Talk:Ambassador Program/Measures of success

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Shouldn't there also me measures for students and professors?Smallman12q (talk) 21:58, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Definitely. We're trying to figure out the measures of success for Ambassadors right now, in order to figure out how to better recognize and award good Ambassador work. We've done a better (though not amazing) job recognizing good student and professor work in the past; we'll be working on improving student/professor recognition soon as well, which could very well include determining better definitions of success for those two groups. Annie Lin (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 22:26, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
My gut response would be to say that ambassadors should be delivering a win/win - better experience for students and better content for the wiki. However, after some thought, I feel that we should de-emphasise content quality when measuring ambassador effectiveness, because it is so strongly influenced by factors outside the ambassador's control - student motivation, classroom time, professor experience, &c.
Also, I think we need to focus more on an online ambassador's early interactions with a professor - if a professor has subject-matter expertise (of course) but less experience editing wikipedia, it's easier for them to set inappropriate tasks/targets for students, and that makes life harder for everyone - if the professor is able to draw on the OA's experience from the start, not just on "How do I insert an image?" but on "Can I ask my students to write featured articles by Friday?", the professor can do a much better job and the whole course runs more smoothly. This kind of high-level guidance about community norms and about achievable goals is more important than mere technical advice which a class might pick up from other sources or even by trial & error. bobrayner (talk) 15:21, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Hi Bobrayner, thanks for your feedback. If I understand correctly, you're saying that Wikipedia Ambassadors could also provide some Wikipedia assignment-design advice to professors, to make sure that professors' assignment expectations are aligned with how Wikipedia works, right? If so, I agree! Annie Lin (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 22:30, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes; that's a good way of framing it. Of course, professors should be responsible for designing and running their own courses as always, but I'm concerned that if some professors have less wiki experience, this can lead to structural problems from the start, not just routine editing problems in one lesson or another. So, the best ambassadors should be able to identify possible structural problems early on - and offer solutions - in addition to providing the ongoing support to students as the course runs. We should be able to see this happening, and applaud it when it happens :-) Or to put it another way; a professor acts as both an architect and a building contractor. We're already good at sending somebody onto the muddy building site to check that the workers with hard-hats are doing a reasonable job, and to offer them help & suggestions; but we don't always pay enough attention to the blueprint, and a good ambassador can really help here. bobrayner (talk) 15:07, 9 November 2012 (UTC)