Education/Newsletter/March 2017/Approaching History students as pilot of Education program in Iran

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Approaching History students as pilot Education program in Iran[edit]

By Mardetanha

On 1 March 2017, semi-edit-a-thon-workshop was held in Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz to help teachers and students of History department understand Wikipedia.

Winners getting their prize

Before Ahvaz in south of Iran, we had several experiences in Tehran and Zanjan. Both are in the center of Iran but Ahvaz was far from them. We had a hard-working wikipedian/student in the History Department of the Shadid Chamran University of Ahyaz, and he prepared to start a pilot program in their university.

Sessions started from 9 am until 6 pm, with two different sessions a day. At the first session, students and teachers learn about Wikipedia and its importance for themselves and the society they are living in. The students had many questions like why they should spend their time on Wikipedia?. Teachers had another question: what is the benefit for teachers?. All questions were addressed adequately. After some oral discussions which took around 2 hours, it was time to get to the real work. We helped everyone to create an account and learn about editing tools. At the same time, teachers were being taught about Dashboard and how they can use it and how can they report possible features they need to us.

To make everything more interesting the university agreed to give some present to the best article created during the day. The jury team was combined from 3 Wikipedians and 3 university teachers, each group selected the articles based on some criterion. Students had 5 hours to finish their first article, before the contest we had a list of needed articles prepared for them and they could choose from the pool based on their interest.

50 articles were created and around 100 articles had been improved after 5 hours, the winners received their prize and were given another 3 days to finish their articles to have another chance to win more prizes. From our experience, this is a very important step in creating new Wikipedians, when they edit from their home, they rely more on themselves rather then asking simple questions from their mentors in the class. They make some mistakes and other Wikipedians give them notification to read and they can solve them.

Tags:Ahvaz, Wikipedia, Iran, Education program