Wikimedia:Starting an education program/Training student editors

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Training student editors

There are two main ways that programs train student editors: in-person workshops and online. While in-person workshops can be more helpful, since they offer student editors a chance to ask questions, they are also time-consuming, and not all instructors have precious class time to give to a Wikipedia workshop. You can organize in-person workshops out of class, but not all students are able to attend.

The online student training offers a good overview of the types of things students need to know before contributing to Wikipedia, and is useful even if students also get in-person training. Be sure to cover not just the technical how-to of Wikipedia editing, but also important policies. Student editors in particular may struggle with the strict copyright policies on Wikipedia. Make sure student editors understand that close paraphrasing is still plagiarism and will not be tolerated on Wikipedia. Helping student editors understand sourcing requirements and how encyclopedic writing may be different from what they're used to is important as well.

Remember, students are newbies, and only teach them things they truly need to know. Advanced topics like categories, for example, aren't appropriate for newbies to learn when they're first getting started. As you create your training materials for student editors, always think, "do they need to know this now, or is this more of an intermediate or advanced editor task?"

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