Submissions/How to create a good school project on Wikipedia
From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom
This is an open submission for Wikimania 2014.
- Submission no.
- Title of the submission
- How to create a good school project on Wikipedia
- Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
- Author of the submission
- Simon Villeneuve
- E-mail address
- Simon Villeneuve
- Country of origin
- Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
- Cégep de Chicoutimi and Université du Québec à Chicoutimi
- Personal homepage or blog
- Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
- As an edition of Wikipedia grows, so do the expectations. Therefore, it becomes harder and harder to make a good school project on big Wikipedias. Since Fall 2008, I use the French Wikipedia in my astronomy class and introduce my students to the encyclopedia with the Cégep de Chicoutimi school project (more info in WMF Global blog post here). Since Winter 2013, I extend the project to my astrophysics class and, since Fall 2013, I created another similar project in my astrophysics course at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. Both projects have created about 273 articles on French Wikipedia, uploaded 36 files on Commons, created 19 articles on French Wikinews, 2 articles and 1 book on French Wikisource.
I want to show you some tips I learned. With these, maybe you will not follow bad paths and make a good school project more quickly and with less work than I did.
Plan of the presentation
1- Bigger is the wiki, harder it is to contribute
Everybody who write in Inuktitut, Cree or Innu can edit and do a school project on these Wikipedias. Everything has to be done there.
It’s not the same for "bigger" Wikipedias (English, Deutsch, French, Italian, etc.), where editing becomes harder and harder. On these Wikipedias, unless you have students with superpowers, you’ll have to choose very narrow subjects and/or focus on brand new articles or stubs. Otherwise, your project will fail or will be a flash in the pan.
2- No-edition activities
There is a lot of things you can do with your students without editing Wikipedia. From creating a book to wikiracing, from doing « snakes and Ladders » with categories to try to find hoaxes by analyzing sources, there’s virtually innumerous ways. However, using passively Wikipedia in class with your students may be a good first step.
3- Learn the tool
Editing Wikipedia is not as easy as other social networks like Facebook or Twitter. Public wikis are hard to tame. If you want to do a good school project on Wikipedia, you must first be a good Wikipedian.
4- Link with the community
Some school projects have been a disaster because they didn’t link with the community of the Wikipedia where they « unleashed » the students. Unless you’re a WikiOgre working alone in the dark spaces of the encyclopedia, the more you do step 2, the less you’ll have to do this step.
Don’t forget that Campus Ambassadors can help you for this.
5- Create and use tools to help supervise your students
Create a page to centralise your project. Use tools such as templates and categories to supervise and help other members of the community to supervise your students.
6- Leave the place better than it was when you arrived
Many school projects just unleash their students and count on them to work correctly alone. Some students will do good, but many others will botch the assigments. The community must clean up their mess. Soon, you'll will receive complaints that you give them work without any gain. Many school projects died this way.
Better you perform the previous steps, less problems you'll have with this one. But bear in mind that if you want to repeat your project year after year, by the end of each semester, you'll have to clean.
- Outreach & Education
- Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
- 25 minutes, if possible 45 minutes
- Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
- Not sure.
- Slides or further information (optional)
- Special requests
- The usual (computer, video projector and highspeed Internet connection)
If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with four tildes. (~~~~).
- --ralgis·/t/ 22:02, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
- --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 22:07, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
- B25es (talk) 19:18, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
- Hawkeye7 (talk) 07:17, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
- Vogone (talk) 22:21, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
- You must keep in mind that about 80 % of the articles done by new contributors on English Wikipedia are suppressed. I think it's about the same on other Big Wikipedias.
- Since last year, other school educators and me have created some exercises to create a kind of educationnal turnkey approach of the tool. You can see them on (fr)fr:Wikipédia:Exercices. Feel free to fit them to your language.
- help you ≠ do the job for you. On Wikipedia, help is often a kind of "give and take". The more you take, the more you'll have to give back in the future.
- We have created (fr)some of these tools in French. Feel free to fit them to your language.