Wikipedia:Education noticeboard/Incidents

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Welcome to the Education Program Incidents page.

This page is for reporting and discussing specific incidents related to student editing and/or the Education Program on the English Wikipedia that require the intervention of experienced editors and/or administrators.

Topics may include:

  • Content issues created by real or potential student assignments
  • Unresponsive classrooms or those editing with poorly managed or structured courses
  • Classrooms editing without a course page or with an ambiguous page
  • And any other issue that might relate to student assignments


Of course, we should remain civil towards all participants and assume good faith.

  • Before posting a grievance about a user here, please discuss the issue with them on their user talk page.
  • You should generally notify any user who is the subject of a discussion. You may use {{ping}} to do so, or simply link their username when you post your comment. It is not required to contact students when their edits are only being discussed in the context of a class-wide problem.
  • Please include diffs to help us find the problem you are reporting.
  • Please sign all contributions, using four tilde characters "~~~~".
  • Threads are automatically archived after 7 days of inactivity.

Where possible and relevant, please include the following information with any report: Article(s), Course, Instructor, Online volunteers, and Student.

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



Advocacy classes and issues

Someone at the teahouse suggested bringing this issue up here. I don't know the solution, but I do see a significant problem. With this class and this one, there have been significant problems of articles that were not neutral, contained copyright violations, and were often blatant advocacy pieces that had to be deleted under G11. It may well be that classes on advocacy are fundamentally incompatible with the purpose of Wikipedia, since we do not allow advocacy for anyone or anything. It's led to a very bad experience for the instructors, the students, and the community who has to clean up the mess. It's not fair to anyone. How do we fix this? Seraphimblade Talk to me 19:12, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

I agree that this is worth discussing. Ryan noted above that the Education Program is interested in discussing this sort of stuff in the summer; right now the staff is hammered dealing with boatloads of students who are asking for help in the last stages of their projects. Jytdog (talk) 19:35, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
I agree, there needs to be a summer discussion on the various issues that Education Program courses have run into this semester. This is one problem, I've also been fixing botched pagemoves/reuserfying essays, seemingly by the dozen. – Train2104 (t • c) 19:39, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
I am worried about deleting and prejudicing future creation of notable articles because the published articles need significant improvement and cleanup. I think it is too much for editors to improve this many articles at once, but it is also a problem to delete legitimate articles because they need improvement. Maybe, in the future, there should be a stricter process for how these articles are published into the main space. Seraphim System (talk) 19:45, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
When I evaluate a request for a G11 deletion, the only consideration is "Is the article promotional, and is there no non-promotional version to revert to?" If the answer is "yes", the article must be deleted. The community has decided that articles like that must be deleted at once. I happen to agree (if we allowed promotional content to stick around, we'd highly incentivize creating it), but the criteria is a well established one and I have to follow it. It's never my call to override the community's judgment or requirements. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:32, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
@Seraphimblade: I'm not sure why you think the EJ articles are promotional? I was skeptical at first, but I researched it and found out itisarealthing- it is advanced for undergraduate work but quality should be improved by editing, not deletion. Seraphim System (talk) 23:37, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
Being real and being promotional are totally orthoganal. If I say "IBM is the best company in the world!", IBM is real, but that is still promotional material. Promotional articles and material are always deleted if there is no non-promotional version to revert back to regardless of any other consideration. They are not "improved through editing", that encourages spammers. Seraphimblade Talk to me 02:31, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
I can't comment on the Environmental Justice articles. The Black Lives Matter articles, in my opinion, are not promotional as defined by G11, but cannot be improved by editing and cannot be made encyclopedic. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:03, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
You're right on the remaining ones. If they were G11s, well, I'd have already deleted them, wouldn't I? But I did have to delete several of them under G11, and I believe those deletions to have been fully justifiable, or I wouldn't have hit the delete button. But they're still inappropriate, and your AfD for them is the right course of action. Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:00, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Class Project Involving Black Lives Matter

There is apparently a class project involving the Black Lives Matter movement and User:AngelicBeaver. The editor created four articles on guiding principles of the movement. I saw them on New Page Patrol. One of them was then blanked for G7 deletion. AngelicBeaver says that they expressed concerns to the instructor. If so, the concerns were valid, because I see no way to make the articles neutral or to be other than statements of opinion. There has been discussion at the Teahouse and at User talk:AngelicBeaver. I have nominated three of the articles for deletion in a single AFD. I don't see a basis for speedy deletion, because they aren't advertising of the movement, and the movement is notable, even if its guiding principles are not notable in themselves. Robert McClenon (talk) 19:58, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

Once again, it seems that we have an instructor who gives assignments involving Wikipedia without having a clue as to what Wikipedia is and how it works. At least, that is how it looks to me. Robert McClenon (talk) 19:58, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

I have changed the level of heading because this is related to the above post. Robert McClenon (talk) 20:01, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
I blanked the page because I noticed a misspelling in the title, and subsequently made a new article with the same content, but corrected title. Both pages should be deleted. One said "Principal", the new one was corrected to "Principle". I blanked the one that was wrong, but this was before I knew that the article was inappropriate, although it had been flagged (and I copied the flagging messages) to the new page).AngelicBeaver (talk) 20:09, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
@AngelicBeaver: For information for your future editing (please do stay around after your course assignment!), if you need to change the title of an article the way to do it is to "Move" it to the new title - that preserves all its history in terms of who contributed to it etc. You can usually "Move" the article using the tab at the top of it, but in complicated cases you'd need to go to WP:Requested moves and follow the instructions there. Moving the article this way also creates a useful "Redirect" from the old/wrong title, in case anyone has links to it. PamD 21:12, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
I did not think that the Black Lives Matter articles were hopelessly promotional or that they warranted G11, or I would have tagged them for it. I do think that they do not fit within the scope of Wikipedia and cannot be made neutral, which is why I did tag them for AFD. Some things do not qualify for speedy deletion but should still be deleted, and the Black Lives Matter articles are a case in point. I have not reviewed the Environmental Justice articles. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:03, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Business Strategy Assignment

Has there been a class project in which students were told to compose articles on business strategy and strategic planning, without being given clear instructions, and without having the strict rules on copyright explained? Several articles have been deleted. Strategy-making process is new. Market and Nonmarket Components in Integrated Strategy is new, and has been proposed for deletion as being incomprehensible (but not sufficiently incomprehensible to be patent nonsense). Strategic making process was one of the articles that was deleted as copyvio. Has there been a class project? Robert McClenon (talk) 02:57, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

See the following (now deleted). https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:SlitherSnakeSempter&diff=prev&oldid=779631099

I have requested the poster to explain what the very important assignment is, but it appears that there is a class assignment that isn't in accordance with Wikipedia policies and guidelines or the best interests of improving the encyclopedia. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:01, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

@Robert McClenon: Thanks. Looks like Strategy-making process was created by María Emilia Serrano, whose user page says "I am a University Student at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador". (school article). According to outreach:Education/Countries/Ecuador there's some Education Program activity in Ecuador. Hopefully we can get at least one more piece of information to track down the instructor (instructor name, even a class name that can be cross-referenced in the catalog). Pinging TFlanagan-WMF, who would be better equipped to make connections with Education Program participants in the area.
As an aside, since strategic making process was deleted for copyvio, the user who created that also has a sandbox here: User:Rios.joselyn/strategic making process. I cannot see the deleted content, but it may be worth checking to see if it includes the same problem. --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 15:44, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. That is consistent with the fact that some of the submissions do not appear to be in good English. Maybe the instructor would have done better to ask them to contribute to the Spanish Wikipedia, but maybe the instructor should have asked them to submit their assignments on traditional paper or via the university's web site. I have asked several editors for details, but the good-faith assumption is that they do very little Wikipedia editing except when told to do so, and the alternative is that they are not responding because they are afraid either of Wikipedia sanctions (which there won't be) or of reprisals from the professor. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:30, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
There are several other articles that may be related to the same class, including: OLIVIA YAN/sandbox, The Presumption of Dominance (Competition Law), Abuse of Dominant Position (Exploitative Abuse), and Abuse of dominant position (Predatory Pricing). – Train2104 (t • c) 18:16, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Those three pages were all created in draft space and then moved to article space, either without review or (in one case) disregarding review. While there is no explicit rule against moving drafts into article space, the timing, in which they were all moved at the same time, seems to imply some sort of master plan or instructions. Robert McClenon (talk) 01:43, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The articles being developed look a lot like the Strategic Advanced Management course taught by marketing and advertising Prof. Dávila Grijalva in the past. - Bri (talk) 03:56, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

There appears to be sockpuppetry involved. Robert McClenon (talk) 04:28, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Massive copyvio too at OLIVIA YAN/sandbox. It was a cut/paste job from a textbook. I suspected it from the odd citation style. Thw others have the same style and are likely to be out of the same book. Bri (talk) 04:53, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
@VMasrour (WMF): Can you help, or have one of the Ecuador Wikimedians User Group folks help? :) --LiAnna (Wiki Ed) (talk) 22:36, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for the ping. I am in touch with the professor in charge of this class. It turns out that students got ahead of themselves, and did not respect the teacher's protocol of quality assurance previous to publishing. The teacher in question is taking measures to reprehend the students and make sure no further publications happen before filters, including teacher revision and a Wikipedian's revision are made previous to publishing. --VMasrour (WMF) (talk) 14:56, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

A Chemistry Assignment?

I just saw Cyclopropenium ion and Draft:Hydrogen-bridged cations as drafts in user sandboxes, each apparently the work of one person with no other Wikipedia work. I moved the first to draft space and requested a review at WT:WikiProject Chemistry. However, then another AFC reviewer reviewed and accepted it (which was my first inclination anyway). Then I moved the second to draft space and requested a review. These two topics are chemically similar in that they involve a distributed positive charge, and may be part of a class project. Anyway, the first is accepted, and the second is ready for review. There doesn't seem to be any of the usual problems. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:02, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

The username of the editor for the still-draft page suggests that it someone who works in a university lab, perhaps as a student in the lab, as opposed to being a student in a course. Aside from the draft improperly capitalizing section headers, I don't see any problems either. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:21, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia:ESADE CEMS MIM Master's Programme

This course -- which appears to involve students whose native language is not English -- is resulting in fairly large numbers of copyright violations being added. See User talk:CatherineWu, User talk:Marshalllin, User talk:Alisha130, User talk:Crealmattar, User talk:HuiJJ, User talk:Umut.tilkioglu. This is six students warned so far out of about 20 students associated with the class. Could someone contact the instructor? I'm not sure how the coordination should be handled given that Amical Wikimedia is already involved. Perhaps they do not have adequate support/instructions for instructors/students. Calliopejen1 (talk) 20:55, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Looking into other students' contributions, there are even wider problems with close paraphrasing. Calliopejen1 (talk) 22:06, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
And I just had to block one of the students because he was contributing copyright violations about as fast as I could delete them (and warn him). Calliopejen1 (talk) 22:14, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
@Kippelboy: can you help? --LiAnna (Wiki Ed) (talk) 22:32, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Two more to add to the list: User talk:Giulia.ayala, User talk:Oguzhan1313 (the latter isn't listed on the class page but I'm positive he is associated with the class). Calliopejen1 (talk) 17:44, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

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