Submissions/The 7 biggest mistakes the Wikipedia Education Program has made — and what we’ve learned from them

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2014.

Submission no. 3029
Title of the submission

The 7 biggest mistakes the Wikipedia Education Program has made — and what we’ve learned from them

Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)


Author of the submission

LiAnna Davis

E-mail address


User:LiAnna (Wiki Ed)

Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

Wiki Education Foundation

Personal homepage or blog

Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Have you heard the horror stories about the Wikipedia Education Program? Student editors gone wild! Everybody plagiarizes! 1,500 students in one class! No way to track students’ work! Sounds bad, right?

The reality of the Wikipedia Education Program work on the English Wikipedia is quite different — but that doesn't mean that some of those rumors you have have heard about Wikipedia Education Program students aren't based in fact. We’ll separate fact from fiction, own up to the mistakes we’ve made, and talk about how we’ve adjusted based on those failures.

In this 15-minute presentation, the Wiki Education Foundation's LiAnna Davis will count down the seven biggest mistakes the Wikipedia Education Program has made, and explain what the team running the program has learned from them to ensure they don't happen again. LiAnna has been on the Wikipedia Education Program team since the pilot of the Wikipedia Education Program in the United States in 2010, then known as the Public Policy Initiative. Over the last four years, LiAnna has supported the program managers in starting and running the Wikipedia Education Program in the United States, Canada, India, Egypt, Brazil, Algeria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia — that's a lot of student editors, and a lot of options for mistakes!

But the session isn't just about recounting our past mistakes: it's also about explaining what we learned from them and how we adjusted our program plan to make the Wikipedia Education Program better. Our team at the Wiki Education Foundation is experimental and willing to try new things, but we're also data-driven and willing to acknowledge when something has failed and make appropriate adjustments.

We hope session attendees will walk out of this talk learning which mistakes to avoid making in their own programs encouraging new editors to contribute to Wikipedia, gaining an understanding of what works and doesn't work in the Wikipedia Education Program, and seeing how results directly affect program plans in an experiment-focused team.

  • Education Outreach
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)

To come

Special requests

Interested attendees

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 a hash and four tildes. (# ~~~~).

  1. MartinPoulter (talk) 16:41, 29 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Oona Castro (talk) 04:44, 31 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Tflanagan (WMF) (talk) 23:13, 7 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  4. AKoval (WMF) (talk) 04:25, 9 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  5. FKoudijs (WMF) (talk) 20:35, 9 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  6. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:16, 12 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Quiddity (talk) 21:18, 12 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Dyolf77 (talk) 08:20, 14 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Astirmays (talk) 17:38, 15 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  10. OhanaUnitedTalk page 22:27, 3 May 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Alice d25 (talk) 22:25, 18 May 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  12. --Samir I. Sharbaty (talk) 06:50, 23 May 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Kudpung (talk) --Kudpung (talk) 12:56, 22 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  14. --Iopensa (talk) 07:38, 4 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Masssly (talk) 13:43, 5 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  16. Valentin Muenscher (WMDE) (talk) 08:55, 15 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  17. Bachounda (talk) 13:33, 24 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  18. Sabbon (talk) 20:58, 26 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  19. Saraanine (talk) 07:54, 7 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  20. NickK (talk) 23:49, 7 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  21. لا روسا (talk) 06:48, 8 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  22. सृजना
  23. Add your username here.