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News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

Posts Tagged ‘Wikipedia’

A Multimedia Vision for 2016

How will we use multimedia on our sites in three years?

The Wikimedia Foundation’s Multimedia team was formed to provide a richer experience and support more media contributions on Wikipedia, Commons, and MediaWiki sites. We believe that audio-visual media offer a unique opportunity to engage a wide range of users to participate productively in our collective work.

To inform our plans, we’ve created a simple vision of how we might collaborate through multimedia by 2016. This hypothetical scenario was prepared with guidance from community members and is intended for discussion purposes, to help us visualize possible improvements to our user experience over the next three years.

Vision

The best way to view this vision is to watch this video:

Multimedia Vision 2016, presented by Fabrice Florin at a Wikimedia Meetup in San Francisco on Dec. 9, 2013.

(more…)

Wikimedia India hosts Wikipedia women’s workshop in Mumbai

(This guest post by Aditi Vashisht and Netha Hussain is part of the series on the WikiWomen’s Collaborative)

Participants at the first Mumbai Wikipedia Workshop for Women

On Sunday, 4 November 2012, Wikimedians from Mumbai, India, conducted a Wikipedia workshop for women at Vidyalankar Institute of Technology,Wadala. The event was aimed at introducing women who are not yet editing Wikipedia to the website and teaching them how to edit.

“Lots of women are interested in editing Wikipedia, but sometimes they need to be specially invited to join in,” said Bishakha Datta, one of the primary organizers of the workshop. ”Doing this workshop was a chance to strategically get women to participate by creating an event meant for them, where they could freely ask questions, including basic ones, without feeling silly or stupid.”

Wikipedia editors Krutikaa Jawanjal and Pradeep Mohandas, who facilitated the event, were motivated to conduct a women’s workshop for bridging the gender gap that exists in Wikipedia. A lot of preparations were done ahead of time. Vidyalankar Institute of Technology was found to be the best place to conduct the workshop among all venues investigated by the team of organizers. The volunteers got together to discuss the agenda and the schedule of the event and planned their respective sessions.

Over one hundred participants signed up for to attend on the workshop’s Wikipedia page. A Facebook page was created for the event, where approximately 50 participants registered. Interested participants also emailed Wikipedia’s volunteer customer service group, OTRS. The enthusiasm was so high among the participants that registration had to be closed down a couple of days before the workshop. Some of the interested attendees had experimented with editing Wikipedia, and they had started asking questions to the organizers even before the event was launched! All participants who created an account were sent welcome messages by the organizers.

“The pre-meetup preparations involved more than 50 days of work. Two meetups were conducted for planning the workshop. The whole process involved a lot of hard work, yet it was fun,” said Karthik Nadar, the Secretary of Wikimedia India Chapter.

The workshop was a full day event with a lot of fun activities. More than 70 participants attended. After an introduction by the organizers, the participants were divided into groups and one facilitator was allotted to each group. The facilitator helped their group to create and expand a Wikipedia article by themselves. During the lunch break, the participants were served pav bhaji, an Indian delicacy. The participants moved around and made friends with each other and the organizers during the lunch break.

During the afternoon session, the participants asked to clarify their doubts about editing. Organizers gave a brief introduction about the Wikimedia India Chapter, and they conducted sessions sessions on How to add references to a Wikipedia article and How to upload pictures to Commons. The much awaited results of Wiki Loves Monuments India were declared after the sessions. Organizers also conducted a Wiki-Quiz and the winners were given t-shirts and other Wikimedia goodies!

Conducting the workshop was a memorable experience to the team of organizers. Krutikaa said her best memories included the ones where she had to resolve doubts and answer questions about editing Wikipedia. Wikimedian Rohini Lakshane said that it was thrilling to see the joy on the faces of the participants when their edits went live. She said she is planning to organize more workshops in the future because she thinks that workshops of this kind can make the community grow. For Karthik, the workshop was not about the number of participants, but about the number of people who are excited to edit Wikipedia.

The event was covered by various newspapers and websites. Videos on various aspects of Wikipedia were created during and after the event by a team of journalists. Techgross, an online daily for news-related to technology, reported: “Here is wishing that many more such workshops are held across India, Techgoss is sure there are many takers.”

(The Mumbai community is planning to conduct similar events in various parts of the city in the coming months and we’ll provide further updates soon.)

Aditi Vashisht and Netha Hussain

In divisive times, Wikipedia brings political opponents together

Network of users communicating on Wikipedia article talk pages (Neff et al., p.22). Edges connecting two Democrats are colored blue, edges connecting two Republicans in red, and edges representing inter-party dialogue are colored in green.

Neutral Point of View – the requirement that articles must represent all significant viewpoints fairly – is one of the three core principles that Wikipedia is based on. Many of its readers value it, especially when seeking unbiased information in times of heated political battles.

In the run-up to the US presidential election, a group of six researchers from the University of Southern California and the Barcelona Media Foundation have published the results of a new study[1] showing that “despite the increasing political division of the U.S., there are still areas in which political dialogue is possible and happens” – namely, the talk pages of Wikipedia, where users of both political persuasions debate and collaborate to create encyclopedic coverage of political topics.

The research project–presented earlier this year at the 32nd INSNA (International Network for Social Network Analysis) Sunbelt conference and now documented in preprint form–conducted a quantitative analysis of the interactions of Wikipedia users who had proclaimed a political affiliation on their user page, in terms of the US political system. As the researchers write in the abstract:

“In contrast to previous analyses of other social media, we did not find strong trends indicating a preference to interact with members of the same political party within the Wikipedia community. … It seems that the shared identity of ‘being Wikipedian’ may be strong enough to triumph over other potentially divisive facets of personal identity, such as political affiliation.”

The paper’s title, “Jointly they edit,” was chosen in reference to the well-known phrase “divided we blog” coined in a 2005 paper that referred “to a trend of cyberbalkanization in the political blogosphere, with liberal and conservative blogs tending to link to other blogs with a similar political slant, and not to one another.” A similar divisive trend was found in the retweet networks on Twitter.

As a testament to what can be achieved in a fruitful collaboration between many editors including opposing political persuasions, Wikipedians have brought the articles about both contenders in tomorrow’s presidential election to “featured article” status, representing the highest quality rating on Wikipedia. The article Barack Obama has received more than 22,000 edits since it was started in March 2004, and its information is currently supported by 319 inline references. The article Mitt Romney, begun in January 2004, has been edited over 10,000 times and currently contains 400 inline references.

So no matter who gets the most electoral votes tomorrow, you can trust that many Wikipedians have worked together to ensure that his Wikipedia page will reflect a balanced political perspective.

Reference

  1. Neff J. G., Laniado D., Kappler K., Volkovich Y., Aragon P., Kaltenbrunner A. (2012). Jointly they edit: Examining the impact of community identification on political interaction in Wikipedia. arXiv:1210.6883

For more coverage of recent academic research on Wikipedia, read our monthly Wikimedia Research Newsletter or follow its updates on Twitter and Identi.ca.

Tilman Bayer, Senior Operations Analyst

Wikipedia Club Pune celebrates WikiWomen Day

WikiWomen Day participants

Sunday, 28th October 2012, was “WikiWomen Day” in Pune, India. The day brought together women from a variety of educational backgrounds, castes, creeds, religions, and age groups. The purpose of the gathering was to both educate women about the huge gender gap that exists within Wikipedia and to encourage women to contribute.

The workshop was held by “Wikipedia Club Pune” in PAI International Learning Solutions, Azam Campus, Pune, India. The workshop began at 10:00am with approximately 25 attendees. The first session explained the issues surrounding the lack of women editors. This session was an eye-opener for attendees about the huge gender gap within Wikipedia. Next, we offered a “How to get Hands-on on Wikipedia” program. The majority of attendees didn’t know how to edit Wikipedia, therefore, they had to start from scratch with tasks such as creating a username, and learning about Wikipedia policies and guidelines, and its principles, such as the Five Pillars. After a thorough review, we presented the basics of editing.

Later in the afternoon, there was a breakout session where everyone got an opportunity to interact with one another while enjoying a lunch of burgers and soft drinks. Following that, there was Indic language session where attendees were introduced to the multi-lingual aspects of Wikipedia. After that was the “Collaborative Contribution” session where we put our newly acquired skills to work. In this session, we expanded the “Helen Keller” article in Marathi. This page was originally started by an anonymous editor with a single line of text. Within a half hour, the entire page was developed, telling a comprehensive story of her life. This collaborative experience was marvelous and my favorite session of the day. After this session, we distributed participation certificates to everyone and encouraged our motivated attendees to continue editing Wikipedia.

Last but not the least, the workshop ended with the cake-cutting ceremony, which was also the launch for “Wikipedia Summit India 2013,” to be held in January. The Summit will focus on Wikipedia’s gender gap and provide action-oriented workshops focused on closing the gap.

-Ketaki Pole (User:Ketaki Pole)

What are readers looking for? Wikipedia search data now available

(Update 9/20 17:40 PDT)  It appeared that a small percentage of queries contained information unintentionally inserted by users. For example, some users may have pasted unintended information from their clipboards into the search box, causing the information to be displayed in the datasets. This prompted us to withdraw the files.

We are looking into the feasibility of publishing search logs at an aggregated level, but, until further notice, we do not plan on publishing this data in the near future.

Diederik van Liere, Product Manager Analytics

I am very happy to announce the availability of anonymous search log files for Wikipedia and its sister projects, as of today. Collecting data about search queries is important for at least three reasons:

  1. it provides valuable feedback to our editor community, who can use it to detect topics of interest that are currently insufficiently covered.
  2. we can improve our search index by benchmarking improvements against real queries.
  3. we give outside researchers the opportunity to discover gems in the data.

Peter Youngmeister (Ops team) and Andrew Otto (Analytics team) have worked diligently over the past few weeks to start collecting search queries. Every day from today, we will publish the search queries for the previous day at: http://dumps.wikimedia.org/other/search/ (we expect to have a 3 month rolling window of search data available).

Each line in the log files is tab separated and it contains the following fields:

  1. Server hostname
  2. Timestamp (UTC)
  3. Wikimedia project
  4. URL encoded search query
  5. Total number of results
  6. Lucene score of best match
  7. Interwiki result
  8. Namespace (coded as integer)
  9. Namespace (human-readable)
  10. Title of best matching article

The log files contain queries for all Wikimedia projects and all languages and are unsampled and anonymous. You can download a sample file. We collect data from both from the search box on a wiki page after the visitor submits the query, and from queries submitted from Special:Search pages. The search log data does not contain queries from the autocomplete search functionality, this generates too much data.

Anonymous means that there is nothing in the data that allows you to map a query to an individual user: there are no IP addresses, no editor names, and not even anonymous tokens in the dataset. We also discard queries that contain email addresses, credit card numbers and social security numbers.

It’s our hope that people will use this data to build innovative applications that highlight topics that Wikipedia is currently not covering, improve our Lucene parser or uncover other hidden gems within the data. We know that most people use external search engines to search Wikipedia because our own search functionality does not always give the same accuracy, and the new data could help to give it a little bit of much-needed TLC. If you’ve got search chops then have a look at our Lucene external contractor position.

We are making this data available under a CC0 license: this means that you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. But we do appreciate it if you cite us when you use this data source for your research, experimentation or product development.

Finally, please consider joining the Analytics mailing list or #wikimedia-analytics on Freenode (IRC). And of course you’re also very welcome to send me email directly.

Diederik van Liere, Product Manager Analytics

(Update 9/19 20:20 PDT) We’ve temporarily taken down this data to make additional improvements to the anonymization protocol related to the search queries.

Wikipedia Education Program pilot kicks off in Brazilian universities

Even before the Wikimedia Foundation launched its pilot Wikipedia Education Program in Brazil, professor Juliana Bastos Marques, together with Campus Ambassador Otavio Louvem, demonstrated successful work using Wikipedia inside a university. Through their work, they engaged more than 20 students and considerably improved the quality of articles about Roman history. This course was a example of a successful group working together with Online Ambassadors and with students in a university to improve Portuguese Wikipedia articles.

The quality contributions made by Juliana’s students, along with the lessons we learned from other Wikipedia in higher education programs around the world, led us to a few questions for the Brazilian community: Should we scale the Wikipedia Education Program throughout Brazil? And if so, how can we do in a sustainable and community-driven way?

Professors and ambassadors training

Professors and Wikipedia Ambassadors at an orientation for pilot program participants.

To begin answering these questions, we decided to run a pilot education program in Brazil, customizing the model of classroom incorporation that has been used globally by professors. At the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, we talked to professors from universities in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro with the hopes of forming a small pilot. Overall, professors had a positive response about the idea of using Wikipedia as a pedagogical tool in their classes. After much thinking on the best way to create a good pilot, we opted to keep it small for a better understanding of how to expand the program in the second semester. We also agreed to work with five carefully selected professors from traditional universities in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (see the detailed Brazil pilot program plan). History, sociology, physics, and public policy are the fields of knowledge that will be covered, with about 150 students working to improve existing articles, or create new ones.

Professors have been creative in deciding what sort of a classroom model would work best to meet the purposes of their specific coursework and students’ abilities and interests, and we will be closely following the outcome of the different models.

At the University of São Paulo (USP), the largest university in South America and one of the most traditional in Brazil, professor Pablo Ortellado has asked his students to form groups and collaboratively write encyclopedic articles on Cultural Policy. From the 11 proposed articles, only one already exists. At Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), professor Edivaldo Moura, a particle physics researcher, has adopted another strategy for his students studying electromagnetism. Each of his thirteen students has chosen an article related to electromagnetism, from Gauss Law to Maxwell Equations. Another USP physicist joining the program, Professor Vera Henriques, will have her graduate students of biological systems improving Wikipedia. Professor Heloisa Pait, from UNESP, is giving tasks on Wikipedia for her sociology students explore their cultural memories. Finally, Professor Juliana Bastos Marques will encourage her 60 freshman students to explore concepts around Wikipedia in her history class, and they can attend an extension program she has created together with Federal University of Rio de Janeiro State (UNIRIO), where she teaches.

In addition to professors, we also began to recruit Ambassadors, a complex task considering the geographic logistics of all classes that joined the program. Wikipedians who are already involved with Wikipedia Education Program were incredibly helpful in recruiting new Ambassadors, and the local Wikimedia Brasil meet-ups were essential to spread awareness about the project and explain opportunities for involvement. In addition, Wikipedians from Portugal stepped up to help support the Brazilian classes virtually and they are helping also organize the project page. They have even started outreach about the program in their country!

These Brazilian Wikimedians and Portuguese language Wikipedians from around the world have asked tough questions, strategized about implementation and volunteered to serve as Online and Campus Ambassadors. We are thrilled to be working with a great group of Ambassador volunteers alongside the professors.

We are eagerly anticipating the outcomes of this semester! These different models will provide ample opportunity for reflection at the end of semester, and we will be tracking student contributions and motivations to gauge the effectiveness of the program. If you are interested in supporting the program, please reach out and introduce yourself on the Ambassador page or send an email to wu-suporte AT googlegroups DOT com!

Everton Zanella Alvarenga (also known as Tom)
Consultant for the Wikipedia Education Program in Brazil and Wikimedia Brasil volunteer

Pitt undergrad learns the ways of Wikipedia

Not only had Karl Wahlen never edited Wikipedia prior to September 2011, he didn’t even know he could. That all changed when Karl enrolled in a University of Pittsburgh class called Sociology of Marriage, taught by Wikipedian Piotr Konieczny, a graduate student and a Teaching Fellow from Department of Sociology, and the Pittsburgh native found himself having to write a Wikipedia article as part of his coursework.

“When I learned on the first day that that I was going to be doing a Wikipedia project, I was rather confused,” Karl admits. “Honestly, when I first thought about it, I wondered how you worked on it, as I did not know at that point that you could even have an account on wikipedia, much less how it worked or how you used it.”

Karl Wahlen

Karl Wahlen is an avid dog lover along with being an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh (pictured with his dog JJ).

Karl’s a busy student. He’s majoring in psychology, sociology, BPhil (BPhil is an honors degree where he does the equivalent of a master’s thesis in his undergraduate years), and biology, while also getting a certificate in the conceptual foundations of medicine, and a minor in economics and chemistry. His multidisciplinary interests led Karl to want to work on the article on Joint custody in the United States, which had elements of psychology and sociology. The article had languished for years without many sources or without being particularly well-written (you can see the version before Karl and his classmates started working on it here. Karl’s input helped bring the article up to meet the Did you know requirements, which landed the article on Wikipedia’s main page in late November. By early December, the article had passed the Good Article review process as well.

Karl credits help from his professor, Piotr Konieczny, for forcing students to write Wikipedia articles for class. A longtime supporter of the Schools and universities projects on Wikipedia, Piotr is also an Online Ambassador and instructor in the Wikipedia Education Program in the United States. Piotr’s course was the first to participate in the American Sociology Association’s new Wikipedia Initiative.

“Our instructor really helped on every step of the way, especially when showing us how to interact with the community,” Karl says. “You occasionally get people who are not the nicest when they disagree with you, but in general individuals tend to remain respectful with each other, and for the most part all criticism ends up leading to a higher quality article in the end, which is a good thing.”

In fact, the research skills he gained through doing the Wikipedia assignment actually helped him tremendously in another class he’s taking this term on research methods. Learning to cite every sentence and making sure that every claim he made could be backed up to a reliable source for Wikipedia taught him valuable research and writing skills.

“I still maintain that this Wikipedia project made a world of difference in being able to write well,” Karl says. “And unlike a term paper, which is thrown away at the end of the semester, all the work that goes into a Wikipedia article continues to help people even after the class ends. I like knowing that the joint custody (United States) article is being read by 80+ people a day.”

Karl’s research for the Wikipedia assignment led him to want to add more to Wikipedia. He’s already created stub articles on Split custody and Sole custody, which he intends to expand in the near future.

“I will absolutely continue to edit after the class is over,” Karl says. “My instructor was outstanding and it will be a nice way to keep in touch with him. And not only can I do this to keep providing new information to others, but it also looks pretty darned good on a resume to say you spend your free time working on making articles to help people than sitting around watching TV. Thankfully, I enjoy doing this, so it is not like a chore to do.”

Results from first Wikipedia Ambassador survey

The first generation of Wikipedia Ambassadors participated in a survey when the Public Policy Initiative wrapped up this summer. More than 80 respondents (over half of the 2010-2011 Ambassadors!) provided input about their experiences and how to improve the program. Many Wikimedia Foundation blog followers are probably familiar with the Initiative’s development of the Ambassador Program to open Wikipedia to the academic community. Ambassadors come in two flavors: Campus Ambassadors, who provide a face for Wikipedia on university campuses, and Online Ambassadors, who support the new student editors on wiki as they make their first contributions.

The graphs illustrate the Ambassadors’ role and motivations, based on the survey results.
Ambassador Roles 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ambassador Motivations
While both Campus and Online Ambassadors identified their role as helping newcomers, their motivations diverged. Online Ambassadors were strongly motivated by helping newcomers, and Campus Ambassadors were strongly motivated by increasing Wikipedia credibility and use on university campuses. Both Campus and Online Ambassadors felt responsible first to the students they were working with and second to the Wikipedia community. Ambassadors agreed on the Public Policy Initiative outcomes:

  1. Wikipedia content improved.
  2. Use of Wikipedia as a teaching tool increased.
  3. Ambassadors provided support for college-educated newcomers.
  4. There was an increase of Wikipedia’s credibility among academia.

Through the survey, many Ambassadors shared their most memorable experiences in the program. Some of the highlights include:

  • I showed a student how to check the page view statistics. Hundreds of people had seen his article since he created it. What an immediate impact he had! He was blown away.”
  • For me it was an honor to have a student participant who was also a US Congressman and to help improve his Wikipedia article.”
  • My favorite story is of a non-traditional age student telling me that her son’s 8th grade teacher told the class not to use Wikipedia because it can not be trusted. Our student told her son what she had learned about neutral-voice and verifiability and community scholarship. At the end of the semester her son told her that his middle-school teacher now says it’s okay to use Wikipedia as a place to start looking for information… I sure would like to know what that 8th grader told his teacher about his Mom’s academic Wikipedia experience.”

Check out the pages for the Wikipedia Ambassador Program and Global Education Program to find out more about our program.

Amy Roth
Research Analyst, Public Policy Initiative 

Introducing Wikipedia Editor Satisfaction Index

The Wikimedia Foundation is working on new products and global initiatives to increase participation in our projects, specifically Wikipedia. To help inform the development of this work we’ve been researching the trends and patterns of Wikipedia editors, most recently through the Wikipedia Summer of Research initiative and also with data from the 2011 Wikipedia Editors Survey.

While studying editor participation trends, we have hypothesized that acrimony and disagreement in the editing community could be a leading cause of a decrease in project participation. To test this hypothesis as a segment of our analysis of responses to the Editor Survey (report here), we defined the Wikipedia Editor Satisfaction Index (WESI). The WESI is a metric gauging the overall satisfaction of the editing community and interactions/assessments of fellow editors. We used responses to two questions on the survey: how they described their fellow editors (picking from a set of adjectives), and whether they believed community feedback had helped them personally. These responses were weighted, and then normalized to a 0-10 rating.

The results were encouraging. About 47 percent of editors surveyed scored 10/10. In all, about 77 percent of those surveyed scored 7.5 or higher, indicating that the majority of our editing community is very satisfied with their experience on Wikipedia and has a healthy assessment of fellow editors. This is great news – as Wikipedia continues to focus on improving the editing experience, while also making efforts to foster new participation (especially in the Global South), the community’s support is vital.

Distribution of WESI scores across all surveyed Wikipedia editors

In order to understand what factors determine an Editor’s satisfaction with Wikipedia, we performed a multilinear regression1 on the WESI metric. Some interesting findings:

  1. Help is appreciated: Having others from the community add content or correct grammatical mistakes greatly increases the likelihood of an editor reporting a positive experience.
  2. Peer recognition matters a lot more than any other kind of recognition: Editors highly value the respect and recognition of their peers. Editors who received barnstars or any other form of reward from their peers were much more likely to report a higher score. Interestingly, events like having an article featured or promoted to the front page did not have a very significant effect on editor satisfaction.
  3. Explanations for reverts are key: When an edit is reverted, not explaining why has a strong negative impact on editor satisfaction. Similarly, an explanation actually has a strong positive influence on editor satisfaction.

A comparision of WESI scores reveals that women are, on average, less satisfied than men, though not by much – about 5 percent. Although transsexuals/transgenders (marked below as Others) together account for only 0.5 percent of our sample, it’s important to note that their satisfaction scores are significantly lower.

WESI score comparision by Gender

The Editor Survey Report highlights some more findings, but the emerging theme is simple: be nice to each other, and help out where you can!

As we work towards establishing the WESI metric as a standard for understanding the community’s experiences on Wikipedia, we’ll continue to share more findings (and implications) of the Wikipedia Editor Satisfaction Index.

Mani Pande, Head of Global Development Research

Ayush Khanna, Global Development Intern

(This is the eleventh in series of blog posts where we previously shared insights from the April 2011 Editors Survey.)

1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regression_analysis

Is Wikipedia about being a member of a club, or is it about building an encyclopedia?

It’s good that some people (and I consider myself part of this group) get hooked on editing Wikipedia. We stay around for years, we become part of the community, we go to meetups, and most of all, we do an amazing amount of work to make Wikipedia better. Let’s get this out of the way first – Wikipedia can’t exist without those dedicated people.

Is this the only way of being a part of Wikipedia? My answer is no. I truly believe that there are also other ways of helping Wikipedia to get better.

Back in 2005, when I started to think about ways how to improve Wikipedia, I was asking myself: how can we encourage a larger number of knowledgeable people to edit articles? People who stick around, who become Wikipedians, people like me and all the others who spend endless hours on research and writing.

Over the years, we tried many different things to make this vision come true. We held workshops, organized Wikipedia Academies, gave presentations and offered prizes for outstanding articles. We reached out to academics as well as to senior citizens. Most of these things didn’t work as well as we initially thought.

When we started reaching out to university students last year, we tried something different. It was explicitly not our goal to turn all those students into Wikipedians. We knew they would edit Wikipedia as part of their class and only a couple of them would stay. Because being a long-term member of the community requires a specific kind of mindset – and honestly: not everybody has that mindset. Some people just enjoy editing Wikipedia for a short time of their life and then carry on with other activities.

What we are attempting in our Global Education Program instead, is to institutionalize the use of Wikipedia in the classroom. Our goal is to explain to as many teachers as possible what the benefits of using Wikipedia of a teaching tool are. Students are much more motivated when they write for a global audience, instead of just writing for their professor. Some of the students participating in our program over the last year were so proud of their work that they sent links to the articles they improved to their grandparents. Amazing! When have you heard of students who sent their term papers to their grandparents? And not only are those students more motivated, they also improve their media literacy skills, they learn how to use a wiki, and they improve their research, writing, and critical thinking skills.

As we carry on with the Global Education Program, every semester a new cohort of students will learn how to edit. They will upload pictures, improve articles, and learn how to use talk pages. Some of them will come back later and apply those skills. They will help us to take another step on the way to make Wikipedia better. Most of them will never become members of the community. I believe that’s ok. Because Wikipedia is not only about being a member of the club – it’s about building the biggest and best encyclopedia ever.

Frank (club member)