MENA Wikipedia Education Program meeting, Rami Hatanawy, Engineering, Moudar Zgoul, Mechanical Engineering Dept., Dr. Yousef A. Al-Abdallat, Program Director, Eng.

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University of Jordan.Professors


Meeting at University of Jordan

October 24, 2011

  • (WMF) Sara Yap, Frank Schulenberg, Moushira Elamrawy
University of Jordan

Rami is from the 2nd founder generation of Arabic Wikipedia, who joined in 2005. He is the first creator of BOTS on ar:wp, he became less active in editing recently but is constantly active and involved in discussions. Rami is a faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Jordan and founding member of the Center of Languages of Amman.

Moudar Zagoul
  • Background: Mechanical Engineer, UK Assistant Dean for Engineering. Interested in creating interactive work. Created interactive graphics course. Desires to help students at university level and in engineering.
  • He teaches a communications/skills class and Intro to Engineering
Youssef Abdallah (Program Director of University of Jordan)
  • PhD from Kyoto, 2002
  • TA Professor
  • Background in Engineering and Bilo Mechanical + Industrial Engineering
  • Director of King Abdullah Fund (?)


  • mid to late November: conduct a training/workshop for Professors and potential Campus Ambassadors (WMF)
    • 1 day for students and 1 day for professors and then interaction for both groups together
    • Includes a joint presentation between both
  • January: primary campus training for Campus Ambassadors
  • * This will include marketing the event, emailing about the event, posturing around campus
  • Costs: wireless sponsor, promotion materials

Action Items[edit]

  • Frank: show where the counter for number of times an article has been read (to Sara)
  • Frank will select 3-4 universities to work with for the Global Ed
  • Frank will confirm dates with his team
  • WMF team: translate "copyright" slides into Arabic and any other documentation (note--Frank, Sara and Moushira should find a good translator at the WIkimedia event on Wednesday in Egypt
  • Moudar: will send graduation projects (in English). He will scan and publish this
  • Moudar: will find basic info on the structure of the class, the number of courses
  • Moudar will look into the TEDxJordan events for November--if there is overlap, as well as social media activists who might be interested
  • Videotape workshops (optional)
  • Moudar and Yousef: video tape program for teachers who can't attend
  • Yousef will get permission from students who can't attend

Goals for the students[edit]

  • Interested in Capacity building, increasing number of skills for students
  • Interested in focusing on: 1) Education, 2) Research, 3) Community Service
  • Strengthen the engineering articles/science articles online

Recommendations (general and personal[edit]

  • Start small and grow larger
  • There was a desire to focus on engineering but think the program should balance out the workshops with students from several disciplines
  • It's a lot of work for the professors to take on the curriculum so WMF must do as much as possible to make the transition easier
  • Create a workshop and competition (Moudar)
  • Educate people about the program
  • Encourage teachers to set aside a certain percentage of the grades for students so they have an incentive to participate (i.e. 10% of the overall grade)
  • Consider working with a class that's strong in Arabic Literature, Eng/Technical background
  • Conduct a poll that target subjects that people are going online to search for, "what do you look up on Wikipedia?"
  • * 2nd and 3rd year students are the best to work with
  • * Develop the exercise where students dissect a good vs. bad article
  • Moudar recommends arranging a seminar to advise students to introduce the concept of Wikimedia
  • Measure the impact of the Speakers
  • Measure the Outcomes through a survey

University of Jordan Facts[edit]

  • 46,000
  • 17 Nationalities
  • 19 Faculties
  • 68 Dept
  • 95 Specialties

Courses taught in Arabic:

  1. Law
  2. Political Science
  3. Economics
  4. Translation Classes (10 in tota)
  5. Philosophy
  6. Geography
  7. Social Studies
  • 80% of students are Palestinian/Jordanian, 20% students are from outside the country (15% of which are from the Gulf), 5% are Asian-Malay, Chinese, etc.
  • Jordan has one of the highest number of engineers in the world
  • 90% of students have access to computers. They do not have access to WiFi yet--downside
  • 1 campus in Aqaba

Challenges at University of Jordan[edit]

  • Technical challenges at school
  • Create an awareness campaign to integrate the WP curriculum into a course--how will students be self initiated to do this?
  • Need for WP/Ambassadors to address questions about WP being a resource for students
  • Copyright concepts and understanding how to use citations
  • Session on Free Knowledge for students/profs
  • Funding
  • Timing


  • Feedback for Frank:
    • what resonated was reminded teachers that teachers can use WP as a tool. So much more appealing for students to be able to use their article for a global audience, for the future, with a grandparent. There is no longer a "throw away assignment" per se. He emphasized to start small and serve as
  • Moudar liked the idea of the program and the notion of "Best Practices"
  • Yousef: Start small, possibly with the engineer
Yousef really emphasized on the importance of thinking about the strategy before jumping into the program

General Notes[edit]

  • There are 24 universities in Jordan
  • Jordan is an attractive country to work in because the FusHa (classical Arabic is strong), the country is stable politically, students are open minded/faculty too (Generally)
  • Long term goal is to bring outside groups like professors, students and others to this type of workshop

Global Education Program: The Sell by WMF[edit]

  1. Support materials and written materials
  2. Campus Trainers/Ambassadors
  3. Recognition from WMF (WP Teaching Fellow)
  4. Learn how to spread knowledge
  5. Possible media attention