Talk:Wikipedia as a Teaching Tool/Interacting with the Community

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  • Whoa, that talk page for "Black people" is really interesting. You've been designing this as a web-based brochure, but I think it will be worth printing as well, so we should think about ways of not losing some of the high-value links like that one. Perhaps in a printable version, most of the links would just be removed, with just the most important URLs spelled out, and maybe a bit of explanation at the very beginning about shortcuts, so that key pages can be specified in shorthand.
  • Perhaps there should be a caveat about WikiProjects, since many (probably most) aren't active and wouldn't be likely to provide much help.
  • Something should be said about how to get in touch with the ambassadors program to ask for assistance. Rather than linking to the mentors page, I think we should have a landing page for teachers with clear instructions about asking for support for a class from the ambassador program. (I expect that--infrastructure for supporting organic growth and spontaneous interest--to be a project for the less busy periods next semester and for the summer.)
  • The discussion of consensus is solid, but I would add more emphasis to a few things:
    • edit summaries, and the norms surrounding them... i.e., dwell on the expectation that every edit have a summary explaining the substance of an edit, and where it isn't obvious, the reasoning behind the edit. And note the page history as the running log of edit summaries, where you can review what changes others are making and see what reactions they had to your edits.
    • assuming good faith... this should be introduced more fully right from the beginning, as it goes hand-in-hand with consensus. Assume good faith, assume the assumption of good faith, keep discussions focused on content... these don't go without saying, especially because many people have the impression (not entirely unfairly) of Wikipedia as a combative place and won't always AGF by default, but it's the prerequisite for consensus discussion; otherwise, it's adversarial negotiation rather than consensus discussion.

--Sage Ross 17:25, 1 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Per the discussion on the ambassadors list today, this should probably also address watchlists and "talk page culture" as Piotrus puts it. I thought I had remembered watchlists appearing somewhere in the brochure, but I can't find it now... that should be in the bullet list of early things to learn, as well as explained in terms of the cycle of feedback and talk page culture here.--Sage Ross 17:46, 2 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]