Education/News/January 2018/Basque Country: How we use PetScan to improve partnership with lecturers and professors

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How we use PetScan to improve partnership with lecturers and professors[edit]

Author: Galder Gonzalez

Summary: We have different approaches when we want to create new partnerships with lecturers and professors to create new Wikipedia courses. Our main approach is their linguistic behaviour: Students search the web, they will find Wikipedia, and if they can not find it in our language, they are not going to use it. So many lecturers and professors ask, "What is missing in my topic?". At this moment, PetScan is your friend.

Since we started our Education Program we have been talking to lecturers and professors at University, so that we can find enough partners to achieve our main goal, i.e. creating quality articles on basic subjects in Basque language. In this process we have met more than a hundred instructors, and some of them are eager to start working with us. But usually we find a problem: "My subject is too specific and I can not find assignments on basic subjects", or "main subjects in my topic have already been covered, so I would help you, but you have to give me a gap to fill". Of course, a Wikimedian knows about a wide range of subjects, but it is very difficult to engage someone if you do not know what to ask at that precise moment, so we use PetScan to find those gaps.

Maybe this approach will not be valid for English education program leaders, as they have not so may gaps to fill, but it works great with smaller languages:

First, we go to the main English article covering the subject, let us say, Thermodynamics. And we find the main category of the subject. It is important to make categories part of this process. Normally instructors will find the English article "too long for an assignment" (and it is true), but they can help us center their subject's topic.

Then open PetScan. Write down the Category we want to search, and give it "depth". This will help us get articles in subcategories at any given depth we want.

Then go to the Wikidata tab. There we can add some interesting filter. For example, we want to get articles that are in 30 languages but not in Basque. That way our future partner will see that yes, there is actually a knowledge gap and THEY CAN work that out inside their subject.

Press "Do it!" and this is the result. 93 articles (now) that will make them say "I'm in!".

Tags: PetScan, University, course, find the gap