Education/News/August 2021/Wikipedia for School – our largest article contest for Ukrainian teachers
Wikipedia for School – our largest article contest for Ukrainian teachers
Author: Hanna Osadchuk, Education & GLAM Manager at Wikimedia Ukraine
Summary: Wikimedia Ukraine’s largest project in the education field right now is the article contest “Wikipedia for School”, which encourages teachers and other educational specialists to improve coverage of school curriculum topics on Ukrainian Wikipedia. Recently, we've finalized results for the second edition of the contest, which wrapped up earlier this year. The contest helped bring over 750 new or significantly improved Wikipedia articles from 60 educators across eleven school disciplines.
“Wikipedia for School” banner
Wikimedia Ukraine’s largest project in the education field right now is the article contest “Wikipedia for School”, which encourages teachers and other educational specialists to improve coverage of school curriculum topics on Ukrainian Wikipedia.
Some of the most active members of the Ukrainian wiki community are teachers. Besides, Wikipedia is an important educational resource; according to some estimates, attendance of Ukrainian Wikipedia notably increases during the school year, with a sizable portion of visitors being students of secondary schools. To support students by improving the coverage of school curriculum topics on Wikipedia, as well as support teachers' work, in 2019 Wikimedia Ukraine first held the “Wikipedia for School” article contest.
In 2020, we held a second edition of the contest; it ran from October 20th to January 24th, 2021. Although it also brings useful content to Ukrainian Wikipedia, its main goal is recruiting new educators to Wikipedia and helping them familiarize themselves with the process of editing so they can later implement wiki work in their teaching. (For example, the process of submitting articles to the contest involves using Outreach Dashboard, with the idea being that learning how this tool works will help participants use it in their educational activities in the future).
The contest is divided into curriculum disciplines, with articles being submitted and graded separately for each subject. This year, we expanded the contest to include more disciplines, eleven as opposed to seven in the first edition. We also developed new instructional materials — a guide on using the Outreach Dashboard and two webinars for contest participants; around 50 people participated in the webinars.
Recently, we finalized the contest's results. Overall, over 200 people signed up for the contest, and 60 people actively participated, having created or significantly improved 759 articles; more than twice as many as the last time. Out of the eleven subjects, the most popular ones are history, mathematics, and physics (we had decided which subjects to include based on the availability of volunteers willing to create high-quality lists of articles for creation/improvement).
“We are proud of the contest’s result this year. Numbers are increasing and we believe it is because of the project's volunteers. This year we attracted more teachers to participate in the behind-the-scenes part, helped to create lists of articles and promote the contest. We were also very keen on increasing the quality of the content created during Wikipedia for School so we tried to work closer with participants and not only held webinars and answered questions but also were checking on their articles and giving timely feedback to help them improve their work,” says Nataliia Tymkiv, Ukrainian Wikipedia administrator and “Wikipedia for School” organizing team member.
In mid-August, we held an online award ceremony. It was a pleasure to meet winners of the contest, even if online. Teachers who are a big part of the Education Program in Ukraine and newbies all gathered around a great mission – to collect and develop free educational content to benefit Ukrainian students.
Wikimedia Ukraine is already working on the third edition of the contest. Planned dates for it are November 2021 to January 2022. and we are looking for volunteers interested in helping organize the project. We believe that feedback forms, volunteer’s comments and direct communication with participants will help us achieve higher results, engage more teachers and improve more articles to make Ukrainian Wikipedia even better!
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