Become a Wikipedia Editor
This course will be offered through the Bethlehem (NY) School District's Adult and Continuing Education program in Spring 2020. It is designed to encourage knowledgeable individuals to contribute to Wikipedia (for a start) and to build a local community of Wikipedians.
There are a large number of retired professionals in this area, as well as those who are not yet of retirement age. They may be interested in providing value to others by contributing to Wikipedia. I hope that they might also encourage others to become involved. There is not an extended mission statement for the Adult and Continuing Education program that I could find, but they do have a motto, "Work Hard, Play Hard, Learn Forever." I think this class will fit in!
How This Project Adds Value to the Community
I have had trouble identifying Wikipedians in the Albany, NY area, but believe there is great potential. There are many institutions of higher education in the area, and many retired educators who might be interested in participating. There is also a graduate program of information science, as well as an undergraduate informatics program at the local university. These students might be interested in learning more. However, outreach and the opportunity to enroll will not be limited to these audiences, so I think there could be wider engagement and learning about participation in building Wikipedia.
Problem Tree (Table)
(I abbreviate Wikimedia as W.)
|Don't see self as a contributor to Wikimedia projects||Negative press about Wikipedia, or the sense that it exists to lead one to other sources, and that using the content of its entries is not a good thing to do may cause people to disassociate from it||Use Wikipedia, but guiltily|
|Don't consider their knowledge in connection with W. goals, may not recognize the value that they could bring to others||Don't consider contributing|
|Don't understand they themselves can contribute||Lack of knowledge about who can edit, only familiar with the articles, not structures such as the history and talk pages that would show the communal editing process||Consume, do not produce|
|Don't know scope of W. projects beyond Wikipedia||Other projects aren't as visible||Only use Wikipedia|
|Don't realize they might be valuable contributors|
|May be interested in contributing, but don't know where to start||Complex nature of information about contributing, range of resources can be overwhelming, no one has said, "I can get you started"||Do nothing|
|Lack of opportunities to learn about editing||Do nothing|
(need to invest resources to get participants)
|What You Invest||What You Implement||What You Change||What You Change Long-Term|
|Enthusiasm of instructor||Those who enrolled in the course||Review of training materials||New editors||People who edit in Wikipedia||Increased number of at least partially confident Wikipedia editors locally who can engage others and participate in local editathons|
|Knowledge about teaching||Willing to pay $35 for the course||Discussions||New content||Sense of empowerment as an editor
Able to share information through their knowledge
|Sense of enthusiasm they may share with others|
|Knowledge derived from this course||Sandbox "play"||Information for revisions to future iterations of the course||Curiosity about other Wikimedia projects||Contributors to other Wiki projects|
|Mentorship of other Wikipedians for students||Contact between students and mentors||Understanding of the Wikipedia community|
|Computer classroom||Article editing||Connections with other Wikipedians|
Outputs: what you do and what you create and who you reach
Outcomes: changes in learning, actions, or conditions
|Outcomes (Objectives)||Indicators||Data Collection
|People who edit in Wikipedia||Number of people contributing to
a class discussion who provide concrete
|Class Discussion||Start of Week 2||Trudii|
|Sense of empowerment as an editor||Number of people contributing to
a class discussion indicating how they
||Start of Week 3||Trudi|
Main Purpose (Why): To determine if the course as developed is effective in meeting its goals.
Stakeholders to Share With (Who): Continuing Education Coordinator, Wikimedia Community (along with other course material)
|Outcomes (Objectives)||Indicators||Data Collection Method||Timing||Owner|
|People who edit in Wikipedia||Number of people who have continued
editing after the course ended
|Survey||1 month after course ends||Trudi|
|Sense of empowerment as an editor||Number of people who
self-report a sense of
|Survey||1 month after course ends||Trudi|
|Curiosity about other Wikimedia
|Number of people who contribute to one
|Survey||1 month after course ends||Trudi|
|Logic Model||Evaluation Questions||Indicators of Success||Data Collection Method||Owner|
|Impact (Long Term Impact)
|Objectives (sort-term and intermediate-term outcomes)
Have you edited in Wikipedia since the course ended?
Have you offered to teach another person how to edit in Wikipedia?
|60% say yes
60% say moderately confident or confident
60% say yes
40% say yes
- Continuing education program coordinator
- Experienced Wikipedia editors (to serve as mentors)
- Potential students/enrolled students
- Others in the community who might be interested in learning to be a Wikipedia editor
- Those running local institutions/programs that might become the subject of Wikipedia articles (and not necessarily only local)
- Members of enrolled students' families who are curious about what the person is doing
- Librarians at the local public library, who may get more requests for reference assistance
- Others in the Wikimedia Education environment who might be interested in the outcome of such a course, and possibly using the material developed or borrowed
Stakeholder Engagement Plan
|Continuing Ed Coordinator||Public sector, individual||Direct||Promoter: without her agreement,
this course will not exist
|Engage||Contact her in the middle of the course to report on how it is going, update her at the end. Goal is to make her receptive to adding it to the schedule again|
|Experienced Wikipedia Editors||Individuals||Will need to use group mechanisms to recruit. Possibly ask in the Teahouse||Potential defenders if I frame it well, otherwise apathetics||Engage||Messages via forums on Wikipedia||Once course is listed with dates, post in forums learned about in this Greenhouse course to explain project and request experienced editors who are willing to assist. Ask for their advice to keep them engaged.|
|Potential Students||Individuals||Indirect, this is a large group of people and the more that can be reached, the better||Latent: If they become interested, they will enroll and allow the course to run||Engage||Possible article in regional and local newspapers/on regional newspaper's blog||First, once the course is approved by the Continuing Ed Coordinator, ask her if it is ok to promote. If it is, contact the two papers to explore options. Once the course flyer is mailed, try to activate those options.
On 1/26, sent to: https://www.spotlightnews.com/thespot/calendar/
|Librarians at the local public library||Organization||Direct to either director of the library or the head of reference||Potential defenders: with their interest in information for all||Communicate, then Engage if there is an opening to do so||Email, offer of phone call||Once the course is listed and the flyer is mailed, reach out regarding possible reference questions, see if there is a way to promote the class (bulletin board? other?)|
|Representatives of local Institutions that might be subjects||Organizations||Direct||Latents (heads of organizations) or apathetics (PR folks)||Communicate as needed, possibly engage (editathon at their orgaization)?)||Phone call or email||Depends on topics students in the course are working on|
Email to public library (item 4 above, sent 1/26/20) [no response received]
I am a librarian at the University at Albany (and a Slingerlands resident), and I have a BCSD Continuing Education course being offered this spring, "Start Contributing to Wikipedia" (https://www.bethlehemschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/69614-BCSD-Cont-Ed-Spring-2020.pdf page 8). If there is sufficient enrollment, it will begin April 21. I am writing for two reasons:
1. While this is being offered by the School District and not the Library, I wonder if there might be any way to promote the class through the Library? Library users would be excellent potential Wikipedia contributors. Is there a bulletin board where I might post information? Are there any other ways to promote it there?
2. If the course gets sufficient enrollment to proceed, there might be queries connected to the Wikipedia article research learners will be doing in the course, and I thought I would give a heads-up about this. The class is limited to 15 students, and runs for just three weeks.
Thank you, and I hope to hear from the appropriate person on your staff. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. My home phone is xxx and my office phone is xxx.
Course runs for 3 weeks in April, 2020: 1 meeting of 90 minutes/week
|Items||Cost||In-kind Contribution||Funding Needed|
|Contact Local Organizations||$10||$10||$0|
Advocacy Message Audience for this message: Range of people from the local community