Wikipedia:Ambassadors/Steering Committee/Campus Ambassador selection process

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IMPORTANT NOTE: The selection process detailed on this page only applies to the Wikipedia Campus Ambassador program in the United States.

Selection Process[edit]

The process for selecting Campus Ambassadors essentially has three "rounds": application review, Skype video screening, and in-person screening. Below is the more detailed step-by-step process and timeline. This process is completed by a Selection Group. Feel free to discuss on the talk page possibilities for the membership of the selection group, this is still an open question:

  1. Regional groups of Campus Ambassadors and Regionally available Online Ambassadors
    1. Advantages: Decentralizes the
  2. Members of the Steering Committee for regions not represented by current ambassadors
  3. Other suggestions? Go to the talk page

I. Application Review[edit]

1: Ask interested applicant to send in Campus Ambassador application to Selection Group

  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with a hard deadline of Friday December 3rd
  • (We need to set up an email account where people can send their applications)

2: Randomly assign two Selection Group members to review each application as it comes in
3: For each application, each of the two reviewers uses the Application Review Rubric to assign a score to the applicant. Determine the average of these two scores. Follow the instructions at the end of the rubric to determine whether the applicant makes it to the next round

  • This should be done within one week of being assigned the application.

4: For each application, the two reviewers briefly update the rest of the Steering Committee on the application's status
5: The Selection Group or Steering Committee chair sends out an email to the applicants who do not make it to the next round, informing them of this decision

II. Skype video Screening[edit]

1. One of the two Selection Group members who reviewed the application emails the applicant to schedule a time for the phone screening
2. The same Selection Group member conducts the phone screening with the applicant

  • Each phone screening takes about 30 minutes

3. The phone screener evaluates the applicant using the Skype Screening Rubric and assigns a score to the applicant. Follow the instructions at the end of the rubric to determine whether the applicant makes it to the next round

  • If possible, all this should be done within one week of completing the application review

4. The Selection Group or Steering Committee chair sends out an email to the applicants who do NOT make it to the next round, informing them of this decision

III. In-Person Screening, if possible[edit]

1. For each application, determine whether an in-person screening is possible (note: in-person screenings will not be feasible for certain applicants due to logistical reasons such distance and scheduling).

  • If it is NOT feasible, the applicant is considered selected as a Campus Ambassador
  • If it is feasible, go to Step 2

2. The Selection Group member who is most able to do the in-person screening emails the applicant to schedule an in-person meeting
3. The Selection Group member from Step 2 meets the applicant and makes a final call of whether or not to bring that person on board as a Campus Ambassador

  • There is no hard rubric for the in-person screening. The screener uses personal judgment to decide whether s/he thinks the applicant will be a good Campus Ambassador
  • If possible, all this should be done within two weeks of completing the phone screening

4. The Selection Group member reports his/her decision to the entire Steering Committee
5. The Selection Group or Steering Committee chair sends out an email to the applicants who do NOT make it past this round

IV. Notifying the Selected Applicants[edit]

  • The Selection Group or Steering Committee chair calls the just-selected Campus Ambassador to inform him/her of the news.

Selection Criteria[edit]


  • Convenient transportation access to university campus
  • Ability to devote approximately 3-5 hours a week to Campus Ambassador work
    • With variations throughout the semester
  • Ability to respond quickly to emails /phone calls from other people in the project
    • E.g. inquiries from professors, students, Wikimedia staff, Regional Ambassadors, other Campus Ambassadors, Online Ambassadors
  • Familiarity with the culture of academia
    • Ideally: at least 1 year of university experience (highly-qualified fresh[wo]men can be “Ambassadors-in-training”?)


Teaching Skills[edit]

For a campus ambassador, teaching skills are paramount in the ability to effectively communicate Wikipedia to classes. In addition, Campus Ambassadors who will be paired with Professors immediately after their training, must be prepared to communicate with the Professors with a thorough understanding of teaching techniques and be able to facilitate the creation and development of Wikipedia assignments. Proof of this experience increases the likelihood that the Ambassador can creatively and effectively respond to concerns and interests of the professor, whose primary concerns will be the instruction of students. The following are examples of items that may demonstrate teaching skills and experience:

  • Passion for teaching/mentoring others
  • Comfort and experience speaking in front of crowds
  • At least half a year of teaching experience
    • Examples: serving as TA for a class, tutoring, running workshops
    • Preference given to people who have experience teaching groups rather than individuals (e.g. being a TA for a class vs. tutoring one person)
  • Ability to explain complicated processes in an easily digestible way
  • Ability to communicate in a clear and concise manner, both in person and online
  • Ability to adjust lesson plans and lesson content depending on the learner’s skill level
    • E.g. ability to determine what information to convey and what information not to convey depending on the learner’s skill level
  • Big plus: proof of excellence in teaching (rather than just teaching experience)
    • Examples: teaching award, feedback from supervisors or students, “my professor chose me to be a TA for a second term because she liked how I performed in the first term”
  • Big plus: experience teaching about how to use technology

HOW TO EVALUATE: Ask applicants to give practice lesson for 5-10 minutes

  • In-person if possible, but over (video) Skype screening if not

Leadership Capacities[edit]

In addition to teaching skills, Campus Ambassadors should also be able to demonstrate leadership abilities. Because of the importance of building a sustainable Campus Ambassador program and the importance of expanding it to major universities, Ambassadors are increasingly going to be expected to reach out to professors and students at their university and universities within their region. Previous leadership experience suggests that the individual has experience in organizing and communicating effectively with large groups of individuals with diverse interests and motivations. Especially for Ambassadors at Universities where cooperating professors have not been identified, the ability to reach out to and coordinate community efforts is absolutely necessary. Also the increased role in Ambassadors in creating campus student organizations, requires a familiarity with organizing and communicating with the general student body. These clubs have the potential to provide training grounds for future Ambassadors and additional infrastructure to support students and faculty participating in Wikipedia assignments.

  • Experience being in leadership positions
  • Demonstrated leadership accomplishments
  • Campus outreach capacities
    • Familiarity with how/where to publicize events and opportunities on campus
    • Experience organizing events and/or starting organizations
    • Big plus: close relationships with professors and/or staff on campus
    • Plus: familiarity with how to start student clubs on campus
  • Plus: leadership awards, participation in leadership programs (e.g. Boy/Girl Scouts)
  • Plus: remaining length of stay on campus

Technological Competency[edit]

The increased importance of web and new media in organizing student populations and the need for ambassadors to be able to digitally communicate with Campus and Online ambassadors throughout the world requires at least moderate proficiency in digital media and technical communication as well as a familiarity with social media and digital communication tools. Also the need for a campus ambassador to provide in person support for professors and students editing Wikipedia requires at least some familiarity with markup and programming languages in order to effectively communicate Wikipedia's own unique markup to them, and to provide basic troubleshooting.

  • Extensive experience with social media (e.g. Facebook, blogs, Twitter)
  • Some experience with web markup languages
    • Examples: using HTML/CSS, working with websites, setting up wikis
  • Ease with both voice communication tools (e.g. phone, Skype, in person) and online communication tools (e.g. email, mailing list, online chat)
  • BIG plus: experience editing Wikipedia

Character Traits[edit]

Because Ambassadors will often be the first interaction University communities will have with the Wikipedia community, approachability, friendliness and patience are musts for Campus Ambassadors in order to represent Wikipedia and it's community in the best possible light. Also the continued exposure to various levels of experience with Wikipedia and online content development, will require patience and willingness to change approaches when working with students and professors.

  • Friendliness and approachability, both in person and online
  • Patience with people of varying levels of technical skillfulness
  • Willingness to listen to and take in feedback
  • Ability to communicate in a clear and concise manner, both in person and online
  • Ability to relate to, communicate with, and motivate beginners

Belief in Wikipedia's Philosophy[edit]

Because of the demand of volunteer time from the Campus Ambassador, a sustained interest in Wikipedia will increase the enthusiasm and effectiveness of Campus Ambassador activities. Though this need not be their primary motivation for participating in the Ambassador program - for example, they may be motivated by the opportunity to influence teaching and learning on campus - interest in Wikipedia and Free Culture ideas should be present.

  • Frequent usage of Wikipedia
  • Interest in maintenance and improvement of open, public knowledge base
  • Ability to recognize how Wikipedia differs from traditional encyclopedias


Campus Ambassador Application

Selection Rubric[edit]

Application Review Rubric

Skype Screening Rubric