Wikipedia:Education noticeboard

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Purpose of this page Using this page

This page is for general discussion of items that relate to student assignments and the Wikipedia Education Program. Please feel free to post, whether you're from a class, a potential class, or if you're a Wikipedia editor.

If you wish to report or discuss a specific incident relating to the Education Program or student editing that may require the intervention of experienced editors and/or administrators, please go instead to the Incidents page.

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See also
  • Special:Courses (a list of courses using the Education Program extension)


Use of article talk pages

Hi, this project is a great idea. In recent months there have been two rushes of students (from two classes, presumably) posting homework-style opinion/review comments at article talk, each in its own thread. (FYI, the example here is Climate change.) In these cases the remarks do not appear to be students engaging in editing to improve the article (as part of class). Instead they seem to be merely writing drive by opinion pieces (aka reviews). Do the training materials for educators address proper use of article talk pages? To me, a class that grades students on their active engagement as editors would be wonderful, but the driveby opinion pieces is noise. How does the project address this? Disclaimer..... the second course I described did tell students to use their sandbox; apparently the students just overlooked that instruction. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 01:29, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

I've noticed this as well. It seems that as part of some of these class projects, the students are also being asked to review drafts, etc. of their classmates. These comments, while made in good faith, do simply tend to be more forum-like than what should be expected on an article talk page. Some students are correctly pointing out problems, but seem reluctant to fix things themselves out of deference to their classmates. I guess these types of comments could be considered OK for userspace drafts, but in many cases they are being moved with the talk page when the student moves the draft to the mainspace. Perhaps the instructors of these courses are not themselves familiar with WP:TPG since some of them seem to have very little experience at editing themselves. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:26, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks; I am not familiar with the training materials that are provided instructors or the extent to which they are pushed to complete training before launching a project. I'm hopeful that the training is well done and mandatory, and that use or article talk pages is explained well. Do you know about those things? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 17:47, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
NewsAndEventsGuy - you can see all the training modules Wiki Ed has built for instructors and students here. New instructors are required to take the new instructor orientation training before creating their first course page, in order to use the Wiki Ed Dashboard. Ian (Wiki Ed) (talk) 18:26, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Ian, but time's short so instead of wading through the materials I hoped someone with knowledge would be sufficiently grateful for the well intended feedback to provide short answers here. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:10, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Oh, sorry - that was only half the response I intended to give. I'd like to take some time this summer to look back over some of these modules through the lens of common misconceptions I encounter, and see whether there's room to make things clearer or head off problems. Ian (Wiki Ed) (talk) 19:55, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
That's barnstar material, awesome! NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:15, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
This has been a very long-time problem with class projects, been going on for years, with students each making their own talk page section to tell the student editor who worked on the page what a good job they did (I'll give you a good review if you give me a good review). If I get sufficiently annoyed by it, I'll alter the talk page section headers, so that all of the reviews are subsections of a section called "Student project". And after the course appears to be over, I'll sometimes hat the whole thing. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:10, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for commenting, and just to clarify in the cases I've described the students did not work on the page. They only wrote a critical reviews of the page. Might as well have turned 'em in on notebook paper. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 01:13, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
I misunderstood, thanks for correcting me. But that's even worse! And I've been seeing it too. Here's an idea: instructors, it's great to have a class where students evaluate and comment upon Wikipedia – but they do not have to post their comments on Wikipedia in order to do that. And if their comments do not really contribute to the editing process, they should not do it here. Evaluations of Wikipedia are a fine topic for term papers or other assignments handed in, in class. (Please don't get me wrong: I'm in favor of assignments where students do offer helpful opinions.) By the way, a recent high-profile conflict in which students were led to make edits that violated NPOV could have been avoided entirely if that same advice were followed. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:54, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
Yep! Right on NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 21:09, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
Maybe I'm missing something here, but posting a review of the quality of an article or of another editor's recent edits to it seems like a perfectly reasonable use of an article talk page. Considering the volume of nonsense that gets posted on Wikipedia on a regular basis, students posting reviews of articles seems perfectly benign, and in fact it comes off as a little insular to object to reviews that came about through something other than our own internal Official Content Review Processes. If they're being posted on a talk page that's already high-traffic, it might be better to have them do it on subpages or review each other's work on their own talk pages, but in the general case this seems to me to be a complete non-issue. When I see these I usually just ignore them. Opabinia regalis (talk) 23:16, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm probably a lot of worse things than insular, but you and I agree about this probably more than you realize. Remember what I said about "Please don't get me wrong". But if you are ignoring some of the comments, that probably means that you did not find them particularly useful. The problem as I see it is when the comments are really not directed towards improving the page, and that happens a lot. I get it, that we also get plenty of clueless comments from non-student editors. But students arrive in large numbers at the same time, and that can make it more intrusive. I get a little tired of stuff like "This page is very well written. Maybe you could cite a few more sources. The end." --Tryptofish (talk) 00:36, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
And my approach of grouping the comments together as subsections of a single section is hardly disregarding their comments. When I see an intelligent student comment on a page I edit, I often reply to it. I've even implemented suggested edits. And I'm sure that I'm right about how it is sometimes a better class plan to have the students submit their work off-wiki. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:47, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Well, I mean that I ignore them because I think it's probably not so useful if random strangers interrupt while they're reviewing/editing/etc., unless there's some glaring error that needs fixing. But I usually see them on otherwise low-traffic pages. I see how this is annoying on a very high-traffic page, and would be better off on a review subpage similar to how GA reviews are structured, but that's just a matter of logistics. The earlier comments in this thread strongly suggest these review type posts are inappropriate talk page material per se (and should be officially discouraged by the education project, and should even be removed before moving to mainspace!), which I disagree with. Opabinia regalis (talk) 22:57, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
I think we all agree that review-type posts are not automatically bad. But they very frequently, maybe even usually, are not helpful to page improvement and not even directed towards page improvement – as I said, I see an awful lot of "I'll give you a positive review if you give me a positive review." When I at least group such comments together, that's not much different than a review subpage. And there is nothing wrong with giving students and instructors advice about good and bad practices for talk page comments, which in fact is a good thing to do. I also think that a lot of good-faith editors feel like they are afraid to touch anything posted by students, for fear of being bitey or doing harm to the course, so I make a deliberate effort to get the message out that it's appropriate to treat student editors the same as all other editors: neither better nor worse. --Tryptofish (talk) 02:03, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Just want to throw this out there/plant a seed: Unlike the contributions of a typical new editor, these evaluations are prompted/directed (by their instructor and/or the Dashboard timeline). That means there's a mechanism for intervention and instructions/processes that could, theoretically, be improved to address the issue (other than simply restricting it to sandboxes). This is, sorry to say, something else that, for our part, we would need to revisit over the summer, but to plant a seed: are there ways the specifics of the evaluation assignment could be tweaked to better guide students to contribute something more meaningful to an outside audience? For example, discouraging empty praise, offering more examples of things to look for, etc. --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 03:12, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Opabinia, I see this problem at high traffic and contentious articles already under arb DS control (specifically, climate change see WP:ARBCC). Let's breakdown student "contributions" into two broad categories

A When students, through careful guidance by their instructor, seek to improve our articles
B When students, to check off some homework and get a grade write something and are never seen or heard from again

To my knowledge, the only time I have engaged a student project on climate pages they have been squarely in the second category. That traffic has several problems which include

  • They are arguably WP:FORUM in nature
  • Contrary to the TPG they are not intended to improve anything (except the students' grades)
  • They abuse the freetime of true editors, who have these pages watchlisted
  • They clutter up archives
  • Usually they are not identified as being part of a class project, and their op-ed review posts are sometimes hard to distinguish from the typical FORUM-disruption posts that make frequent appearances at pages under DS arb rulings.

Tip of my hat to Tryptofish who has taken time to refactor individual posts of this type into a single class thread. The first time I encountered this, I expended my freetime and my braincells to do the same, at the expense of more constructive activities. The second time I encountered driveby off the cuff opinion-izing, I noted the class project concept includes the aspect of taking feedback from others, so I wasted the driveby, non-improving homework assignmnets as cluttering FORUM type remarks, and directed students to their course instructions, which clearly said to put that stuff in their user sandboxes.

In conclusion, yes, remarks in category B are indeed inappropriate talk page material, per se. They are not intended to improve a damn thing, and the nutshell bubble at WP:TPG clearly states "This page in a nutshell: Talk pages are for improving the encyclopedia, not for expressing personal opinions on a subject or an editor." NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:23, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

On that note, the topic of education projects working in DS areas needs to be on the list of things to discuss this summer. I'm not going to say it should be prohibited, but instructional material should be developed that clearly explains the DS system to instructors. – Train2104 (t • c) 21:28, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Agree that "student editing in DS areas" would be good to discuss in more depth, since that issue has come up a few times now. (I'm not sure the best way to approach it, considering that very large topic areas are under DS at this point, but for sure instructors should be advised of which topic areas those are, and anything under ECP.)
I don't see much difference in principle between student editing and editathons or wikicup participation or anything else with some sort of secondary goal. I generally ignore student work while it's ongoing, unless it's introducing blatant errors or someone has specifically asked for help, for the same reason I generally ignore editathon participants and other similar efforts - the people doing the work have time constraints I'm not likely to follow, so I'll just look later if I feel the need. "Cluttering" talk pages with comments that are sort of uninteresting but aren't inherently disruptive (like soapboxing about the topic, calling the subject of an article a jerkface, spamming the commenter's blog, etc.) is one of those mild irritants like the fact that the Starbucks near my office is always crowded or running into that one neighbor who always wants to chat while I'm trying to catch the bus, i.e. not really worth the effort of being irritated about.
The reason I posted in this thread is that several people seemed to agree that this was an Actual Problem worth the attention of the education project to address. But rarely do people who think something isn't much of a problem bother to say so. Educational materials best serve their purpose when they are brief and focused and only address things that are very important, so I thought it would be relevant to point out that this may actually be a self-selected group and/or an unusual example and it may not be as high-priority wiki-wide. I can certainly think of other things that I'd rather see better educational materials for than article reviews that are somehow insufficiently well-acculturated. (For example, students are some of the worst offenders when it comes to "yeah, I totally read that MEDRS thing, but I still think it's a good idea to cite this Buzzfeed article about the top 15 cancer-fighting superfoods.") Opabinia regalis (talk) 04:55, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Dear Starbucks Manager: I patronize your place to enjoy the goods and services you offer. Lately a bunch of young people have been hanging out without buying anything from you, yet they take up all the tables and parking and it takes me an extra 10 minutes fighting through the crowd before I can order. Would you please enforce your non-loitering policy, else you may lose this loyal customer. Sincerely, NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 13:32, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Campus Ambassador application: USERNAME

Not done No response, no endorsements. — xaosflux Talk 22:58, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Alsdyqzkrya (talk · contribs)

  1. Why do you want to be a Wikipedia Ambassador?
    YOUR ANSWER
  2. Where are you based, and which educational institution(s) do you plan to work with as a Campus Ambassador?
    YOUR ANSWER
  3. What is your academic and/or professional background?
    YOUR ANSWER
  4. In three sentences or less, summarize your prior experience with Wikimedia projects.
    YOUR ANSWER (OPTIONAL)
  5. What else should we know about you that is relevant to being a Wikipedia Ambassador?
    YOUR ANSWER (OPTIONAL)
Discussion
If you have come here to apply for either the Online Ambassador or Campus Ambassador positions, please be aware that you need to have an edit history on the site so that you can be adequately evaluated by the team. If you are making your first edit ever on this site, you will also be automatically rejected unless you can provide other accounts that are yours. Thank you for your understanding, and happy editing! Do you have another account? — xaosflux Talk 11:46, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Campus Ambassador application: RachelWex

RachelWex (talk · contribs)

  1. Why do you want to be a Wikipedia Ambassador?
    I have been doing outreach for Wikipedia for a few years now at my university, and did not know that this program existed, so I thought I would make myself official. :)
  1. Where are you based, and which educational institution(s) do you plan to work with as a Campus Ambassador?
    I live in Minnesota and currently work as a librarian and associate professor at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. I am happy to visit any educational institution, library, archive, museum, or other cultural heritage institution to help them with Wikipedia efforts. I have already worked with St. Catherine's University, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis Central Library, and the Minnesota Digital Library, as well as St. Cloud State University.
  1. What is your academic and/or professional background?

I am a librarian. I have taught courses on social media, research strategies, and LGBT Studies. I originally started out as an English teacher and an ESL tutor. My subject areas of expertise include English, writing, higher education administration, social media, communications, history, LGBT studies, food in history/food in culture/food science. I write book reviews and encyclopedia entries related to LGBT Studies and food as well.

  1. In three sentences or less, summarize your prior experience with Wikimedia projects.

I have organized and facilitated five edit-a-thons at my university, and assisted in the facilitation of others around the state. I also create and edit Wikipedia entries myself, and currently am analyzing page views and edits on popular pages identified by WikiProjects in my areas of interest.

  1. What else should we know about you that is relevant to being a Wikipedia Ambassador?

I have over 20 years of teaching experience, and am accustomed to working with diverse populations, including people who speak languages other than English.

RachelWex (talk)

Discussion
Hi @RachelWex: - this program is mostly defunct so I'm not sure if you will find any use for it. Have you completed the Wikipedia:Training/For Ambassadors? — xaosflux Talk 23:02, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Campus Ambassador application: nitesh

2405:205:1000:71F7:7922:44BA:AFBE:BFA8 (talk · contribs)

  1. Why do you want to be a Wikipedia Ambassador?
    Wikipedia is a online library where a student can find all the information more than a book. i like to spread it as much as possible in my college,university and the place where i live.As a campus ambassador i can guide people and can solve their problem i various issues and more .
  2. Where are you based, and which educational institution(s) do you plan to work with as a Campus Ambassador?
    I would like to work in JECRC University. In jaipur, Rajasthan and near all the colleges in jaipur.
  3. What is your academic and/or professional background?
    I am student of Computer Science and IT.
  4. In three sentences or less, summarize your prior experience with Wikimedia projects.
    Wikipedia help me i various ways, during my exams if i face any issue in some topics. If i like to know about any thing i trust on wiki and use it as my valuable resource.
  5. What else should we know about you that is relevant to being a Wikipedia Ambassador?
    As a wikipedia ambassadoe i have to help the readers online as well as offline, solving their issue and awaring them about various features provided by wiki.
Discussion
  • This looks like your first edit, and you appear not to have a registered account. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:47, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
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