Wikipedia Education Program/Participation Requirements

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Based on learnings from previous terms of the Wikipedia Education Program in several countries, we've created a set of new Participation Requirements for Education Program courses that kick off in January and February of 2012 that will ensure that the Wikimedia Foundation is directing resources toward courses that are using Wikipedia and the resources we have provided effectively. Ambassadors and the volunteer time they give to the Wikipedia Education Program are a limited and precious resource for professors, and these requirements are designed to ensure that Ambassador time is being used to support courses making the most positive impact on Wikipedia while receiving an appropriate level of support. These requirements have the downside of forcing us to turn away interested professors, but we believe focusing on quality over quantity this term is the right move.

We will evaluate the success of these requirements throughout the term, and we welcome input on them throughout the first few months of spring 2012, with the idea that we will form a more global set of requirements guiding all programs in the future.

Beginning January 1, 2012, all courses that participate in the Wikipedia Education Program in spring 2012 must meet the following requirements. Courses that do not meet these requirements are still welcome to use Wikipedia as a teaching tool, but they will not be considered part of the Wikipedia Education Program and will not receive support from the Wikipedia Ambassador Program. See, for example, the School and University Projects program for alternative support options. Please note that the Wikipedia Education Program is operating in the U.S., Canada, and Egypt during spring 2012, so these requirements affect those programs in particular, and that individual programs may enact stricter requirements as well (for example, the Cairo Pilot will have an even smaller student:ambassador ratio).

Participation Requirements[edit]

  1. There must be at least one Wikipedia Ambassador for every 15 students who will contribute content to Wikipedia in a class.
    Wikipedia Ambassador in this case refers to either Campus or Online Ambassadors. An Ambassador may support more than one class each term if he or she has the capacity and desire to do so.
  2. Every class must have at least one Wikipedia Ambassador who is a Wikipedian.
    We are using "Wikipedian" to refer to someone who has an extensive contribution history on Wikipedia and is comfortable with advanced policies and requirements, so that they can answer any question about Wikipedia a student may have, or they know where to find out.
  3. The professor of the class can serve as both professor and Wikipedia Ambassador by meeting the normal requirements for being an Ambassador.
  4. All participating professors must participate in a Wikipedia Education Program faculty orientation.
    This online orientation is mandatory before the course begins.
  5. To the maximum extent possible, all participating professors will ensure that student contributions to Wikipedia do not violate Wikipedia policies.
  6. All participating classes will contribute substantial content to Wikipedia.
    Students who are contributing to Wikipedia are expected to put in as much work into the Wikipedia assignments as they would put into a term paper or other large assignment.
  7. All professors must create a Course Page with updated information about number of students, student usernames and articles they are working on.

Grandfather clause for existing professors[edit]

In order to transition this new process for professors who have already been a part of the program, the requirements will be more flexible.

  1. Because of experience with the program, the returning professor can represent one Ambassador, thus making the required number of Ambassadors slightly fewer.
    This will give a few more professors some flexibility for remaining with the program this close to the beginning of the term, as s/he will need to recruit fewer new Ambassadors.
  2. A returning professor who has done extensive work on Wikipedia can also represent the Wikipedian-status Ambassador.