Wikipedia Campus Ambassador/Training/Toronto

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List of modules

We'll organized what Campus Ambassadors generally teach students into 4 modules (sections), which are roughly in chronological order of when CA's usually present these materials to students. These modules will be referenced throughout the training agenda.

Introduction to Wikipedia

  • What is Wikipedia?
  • How big is it? (Generating excitement) [KEY]
  • Is/Is Not activity

Wikipedia Literacy

  • WikiProjects
  • User interface
  • Anatomy of an article
  • Watchlists and discussion norms
  • Article selection
  • Disagreements, arguments and edit wars [KEY]

Wikipedia Essentials

  • Account and userpage creation [KEY]
  • Talk pages, user talk pages, and using them
  • Editing basics
  • Adding references
  • Uploading images

Working on Wikipedia

  • Notability and sources
  • Sandboxes (Pros & Cons) [KEY]
  • "Did you know?"
  • Collaboration and engaging the community

Ambassador High-Level Expectations

  • Represent Wikipedia and the Ambassador program
  • Teach students the basics of editing Wikipedia (the information in the 4 modules)
  • Consult with the professor around the assignment
  • Support and encourage student learning around Wikipedia
  • Communicate with other stakeholders (Wikimedia Foundation, Regional Ambassadors, Online Ambassadors, other Campus Ambassadors, etc.)

CA training agenda (template)

The following outline follows the topics needed in a Campus Ambassador training, based on feedback from existing Campus Ambassadors. Each section includes a highlight of why it's important to cover and what we hope to achieve with that section.


Campus Ambassadors have a large variance in their experience levels in editing Wikipedia: some are longtime Wikipedians whereas others are new to editing. As a result, training that tries to meet both groups' needs tends to leave half the group bored or the other half confused. Many existing Campus Ambassadors suggested we remedy this problem by asking everyone to do some homework before the training.

For non-Wikipedians:

For Wikipedians:

  • Review the 4 modules (slidedecks) that the trainers will send to the CA's before training.
  • Do a GA (Good Article) review, and provide thorough feedback on Wikipedia. Then come to the training prepared to present these feedback in person, in front of the other trainees. We'll set up a lunchtime panel during the training in which you'll talk about the feedback in front of the group.
  • We might call on you during training to talk about the culture and norms of Wikipedia. Please think about what the most important facets of Wikipedia culture a newbie needs to know are. What is Wikipedia etiquette? How do you communicate on-wiki? Come prepared to discuss your views on Wikipedia culture and norms with fellow Wikipedians.
  • You know a lot about Wikipedia, but how would you *teach* it to a newbie? Come prepared to explain what someone brand new to Wikipedia needs to know about an important topic of your choosing. Think about what's really important and how to explain it without Wikipedia jargon.

General Tips on Leading a Training!

  • Below is the template for the training agenda. Most trainers decide to follow this fairly closely, although trainers can feel free to modify and tweak the training as they see fit, especially depending on how on time they are with activities on training day.
  • All trainers should read this page before designing the training. This page contains the core expectations we have for Campus Ambassador trainers. While trainers are welcome to customize training as they see fit, there are certain core elements that need to be in every Campus Ambassador training.
  • It is rare that trainers will be on time with the schedule/agenda throughout the entire training. If you run overtime, don't worry - that's common! Just try to wrap up the section as quickly as possible, possibly shorten or cut out some later portions, and do other creative improvisations to catch up to the schedule.
  • Trainees get tired after a few hours, so make the training fun for them! Be energetic as much as you can - if you're really enthusiastic, they'll be more enthusiastic too. Make the training interactive - get them to talk, move around, do activities, etc. Also, use breaks and energizer activities liberally - if you sense that the energy level among trainees has become low, give them a 5-minute break so they can get up and walk around and maybe get some food, and/or do an energizer activity that gets participants moving around. Even really silly-sounding energizer activities often work really well at waking people up, and they're pretty fun anyway. For some ideas on energizer activities, see this website:

Day 1: Wikipedia Day

Campus Ambassador Training - Day 1 Facilitator slide deck and notes

9-9:30 a.m. Introduction to Wikipedia/Global Education Program

The day kicks off with a very short overview of what we're expecting of Campus Ambassadors and giving them an overview of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation.

  • Short history of Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation
    • 10 years old
    • 11 million unique visitors a month, 15 billion pages, ~5% of the world's population
    • 270 Languages
    • 80,000 editors
    • Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia and related projects (like Wikisource, Wikinews, Wikimedia Commons, etc.)
  • Global Education Program
    • Goals
      • Improve Wikipedia articles related to class subject
      • Encourage and support the use of Wikipedia as a teaching tool for learning
    • Started with pilot phase "Public Policy Initiative" in fall 2010, now expanding to all academic disciplines and more countries
  • Role of Ambassadors - part of a large team
    • Support for instructors and students
    • Almost 200 Ambassadors (Campus + Online) total in the program right now
  • Brief overview of the Campus Ambassador role

9:30-10:30 ACTIVITY: Lightning Talks

This activity serves as both an icebreaker and a chance to give people feedback on their presentation skills.

  • You have 3 minutes to introduce yourself and talk about any topic you'd like; you can't see the timing but someone in the audience will give you 2 minutes, 1 minute, and 30 second hand motions so you keep on track. (You can shorten this activity to 2 minutes per presenter if you're short on time.)
  • Speaker stands in front of a projection screen with the timer running in the background:
  • Other group members give feedback on your speaking skills -- too many ums? swaying? unclear organization? too long/short? etc. NOTE: the presenter has the option of either hearing the feedback on the spot (in front of everyone else) or hearing them later (in a more private setup).

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-12:00 Wikipedia editing modules

This section explores the content Campus Ambassadors are expected to teach. Trainees will have already reviewed the modules (as part of their homework), so time should be spent on teaching them how to teach these modules to others rather than teaching them the content of the modules. By asking them to teach sections to each other, trainees get the chance to meet new people, explore their presentation skills, and get feedback from peers and trainers.

  • Start off by saying at this point in the training, we're expecting that everyone feels comfortable with editing basics. Non-Wikipedians have been asked to make several edits that will get them used to editing. We'll take 5-10 minutes to answer any questions before we jump into talking about the content you'll be teaching students. The stuff we're teaching here is not to teach you the content; it's to teach you *how* to teach others the content. This distinction is important, so we want to take a few moments to make sure everyone feels like they're comfortable with the basics of editing on Wikipedia before we talk about how you can teach those basics to others. (10 minutes)
  • Now, we are making the transition to talking about how to teach. We'll start by giving the first module (the "Introduction to Wikipedia" module), pretending that we're Campus Ambassadors and you're our class of students. Watch how we deliver the information and engage you as students.
    • Trainer delivers first module, "Introduction to Wikipedia" (15 minutes)
      • When deliver the first module, remember to make a live edit on Wikipedia (a simple edit) to demonstrate how exactly it works. Also, actually do the "Is/Is Not" activity in this module with the audience.
    • Now ask the trainees to provide feedback on what they think you did well on and what they think you could improve on, in terms of how you presented the materials and your teaching practice. Remember, now is not the time to ask questions about how to edit Wikipedia (unless you can answer the question very quickly) - we've left some time at the later part of the training for that purpose - we're focusing on how to teach right now. (10 minutes)
  • The introductory module is one of several you will be teaching your students. They're grouped into four general modules/sections: "Introduction to Wikipedia" (what we just presented), "Wikipedia Literacy," "Wikipedia Essentials," and "Working on Wikipedia." Now, it's your turn to practice delivering these modules, and we have an activity for that purpose.
  • ACTIVITY: Divide up the remaining 3 modules among the trainees, such that there are 2-4 trainees per group working together on a section (whether the section is an entire module or a portion of a module). For example, you might have one group of trainees work together on presenting Module 2, another group work together on the first half of Module 3, another on the second half of Module 3, another on the first half of Module 4, and another on the second half of Module 4).
    • Give the trainees 30 minutes or so to prepare their section.
    • Then, each group has 20 minutes max to present their section, as if they're presenting in front of a class of students. After each presentation, other trainees spend 10 minutes giving them feedback.

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-2:30 Wikipedia editing modules - continued

  • Continue the presentation activity from before lunch.

2:30-2:45 Tips around giving presentations

  • When should these modules be given in class?
  • What to watch for when doing live demonstrations in class
  • Setting up for a presentation
  • Warning: creating too many accounts at once

2:45-3:00 Break

3:00-4:00 Wikipedian panel

This section gives Wikipedia newbies the chance to ask questions and appreciate the differences in opinion among Wikipedians.

  • Ask the experienced Wikipedians in the group to be on a panel to share their experiences as Wikipedians. Here are some questions/topics you might ask the panel, to start off the conversation:
    • Why/how they became a Wikipedian
    • How they think a new editor can grow from making smaller edits to becoming more full-fledge editors
    • How can beginner editors help out on Wikipedia
    • Culture/etiquette/norms
    • On-wiki communication importance

4:00-5:00 Wrap-up

There's a cushion here in case other sections have run long; if not, training can end early. Get feedback from attendees and see if there's anything that should be changed for Day 2.

  • Go over outline for Day 2
  • Feedback time -- ask attendees to fill out plusses/deltas from Day 1. What else do they need information about on Day 2?
  • If there's time: give more individual feedback trainers noticed from intro activity and presenting activity.

Day 2: Ambassador Day

Campus Ambassador Training - Day 2 Facilitator slide deck and notes

9-9:30 ACTIVITY: Deliver another module

Starts the day off with an activity, and gets participants in the teaching and Wikipedia mindset to start off the day.

  • Continue with the same presentation activity from Day 1, if not all the groups have presented yet. If all groups have already presented, skip this section.
  • We'd recommend doing an icebreaker to start off the day! Get participants out of their chair and moving about.

9:30-11:00 Working in the classroom

This section will give attendees some tips around working with professors, students, and other Ambassadors - based on Campus Ambassador feedback from the past - as well as our expectations for how these various parties will interact with one another.

11:00-11:30 Working in the classroom: Role plays

This section is meant to be a fun, interactive way for trainees to practice responding to problematic situations that might come up with professor, students, or other CA's. (Ask for volunteers from the CA group, to be in the role play. Then, for each role play, have 1-2 CA volunteers respond to the situation they're presented with. The part of the problematic professor/student/CA can be acted out by the trainers themselves, or by another CA volunteer. Don't tell the audience what the scenario is beforehand!)

  • Ideas for role play scenarios (please pick and choose depending on the amount of time you have):
    • Professor who wants CAs to take on his/her responsibilities (e.g. professor who wants the CA to write the Wikipedia assignment for him/her, to grade student contributions on Wikipedia, etc.)
    • Technologically challenged professor (e.g. professor who knows very little about how Wikipedia or any technology works)
    • Student who thinks assignment is stupid (e.g. student who doesn't see the value in writing on Wikipedia rather than writing a traditional paper)
    • Highly vocal and opinionated student in class (e.g. student who is an experienced Wikipedia editor and who goes off long tangents on very detailed information about Wikipedia that totally overwhelms other students)
    • Irresponsible fellow CA (e.g. a fellow CA who tries pushing off all CA work)
  • After each role play, briefly explain the scenario to the audience, and provide (and ask for) feedback on how the CA did in the scenario - in terms of how they responded to the problematic situation, what did the CA do well and what could s/he have done better on?

11:30-12:00 Tips for working in the classroom

"This section gives trainees more tips and tricks on having a positive relationship with the professor and students, based on feedback from the past.

  • Tips for working with the professor
  • Tips for presentations & labs
  • Tips for avoiding problems

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-1:30 Setting up a course page

Please walk trainees through how to use the course page wizard to create a course page, since Campus Ambassadors will likely be the ones creating and/or updating course pages throughout the academic term.

1:30-2:00 Where to get help

This section essentially addresses the question, what do you do if you get asked a question you can't answer?

  • Other Ambassadors.
  • IRC.
  • Wikimedia staff.
  • Handouts.
  • Course pages.
  • ACTIVITY: Log on to the IRC chatroom and ask a question, to demonstrate how the IRC works.

2:00-2:15 Break

2:15-2:45 Wikipedia-editing pow-wow

At this point of the training, some trainees might still be unclear about some basics of Wikipedia-editing. Please take 30 minutes or so to ask what people are still unclear about, and then briefly show them how to do those things so that they're clearer. Please remember though:

  • This training is not meant to teach CA's how to edit Wikipedia (the training is meant to teach them how to teach others about Wikipedia-editing), so don't spend too much time on this pow-wow section
  • Focus on only the basics of Wikipedia-editing (i.e. what CA's will teach to students), nothing advanced

2:45-3:30 Sustainability

This section explains where the Ambassador program is going in the future and how attendees can get involved if they're interested.

  • Ways for CA's to get more involved in the program (they're encouraged to get more involved!):
    • Lead a future CA training
    • Apply to be a Regional Ambassador
    • Recruit other professors and CA's to come on board the project
    • Develop materials to help students learn about Wikipedia
  • If there's time, talk about outreach activities like forming student clubs, holding on-campus workshops/presentations, etc.

3:30-4:00 Expectations

Return to the high-level expectations for Campus Ambassadors. Ask for any concerns, questions, feedback, anything the attendees feel like they're not prepared to do.

  • Clearly state what CA's responsibility is: What Campus Ambassadors are expected to do and what they shouldn't be doing
  • When to reach out to staff if problems emerge
  • Let staff know about media interest
  • Alert OAs about upcoming labs
  • Updating course pages
  • Go over main points of MOU again

4:00-5:00 Wrap-up

Similar to Day 1, there's extra time here if more topics need to be covered, with a quick wrap-up of everything they've learned and any feedback they'd like to share. If you have time and the group has the energy, do one final activity of pairing up and presenting another module.

  • Summarize everything covered
  • Any outstanding questions?
  • Cushion in case we've run long elsewhere