Education/Newsletter/December 2015/Recent improvements to the Wikipedia Education Collaborative bear fruit

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Recent improvements to the Wikipedia Education Collaborative bear fruit

By Samir Elsharbaty (WMF)

Snippet: Wikipedia Education Collaborative implements successful improvements to its model.

Last summer the members of the Wikipedia Education Collaborative (also known as the Collab) and the Wikimedia Foundation’s education team worked together on designing and implementing a sustainable plan to improve the joint work of education community leaders. Thanks to the quick response, enthusiasm and dedication of the Collab members, the idea worked! This group of program leaders were able to use their expertise in mentoring other education leaders and to use the experience from their education program to help others learn and grow their own programs. The transition of knowledge leads to healthier programs and communities.

The Wikipedia Education Collaborative started in early 2014 aiming to use education program leader experience to provide guidance and mentorship to new programs. Building a group of international program leaders who can define the scope of the Collab and design its own model was considered a top priority. The recent improvements were a milestone in fulfilling this goal.

The changes to the collab model included clarifying the membership criteria and facilitating the membership request process. As a result of this change, ten new membership requests were received in just five months, bringing the total number of Collab members to 23. Several new members have been contributing to the Collab actively since they joined the group.

Building a new task management system on Phabricator for the Collab allowed members to suggest, choose, claim and complete the tasks they want to work on. The Collab project on Phabricator encourages members to be more active by seeing the work their colleagues are doing as well as supporting the transparency of the Collaborative. Until the moment of drafting this post, the Collab members worked on nearly 90 different tasks. The tasks included one to one mentoring sessions for new program initiators, providing different types of resources, building new communication channels, and many other jobs. See more examples in the full list here.

The recent improvements to the Education Collaborative turned out to be a booster for the two-year old initiative and exceeded all expectations with its initial results. The changes encourage members to participate in designing their own model and to take part in the decision making process. The collaborative spirit Collab members and coordinators have, was also a key to the success achieved.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Collaborative here.