Wikipedia:Education noticeboard

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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.

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

Noticeboard archives

please help test new instructor onboarding workflow[edit]

Hey folks. Following up on the improving instructor onboarding workflow discussion above, I've now made some changes to the process instructors go through before requesting rights. In particular, I:

  • made a revised version of the course page wizard that instructors can now use to create a detailed course page in userspace *before* requesting rights, which includes a "request rights" button at the end;
  • revised the course pages module of the training, so that instructors complete the training and then immediately use the new course page wizard to document their assignment plan before requesting rights;
  • added a training completion page, which instructors will automatically sign right before they launch the course page wizard; and
  • reworked the instructions atop Wikipedia:School and university projects to emphasize the training and the new option to use the course page wizard before requesting rights.

I'd really appreciate some testing and feedback of this new setup. Pretend you are an instructor, and go through all the steps (either starting at WP:EDUCATOR or WP:SUP), and report anything confusing, broken, or otherwise in need of improvement.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 15:22, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Feedback from Tryptofish[edit]

Thanks, Sage! I've gone through it very carefully, and here is my feedback:
  1. Opening page: Change "ecstatic" to "delighted" (otherwise it sounds a little over-the-top).
    Yes check.svg Done
    Thanks, although per another comment below, I laughed at the suggestion, instead, of "ambivalent". --Tryptofish (talk) 22:45, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  2. Pillar 2: About "Please note: All articles must strive for verifiable accuracy", it might be clearer to change the end of that to "verifiable sourcing in published material".
    That's better than my suggested wording. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:45, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  3. NOR: Let me suggest simplifying it, to make it more obvious how Wikipedia is very different than typical academic writing: "Typical academic writing requires students to do original research, have a point of view, and argue it. Wikipedia, however, is a tertiary source of information—based on a collection of secondary sources writing about a primary source. Simply put, Wikipedia is not a place to publish original research, but rather is a summary of what has been written in reliable sources about the original topic or research."
    Nice. Yes check.svg Done
    Thanks! --Tryptofish (talk) 22:45, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  4. Copyvio: This is so important that I would add a little more after the last sentence, pointing out that students editing under their real names may leave behind a permanent Internet record of the plagiarism, that may come up in future job searches.
    added something like that.
    Good, thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:45, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  5. Creating an account: In that first bullet point, I'd like to see more information about whether or not students should use their real names. At a minimum, in addition to the link to the username policy, I'd like to see a link to Wikipedia:On privacy, confidentiality and discretion.
    Thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:45, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  6. Visual Editor: On my display (Firefox), the screen shot at the right looks peculiar, with the bottom half of the page title letters truncated.
    Fixed. I'm not sure why I thought it was a good idea to crop it like that initially.
    Yes, better. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:45, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  7. Talk pages: I think it would be helpful to have a visual (as at My sandbox), to show where to click to get to a talk page.
    The video includes a segment that highlights the Talk tab. I'd rather not add another visual to the same page.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:22, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  8. Same place: I'd like to tell instructors that they should watch talk pages where students edit, to see if other editors are commenting to the students, and to make sure that the students respond to those editors. I think that's important!
    Added this to the watchlist page, rather than here.
  9. Also about talk pages: Instructors or students should put Template:Educational assignment on the talk pages of articles they edit, to make it easier for other editors to help student editors.
    The course page template includes a section with instructions for adding that template (with code for the specific course), but I'm not sure it'll do much good adding it to the training as well. (I'm also not too enthusiastic about that kind of template in the first place, just because it's a tedious and clunky way to keep track of which articles student editors are working on.)--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:25, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  10. Stubs: I think it can be a problem to recommend DYK, unless there is an ambassador who is going to get very involved, because DYK reviewers may not work on the same clock as the class schedule.
    Per comments by other editors, maybe I'm wrong about that. Not sure. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:45, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
    In my experience, DYK is often appropriate for student editors. It's one of the trickier things to include in a course, but if instructors follow the advice for how to do it right (ie, selectively, for the articles that look appropriate for it), and use the detailed printable DYK handout that's available, it's usually worth it.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:13, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  11. New articles: Similarly, it seems to start by saying that AfC is good, but then says it's a problem, and that's confusing. I think students are usually better off not getting involved in AfC.
    I agree. AfC has at times been worthwhile for students, but on balance, we probably shouldn't be pointing students to it any more. I rewrote that page. Could probably use some more improvement.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:13, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  12. Watchlist: I think it is important to also tell instructors that, by watchlisting their students' articles, they can monitor whether other editors revert what their students do, and that instructors should want to find out what the issues are, and advise their students accordingly.
    I added some advice along these lines to the educator and Ambassador versions of this slide: Wikipedia:Training/core/My watchlist 1 educators.
  13. WP community: First sentence: "The English...".
    Yes check.svg Done
  14. BRD: In the "revert" part, I'd link "edit war" to WP:EW, to remind readers what it means.
    I don't think that's necessary. It's not essential to know the exact definition of edit war, and the current text already makes clear that simply reverting is not the right way to go. It's also self-evident in context that an edit war is bad.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 16:37, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
    OK, then how about pointing out the consequences: "...that's the beginning of an edit war, for which you can get blocked from editing."? --Tryptofish (talk) 22:45, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  15. Choosing articles: In the second bullet point, link "WikiProject pages" to Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory.
    Yes check.svg Done
  16. Syllabus Week 9: Instructors should guide their students to make constructive, critical comments to peers, and not just to praise one another.
    Added something along those lines.
  17. Syllabus Week 10: I'm uncomfortable about encouraging GA, because of the time it takes. There needs to be some caution about that.
    Few classes now do GA nominations, but there are plenty of times when individual student editors are doing good enough work to make the GA process worthwhile. The caution bit is something we've been taking seriously for the last several terms, but at this point I think we've found a good balance -- encouraging GA nominations on an individual basis when it seems like a good fit and there's enough time left.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:22, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks again! --Tryptofish (talk) 20:08, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Fixed some of these. More to come.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 16:01, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Phew! Thanks for the excellent feedback, Tryptofish.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:22, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
You are very welcome! I've gone back over each point, and I'm satisfied with everything I had raised. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:25, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Feedback from Victoria[edit]

Thanks Sage, I've gotten about two-thirds the way through and will have lots of comments. Generally I think it's very good and excellent work, but like any of our pages, with collaboration and feedback will be better. Unfortunately I've got a bit of a family emergency going on and so won't be able to post comments for about a week, if that's okay. I'll respond then, too, to the questions above that I never got to. Thanks for putting this out - it's awesome to see. And I'll use it this year! Victoria (tk) 21:18, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Hi Sage, I'd hoped to be able to do more, but I'm completely tied up with real life issues at the moments, so giving you a very stripped down version in broad strokes now. If I can, I'll try to get back to it. Also, haven't had time to read any of the other comments, so pls ignore anything that's redundant.
Basically, what seems to be lacking is something along the lines of a "Elements of a Wikipedia page" (with an image of a page!), so as to set up some of the explanations. I.e, I had to stop to think why it's important to explain how to bold, but for a new page, of course, bolding is required in the first line. I think, also, it would be helpful to explain how to create a section (or at least define a section) before mentioning - it's mentioned in the part about creating a section for references - and maybe explain the difference between user space and article space. We use a lot of jargon here, but I think it's probably okay to introduce some early on (i.e, "article space" and "user space") so as not to confuse when/if students/professors find the jargon thrown at them in the midst of trying to get assignment up; but other jargon, such as "templates" might need a parenthetical explanation (something along the lines of "wiki mark-up" maybe), and I'd also suggest add links throughout so as to bring attention to all our MoS pages and such.
As part of an "Elements of a Wikipedia page" I'd suggest mentioning that each page has an associated talk page (I think you mention this, but it should be all in one place); in my own mind, I think of each page as having a front and back - the front with content, the back for discussion. And then explain that user space works essentially the same and that sandbox pages too. Also, it would be useful - if not already done - to mention redlinks. A lot of new editors don't realize that their own user page is red because it doesn't have content - the concept that any page without content is red, is an important concept, imo. Maybe we could design a template for each student user page to greet them with, something along the lines of this "This editor is part of …" such and such class?
Sorry, this is all I've got time for, and hope it's helpful. Oh, one last thing: maybe not for this year, but in the future, perhaps consider presenting as a WP page. Educators generally wade through quite a lot of lengthy documents and reading a WP page is basically a walk in the park. I'd think it might be easier to explain some of the concepts if presented on a type of page being discussed rather than a tutorial with buttons (which personally I dislike), if that makes sense. I realize this is a little (!) confused, so feel free to leave questions for clarification on my page and I'll get to it when I can. Victoria (tk) 15:36, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Feedback from Xaosflux[edit]

I just ran through the process with a dummy account Xaosflux_ep to see what it was like fresh. Check out that users contributions to see all the pages created during the process. Some feedback:
  1. On Wikipedia:Training/For_educators/Grading_tips Section 2, regarding anything that gets 'turned in', perhaps reference our versioning system and the use of Permanent Link utility that could be used to turn in specific versions.
    I did something along these lines, without going into much detail.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 19:57, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  2. Wikipedia:Training/For educators/Setting up your course 2, suggest removing the links to the noticeboard there, may make it seem like you should just go there and figure out how to request access.
    Yes check.svg Done
  3. Continuing, rights requests should wait until the initial userspace course page is drafted
    That's how it is now. Did you find somewhere that prompted the user to make the rights request first? I was trying with this reorganization to make sure instructors could set up a course page draft before the rights request (although I might have overlooked something).--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 19:56, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  4. Rights requests should be moved to a new, dedicated page. I suggest Wikipedia:Requests for permissions/Education; it could be transcluded on the noticeboard if we find that convenient, with edit protection to auto-confirmed.
    Why? Have we had a problem the rights requests happening here? The volume doesn't seem to be overwhelming, so it makes sense to me to keep the rights requests on this page. Also, many instructors make the rights request as one of their first edits, and we've not seen instructor-related problems on this page that would merit semi-protection. (We've had inappropriate ambassador requests from new accounts, but I still have no idea where those users are coming from.)--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 19:56, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
    Would keep in line with most of the other perm request pages across wikipedia, wouldn't have to have any protection, and the entire page could be transcluded on the noticeboard, but if it ever gets busy would be seamless to move later. — xaosflux Talk 22:33, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  5. Instead of naming all the subpages "course wizard" prompt for a course name and name them after that
    I had gone this route initially with an inputbox (like here), but removing that step made it possible to use the guided tour to automatically post the course wizard template... making it a bit simpler to get started. (Wiki Education Foundation will be working on an off-wiki tool for drafting and customizing assignment plans, which should be ready for the beginning of 2015. But in the meantime, this should make it a little bit easier.)--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 19:56, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Hope any of that is helpful. — xaosflux Talk 00:02, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Feedback from Chris Troutman[edit]

I just went through the educator training, too.
  1. I agree with Tryptofish, you probably ought to downgrade ecstatic to something like ambivalent.
    Face-smile.svg I went with Tryptofish's word.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 20:05, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  2. In the intro it references "Wikipedia assignments" when none exist. Also, this might be a good time to emphasize that educators are changing their curricula to help Wikipedia; Wikipedia might not really be a tool for them to use.
    Which page are you referring to?--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 20:05, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
    It's in the "about" section. I would re-word from "It can be used as a starting point for Wikipedia assignments" to "This module will help you to design assignments for your students to complete within Wikipedia." Chris Troutman (talk) 20:39, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  3. I also agree with Tryptofish about NOR and "avoiding advocacy." While it is covered later I think beating the drum about Wikipedia's style as "absent a thesis" could be explained more. I still get students writing in essay-like fashion.
    Does Tryptofish's wording above, which I added to that page, satisfy?--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 20:05, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
    Yes. Chris Troutman (talk) 20:39, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  4. I would cut back the discussion of Visual Editor further; it's in Beta and I hope it never returns. I don't want to confuse new editors with it.
    It's important to have some mention of VE just so that newcomers don't get confused if they end up with VE enabled and don't understand why the interface isn't what the training describes. At some point, VE will probably become the default for new users (again).--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 20:05, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  5. I tell my students to skip AfC because it's always backlogged and many times they'll get declined, anyway. I would replace this with instructions about moving pages into main namespace. You have a line "If your submission has not been reviewed, go ahead and create your article" and that sounds problematic.
    I've removed AfC from the recommendations. The backlog has improved in recent months, but it's too much uncertainty in this context.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 20:05, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
    The backlog improved in part because a couple editors worked extreme overtime to reduce it. AfC returned to backlog status in just a week. Chris Troutman (talk) 20:39, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  6. I'd recommend switching the order on students choosing a topic to write on versus choosing from a prepared list. Students picking their own topic is a mixed bag. I'd prefer providing the professor a list of articles in need of work.
    I changed the order, and added a caveat to the choose-your-own option. diff.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 20:05, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  7. In week 7 you have them going live into main namespace. It think this is critical. I had one professor have his students keep their work in sandbox the entire course because they didn't want to grade a live article. There was no outside editor input and no student interaction with the community. All those sandboxes remain where they are save one.
    Yes, it's something we've recognized as critical ever since we put too little emphasis on it in the first semester of the public policy initiative. --Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 20:05, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  8. I'll disagree with Tryptofish about DYK. I think DYK is a reasonable goal for new articles. Nominating for GA is patently ridiculous. I would strike that suggestion entirely. I had a class do that and it didn't go well with the WikiProject.
    GA nominations have sometimes gone badly, but have also sometimes gone very well. It's not something we systematically recommend (any more), but if it's done selectively (based on an individual article, not at the whole-class level) it can lead to some of the most successful projects. It's something I hope we can offer more support and guidance for in the future.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 20:05, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  9. You do mention ambassadors but I would provide links (if WEF would generate their new content already) so the professors know that's a resource they can shop for in the ambassador list. Many professors either don't know about ambassadors, they are their own ambassadors, or they see no need for a teacher's assistant.
    A better system for connecting ambassadors and professors is definitely a big need. I'll think on it a bit.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 20:05, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
In conclusion, I would ensure all professors go through this training before they get userrights or set up a course page. I'm also concerned that this training is just a slide-show. Are we recommending professors with no Wikipedia experience learn the buttonology in the new users training? What about the Wikipedia Adventure? Professors don't have to edit on Wikipedia to lead a course but they won't be engaging on wiki. Chris Troutman (talk) 03:10, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Adding the interactive editing basics tours to the educator training (like the student training already has) is on my todo list. I'll try to get to it this week; should be a pretty simple copy-paste from the student version.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 20:05, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. My biggest pet peeve is getting instructors and students to use talk pages, Echo, and watchlists instead of e-mail. I think if you pushed it from that angle they'd spend more time on wiki and they'd learn the coding buttonology in the process. Chris Troutman (talk) 20:39, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
The intro-to-markup tours are now part of the educators training, just like the student version.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 15:41, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Wiki Education Foundation job openings[edit]

Just a quick note that the Wiki Education Foundation has two new job openings: Classroom Program Manager and Communications Associate. More information is available at --LiAnna (Wiki Ed) (talk) 21:59, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Help reviewing “Editing psychology articles” handout for student editors?[edit]

(Apologies for the cross-post.) Introducing myself for those of you I haven’t interacted with before — I’m LiAnna Davis, and I’m in charge of communications for the Wiki Education Foundation, the nonprofit that runs the Wikipedia Education Program in the United States and Canada. One of my goals this year is to create a series of discipline-specific support materials for students and instructors participating in our program. Given the challenges some psychology students have had in the past, I’m starting with psychology, and I need some help. I’ve created a page in my userspace explaining more about what I’m trying to do, and then added an outline of the preliminary content I’d like to include.

Since psychology is not my specialty, I would really like to get feedback from experienced content contributors in psychology to make sure I’m providing accurate advice to students. I’m looking for several people who’ve contributed content to psychology articles to review the advice and offer feedback — please help if you can! I need all comments by Monday, July 14. Please leave comments on the talk page rather than here so they’re all in the same place. Thanks! --LiAnna (Wiki Ed) (talk) 22:09, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Request for course instructor right[edit]

Urbanature (t · c · del · cross-wiki · SUL · wikichecker · count · pages created · auto edits · logs (block • rights) · google · lu  · rfar · arb · rfc · rfcu · ssp · spi) (assign permissions)(r · rv · p · f · t)

I will be teaching Arch 531L - Ecological Factors in Design at the University of Southern California this fall (August-December 2014). I expect to have 5-8 undergraduate students in the course.

Two course assignments will involve writing and editing on Wikipedia. First is the creation of a new article/expansion of a stub by each student on a topic relevant to the course. For this assignment I will be following the sample syllabus provided in the instructor training. The second assignment will be development of an annotated list of software tools for use in the practice of geodesign, and either incorporated within or linked from that page. Urbanature (talk) 22:48, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

I granted the user right and sent an email to set up a time to talk about assignment design details. @Sage (Wiki Ed): Did you get the new process set up for creating the course page before requesting user rights? It looks like it sent User:Urbanature to the right page, but did it create that after sending this instructor here for the request? Jami (Wiki Ed) (talk) 23:15, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Ok, we figured out what happened. I have reviewed the instructor's draft and am in the process of making some adjustments before helping him move it to the extension. :) Jami (Wiki Ed) (talk) 23:43, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Request for course instructor right: Urbanature (talk)[edit]


Travis Longcore


University of Southern California

Course title and description

Arch 361L - Ecological Factors in Design. Two course assignments will involve writing and editing on Wikipedia. First is the creation of a new article/expansion of a stub by each student on a topic relevant to the course. For this assignment I will be following the sample syllabus provided in the instructor training. The second assignment will be development of an annotated list of software tools for use in the practice of geodesign, and either incorporated within or linked from that page. I do not have significant Wikipedia editing experience but plan to gain such in the process of working with the students on these projects. This inexperience will be obvious in that I missed this template for my first request and saved two version of my previous post.

Assignment plan

I will follow the sample syllabus and each student will contribute one new article or expanded stub and the whole class will build a list of software tools in geodesign. My purpose is three-fold: 1) improve understanding of research and citation practices, 2) enhance the learning environment by having assignments be visible to the real world, and 3) contribute topic-level expertise to Wikipedia in a way that informs the public and leads my students to deeper mastery of course material.

Number of students


Start and end dates

August 25-December 17, 2014

@OhanaUnited, Neelix, Ktr101, Pharos, Pongr: @Sleuthwood, Etlib, Biosthmors, Kayz911: @Jami (Wiki Ed), Rjensen, Bluerasberry, Kevin Gorman: --Urbanature (talk) 23:00, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Return to the Course pages module.

Request for course instructor right: User:Terrence Bryant[edit]


Terrence Bryant


East Carolina University.

Course title and description

Motivation 001 Bryant Undergraduate Studies/ School of Psychology

Number of students


Start and end dates


@OhanaUnited, Neelix, Ktr101, Pharos, Pongr: @Sleuthwood, Etlib, Biosthmors, Kayz911: @Jami (Wiki Ed), Rjensen, Bluerasberry, Kevin Gorman: --Terrence Bryant (talk) 01:57, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Just granted instructor rights to KatieBU[edit]

Some time ago, KatieBU put in a request for instructor rights on this page. At the time they weren't granted because, confusingly, someone was concerned that she was trying to conduct an unethical experiment on Wikipedians. I've spoken with Afamiglietti, the instructional designer she is working with off-wiki, and have reviewed the design of Katie's intended assignment. Although I made a number of comments/suggested improvements to it, I saw absolutely nothing wrong with the assignment's basic design, and would say that it was significantly better than the vast majority of initial assignment design attempts that I've seen. It certainly had nothing remotely unethical in it. As such, though I intend to monitor the class as it progresses, I have granted all userrights I saw as necessary to both Afamiglietti and KatieBU - and am rather thankful that they're sticking around after their initial reception.

I'd go ahead and take this as an opportunity to remind everyone that WP:BITE and WP:AGF apply to new instructors here just as much as they do anyone else. Kevin Gorman (talk) 00:00, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Kevin. By working with the instructors and keeping an eye on the class, you are doing exactly the right things to address any of the concerns that were raised by the other editor. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:31, 11 July 2014 (UTC)