Wikipedia:Education noticeboard

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This page is for 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.

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

Copy-paste merging versus history-merging

Followup to the already archived Wikipedia:Education noticeboard/Archive 16#Proposal for update in the student instructions for moving drafts into mainspace. See Wikipedia talk:Merging#When to request a histmerge. You might consider making the archiving of this page a little less aggressive, so I'm not forced to create a fork of a discussion that's less than a month old. – wbm1058 (talk) 15:59, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

@Wbm1058: 7 days is rather aggressive, isn't it. I think that's a hold-over from when course announcements were all posted here rather than a subpage, making the page fairly unwieldy when not archived frequently. I've changed it to 30 days -- we'll see how that works. And thanks for the link. I'll take a look at this on Monday, but wanted to comment that this is definitely something we want to spend time on this summer, revising training materials prior to the fall 2017 courses starting. I've added DNAU to this thread to ensure it's here at that time. Also want to ping Shalor (Wiki Ed), the content expert working with that class in particular. --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:29, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

See also Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/688809 Memory/Archive. We need adequate notice of student editing, and course instructors shouldn't be assigning the task of writing multiple content forks of the same topic, leaving it for overworked volunteers to clean up. – wbm1058 (talk) 12:22, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

I apologise for dropping the ball on that one, I started preparing the page about the course but didn't share it on the announcement noticeboard. Advance notice of editing would certainly have helped, but the students' accounts remain blocked. Please could the blocks be lifted? Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 12:29, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't think just an announcement on a noticeboard is sufficient. Most editors are not monitoring these noticeboards. There should be some indication on the editor's user or user talk page, such as Template:Student editor (e.g., like this). It should link to their assignment, so we can see what their objective is. wbm1058 (talk) 12:48, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
Note how Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/Rutgers University/Languages in Peril Section II (Spring 2017) lists each student in the class, along with the titles of the Wikipedia articles that they are working on.
Wikipedia:Outreach Dashboard/Swansea University/LAA319 - Competition Law doesn't have a similar list of students and articles. – wbm1058 (talk) 12:53, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
OK, I see that course runs until 28 June 2017. Can these closely related articles either be merged, or clearly differentiated using WP:summary style so that it's clear they are not forks covering the same topic? wbm1058 (talk) 13:18, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
Just to comment on noticeboard announcements, though wbm1058 has since clarified that's not necessarily the question here, I don't think there's a formal process for announcing Education Program classes in general. Wikipedia:Education noticeboard/Wiki Ed course submissions is a page of notices automatically (or semi-automatically) generated by the Wiki Ed Dashboard), but I don't think WMF has incorporated an equivalent into the Programs and Events Dashboard (classes outside the US/CA), so the best way to stay up on that would probably be to keep tabs on the Dashboard itself. --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 12:51, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
Btw, Wbm1058, I don't know if you saw this, but from the page you linked you can click the "Dashboard" link at the top and then go to the "students" tab to see the list of students and assigned articles (though it looks like most have not added an article yet -- perhaps that's what you mean). --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 13:32, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, no I didn't find that until you pointed it out. But there I see "Assignment End: 2017-05-10", so it's not clear to me whether the course is still active, and whether the students will return to editing if their accounts are unlocked. Sockpuppet investigations isn't an area I'm active in administratively, so I'm unclear on proper procedures for reopening an investigation and unblocking editors... if we can wait on User:Bbb23 to do it then I'm sure it will be done the right way. – wbm1058 (talk) 13:43, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
  • I'll keep an eye on students doing this. This summer we're going to be working on refining some of our handouts and instructions, so this will definitely be something we look at. :) Shalor (Wiki Ed) (talk) 12:55, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Frankly, folks, Wiki Ed drives me crazy. You have no idea how many cases are brought to WP:SPI from which, understandably, blocks ensue and then along comes someone to say, oh, these are students. How are we supposed to know that? There should be a clear notice on their userpage as to who they are and a link to the program. It would be better for you, the students, and the various unsuspecting editors at Wikipedia who become involved. I'm not going to spontaneously look at a Wiki Ed venue every time I evaluate a case. Unless you start cleaning up your procedures, this won't be the last time this happens. I will unblock the four accounts and remove the sock tags from their userpages (no need to reopen the case). Someone else can deal with the undeleting of any pages that were deleted. BTW, Richard, you should not have edited the SPI archive. Instead, you should have gone to Wbm1058, to me, or to an SPI clerk to make your request. I'm sure Wiki Ed is a lot of work and you, of course, provide a valuable service to Wikipedia and to the outside community, so I apologize for being, uh, brusque.--Bbb23 (talk) 14:22, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
  • @Bbb23: Every class working with Wiki Ed (the Wiki Education Foundation) should have a list of students on the course page, a tag on every student's user page, and a tag on the articles they work on (there are some exceptions to the latter based on the way sandboxes are handled). I think that you're probably talking about the parts of the Education Program that aren't Wiki Ed? That seems like it could be addressed by incorporating the templating procedures into the P&E Dashboard. @Sage (Wiki Ed): who is the best person to ask about that at WMF (or otherwise)? --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 14:41, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
  • If the P&E Dashboard was set up to automatically create a page on-wiki listing editors involved that would be very helpful. Currently it has to be manually set up which relies on my (very much fallible) memory. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:41, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
  • @Ryan (Wiki Ed): Are you saying that this program with these users was not part of Wiki Ed?--Bbb23 (talk) 14:45, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
  • @Bbb23: The Wiki Education Foundation ("Wiki Ed" for short) manages the Wikipedia Education Program for institutions in the United States and Canada. WMF manages the Education Program elsewhere, along with various chapters. --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 14:50, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Ah, I'll try to remember that. And here I thought the only Foundation I had to bitch about was the WMF. A new target for my irritation.--Bbb23 (talk) 14:59, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
  • I see that m:Education is a disambiguation page. It would be nice, and less confusing for unaffiliated, independent editors and administrators, if the Wikipedia Education Program, a program of Wikimedia Outreach (why is that page tagged as "historical" if the Education Program still uses their logo and Outreach has its own wiki?), had all of their chapters, including WMUK, using the same standards and procedures developed by the Wiki Education Foundation, which I presume is no longer a proposed Wikimedia thematic organization, as the disambiguation page still claims? wbm1058 (talk) 15:45, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
@Bbb23: WikiEd haven't done anything wrong here (and do an excellent job) this course is under my auspices rather than theirs. I agree that student accounts should include a note on their user page that they are taking part in an educational course and I will make sure that happens. Thank you for taking the time to unblock the accounts. I apologise for the extra work this has created and appreciate that it is taking up your volunteer time. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:39, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
@Richard Nevell (WMUK): Not to worry, many of my comments are tongue-in-cheek, although I have had some negative experiences in the past. This is the first time I've learned something useful, i.e., the division of responsibility. Happy teaching.--Bbb23 (talk) 15:44, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
@Bbb23: Yes, there are different hubs of activity. For future courses (not just this one but others I'm involved) I'll be making sure students have a notice on their user page and on talk pages as Ryan said is compulsory for WikiEd courses. Currently I recommend it for courses WMUK assists, but it should be a requirement rather than a recommendation. Please could 826540MAH (talk · contribs) 838181CDC (talk · contribs) 838463swanseauni (talk · contribs) Elinahh (talk · contribs) Nfyfe826276 (talk · contribs) also be unblocked? Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 16:00, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
 Done.--Bbb23 (talk) 16:37, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
An important responsibility for any class assignment, no matter which program advises it, is to put Template:Educational assignment on the talk page of every article being worked on. That's the first and foremost way to let other editors know that these are student editors, and not something else. Then, as also mentioned above, students should put Template:Student editor on their own userpages – and of course there should be a course page that clearly identifies the instructor. These steps can go a long way towards preventing such problems as mistaking student edits for socking, and also help a lot with keeping communication open with other editors. I think that all programs that work with student assignments should try to make these things clear to all classes they work with. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:27, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

Automatic edits from Programs & Events Dashboard

@Richard Nevell (WMUK), Wbm1058, Bbb23, and Ryan (Wiki Ed): I'm currently mentoring User:Medhabansal for an internship project to enable edits from Programs & Events Dashboard, which would let us enable some of the edits that the Wiki Ed Dashboard makes on a wiki-by-wiki basis. The project just started, but hopefully within the next few months we can have the automatically-updated course pages and the userpage templates like for Wiki Ed courses. --Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 16:58, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

That's a very encouraging development. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:14, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

Propose to close/merge Wikipedia:Education noticeboard/Incidents to this noticeboard

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
YesYThere is an unanimous consensus to close Wikipedia:Education noticeboard/Incidents and redirect the former to the latter.Winged Blades of GodricOn leave 06:00, 27 October 2017 (UTC)

I propose that Wikipedia:Education noticeboard/Incidents be made a redirect to this page, Wikipedia:Education noticeboard.

@Jbmurray: established the "incidents" page from the main education noticeboard in November 2013. At the time, the Wiki Education Foundation had recently incorporated and there were many new classes coming to Wikipedia. There was hardly any training and coordination and responding to all the students and classes was impossible with the on-wiki volunteer resources at hand. Wiki Education suddenly brought lots of new classes to Wikipedia, and in fearful anticipation, the community asked them to arrange for notices to appear at the education noticeboard for each class. Since the community had been unable to adequately manage the classes already on wiki, there was great worry that an organization bringing even more classes in could do so without major community disruption. At first it was possible to look at all classes doing Wikipedia projects, but now after 4 years there are so many thousands of students participating at any time that no single human can monitor them all. Wiki Education has since moved all class notices to Wikipedia:Education noticeboard/Wiki Ed course submissions because the main noticeboard had become unusable with all the bot notices. So far as I know, no one reads that page just because problems are fairly uncommon and Wiki Education oversees the groups which they recruit to Wikipedia.

Because Wiki Education class notices no longer appear at the main noticeboard, there is not much traffic there. Because of this, I would like to propose a return to Wikipedia noticeboard norms, where there is one noticeboard for any kind of general discussion. The main board and the incidents board should merge to become one discussion forum. If in the future that gets too complicated, anyone can propose to split noticeboards again. Problem incidents of the sort which the incidents noticeboard was made to identify are best on the main page, which is how most noticeboards work.

Also, to confirm, the education noticeboard should be for discussion of any class engagement in English Wikipedia, regardless of country. Wiki Education is focused on the United States and Canada, but from a community volunteer perspective, we support any class in any country which is improving English Wikipedia. Thoughts from others? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:39, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for proposing, Bluerasberry. From Wiki Education's perspective, we're fine with the change. We monitor both noticeboards now, and you're correct that they're low traffic. Your proposal to merge them, leaving open the possibility to split again in the future if it becomes problematic, makes sense. --LiAnna (Wiki Ed) (talk) 16:55, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per Blue Rasberry. (And anything to make my watchlist shorter!) --Tryptofish (talk) 23:19, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per Blue Rasberry. As the circumstances have changed, having two noticeboards with such low traffic no longer serves a purpose. Alex ShihTalk 01:38, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Certainly seems reasonable. DGG ( talk ) 07:07, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
  • per above an idea whose time has comeDlohcierekim (talk) 04:22, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


I see that the bot archived the proposal to merge WP:ENI into this page, before an outcome was determined. It seems to me that there was a clear consensus to do that, so maybe someone, preferably an admin, should go ahead and enact that. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:35, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

@Tryptofish: I have brought the discussion back here to be closed (preferably with more participants), I will probably drop a note at AN. Alex ShihTalk 04:15, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
@Alex Shih:--The general community does not seem to have excessive (or any?!) interest(s) regarding this proposal and I have closed the proposal as unanimously successful.But, before re-directing the page, I think we ought to list the archives of the incidents page over here.How do you feel?Regards:)Winged Blades of GodricOn leave 06:08, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
@Godric on Leave: Hey, thanks for the close. I think a soft redirect would work better (an merge example that came to my mind was this). I am not sure if it's necessary to move the EN/I archives here, since the "Search Education noticeboard and archives" box at the top automatically searches for archives in the EN/I anyway. I would say just mark EN/I historical, put a notice, and update {{Noticeboard links}}. Cheers, Alex Shih (talk) 06:30, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, all. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:30, 27 October 2017 (UTC)

Things to avoid when designing assignments

Generally I think the education outreach is fantastic idea. However, the FAQ and other materials that provide guidance on designing assignments should include a section on Things to Avoid When Designing Assignments. For example, instructors should make certain students do nothing at article talk - zip zero nada - unless the assignment involves sticking around the article to make changes to article text, which may involve back-and-forth dialog with established eds who have the article watch-listed. Per the established talk page guidelines, an article talk page is only for discussions that genuinely seek to improve article text. Collecting drive by homework assignments in the form of suggestions from people who have no skin in the game of article text is outside the scope of article talk. In my view, such homework can be deleted as WP:SPAM because the ed who posts them is WP:NOTHERE to build article text but to check a box off on their class assignment. Students are not acting in bad faith of course but the practice inadvertently abuses the volunteer time being invested by real editors who have the talk pages watchlisted. Here is a current example (apologies for picking on this class and instructor... by this criticism I mean to welcome and improve your course experience and hope you do another in the future!)

  • Week 4 of this course "Evaluate an existing Wikipedia article related to the class, and leave suggestions for improving it on the article's talk page."
  • So far (and its only Monday morning presumably of week 4) at Talk:Climate change this has produced two distinct threads
  • This and
  • That

On one hand many new sets of drive by suggestions may turn up important things to work on. The problem, however, is assigning the posting of a driveby remark is very annoying and sucks enormous time from established eds who expect to engage people who are going to actually work on articles. Alternative 1 Have students post these sorts of suggestions on their own user talk. They can still do peer review/grading of the posted suggestions. Alternative 2 Have students post proposed edits at article talk and have them graded on their follow through, however it unfolds, in the WP:BRD process. Alternative 3 in the example course I am picking on (sorry about that once again) reverse the order of the Week 4 and Week 5, to extent students could first make article edits, and later defend them if they are reverted via BRD process, or if the edits are not reverted, students could find some current WP:RFC, load the debate into their brain, and then cast a well reasoned WP:NOTVOTE. Conclusion There are probably many more alternatives, but I do think we need a Things to Avoid When Designing Assignments section and in that section frown on using article talk to post homework in the form of driveby "suggestions". Unless pagewatchers will receive salary as teaching assistants, then I might feel differently about it.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 14:09, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

  • Hi NewsAndEventsGuy, I've moved this to the education noticeboard so it can get a more full discussion. (Originally posted here.) Shalor (Wiki Ed) (talk) 14:31, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
    • This problem has been going on for a long time, and has been discussed at this noticeboard before. Obviously, the problem has not been solved. I agree very much that these kinds of drive-by comments are unhelpful and a time-sink, but I'll also note that, in earlier discussions, some editors have argued that any kind of article feedback is potentially useful and editors who dislike the comments can just ignore them (I personally disagree with that view). I'd be happy to see a clear consensus get established, and then implemented. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:20, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) Not sure if it changes much, but since this references the FAQ and was posted to Wikipedia talk:Education program/Educators, it's probably worth mentioning that I'm not sure how many instructors are using those pages. It's going to be a nonzero number, but most are learning about teaching with Wikipedia from the training/information in the Dashboard, Wiki Education staff, brochures like these, or the Programs & Events Dashboard.
That said, the question of what to do about unhelpful and/or plentiful article evaluations is a conversation worth revisiting. (for context for those joining in, here is a link to the previous thread).
As it happens, because I misunderstood what Train was asking in a section above, I just commented on this subject, so I'll go ahead and copy that here. :)
The typical thing students are instructed to do is to complete their evaluations in their sandboxes and then, optionally, to choose 1 or more questions/comments from that evaluation to post to the article's talk page. The idea is that, while article evaluations are typically appropriate talk page use, making it both selective and optional should minimize the number of unhelpful comments/questions. Sometimes individual instructors will edit the assignment to, say, make it mandatory, but these should be the exception. I know this came up here a few months back, but I don't think there has been a consensus that article evaluations by students should not be permitted in article talk pages, but it's possible I have missed something elsewhere, perhaps regarding new users in general?
I appreciate these thoughts about other ways forward. We've thrown around a few ideas since you initially raised the issue. For example, having students use talk page subpages, which are transcluded to the talk page for the duration of the course, but haven't found an ideal solution so far that wouldn't be rather cumbersome technically and/or make for non-standard talk page use. --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 15:33, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the link to the archived discussion. It seems to me that a significant part of the problem is not really about whether assignments are required or optional, but instead about students not understanding what distinguishes a helpful talk page comment from an unhelpful one. I tend to see two broad categories of unhelpful comments, and both are far too common. One is hey, you did a very nice job here, good work, typically in the spirit of a quid pro quo of you give me a good review and I'll give you a good review. The other category is either a meta-comment about what we would call the notability of the page topic, such as this is an important subject so it's good that there is an article about it, or book-review style comments about good points and bad points, such as the good things about this page are ABC and the bad things about the page are XYZ. (About the last of those, listing page flaws actually is very helpful, but it makes little sense to point out things that do not need to be revised.) I'd like to see students better understand how to use a talk page productively, and after all, if the assignment is about learning about editing Wikipedia, it really matters educationally that they actually learn this. I'd like instructors to set clear instructions about this, and make those instructions conform to existing community norms, and students be graded on how substantively they took that on, if the comments are in article talk space instead of user space. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:49, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
@NewsAndEventsGuy and Tryptofish: This is something that we removed from the timeline a while ago (I believe it was changed Summer 2016). It was precisely because of this problem that we changed the wording in that section. (You can see the current wording here; we now direct students to do these evaluations in a sandbox. It does come with a cost - the loss of the good that these reviews might bring.
The problem exists because it's possible for instructors to clone older courses. While it's possible for us to manually edit course pages, without knowing the magnitude of the problem, it's hard for me to say more (and obviously not something we should change mid-course). It's certainly worth looking into further. Ian (Wiki Ed) (talk) 16:00, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
I looked through that link, and I do indeed see where it says, at Week 9, that the peer review should be in a sandbox because it is not done the way that Wikipedia would be doing it. I also notice that the list of things to evaluate in Week 5 actually looks a lot like the unhelpful talk page comments that editors are concerned about here. So I'm getting the feeling that students sometimes create a Week 5-style evaluation and then post it on talk pages instead of in sandboxes, even though they seem to have been told not to. Even though sandbox edits are in user space, they are still on Wikipedia, and it strikes me as odd to tell anyone to write something that is contrary to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, even if it is in a sandbox. I get it, that instructors have good educational reasons for wanting students to work on that kind of thing. But maybe putting it in a sandbox gives the misleading impression that it's OK for Wikipedia. I tend to prefer that any assignment that does not adhere to policies and guidelines should not be posted anywhere here. Better it should be handed in, in class, but not written or posted here. I think that would help students understand better, and would be good for learning as well as for editors here. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:25, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Appreciate this being moved here for wider input. I'm not deep into this project. One thing should be simple- Adding to the first stuff any intstructor sees concise bold statement that

Caution should be exercised when directing students to post to article talk pages. Per the talk page guidelines, such pages are for the exclusive purpose of improving article text. Instructors are encouraged to design course assignments which involve article edits, and potentially followup participation in the WP:Consensus process via WP:BRD procedures at article talk pages. On the other hand, drive-by "review" or "suggestion" comments are ones that are made by editors who have no intention of following through with subsequent Wikipedia processes to try to improve article text. If instructors wish to assign this type of commentary it should be posted at student talk pages or their sandboxes.

The only opposing argument I have heard is that potentially valuable ideas posted in student driveby remarks would be lost. We can solve that without cramming driveby reviews down regular editors throats and robbing them of valuable time. Simply have students include the right template or tags in their one-off comments in their userspace. If they format them correctly with the article name, we should be able to code a log of student name, course, article, and DIFF with the one-off remark, and let the header of the article talk page get an automatic template that such material exists. In this way, its all indexed and eds who want to review such material can easily find it. Sort of like an article specific hashtag "#StudentDriveBy". If these templates and tags do not yet exist, maybe an outline of the desired behavior could be posted to the technical side of VPump or other venue, trying to get help from the coders among us. Thanks for listening. The climate pages are popular target areas for this sort of thing, and that's one of my main interests so I do see this a lot. Hence my effort at reforming the way this is done. Thanks to all of you for your effort on this awesome project! I am a big fan, despite all my words over this one pet peeve. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:29, 16 October 2017 (UTC) NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:29, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

  • An example of this kind of talk page comment just crossed my watchlist: [1]. It's entirely good faith, but I can't see any way for editors who are not students in the class to make any use of it to improve the page. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:51, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

Mainpage "for volunteers" link

Goes to the defunct Ambassadors page. I wonder if it shouldn't to Wikipedia:Student assignments instead? Jytdog (talk) 20:49, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

I'm probably missing something, but I couldn't find a link called "for volunteers" at the top of this noticeboard. If you are referring to the bullet point for "Ambassador topics (for Online, Campus, or Regional Ambassadors)", I would be fine with simply deleting that line entirely. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:13, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
Mainpage = Wikipedia:Education program - the link "Information for volunteers" there. sorry for being too terse. Jytdog (talk) 02:09, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
Got it, thanks. Yes, I'd support that change in the link. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:20, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
done. Jytdog (talk) 20:01, 29 October 2017 (UTC)

Photography assignments... and rejections from the Wikipedia

Dear all:

In keeping with the idea of involving students with the Wikipedia, I have been encouraging some of my journalism students at the Goa University to share (assignment-based) images they have created related to literature, books and authors via Wikimedia Commons.

They have been doing a good job in my view, there is no copyright violation, and I'm sure this would be a useful asset to create and add to pages both in the English Wikipedia and also in smaller, fledgling initiatives like the Konkani Wikipedia [2].

Unfortunately, some bots have been knocking off such content, which is really demoralising to the students who are trying their best. One case in point is Saiee D. on the page below [3] who writes: "I uploaded pictures of printing presses and bookstores in Panjim [Goa]. But though I uploaded more than 16 pics, it went down to 12 and now there are only four remaining. Why are these getting removed, sir?"

Please could you help to encourage well intentioned young contributors? They are our future...

Frederick Noronha +91-832-2409490 On Wikipedia: Fredericknoronha (user since circa 2006)

Hi Fredericknoronha. It doesn't just mean taking the pictures oneself. Books and newspapers are under copyright, so uploading pictures of newspapers and bookcovers (if enough is showing to be recognizable) is a copyright violation. StarryGrandma (talk) 19:53, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
For here at the English Wikipedia, there are important rules that must be followed, at Wikipedia:Non-free content criteria. The requirements at Wikimedia Commons are even stricter, and should best be asked about there. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:14, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @Fredericknoronha: Just to elaborate on StarryGrandma's point, there can be multiple copyrights relevant to a single image. If the students created the images, they own the copyright to the images themselves and thus have the right to release the images under a free license on Wikimedia Commons unless there are copyrighted works depicted in their image that they do not own, in which case the owner(s) of those copyrights would also have to agree to the license. Book covers, posters, newspapers, magazines, album covers, etc. are all separately copyrighted.
There are typically two exceptions: de minimis and freedom of panorama. De minimis would apply if the copyrighted work were an insignificant element of the picture, such as a book on a table in a photo of a cafe. Freedom of panorama creates exceptions for pictures of works that are in public view. Freedom of panorama laws vary by country, though. In India, buildings and sculptures are exempt (i.e. if you take a picture of a copyrighted building, the owner of that copyright does not have a claim to your photo) but 2D works like those listed above are not exempt.
As I am not a Commons admin, I cannot see the deleted files, but from the filenames and short summaries of the deletion, it looks like e.g. File:Children's rack at Broadway Book Centre, Goa.jpg was deleted because it depicted book covers, File:Sunaparant Newspaper.jpg because it depicted a newspaper, File:Broadway Book Centre, Panjim - Goa.jpg because it depicted an advertisement, etc. Some others are less clear, and I've asked the deleting administrator for additional information here: commons:User talk:Didym#Recent deletions. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 21:23, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
And to also elaborate on what Tryptofish said, Wikipedia's rules are less strict than Commons only for very specific purposes. The same copyright rules apply in general. The difference is that all media, without exception, on Commons can be freely used, published, modified, etc. for any purpose. Nearly all of the images you see on Wikipedia are hosted there because Wikipedia is committed to using free content. In rare cases, however, attaining a free image of a subject is impossible. For example, if you would like to display the cover of a book in an article about a book, then you can upload one low resolution version of the book cover for use only in that article, and only if it's not likely that a free version does/will exist. It's extremely limiting, and probably not what you intend for your students in most cases. In short, the same issues apply, but it may be that an image of a copyrighted subject can be used in an article about that subject. Take a look at WP:NFCC for more information on that. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 21:32, 26 October 2017 (UTC)

Dear all: I could take care of any copyright violations. But please could someone help with the somewhat arbitrary deletion of photos? Do I need to alert someone about our students' involvement? Isn't it worth encouraging students to contribute? fredericknoronha (talk) 13:44, 29 October 2017 (UTC) Fredericknoronha

@Fredericknoronha: From the sound of it, the deletion was directly because of the copyrights (books covers, etc.). I'm not sure what yo mean by taking care of the violations, but if there's additional information/context, you could do so by reuploading them.
When it's a clear violation, files are "speedily deleted" (reuploading would not likely solve these issues). When it's less clear, the uploader is notified and given about a week to respond before deleting. If the uploader doesn't respond, they're most often deleted, erring on the side of caution. In this case, there were minor copyright issues, but it sounds like they were deleted for a combination of those minor copyright issues with the low resolution of the images and their missing EXIF data. EXIF data is included in the photo by the camera itself. Often, when a file is missing EXIF data it's because the version uploaded was not the version of the file that came straight from the camera. For example, it was downloaded from a website like Facebook, and thus more likely to be owned by someone other than the person uploading (who would just upload the original). See commons:User talk:Didym#Recent deletions for more information. The admin said the originals of those files could be reuploaded. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 14:54, 29 October 2017 (UTC)

Pesticide poisoning

There are multiple IP accounts editing at that page, who appear to be in an unregistered class project: [4], and who seem to be having a tough time of it, largely because they seem unaware of how things work here. It would be great if WikiEd would look into this and reach out to the class. Thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:25, 28 October 2017 (UTC)

Thanks Trypto. These are multiple students in a group (all IPs) without any known class page, so it would be nice to get the professor to go through proper channels. I've let the students know this, but I have no idea if that's going to get through or not. Kingofaces43 (talk) 18:30, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
@Tryptofish and Kingofaces43: Thanks. I've left messages on the students' talk pages as well as on a couple other user talk pages they've engaged with. The IPs geolocate to Colorado, and in one of the comments a student said he/she was in an MPH program. Looks like this is the likely program, but which class in particular is unclear. Hopefully someone responds ASAP so we can try to bring them on board. In the meantime, if you see any other clues please let me know (e.g. if the content of the edits, which I've not had an opportunity to dig too deeply into at this point, suggests one of these classes in particular). Thanks. --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 22:56, 30 October 2017 (UTC)

Pharmacology course

There appears to a course at University of Kentucky pharmacology school that has a class assignment.

are the ones I have come across so far. Perhaps folks from the education program could reach out to the instructor? Jytdog (talk) 17:55, 2 November 2017 (UTC)

@Jytdog: Not a class on our radar (or an instructor in our contacts). Left messages for the students and may have found a couple others:
--Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 16:07, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
According to this edit, the professor is Robert Lodder. We'll reach out by email. --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 22:19, 3 November 2017 (UTC)


One of the things I do is check for article categories that contain non-articles (e.g. pages in the Wikipedia namespace). I'm repeatedly finding that pages such as Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/UMBC/Language in Diverse Schools and Communities (Fall 2017) are being inadvertently placed in article categories. When a talk page (for example) is inadvertently placed in an article category this only needs to be fixed once - however, these Wiki Ed pages are repeatedly being pasted in with the inadvertent category tag (why does this copy-pasting need to be done? has the en wp community given approval to it?). This causes unnecessary work for editors who fix categorization problems as well as potentially confusing anyone using these Wiki Ed pages. Please can you ensure that an appropriate change is made to technology/processes to ensure that adding incorrect references to categories in these pages is stopped. DexDor (talk) 06:30, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

  • This was recently posted to my talk page and I'm going to pass this on to Sage (Wiki Ed), but I wanted to post this here so there's a record of it and to have a better central location for any discussions. Shalor (Wiki Ed) (talk) 14:56, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
    • This happened when a student is assigned a category instead of an article; the dashboard didn't know to treat the links differently, so instead of linking to the article like it ought to, it was including it in the category. I just deployed a fix for this. (The copying of course pages on-wiki is to make sure that Wikipedians can easily find the context for student editors, which other editors are classmates, who the instructor is, etc, using the typical on-wiki tools like 'what links here'. It was part of the working consensus for what was needed in a replacement for the EducationProgram extension in 2014 and early 2015.)--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 19:33, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

Wiki Ed Monthly Report for September 2017

Hi everyone. For those interested, Wiki Education's Monthly Report for September 2017 is now available on Commons as a PDF, on Meta, or on our blog. Please let me know if you have questions. --Cassidy (Wiki Ed) (talk) 18:52, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

Some assistance needed at my talk page

Please see User talk:Dodger67#"Insufficient context for those unfamiliar": what's missing?, I'd be grateful if you can give some advice to the OP as it's quite outside my comfort zone. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 07:22, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

Please... Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 16:32, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
@Dodger67: I've responded on your talk page, but looking a bit more it looks like this is a class at Libera Università Carlo Cattaneo. I've asked the student for some information about their instructor. Pinging WMF Education Program folks to see if they could follow up with perhaps some connections in Italy. @TFlanagan-WMF, VMasrour (WMF), and NSaad (WMF): --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 18:33, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Ryan (Wiki Ed), I hope your outreach bears fruit as this class seem to be getting stuck at AFC quite a bit. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 19:09, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm reaching out to WMIT. VMasrour (WMF) (talk) 20:32, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

Echoes of WP:India Education Program

I've just placed 2 weeks of ECP on:

due to repeated copyvios resulting from what appears to be a class assignment. As far as I can tell, it's only spread to a few articles so far but I don't know how widespread this is -- I vaguely remember bits and pieces popping up on CopyPatrol. MER-C 12:20, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

Probably unrelated, but while we're talking about copyvios and Indian school projects, I should probably draw ENB's attention to Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Kaabasane. – Train2104 (t • c) 15:00, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

"Digital Divide in X" articles

There is a class which is creating a large number of articles titled "Digital Divide in X". A lot of these seem to be WP:SYNTH or unnecessary content forks of articles that already exist about the technology and demographics of the country involved. I've PROD'ed The Digital Divide in Myanmar, but there's also Digital Divide in Bangladesh, Digital Divide in Germany, and others. Some may be OK to stand alone, but some of these clearly should be merged into other articles. As this affects multiple articles I'm posting here. – Train2104 (t • c) 00:02, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

  • I'll look into this! Thanks! Shalor (Wiki Ed) (talk) 20:38, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm actually thinking of making a basic list page for the digital divide in different countries and having the students merge their information there. I think that there's definite merit in having this information on Wikipedia somewhere and having a list page would make more sense and possibly even be easier to find and navigate. There's the possibility of adding this to country specific pages on internet, telecommunications, and even education, but these aren't necessarily the best-best places since these are all contribute to the expansion or decrease of the digital divide, but they're not the digital divide per se. Shalor (Wiki Ed) (talk) 16:26, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I've started a draft at User:Tokyogirl79/List of countries and the digital divide. Shalor (Wiki Ed) (talk) 19:16, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

Issues with Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/Georgia Southern University/Modern Latin America (Fall 2017)

Hello! I'm afraid there have been some serious WP:COPYVIO issues with this course. I'm hoping that the folks here at WikiEd would perhaps provide some more guidance to the students and instructor. Besides the COPYVIO issues there is a quality issue to the articles they are moving into main space. Many of these wouldn't pass at WP:AFC. These articles read more like essays than encyclopedic entries. Of particular note Am12827 just recieved their final warning for COPYVIOs from Oshwah despite multiple warnings on their talk page. I'm a bit disappointed in the lack of oversight this class appears to have. Can y'all address these issues before more work is created for editors like Chrissymad who appear to be cleaning up after this course? --Cameron11598 (Talk) 18:19, 13 November 2017 (UTC)(UTC)

Aside from the CV issues in article creation, there are many instances of cv and walls of essay like text being introduced to existing articles. See addition of essay material here by another student (not faulting them but there needs to be some clear cut rules for this...)CHRISSYMAD ❯❯❯¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 18:25, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I've just run into a case of that myself - I'll reach out to the professor immediately and get them to speak to their students. Shalor (Wiki Ed) (talk) 19:40, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Hi, I'm the professor of the class. I wish you'd be a little less snarky in your comments about my work with the class. It's the third time I've taught with Wikipedia, and I recently moved to a new institution where students are clearly struggling to conform to Wikipedia standards. Like you, I'm trying to think about how to do a better job in preparing students to become Wikipedia editors. And now I feel quite discouraged that my students and I will be publicly shamed for our efforts. I'm doing the best I can and have carefully attempted to walk students through the protocols of using Wikipedia. It's a bit discouraging when you act like we're just creating problems for you as the 'cleanup crew.' I await more productive dialogue.Cz17 (talk) 20:00, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Cz17 Perhaps I missed it, but I don't see any "snark." I'm sorry you find it discouraging but there is no wiggle room for copyright violations. CHRISSYMAD ❯❯❯¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 20:13, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
Professor, copyright violations are an issue we have with many student classes. The rules are pretty simple: treat Wikipedia the same as you would as an academic paper in terms of academic integrity, and do so for every edit that is submitted. If your students do this, then they will have no problem with copyright. If your institution offers a course or unit on plagiarism as many do now digitally, it might be worth requiring your class to go through it again. While something can be plagiarism without being a copyright violation, and vice versa, typically if you follow the plagiarism rules, you don't have to worry about text copyright. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:18, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Hi guys! I'm looking into this. Cz17, I've sent you out a quick email about tthis. I don't think that anyone here meant anything to come across wrong. We will get this straightend out. Shalor (Wiki Ed) (talk) 20:24, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

I do not find it discouraging that Wikipedia has no wiggle room for copyright violations. That is as it should be. I had more of a problem with the "coming out swinging" attitude but I have heard that this can be an issue among Wikipedia editors. Not a problem, I am now in conversation with Shalor and thank you for your contributions to the Wikipedia community. Cz17 (talk) 20:45, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

@Cz17: Some editors take copy right violations way too seriously (myself included), as it can effect Wikipedia's safe harbor status under DMCA. As to the dealing with the issues publicly one of Wikipedia's philosophies is transparency that is why our talk pages are public. I brought the issues to this noticeboard which is relatively quiet compared to some of the more volatile noticeboards such as WP:AN or WP:ANI, out of respect. I can see how the "clean up" comment came off as snarky, it wasn't my intention and I apologize if any offense was taken. --Cameron11598 (Talk) 04:25, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Hi guys! Just as an update - I've gone through the work and I've given Cz17 an overview of the coursework. I'm glad to see that things are resolving on here - I know that communicating via written messages can be a little difficult, as we can't hear/see inflections or body language. Shalor (Wiki Ed) (talk) 14:31, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

Grammar error on course pages

Hi! I'm one of the project's typo fixers. I've noticed that about 100 course pages have appeared on my latest work list because they contain the grammar error Leave suggestions on on the Talk page of the article, with an extra "on" (example). Apparently this is copied in from somehow. Does anyone know how to correct the master copy of this text? -- John of Reading (talk) 18:22, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

Whoops. Thanks for reporting it. I just fixed it for future courses.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 18:39, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
github? I'd never have thought to look there. Thanks! -- John of Reading (talk) 18:41, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

Concerns with students moving articles into mainspace

These articles have all been recently moved by students into mainspace with some glaring issues:

  • The effect of Brexit on climate policy (WP:NOTESSAY)
  • Data ethics (formatting makes it difficult to read/has since been updated)
  • Draft:People's Code (not exhaustive enough to be an article/has since been moved to draft)
  • Draft:Data Politics (not exhaustive enough to be an article/has since been moved to draft; includes line (Possible info to be contained in my article intro. Still very rough because I have not narrowed down what exactly I want/need to cover. To my peer reviewer: if you have any insight on other topics I should research for this article, feel free to suggest!))
  • Data Feminism (doesn't even seem to be a term that really exists; this is even mentioned in the page)

These seem to be coming from Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/Carleton University/COMS4407 Critical Data Studies (Fall 2017), and there are many more elsewhere (I don't really have the time right now to go through all of them and discern what is viable). However, I am concerned with the apparent lack of oversight on these ill-advised page moves. Why are these not going through the WP:AFC process? Shalor (Wiki Ed), can you possibly expand on this? Nihlus 23:00, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

  • I'll take a look at this. I know I've looked at something from this class with the same issues earlier today. Shalor (Wiki Ed) (talk) 23:59, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Nihlus, I've contacted the educator about this and they've sent out an email asking students to hold back their work and make sure that they pass notability criteria and other guidelines (ie, essay, OR, etc). I'm going to go through the students' work and give some general feedback to each student as well to help with this process. Thank you so much for pointing this out!!! Shalor (Wiki Ed) (talk) 15:44, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
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