look at, at the beginning of the day? Did you just say 'if you have an idea, stick it on the board'? Did you come with the post-its filled out already? Yaris678 (talk) 10:25, 11 February 2017 (GMT)
The group were quite well prepared prior to the editathon. They had identified a number of articles to create - some had already done the research and started to writing in their sandbox. When we began the second part of the editathon they each committed to an article, wrote it on a sticky note and stuck it to the wall! Moving the notes from left to right was surprisingly motivating and a good excuse to stretch ones legs. Also used the sticky notes for an evaluation exercise at the end of the session. Eartha78 (talk) 18:27, 16 February 2017 (GMT)
Thank you Eartha78. That is really interesting. I will use this next time I do an editathon. Yaris678 (talk) 09:39, 19 February 2017 (GMT)

Training from the back of the room[edit | edit source]

Another idea for editathons: Training from the back of the room. I recently went to a training course that used this approach and it was really good. I think it would work particularly well with something like an editathon, which isn't branded as training.

Rough outline of how it could work:

  • After basic intros, etc, ask people to stand up and arrange themselves in order of experience of editing Wikipedia. Encourage people to speak to the people next to them, get an idea of their experience.
  • Get the people at each end of the group to talk a little bit about there experience, so we all know the range of experience in the room.
  • Split the group into small teams of ~4 people. Say that is 4 groups, number the line 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4... etc and everyone with the same number is in the same group. That way the teams all have a range of experience.
  • Get people to explain to their team mates:
    • What they normally do on Wikipedia
    • What they would like to do today
    • Anything they see that might stop them from achieving what they want to do today
  • If there are specific articles to edit, these can go on the kanban board
  • Perhaps other types of aims like "understand referencing" should be written on a flip chart that each team has
  • Organisers should also bring topics to put on the kanban board
  • Encourage people to work as a team on a topics
    • The best way to do this needs thinking about, perhaps something like Mob programming
    • Perhaps do something like two people look at references. One (relatively inexperienced) person does the typing and one person guides that person.
    • The general idea is to encourage people to work together and share their skills
  • If we have a number of trained trainers at the editathon, they would still be part of a team, and help their team achieve its goals.

Yaris678 (talk) 10:28, 11 April 2017 (BST)

I welcome this exposure to the technique- it is very much what I have been saying for a couple of years. Teaching is a relationship formed between the student and the teacher- and the teacher is there to listen and facilitate the learning. Training seems to be lagging behind- and the TtT sessions have mainly been about 'from the front training' and improving presentation technique. There are several caveats to 'pupil centred learning' that we found out when this was trialled wholesale in the 1960s, along with open plan classrooms and project work. So can I just quickly go through them.
  1. No method works for each student- no method works for each trainer. I use a variation of this called Independent Resource-based Learning- which means I have worked up a bank of Flash Cards/ Training Sheets that cover every scenario, which I can give to the students as I flit round the room- each having just enough information to answer their specific query.
    1. Some students feel threatened by being asked to contribute verbally and are 'passive absorbers'
    2. Some students are not there 'to learn to do', but want their staff to contribute and need to know enough to be able to hold a sensible discussion.
    3. We might believe The general idea is to encourage people to work together and share there skills but are we sure that they wish to sign-up?
    4. Dropping back to Sarahs 6 trumps slide- she is extrapolating what works for her- and I see that our clientele can be significantly different. Her groups seem to be far homogenous, and her examples are from easy target groups. It is the same mistake that Secretary of States for Education make all the time.
  2. The classroom practice is one technique. We use this in schools to disorientate troublemakers, as friendship groups work better. A friendship group gets down to the task instantly, a contrived group wastes too much time building a new hierarchy, before anything is started. There is the practical difficulty of people moving seats, and reorganising all their baggage and electronics- wheelchairs are another challenge. For older clients movement stimulates the bladder and as everyone is on the move, it gives the message that it is OK to slope off to the loo again or to answer an incoming text in an adjoining room. Though you are seating the group in an random pattern- you do have them seated and that is control. Again older clients resent party games- they are focussed on doing something. On an IT course, the clients are more amenable than say a language class- it is the nature of the subject- I am not certain how neophyte wikipedians will react.
  3. The kanban board is a good idea- and has been used for years in language classes- it was called a post-it board, and every staff room has one. Like anything, thought is required to select how the colours are used and how it is marked up before the class. To-do/doing/done may be a bit limiting. I would have thought that a horizontal line Articles above and Techniques below - each divided into To-do/doing/done.
  4. There is an assumption that the learners can absorb spoken information. With age- memory goes. Short-term, so you can hold 4 things in the brain at one time instead of the youthful 7, and the medium term memory so if you don't write it down it will be gone the next day. (And if you do write it down you will lose the paper!) This is the reason that handouts should be available.
  5. The trainer flitting around the room is excellent for the student as it addresses the students needs, but it takes a lot of time and you cannot afford to sit down and give a long, or satisfactory explanation at each stop. When you land with a new group, they feel the need to be polite and welcoming which usually involves some chitchat, and you need to bore down immediately to the nature of the problem. As a concrete example- the group are improving the article on an :en:Melchisédech Thévenot- and come across a method of citation they have never seen before- ( why is it citation there and cite journal here? Whats the difference? Are there other ways we could do it - pressing help it says <ref>[http://www.example.org Link text], additional text.</ref>. There are five other groups in the room- so you need to have an answer ready before they have asked the question. To cope I have 'prepared sheets' Individual Skills Resource Sheets on Dropbox that I can give to the student, then move on. If the will is there we can develop this library- and destroy the ones that don't work. ClemRutter (talk) 20:57, 25 September 2017 (BST)
Thanks for your thoughts Clem.
Splitting the kanban board is an interesting idea. The "techniques" one is a bit like my idea of having a board with 'other types of aims like "understand referencing"' on.
In terms of the inefficiencies of a trainer flitting around... if we have enough trained trainers at an editathon they can be embedded in the teams. Or, say we have 4 teams but only two trained trainers, it still may make sense to embed, if we have enough other experienced editors. Obviously, if we don't have that spread of ability, it makes training from the back of the room harder.
Yaris678 (talk) 11:04, 26 September 2017 (BST)

Wikimedia UK's plans for 2018 - community consultation[edit | edit source]

Watch our video about our plans for 2018

Wikimedia UK is in the process of writing our proposal to the Wikimedia Foundation for funding during 2018/19. The deadline for the bid is 1st October after which it is assessed by staff at the Foundation, there is an opportunity for community feedback and questions, and the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) meet to consider proposals and make recommendations about grants.

As 2018/19 is the final year of our 2016 - 2019 strategy, our programme for next year is in many ways a continuation of our activities in 2017 and falls under three key strands:

  1. Diverse content and contributors
  2. Promoting open knowledge
  3. Education and Learning

These strands are directly related to our three strategic goals, which are to:

  • Increase the quality and quantity of coverage of subjects that are currently underrepresented on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects
  • Contribute to the development of open knowledge in the UK, by increasing understanding and recognition of the value of open knowledge and advocating for change at an organisational, sectoral and public policy level
  • Support the use of the Wikimedia projects as important tools for education and learning in the UK

We would welcome input from the UK community into our plans for next year - which we are still shaping - and have created a short video to highlight our programme strands which you can watch here. You can give us feedback on our programme anytime, but if you’d like your views to be taken into account in our submission to the Wikimedia Foundation for funding, please do comment below by Friday 29th September. If you’d prefer to get in touch by email, feel free to contact me on lucy.crompton-reid@wikimedia.org.uk.

There are several questions in particular that I’d like to ask:

  • Is there anything that Wikimedia UK should be doing more of, or new activities that we should consider, in 2018/19?
  • What work would you like to see us continue?
  • Is there anything you think we should do less of or stop doing?
  • How would you like to be involved in Wikimedia UK’s programme next year?

With many thanks indeed for your input.

LucyCrompton-Reid (WMUK) (talk) 13:39, 21 September 2017 (BST)

ACTRIAL and new users creating new pages at events[edit | edit source]

Hi All,

Some thoughts on WP:ACTRIAL and our events:

  • It makes sense to encourage new users to work in Draft: name space.
  • This doesn't change the fact that it is worth asking people to create an account in advance (and to remember their password!)
  • We have to expect that some people won't create an account and most of those who have won't be auto-confirmed - this is OK.
  • If there are admins present at the event, they can make new users confirmed.... although I wouldn't stress over it - there is no harm in the Draft: name space.
  • All the above is less of an issue if we take the approach of #Training from the back of the room described above. If the group is split into teams that are deliberately set to have the full spread of ability, we can encourage people to help other team members, including the following:
    • Middle-ability people to show the people with no account how to create an account.
    • Experienced editors to help newer editors to find a page that might need editing.
    • Experienced editors to create pages that other team members are interested in editing.

You could even get admins to confirm accounts of non-confirmed people in their team, but it might actually be better to not do that. If the experienced people in the team have actually created the article then at least we know it is in their contributions and so they can steward the article towards improvement. e.g. 1. the day after the event, they might go back to the article and tidy it up, 2. if the article gets tagged for deletion, they are better able to discuss it and improve it, whereas a new user may feel bitten.

Yaris678 (talk) 14:44, 25 September 2017 (BST)

Obvious question, where do we find data on how many non-autoconfirmed users and IPs actually make pages that satisfy Wiki Criteria? 82.132.237.141 15:31, 26 September 2017 (BST)
According to WMF research, of the 1,180 articles created every day on the English Wikipedia, about 7% are by non-autoconfirmed editors. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 16:55, 2 October 2017 (BST)
Thanks for your input Yaris678. Working in Draft: or User: space is probably going to be integral to dealing with this. I've not used Draft: much myself, but I'm keen on getting people to use their sandbox to prepare material and then copy it over. It does mean a chunk of the pages people work on aren't copied over the to the mainspace but that's a reasonable trade-off. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 16:59, 2 October 2017 (BST)
The #Training from the back of the room sounds like a really interesting idea, I'm interested in this kind of collaborative/peer learning process. Sadly for the bulk of editathons I manage, this wouldn't be applicable, as I'm generally working with a whole bundle new users, trying to advocated for further use in their organisations. Lirazelf (talk) 14:07, 3 October 2017 (BST)
Thanks Lirazelf. I guess you'll have to rely on the first four bullets - especially the draft namespace. I think it would be useful to have a non-new user move the drafts across. Preferably during the training session, so people can see their work "live" on Wikipedia, which will create excitement. Ideally, well before the end of the training so that people can continue to edit their articles in main space - seeing that this is a normal thing to do is important.
I fringe benefit of this approach is that each article edited will be in the contributions list of at least one non-new user. That way, they can "steward" the article to a certain extent. This will be particularly important if the article is nominated for deletion - having someone who knows the ropes will help to get the article in a position to keep - and help to argue that it should be kept. But more generally it will be useful, to keep the article quality up.
Yaris678 (talk) 12:59, 19 October 2017 (BST)