Education/News/July 2018/Basque Education Program: 2017-2018 school year report
Basque Education Program: 2017-2018 school year report
Author: Galder Gonzalez
Summary: This document summarises the work carried out during this academic year within the Educational Programme of the Basque Wikipedians User Group. Although it could be a document with a very detailed content (the Wikipedia software allows us to do this), we have preferred to focus on general data, so that the scope of the work is well understood.
In each section, small assessments have been made in order to better understand the work done and the difficulties encountered, or to try to better identify good practices. In this way, we would like to provide some non-systematic indications.
As is well known, the purpose of this project is manifold. On the one hand, we have set ourselves the challenge of producing 1,000 high quality articles for students aged 12-16, for which we have also established a methodology: collaboration with students and university faculties, in order to reuse the assignents carried out by students in each term. Therefore, the objectives of the User Group are both to strengthen Basque Wikipedia with new wikipedians and better articles. So, the challenge set out in this project is one of the ways to achieve these objectives.
Setting up the landing page
As a first step, we prepared the environment for the publication of all this information on Wikipedia. We created a portal called. It is a dynamic environment, offering a wide range of possibilities.
From the front page of the Educational Portal, several developments have been made: easy access to the list of 1,000 articles, a banner for monitoring competitions, a teacher's room (which offers special help to teachers), resources for students, and links to monitoring projects that are being carried out.
Since the creation of the Educational Portal, it has received more than 7,000 visits. In the future we will try to iincrease its relevance, also strengthening its sub-pages.
Preparing the Dashboard
The Dashboard is the tool for tracking the work done by students. One of our first tasks was the translation of the Dashboard and the definition of the conditions of use. However, many problems arose in the translation work: a software package had to be prepared for translation, which until now has only been available in English, and today there is still much to be done.
Anyway, it's been an interesting road. We have put it to great use, and the developers have also shown interest in our views. We are far from getting as much performance out of the Dashboard as possible, but as more tools become available, we will have an unparalleled opportunity to continue with statistics and tracking.
Another of the objectives set was the translation of the tutorials and brochures. It took more time than desired to complete the work, get it to press and get the brochures. For this reason, most of the courses have been conducted without a brochure. The translation of the tutorials is also dragging on, and not all translations are yet available.
We would like to have all of them before the end of the school year, in order to facilitate our work in the next school year and to offer adequate material to the students. Another challenge will be to find a way to make all this material available in a more convenient way.
Improving the help pages
The help pages were not up to date and it was not easy to learn how to edit on Wikipedia through them, as many of them were prepared for systems that are no longer in use today. One of the tasks that have been carried out has been to simplify and renew these help pages and, if necessary, creating new sections. There are still pages adapted to the old system, but thanks to the work done so far, everyone who wants to approach Wikipedia has new opportunities to do so.
In this section, the work carried out in each University, Campus or Faculty could be assessed, but as mentioned above, we have preferred to provide only general information in this document. Within this program, 46 courses have been held at the University throughout this academic year, and to date, the students have already added one million words. Some general data are below:
Apart from this general information, we have had the opportunity to go deeper into the contents. It is clear that the methodology used by the professors and lecturers has led to a change in the results, although there is not enough statistical data available to support a particular methodology. Factors such as the attitude of the students, the size of the classroom, the evaluation of the work requested by the teachers or the response to the topic requested have had a significant impact on the final result of the article.
Generally speaking, we have seen that students have difficulties in the development of references and bibliography, and it may have been the students in the last years who have obtained the best results in this respect. In general, there are also major deficiencies in terms of image copyright and origin of the videos. We have found that there is a great lack of knowledge in relation to the observation and study of the sources that make up the digital skills of the 21st century, the critical approach, and copyright; nevertheless, it is not up to us alone to solve this problem.
In terms of the areas worked on by the students, great progress has been made in physics, chemistry and mathematics, as well as in areas related to engineering and technology, but no significant results have been achieved in history and, in general, in classical humanities. We had an excellent experience in the area of philosophy, but the topic dealt with was History and Philosophy of Science. No programme has been developed in psychology, history, teaching and economics, although in the latter area a series of articles have been worked on in the fields of Basque language and Communication.
One of the most interesting results has been obtained from the work carried out with the Department of Basque and Communication of the UPV/EHU. These teachers offer us a great opportunity to give stability to our work, given that our approach fully coincides with what they work in the classroom. Many of the programmes undertaken have been in this area. The articles received have also been of high quality.
We would like to make special mention to the experiences we have had with students in pracitces. Three have been undertaken in different fields: on the one hand, a master's degree has been sponsored in the Faculty of Science and Technology of the UPV/EHU aimed at strengthening scientific illustrations in Wikipedia; on the other hand, two students have carried out internships for the preparation of their Final Grade Paper on the importance of video in Wikipedia and the possible existing formats in the University of Mondragon; and finally, two students have carried out an essay to develop ORES technology in the Faculty of Computer Science of the UPV/EHU. These are very different experiences. And the results have also been different.
With regard to the scientific illustrations, there have been problems in getting the objectives understood. We wanted the content posted to be free. The student will present her work in September, but the objective is yet to be defined. In addition, no free images have been obtained for Wikipedia, and we have not had the opportunity to do any courses for them. It remains to be resolved for next year.
With regard to the Final Grade Paper, the students have conducted in-depth research on video formats, but the videos presented were not valid for Wikipedia, either in terms of tone or free content. The concept of free content has not been contemplated and, therefore, videos cannot be posted as they are on Wikipedia.
Finally, the two students who have done internships on ORES technology have had a nice opportunity to get to know Wikipedia inside out, but no great progress has been made on this path. However, this is due to the length of the WMF processes, as the students have done a huge and very appropriate job.
The internships offered at the Faculty of Humanities of the UPV/EHU did not include any registration. The option of making this offer again next year is debatable.
Learn from bad results, boost excellent ones. We have enough material to move forward next academic year.
Secondary education is at the heart of our program. After all, the articles aimed at students aged 12-16 are being improved. For this reason, different ways have been opened to encourage the participation of students, so that they can get to know and use Wikipedia better.
This road has not progressed at the desired speed, and we have encountered great obstacles when it came to reaching schools through the Berritzeguneak (pedagogical innovation centers) or for the development of the project itself. At the end of the school year, we reopened this way and offered two courses to primary and secondary school teachers.
Likewise, we have promoted collaboration with the Ikastola movement, with the aim of creating a didactic unit. The challenge was to finalize this unit throughout this academic year, and it is now available for presentation. Our next challenge will be to reach the students, for which lectures will be offered in different ikastolas, if demanded.
Lectures have already been given in four schools, with the aim of producing Wikipedia articles. The results have been very diverse, depending on the characteristics of each school. The ways of working with 16-year-old students are different, the duration of classes is short, and it is more difficult to set measurable goals. Therefore, the challenge for the next course will be to develop and carry out measurements in various projects.
One of the objectives of the project was to promote Vikidia. Vikidia is an Encyclopedia for 8-13 year-old students, created in France, unrelated to the Wikipedia Foundation. After the appropriate explanations were given in the Teacher Training Colleges, it was noted that this encyclopaedia is hardly known and that it would be difficult to get university students to write in it.
At the same time, there were reports of the continuity of Vikidia: it appears that there may be difficulties for the servers to be maintained in the future.
And there was a third factor that also made it difficult to work in Vikidia: the absence of colleagues with technical knowledge to implement templates, categories or links with Wikidata.
Taking these three factors into account, the project was reconsidered and an innovation was introduced, only available in Basque Wikipedia: Txikipedia. In Txikipedia is available all the content of Vikidia, but there has been significant growth since its creation. It has more than 1,000 articles, but is not yet a functional encyclopedia; however, the link between Wikipedia and Txikipedia is much more interesting.
Editing Txikipedia is the same as in Wikipedia, and there is the possibility of using the same tools and resources as Wikipedia. In addition, the articles are directly linked with a tab system, something pioneer in all Wikipedias. The development of this system was assisted by Wikipedians from Norway, and the interest generated was enormous. Courses have already been offered, there has been press coverage and the results of the visits have also been very good.
Together with Elhuyar Foundation, several projects have been carried out. On the one hand, we have uploaded to Wikidata the descriptions and definitions of the Science and Technology Dictionary (ZTH). So far there have been 6,600 definitions, but in the future we will be able to raise around 20,000 more. Thanks to these definitions, when we search the web through our mobile devices we will be able to obtain an adequate explanation in Basque at first glance. In the long term, we will work together to ensure that automatic translators receive the right terminology, as they increasingly use Wikidata and Wikipedia when translating.
The second project consisted on uploading videos from the Teknopolis TV show. The biggest headaches have been in obtaining EiTB's authorization and clarifying what would be the license of the videos. Determining the licensing of the videos and the authorship of the music and the images used in them is a difficult task, and this type of project will also need to be well defined in the future. Since the start of video additions, the pages containing these videos have received 41,819 visits.
The latest project has been the most ambitious of all, although not yet completed: Wikispeech. Using AhoLabTTS technology, the challenge was to offer more opportunities to automatically listening to Wikipedia articles, but we have encountered many systemic limitations. The subject has also been worked on at the Hackathon in Barcelona, but the deployment of our system depends on a technology that is still being developed in Sweden. We hope to be able to deploy it in the year of 2018; our way is completed.
With the Susa eidtorial, the way of working in the literary field has been studied in a different way. We are developing a double project together with them, which has not yet been completed. On the one hand, we have asked them to study the articles and fundamental topics that should be present in both Children's and Young People's Literature and Basque Literature, and we now have the first of the reports (referring to Children's and Young People's Literature), which has been prepared by experts. It is a report that delves into what is indicated in the Curriculum, and offers us a roadmap for the work to be done with the Universities in the coming years, especially in the subjects in which Children's and Young People's Literature is dealt with, but not limited to it.
On the other hand, we have undertaken the coordination work of the Armiarma and Wikidata databases. As a result, the biographies of Basque writers will be improved this year, information on literature will be updated and paths will be opened for interesting research.
We have made an effort to join the project we are developing together with librarians from Donostia to the Educational Program. Throughout this year, librarians are working in the field of "World Literature" on our list of articles, and the list has been drawn up together with them. An excellent example of collaboration, in our view.
The Ahotsak.eus initiative has a treasure. Almost 50,000 video fragments, recorded in more than 300 municipalities, of anonymous and well-known people, making history and ethnography in their popular speech. One of the agreements signed this year has been drawn up together with them: to take a sample of the Basque language from these 300 municipalities and upload it to the article of the corresponding municipality. In addition, a passage on the state and peculiarities of the Basque language in each of these municipalities would also be included. It will take place during the course of this year, and we have already started to receive the first ones.
In addition to freeing up the texts of two projects by Berria (GAL 30 urte and Oroiteria), we have undertaken the titanic task of uploading to Wikimedia Commons the infographics produced throughout its history. More than 16,000 infographics, from all fields, labeled and free.
The use of these infographics can be analyzed in the statistics of the following course, since we are still uploading them.
Throughout this year, we have worked on two tracks with the UEU. On the one hand, we will participate in three sessions of the Summer Courses. And on the other hand, we have begun to collaborate in the liberation of some passages from history books.
With regard to the first, the aim is to strengthen collaboration between the BWUG and UEU. We will be participating in a project training course, a media data analysis course, and a new experience we have called WikiSenior.
The book release process has been difficult. In addition to studying the suitability of the texts in the books, several fragments of texts were finally uploaded to Wikisource. These texts are not very useful for the future, but they have been essential for the implementation of the Basque Wikisource.
It has been a humble but very interesting initiative. Together with bertsolari Jone Uria, we undertook the challenge of giving some definitions of mathematics in bertso, and these definitions have been posted on the web as a video. The videos have been very well received, and have already been added to the corresponding articles.
Improvement of the goal articles
The main challenge of the work carried out is to offer quality articles aimed at students aged 12-16, and one of the main tasks carried out this year to accomplish this has been the extraction of the terms in the official curriculum decree. The work was not easy, because many terms have had to be hardly extracted, but the list has offered us great opportunities to undertake the work. The list of articles has been criticised: on the one hand, it made the work to be carried out in the Universities difficult, because many of the subjects could not be worked on in a simple way in their subjects; and on the other hand, it was evident that there were significant gaps in the choice of subjects, because, despite the fact that the extraction of the Curriculum has been systematic, it is sometimes difficult to know what is going to be incorporated and what is going to be excluded.
So, the very purpose of this programme has become a challenge, and as a challenge we presented. The main objective is to put all popular knowledge in the hands of the entire population, for which the existence of more wikipedians becomes a tool, and one of the challenges we have proposed has been the development of basic articles, improving their quality.
The initial challenge was to improve 1,000 items, but we quickly realized that it would be difficult to get that specific number, so we tried to round up area by area. The list includes a total of 1,710 articles in all areas. Our challenge, therefore, has been to improve these 1,710 items.
When it came to statistics, we had to deal with one problem in particular: the changes made in the field of literature to some extent disfigure the overall results, given that the article list was amended in the middle of the year, due to the collaboration mentioned above. However, we have also tried to present this data in an appropriate way.
- General data
- Area by area
Another of the initiatives launched this year was the monthly competition. With a series of interesting awards we have started to work on some underdeveloped themes, and we have also achieved new wikipedians on the way. Thanks to the competition generated monthly, we have created and improved hundreds of articles on topics as diverse as the history of Africa, food, the history of women and human sexuality. These are the statistics that summarize this initiative:
Tags: basque education program, oer, education program, university, side projects