Talk:Education Portal/Archive 1

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Setting up a new "Education" Portal in two steps[edit]

Below my thoughts about re-organizing the Outreach-Wiki, and particularly the parts on "education", based on the discussions at the education session of the Unconference in Washington D.C. on July 15. Please join the discussion... Beat Estermann (talk) 02:54, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Step 1: Set up an “Education” Portal[edit]

Set up an „Education“ portal on Outreach-Wiki that encompasses projects/programs that cater to the different target groups (schools / higher education / seniors) and which comprise projects/programs managed by the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia chapters as well as other entities, including individual volunteers. Use the same structure / layout as GLAM-Wiki to get started; build upon it and modify it as we get along. Develop the “Education” portal under this entry (Education Portal) for now; it can be moved elsewhere after we have agreed on another (catchier) name.

The following existing pages/portals should be included in the “Education” portal:

The following issues need to be dealt with:

  • Some of the above pages are written from a WMF perspective. This is ok for projects that are actually run by the WMF. In other contexts we should take a larger perspective as agreed at the Unconference in Washington.
  • The denomination “Education Program” may be misleading if it is meant to refer only to “Higher Education” (which is largely the case for the existing pages). For our overview pages, we should use unambiguous terminology, such as “Higher Education Programme”, “School Programme”, “Seniors Outreach / Learning in Later Life”. We should seek an agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation on how its “Education Programme” should be called; this largely depends on its future scope. Right now, the term “WMF Higher Education Programme” seems appropriate.

Step 2: Re-arrange the navigation items on the Outreach-Wiki[edit]

Re-arrange the various navigation items on the Outreach-Wiki (navigation on the left hand side); thereby moving outdated content out of focus and trying to harmonize the rest. After a cursory analysis of the present content the following structure might be reasonable:

  • Portals
  • GLAM
  • Education (the new “Education” portal)
Topics for further portals might be :
  • “Usability, Accessibility, Sociability” (focusing on the non-technical aspects of Usability, Accessibility, Sociability, i.e. issues and strategies at the level of community behavior as opposed to software features – the two are in a dialectical relationship of course).
  • “Increasing the ratio of female contributors”
  • Resources
  • Bookshelf
  • Best Practices for Public Outreach
  • Coordination
  • Outreach Team
  • Requested Translation
  • Users by skillset
  • Chat rooms

Below a few thoughts about the different navigation items as they appear at present:

  • Account Creation Improvement Project: archive pages; does not really deserve to be top ranked in the navigation; would thematically fit into a “Usability / Accessibility / Sociability” portal.
  • Best practices: Good place to put best practice descriptions that can be linked to from various portals.
  • Bookshelf Project: Might be integrated into “Bookshelf”; in fact, “Bookshelf Project” is the back office perspective of “Bookshelf”. In general, single projects should not go into the top navigation (projects are there to be completed/finished; the portals and resources are there to stay and to be further developed).
  • GLAM: I like the idea of having a front end aiming at an “external” target audience and a related portal taking an insider perspective.
  • Wikipedia Education Program: The pages are mostly about the WMF’s “Higher Education Program”; they should be integrated into the new “Education” portal
  • Public Policy Initiative: archive pages; does not really deserve to be top ranked in the navigation; could be integrated into the pages about WMF’s “Higher Education Program” (background/history).
  • Student Clubs: Should become part of the new “Education” portal
  • Bookshelf: Good place to put documentation that can be linked to from various portals.
  • Education Portal: Limited to “higher education”. Should be integrated into the new “Education” portal
  • Outreach Team: The purpose of this page is unclear (is it actually being used? Is it effective?). It seems to be focusing on WMF and a few volunteers. To my understanding, the WMF does not at present embrace an outreach strategy that comprises all outreach activities that are to be presented and documented in the Outreach-Wiki (e.g. seniors outreach, school projects). We therefore would probably need to set up an “outreach team” with a larger scope.
  • Requested Translation: The last edit on the page for completed translations dates from 2010. Are the translation requests actually being used? Are they an effective means to have content translated?
  • Users by skillset: Looks nice; is it actually being used? Is it effective?
  • Chat rooms: How familiar are newcomers to the Outreach Wiki with the chat and the way it is being used by the Outreach team? (maybe a few cues how it is actually being used would be helpful Do people you take appointments? Are people just permanently hanging out in the chat?)


Building the EDUCATION-Wiki taking the GLAM-Wiki as a starting point[edit]

Below my thoughts on how to use the GLAM-Wiki approach as a starting point for building the new “education” portal. I've tried to prioritize things. The first step would consist in setting up a initial version of the portal which will allow us to fill in contact details and project information as we get the newsletter started; it would also contain a newsletter and a mailing list section in order to point new people to our communication tools. I haven't spent much thought on the second step yet. It would probably consist in integrating the existing education-related stuff from the Outreach-wiki and elsewhere (?) into the new portal. Beat Estermann (talk) 05:48, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Priority 1: Mission Statement, Overview of Existing Projects/Programs, Contacts, Newsletter (Accomplished)[edit]

Set up a new education portal, containing the following elements:

Portal for an “external” public:

  • Main Page
  • Overview of Projects and Programs
  • Contact us
  • Link to Portal for Wikimedians

Portal for Wikimedians:

  • Overview of Projects and Programs
  • Newsletter
  • Mailing List
  • Link to general discussion page

Below some comments on the individual pages to be created:

Main Page (http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/GLAM):

  • Mission Statement / About: We need a concise mission statement for the EDUCATION-Wiki. It needs to state the main goals and the scope of the portal. It should clearly state that the portal is meant to be inclusive of all the existing educational approaches worldwide, regardless of their target groups (schools, higher education, seniors) and that it is meant for teachers, researchers, students and others working on Wikimedia-related projects.
  • Team-Photo: Having a few photos from existing education projects/programs would be nice.
  • “This month in GLAM“: section for the newsletter. We definitely need this.
  • GLAM-Logo: Having a logo for the EDUCATION-Wiki would be nice. However, we should reach agreement on the name first (can be postponed for now).

Contact us (http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/GLAM/Contact_us):

  • We should provide contacts to all the projects/programs that are well set up and could profit from getting external requests. In cases where projects/programs are just being set up, we could indicate a contact person at the respective chapter if they would like to do so.
  • Indicate for each contact, what types of requests / input would be helpful.
  • As we get the newsletter started, we should also try to fill this page (we should use the synergies!)
  • Organize by:
# target groups – schools, higher education, seniors, others (?)
# world regions

Overview of existing projects/programs and events (http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/GLAM/Projects_%26_Events):

  • Organize by:
# target groups – schools, higher education, seniors, others (?)
# world regions
# further differentiation based on content that is submitted
  • Use the same layout and map images as in GLAM-wiki
  • As we get the newsletter started, we should also try to fill this page (we should use the synergies!)

Newsletter-Page (http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/GLAM/Newsletter):

  • Use the same set-up as for the GLAM-Newsletter
  • There is a stub the content of which may be recycled and that can be deleted afterwards.

Mailinglist-Page (http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/GLAM/Contact):

  • Provide an overview of mailing lists (or other communication channels) in the area of education.
  • Provide a concise description of what the education mailing list is intended for (we should probably prevent it from becoming a high traffic mailing list as the GLAM mailing list)
  • The education mailing list is presently open for subscription. To be subscribed to the GLAM mailing list, one needs to provide a short introduction. This could make sense, depending on the purpose of the list. It also enhances the visibility of the community. We should think about this at a later point (can be postponed for now)

Central Discussion Page (http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/GLAM/Discussion):

  • One discussion page to rule them all! – Why not?

Portal for Wikimedians (http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/GLAM/Wikimedians):

  • It probably makes sense to have a separate portal for Wikimedians and for “external” publics. The “external” publics and the communication goals with regard to them should be more clearly defined at a later point (can be postponed for now).


Priority 2: Integrating content from the WMF Education Program[edit]

Focus of priority 2 tasks: Integrate content from the WMF Higher Education Programme and switch the left hand navigation link, so that „Education“ points to the new portal.


http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_Education_Program

Action to be taken on the new Education Portal:

  • Include the links of the overview-template of HE projects worldwide (done)
  • For each target group (schools / higher education / seniors): Add an overview page of programs, pilots, and planned projects. Use the content of sections “Current programs” and “Current pilots” for the overview page on HE programs and projects. (done)
  • This page contains a French and Portuguese version. This raises the question of how the multilingual situation should be addressed on the new Education Portal (requires serious analysis and debate, postpone this question for now)

Suggested action on this page:

  • Downsize the overview-template of HE projects to include only WMF projects as as most links have been transferred to the new portal. The following links haven’t been transferred to the new portal: India (the first link goes to a “proposed” program; the second link to an empty page); Mexico (mentions a one time Editathon in 2012); Italy (mentions a one time contest in 2011). Decide how to deal with these links. (done)
  • Remove the sections “Current programs” and “Current pilots” once this content has been moved to the new Education Portal. Provide a link to the new Education Portal. (done)
  • Re-write the remainder of the page (i.e. the introduction) to make clear that the page is about Higher Education Programs of the WMF (and not the hub for all the programs and projects worldwide). Keep links to the WMF HE projects worldwide (India, Brazil, Egypt + Canada, US). Explain the actual situation regarding Canada and US. Keep the link to the media coverage page (at the bottom).


http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_Education_Program/History

Action to be taken on the new Education Portal:

  • Each project and program has its own history. We don’t need to include them on the new Education Portal. We might think about writing the history of “Wikipedia in Education” on a global scale and across different target groups, but there really is no hurry. (Postpone)
  • Writing a project’s or a program’s history conveys a sense of the dynamics of the scaling up. We should think about how to tell the stories of improving and scaling up projects in terms of best practices and lessons learned. (Keep in mind. No immediate action.)


http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_Education_Program/Get_Involved

Action to be taken on the new Education Portal:

  1. Educators are sent to pages containing case studies, sample syllabi, sample assignments and other materials (one overview page for each target group – schools / higher education / seniors). Provide links to program portals in other languages if they provide such material in other languages. (Keep in mind for later: We need to think about which of this material should be translated in other languages and who should be responsible for the translations)
  2. Wikimedians who want to get involved in Education programs in their country or on their language version are sent to the Ambassadors page on en:WP or similar pages in other language versions. Where no established Ambassador programs exist, Wikimedians are pointed to their local chapters or contact persons. (Clarify later: Should we also advertise Mentoring programs here? What role do they play with regard to Wikipedia in Education on the various language versions?
  3. Students who want to start a Wikipedia student club
  4. Wikimedians who want to get involved on the Education Portal are pointed to the Education Portal’s “Volunteer sign-up” page.


Suggested action on this page:


http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_Education_Program/News

Action to be taken on the new Education Portal:

  • Integrate the WMF Education Program’s newsletter into the new Education Newsletter. (Update: Content from the WMF Education Program newsletter will be integrated into the new "Wikipedia in Education" monthly newsletter. The WMF Education Programm newsletter will continue to be distributed separately on a bi-monthly basis. A complete merger of the two newsletters may be considered later.) (done)

Suggested action on this page:

  • Provide a link to the worldwide Education Newsletter
  • If WMF Education Program’s newsletter is maintained in a standalone version (which could make sense): Concentrate it on WMF Education Program news only. Post all the other news items directly to the new Education Newsletter.


http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_Education_Program/Contact

Action to be taken on the new Education Portal:

  • Include the contacts on the “Contact us” page of the new Education Portal (done)

Suggested action on this page:

  • Remove the names of people who are not involved in one of the official WMF projects
  • Provide a link to the “Contact us” page of the new Education Portal


http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_Education_Program/A-Z

Action to be taken on the new Education Portal:

  • Bookshelf: Add a link to the Bookshelf.
  • Ambassadors / Campus Ambassadors / Online Ambassadors / Regional Ambassadors: Describe Ambassador Approach as Best Practice (Keep in mind for later)
  • Wikipedia Teaching Fellows: Describe the Approach as Best Practice (Keep in mind for later)
  • Numbers: Include a section about Project Evaluations (Keep in mind for later)
  • Design for Scalability / Internationalization: Describe Best Practices and Lessons Learned (Keep in mind for later)
  • Trainers: Describe Best Practices and Lessons Learned regarding Train-the-Trainers Programs (Keep in mind for later)
  • Women: Describe Best Practices and Lessons Learned regarding the integration of women. (Keep in mind for later)


http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Education

Action to be taken on the new Education Portal:

  • Reproduce this content on the „get involved“ page. Differentiate between the three target groups (schools, higher education, seniors). (done)

Suggested action on this page:


http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Education/For_educators This page (portal) is part of the Bookshelf project.

Action to be taken in the context of the new Education Portal:

  • Create a section “Tips and Resources”; organize it according to the three target groups (schools, higher education, seniors) as well as according to roles (ambassadors, educators). Update: This section will be kept very simple for the moment. Its organization needs some further analysis, as the material in the different countries and language versions is quite heterogeneous, spread across various places, partly under development, and to some extent in line with specific programs (which are heterogeneous as well.) (done)
  • Create analogous Bookshelf portals for the two other target groups: “schools” and “seniors” (Postpone; double check with Wikimedia Germany who pursue an integrated approach; how do we organize content that is the same for all three target groups?)

Suggested action on this page:

  • Once the portals for the other target groups have been created: move this one to “Higher Education/For educators” (Postpone)


And finally:

  • Point the navigation item "Education" on the left hand side to the new Education Portal.

Priority 3: Raise awareness and invite people to contribute to the portal and to the newsletter[edit]

Ask people to do the following:

http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Education_Portal/Projects_and_Programs
  • Provide links to project pages (in any language)
  • Provide short descriptions of projects (in English)
http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Education_Portal/Tips_and_Resources
  • Provide links to helpful resources: documentation, best practices, handouts, etc. (in any language)
  • Contribute to the wish list as to which kind of resources should be made available (indicate the language)
http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Education_Portal/Contact_us
  • Add missing contact persons
http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Education_Portal/Newsletter
  • Sign up for the monthly newsletter
  • Contribute to future issues of the newsletter
http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Education_Portal/Contact
  • Sign up to the education mailing list

Future tasks[edit]

  • Gather information about existing projects, contact persons, best practices, etc. from other places (Meta-Wiki, Wikipedia Project Pages, chapters, etc.) and present it on the portal. (Priority 3)
  • Collect Best Practices / Lessons Learned and present them on the portal
Pages to check out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Ambassadors (the English Wikipedia extension of the Wikipedia Education Program)
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Projets_pédagogiques (Schools and Higher Education)
http://wikimedia.de/wiki/Bildung
http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Education_Cooperative
  • Follow-up on the points that were left out (see Prioritiy 1-2)
  • Solve usability issues in navigation, see Sage Ross' comments below (24/08/2012)

Educational Portal/Discussion[edit]

Hi Beat,

thank you for your abstract. I really like the idea of the portal. Also the idea of structuring it in target groups and other ideas seems fine. Two small comments:

Where do we draw the distinction between the Outreach Wiki and Meta? (Maybe thats more a question for the Wikimedia chapter-ones)
For me, the lessons learned-section (like we shared in Washington) would be very helpful at first. Let's keep it simple.
Please lets not set up a new mailinglist, but lets use the existing educationlist to share knowledge. If you are not on it jet: go ahead. ;)
There was an initiative already in April this year on the Outreach. Let's involve that. --Elly Koepf (WMDE) (talk) 08:38, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Dear Elly,
Thanks for your comments. Below some reactions:
Meta Wiki vs. Outreach Wiki: There was a general consensus at the Unconference session that there should be ONE central portal that can link to other places (Meta, the different Wikipedias, etc.), one big problem being right now that relevant and interesting information is scattered all over the place. Frank clearly stated that the Outreach Wiki can be the place where information about outreach activities of the entire movement is gathered. For the "education" section, this means that the Outreach-Wiki's scope is wider than the scope of present WMF programs. The outreach wiki therefore seems to be the "natural" place to set up the new "education" portal: Meta refers to it, and GLAM-Wiki is also here. However, if there is consensus at some point in the future to move the portal somewhere else, this shouldn't be a problem either.
So, for the time being, I would suggest that we turn the question around: What would be important elements of Meta that should be included or linked to from the Education Portal?
Lessons learned / best practices: Gathering them and presenting them in a central place on the wiki could be part of the subsequent step (priority 2)
Mailing list: Yes, we are planning to use the existing mailing list.
Education cooperative initiative: Yes, this should be merged into the new portal. We could probably use part of it for the mission statement; further elements can be added as we go along (priority 2).
Beat Estermann (talk) 12:30, 20 July 2012 (UTC)


Beat... this is a really amazing analysis and outline of what should be done!!!Thelmadatter (talk) 14:22, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, Beat, for starting this discussion (and Elly, for mentioning it on the mailing list). We've been using the name "Wikipedia Education Program" to refer to all education programs that choose to affiliate, regardless of who runs them.
Some of the other things you mentioned were a logo to represent the entire program (we encourage the development of chapter-level, region-level, and university-level logos as well: (see commons:Category:Wikipedia Education Program logos for the ones that have been made so far and Wikipedia Education Program visual identity for guidelines on making logos) and a contact page (please add your chapter's WEP contacts there!). The layout for chat support is this: some of the en:WP:Online ambassadors are asked to sit in the #wikipedia-en-classroom connect to offer support to any student who comes in to ask for assistance. Only a few students take advantage of this resource, but it's enough students and an effective-enough system to merit keeping it in place. Rob SchnautZ (WMF) (talkcontribs) 17:37, 20 July 2012

Hey, ist'nt it possible to integrate the "education mailinglist" in this wiki? to me it would be a great help to have one - instead of two canals. cheers --Elly Koepf (WMDE) (talk) 12:35, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure it is possible, but it looks like discussion is best continued on the mailing list. Rob SchnautZ (WMF) (talkcontribs) 17:44, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, the plan is to use the "education mailinglist" in connection to this portal. In my view the mailing list should be linked to from the "Portal for Wikimedians" (in the tab "Mailinglist"). I haven't had time to look into the "Portal for Wikimedians" yet and I'm busy with other things the next couple of days. Feel free and go ahead. Beat Estermann (talk) 18:28, 30 July 2012 (UTC) Done. Beat Estermann (talk) 18:40, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Priority One Tasks Accomplished - Please help with remaining issues![edit]

The priority one tasks have been accomplished. A few issues remain (help would be appreciated):

  • As on the GLAM-Wiki there is now one central discussion page for he entire portal. To be consequent, we would need to move the contents of this talk page over to the central discussion page (and set a redirect from this talk page to the central discussion page). It would be great if someone could do that without losing the signatures and timestamps.
Done - Beat Estermann (talk) 17:27, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The Get started page isn’t really about „getting started“ yet. Maybe we can get some inspiration from the WMF Higher Education Program. Any ideas?
Done - Beat Estermann (talk) 17:27, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The info page of the education mailing list is not very informative. Could anybody take care of that?
  • The Local contacts section still looks quite empty. (This needs to be addressed as part of the priority 2 tasks).
Done - Beat Estermann (talk) 17:27, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Please have a look at the pages, make improvements, or suggest changes. I will now move on to the planning of the Priority Two tasks. In the meanwhile Leigh Thelmadatter and LiAnna are preparing the first newsletter that will appear in the new portal (scheduled for mid-August). Thanks to Kevin for installing the newsletter pages. Beat Estermann (talk) 18:40, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Some lengthy comments from LiAnna[edit]

Beat and others, first thank you SO much for your really incredible work on this! I'm very excited to see the portal progressing so much. I have a few comments and suggestions, but overall I'm really thrilled to see the direction this is taking! Hope this is not so long it becomes TLDR...

I think your comment on the email thread is dead-on: audience is key. In the two portals we've had for the program, the audience has been external to Wikimedia: the Wikipedia Education Program portal is primarily directed at journalists or others seeking broad information about the program, and the Education/For_educators section was, well, for educators. :)

One key differentiator between the education work and the GLAM work is that we want to provide information for interested educators to build a do-it-yourself model. Not all professors want a wholesale inclusion of Wikipedia in their classrooms. Some, for example, use Wikipedia as a copy editing exercise. Do they really need support of experienced Wikimedians to teach students how to copy edit? No, and quite honestly our staff and volunteer time is best spent on other professors. But we want to be sure professors interested in more minor assignments, or professors who want to do it themselves have the adequate resources available to them (case studies, handouts for students, suggestions on assignment design, etc.) that prepares them to do a *good* Wikipedia assignment. GLAM work is much more about a 1:1 relationship between an institution and a Wikimedian. So I say all this as a point that I'm a bit concerned that the new portal you're building is directed too much toward Wikimedians. I want to be sure we keep a really easy-to-use system (I'm not saying what we have at Education/For_educators is perfect by any means!) for educators to get what they need to incorporate Wikipedia as a teaching tool into their work without input from a chapter, a Wikimedian, or the WMF.

I think the changes proposed to integrate the current Wikipedia Education Program portal into the new "Education" portal are great, although I would love to keep the Wikipedia Education Program name. We specifically called it Wikipedia Education because we didn't want it tied to either WMF or universities -- we see it as a global movement with some programs led by us, some programs led by chapters, some programs led by dedicated individuals, and covering all kinds of educational efforts, not just universities. The visual identity for the program is modeled after the 10th anniversary identity, where people around the world can localize the visual identity for their own region, but programs are tied together by that common identity. It's not the WMF program; it's *our* program, and that means staff of WMF, staff of chapters, and volunteers around the world. Does anyone have a strong objection to using that terminology to describe all programs?

In line with what's said above, I want to just make clear that I wouldn't want WMF-run programs to get any special feature on this new portal. Volunteer- and chapter-run programs are just as important as programs we are running, and in my mind are even more important. I appreciate the desire to give us distinction, but please don't worry about that!

That all being said, I am really excited to see volunteers developing content for Wikimedians! It's sorely lacking and very much needed. I'm thrilled to see more space available for documentation and sharing of learnings across the world. So I hope to see this expand more, especially with the work on the newsletter. One thing to note that you all may not know is that the newsletter I write is primarily done for professors around the world who have showed interest in using Wikipedia in the classroom but who haven't done so yet. I have an email database of more than 400 such professors that I send the message out to, and it goes to about another 50 or so Wikimedians who've asked to be subscribed and to our Ambassador lists in the various countries so they know what's going on. It looks like from the preliminary stuff in the newsroom and the layout, your goal is more to have a Wikimedian-targeted newsletter rather than an outsider-targeted newsletter. Or am I getting that wrong? I think both are valid options, and I'm bringing this up in hopes that we can all think about it for a few days and hopefully discuss more on the call of what the audiences are and how we can best reach all of them effectively. Maybe we could create a better version of this landing page?

Sorry for the long missive on a Friday afternoon/evening, but I hope this will at least get the conversation going, although I will be taking some much-needed vacation and being offline for the next four days... nevertheless, I look forward to engaging with you all about this on my return. Thanks again for all the hard work, and I'm really looking forward to working with you on this project more moving forward! -- LiAnna Davis (WMF) (talk) 22:35, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

For reasons of transparency, please find below my e-mail response to LiAnna of August 6.

Original Message-----

From: Estermann Beat

Sent: Montag, 6. August 2012 21:40

To: LiAnna Davis; [L.T.]

Cc: [K.G.]; [A.S.]

Subject: RE: newsletter

Dear LiAnna,

Thanks for your comments in the wiki. I think it is important that we are having this conversation. I'll respond by e-mail for now; I guess I could post a comment on the wiki after our online meeting.

Just a few points:

- I don't agree on the difference you're postulating between GLAM work and education work. I have observed both tendencies in both areas: do-it-yourself model vs. Wikimedians-driven and/or chapter-driven model. It seems obvious to me that the do-it-yourself model is superior if it works. Making it work might be less obvious though and may require some preliminary input from the side of Wikimedians and/or chapters. I think we'll need more comparative analyses and reflection on different models and how they came to work in order to find the best solutions. But, yes, let's work towards a do-it-yourself model wherever possible!

- The portal "Education/For educators" will be preserved as such. I think it's a great resource for educators in Higher Education who want to get active on the English Wikipedia. We'll need something similar with regard to Schools and Seniors, and we'll need to transfer it into other language versions. This is not only about translating, but also about building up support systems, like the Campus Ambassadors, on other language versions. It's also about exchanging best practices between existing programs, as some other language versions already have comparable support systems in place, and some chapters have been active to reach out to Schools and Seniors for a while.

- Nothing speaks against the WMF preserving its "Wikipedia Education Program" and its wiki page associated to it. However, it will be stripped of its hub-function with regard to projects and programs run by other entities. This function will be taken over by the new Education Portal. I would strongly advise against calling the new portal "Wikipedia Education Program" at this point in time, as the portal brings together, as you rightly observe, various programs from different entities. For me, a "program" implies that there is a common governance structure and an entity that acts as the program owner. At the moment, we are lacking both an overarching governance structure and an overarching program owner. I'm not saying that we shouldn't move into this direction (maybe we should, maybe not); we could indeed start discussing this issue in Qatar or in Hong-Kong. For now, I would prefer that we stay with a loose network of partners and try to integrate as many valuable partners as possible. With the Germans we are on a good track; the French are next on my agenda; and maybe there are a few more chapters or groups of Wikimedians that are already quite advanced in some areas of education outreach. Once everybody is on board, we could start discussing governance, joint ownership and possibly a common name for a joint program.

- Concerning the "distinction" given to WMF-run programs: For the moment, I think it is useful to indicate who is actually running the different programs and who is contributing the news for the newsletter. It will facilitate comparative analyses and the exchange of best practices. Program and project ownership is also important in terms of accountability and might provide people an additional incentive to do a good job. This said, I also wouldn't see why the WMF-run programs should get any other "distinction" than programs run by other entities. In the end, everyone should get a fair share of recognition.

- Concerning the audience of the newsletter: Thanks for your information concerning the audience of your present newsletter. It is important to keep an eye on this. I think the portal's newsletter will indeed cater to an additional audience: Wikimedians who want to know what is going on in other programs and on other language versions in order to get inspiration and exchange experiences and best practices. Personally, I don't think it will hurt to have a single newsletter for different target groups, as long as we structure it in a way that allows each target group to find the content it is interested in quickly.

This said, I don't expect us to agree on all these points nor to reach a final conclusion on them in the quick run. I would suggest that we move on with the development of the portal and the newsletter in a pragmatic fashion and keep a record of our questionings and disagreements. They could then feed into the agendas of the Qatar and Hong Kong meetings, so we can discuss important issues in a larger group and in RL. What do you think?

I'm looking forward to talking to you on Thursday.

Best, Beat

On August 9 an online meeting between LiAnna, Leigh Thelmadatter, and me took place where some of the issues raised were further discussed and several decisions were taken in order to allow us to move on with the set-up of the new education portal. As the questions raised by Jan and LiAnna on the talk page show, it might be helpful to make this process more transparent on the wiki. I will discuss with LiAnna and Leigh in what form we should make the outcome of our online discussion available here. -- Beat Estermann (talk) 07:58, 27 August 2012 (UTC) Update: See the minutes below. -- Beat Estermann (talk) 14:51, 31 August 2012 (UTC)


Minutes of skype meeting of 9 August 2012 about education newsletter and new education portal.

Participants: LiAnna Davis (WMF), Leigh Thelmadatter, Beat Estermann
1. Target Audience of the newsletter and the portal
Leigh: Same audience as at Wikimedia Unconference, i.e. mostly international Wikipedia community that wants to exchange about education projects.
LiAnna: Have been doing a lot of outreach to attract new educators. The portal has been promoted as landing page for them. The WEP newsletter has been used to keep them informed. Prefers to keep the WEP newsletter separate from the “Wikipedia in Education” newsletter for now until she sees how things develop.
Decision: The portal and the new newsletter will cater to multiple audiences. For the time being, the WEP newsletter (bi-monthly) and the “Wikipedia in Education” newsletter (monthly) will be kept separate, i.e. the “Wikipedia in Education” newsletter will not be distributed to the subscribers of the WEP newsletter. LiAnna will contribute content to the “Wikipedia in Education” newsletter. She will also write a preface for the new newsletter to show WMF backing. We don’t see them as competing newsletters; they may be merged in the future.
2. Naming of the new portal
Beat: The “Wikipedia Education Program” has been strongly associated with the WMF in the past. Choosing a different name has the advantage of creating some neutral ground. This might be advantageous when it comes to inviting people and organizations that haven’t been part of the WEP so far. Furthermore, the loose network represented on the portal cannot really be called a program. This might develop in the future though and be called “Wikipedia Education Program” if there is general agreement on that in the community.
LiAnna: WMF sees the “Wikipedia Education Program” and the education portal as united. Both should be promoted under the same (visual) identity in order to facilitate their promotion.
Leigh: The “Wikipedia Education Program” is perceived as being run by the WMF. It’s preferable to start the new portal on neutral ground.
Decision: The portal won’t be named “Wikipedia Education Program” for now. This is however an option for the future. As soon as Beat has finished the first version of the new portal, LiAnna will change the left hand navigation link to point to the new portal instead of the “Wikipedia Education Program” portal.
3. Delivery of the newsletter
Decision: Use wiki-delivery to talk pages as well as e-mail delivery. LiAnna will check whether she can get some staff time to resolve the technical issues with sending the newsletter.



Priority Two Tasks on the new Education Portal Accomplished[edit]

All priority two tasks pertaining to the new Education Portal have been accomplished; the left hand navigation item "Education" can now be set to point to the new portal.

There are a series of suggested changes to the original pages of the Wikipedia Education Program which I haven't implemented. I'll leave it to the people from the WEP to consider these changes and to take action where deemed necessary.

Please have a look at the pages of the new Education Portal, make improvements, or suggest changes. I will now move on to the planning of the "Priority Three" tasks which will focus on raising awareness among people engaging in "Wikipedia in Education" activities, encouraging them to contribute content to the new portal and the newsletter. Beat Estermann (talk) 17:58, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Suggestion for "Get Involved" tab[edit]

Hey folks! Thanks a lot for taking on the restructuring of the Education portal! It looks like a lot of effort have gone into this and I really appreciate your work!

I have a suggested change for the "Get Involved" tab on the portal. One big thing that I think is missing from the portal right now is specific instruction on how interested people can join the education programs. For "Get Involved," could we have something like what was on the old Get Involved page at least for programs like the U.S., Canada, and Arabic programs — i.e. specific instructions on how exactly to join? For example, Jami has set up an explicit interest form for the U.S. and Canada programs that she checks regularly, and I've set up a clear processes for joining the Wikipedia in Arabic Education Program that I check regularly, and I'd like to see things like these clearly displayed. The new portal right now seems to present a lot of different ways one could get join, but what we've learned from past experiences is that presenting multiple points of contact for the same program/project could be confusing to people (like professors and potential Ambassadors) who aren't intimately familiar with how the Wikimedia movement is structured — it'd be unclear to them which exact method they should take and who exactly they should contact to express interest in the program. As someone who is constantly trying to get new educators and Ambassadors who are good fits to join the program, it's important to me that there are clear instructions on the Education portal for how people could join specific programs/projects. Thanks a lot! Annie Lin (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 23:53, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi Annie Lin,
Thanks for reviewing the new portal. I see your point. Maybe you just want to go ahead and build this in as you deem appropriate (and remove the information from the other pages if it isn't needed there any more in order to reduce maintenance work in the future). Just make sure that what you put on the new portal is designed for scalability: if you add subscription forms regarding 2-3 specific programs, there should also be space to add subscription forms for 20-30 other specific programs, without the page becoming overloaded. Best, Beat Estermann (talk) 08:19, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Confusing navigation scheme[edit]

I think the navigation scheme is very confusing, in particular the way that some tabs don't behave like tabs. Within the portal, the tabs should always remain the same. That's how users are conditioned to think of tabs, so breaking that convention makes for instant disorientation.

Especially since they use the same format, users may not realize they've entered a whole different set of tabs when they click the "Portal for Wikimedians" tab. Even beyond the tabs, other links jump back and forth between the Wikimedians portal and the base portal. (The "read more" newsletter link for the landing page is what I noticed; after clicking, there's no indication that you're now in the Wikimedians portal instead of the base portal, so the change in tabs may be quite confusing.)

As much as it pains me to suggest it, maybe the Wikimedians portal pages should have the base tabs above the Wikimedians tabs. That makes for awkward design, but at least it's possible to visualize the navigation in a consistent way, since the base tabs would remain constant throughout. At the least, I suggest finding something besides a tab to link to the Portal for Wikimedians. A small link at the top left immediately beneath the tabs, perhaps? And vice versa on the Wikimedians tabs, so that you can switch between base and Wikimedians tabs in a consistent way, wherever you are on the two portals.

Some other thoughts:

  • I'm not sure why the "this month" newsletter and the mailing list tab are in the Wikimedians portal, as those seem among the most intelligible and relevant pages for non-Wikimedians. Mailing lists and news are things that non-Wikimedians understand quite well.
  • The two different "Projects" tabs is also confusing.

I hope that's helpful. --Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 16:32, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi Sage Ross, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I think all your comments are pertinent. At second thought, I wonder whether it makes sense to keep up the differentiation between a portal for Wikipedians and a portal for "outsiders" as it creates an artificial gap between the two groups. Maybe we should have one portal for everybody and make sure that its structure and content are intelligible for newcomers.
In the longer run, I think another type of differentiation may take shape:
a) A main education portal, mainly in English, dedicated to the international exchange of experiences and best practices, mainly within the Wikimedia community, but not necessarily limited to it.
b) Localized education portals (differentiation according to countries and/or language versions), dedicated to the provision of information and the exchange of best practices within one language area or around the education programme(s) in one specific country or group of countries.
The existing Education Portal could serve as a basis for (a), while (b)s could take shape either on the Outreach wiki or elsewhere, e.g. chapter wikis or wikipedia project pages in various languages. -- Any thoughts on that?
Beat Estermann (talk) 09:07, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
I do like the longer-run idea with the (b) portals on project wikis, as I think having an education portal on someone's home wiki is a huge advantage in terms of accessibility and inclusiveness. Simply put, most Wikimedians never leave their home wiki and don't feel part of things that are organized on other wikis.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 16:07, 26 August 2012 (UTC)