Talk:Public Policy Initiative project details

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Choice of project[edit]

The public policy articles on the English Wikipedia are pretty well developed. The Spanish Wikipedia is an emerging reference for many more people, billions probably, who do not know how their government works and could benefit from that information. And the pubic policy articles on the Spanish Wikipedia are not as good as those on the English Wikipedia, even (especially) for Spanish-speaking countries.

Why was the English Wikipedia chosen over the Spanish Wikipedia for this endeavor? 71.198.176.22 09:22, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi 71.198.176.22, thank you very much for your interest and feedback. I agree with you that there are other Wikipedia language versions that would also benefit from improving articles of a particular topic area. Therefore, we will be developing a model that can be used by others (and for other Wikipedia language versions). Our goal is to produce information and infrastructure that could inform the design and development of such a long­term sustainable model. Please let me know if you have further questions. --Frank Schulenburg 13:56, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
My concern is that attempts to improve most enwiki public policy articles will usually involve only small, very incremental changes, and will thus appear to be only marginally successful at best, sabotaging your long term success. Furthermore, the opportunities for the kinds of improvements that can be made on the English Wikipedia, which as far as I can tell from a quick survey often stem from political controversies, will open the Foundation to easy (and quite possibly accurate) accusations of political bias, and that could impact fundraising. If you want to make a model, surely you would want it to show the maximum amount of improvement. For a concrete example of the issues involved, please compare en:Politics of Costa Rica to es:Política de Costa Rica. My further questions are:
(1) Who in the volunteer community was consulted when deciding which Wikipedia to base this effort on?
(2) Who made the decision to do this on the English Wikipedia?
(3) Is there any opportunity to change at this point, e.g., is "English Wikipedia" written in to the terms of the grant; if so, who are the officials at the grant making organization who have the authority to allow for an amendment? 71.198.176.22 03:19, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps it would be easier to make an initial survey of the opportunities for improvement, with an explicit consideration of outcomes, for the English Wikipedia, the Spanish Wikipedia, and perhaps three or four other Wikipedias chosen to serve the largest number of people who would benefit from learning about their government. Just ranking the top-5 such non-English Wikipedias is a fascinating ethnographic project which would probably produce a lot of important information on its own right.

For the model implementation, would it be much easier to use simultaneous improvement of English and other Wikipedias? If you tried to coordinate individual changes, this could serve to insulate you from criticism of political bias as well, because the effort of coordination across languages takes priority over editorial choice of subject matter. 71.198.176.22 14:44, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Experience with similar projects[edit]

You should try to talk to User:jbmurray and User:JimmyButler. They are two teachers who have by far had the most success on getting their students to create excellent content on wikipedia. I would highly recommend that you reach out to them because I think they would be a big help. Remember 14:02, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

I actually tried to contact jbmurray a few times and have yet to be successful. I am continuing to reach out to him. In the process of developing the proposal, we discovered several professors, teachers, and school librarians who are using Wikipedia as a teaching tool successfully and that this idea/concept/activity is growing organically.--Rdunican 18:23, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: When I first proposed the idea of interacting with the Community through my AP Biology students, I assumed that such activities would be wide-spread through-out Wikipedia. I'm still somewhat perplexed at the educational community's failure to embrace, what to me seems such an obvious teaching/learning opportunity. I'm still surprised (after working two years on my simple version of such a fusion), that such projects involving collaboration between teachers and Wikipedia did not occur naturally. I will be very interested in seeing how this far more focused and formal project unfolds and how your goals compare to my vision. It has been an experience - like no other in my many years of service. I wish you success in bringing in my peers from the secondary school system - it gets lonely out here!--JimmyButler 16:29, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi Jimmy. I am glad to here about your efforts in working with Wikipedia in the classroom and just looked at your AP Biology 2009 information. Looks great! I would love to talk with you about you are doing and get some input from you. --Rdunican 18:23, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I would be delighted to share. What ever forum you desire (talk page - email - phone). I'm trying to convince the English Department to collaborate; especially since they have reached an all time high of frustrations involving "research papers". God bless copy-paste. This solutions takes that option off the table along with other critical issues - such as referencing. I could go on for days with the positives. I could go on for days with the unforeseen challenges! I'm disappointed that the public high schools are so poorly represented - the "all in fun" challenge with jbmurray's team added an element of interest; although I fear we were a tad out of our league and an annoyance at best. Although the Bog Turtle article made FA status over the weekend! Cheers --JimmyButler 15:12, 10 May 2010 (UTC)