Wikipedia:Education noticeboard/Incidents

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Purpose of this page Using this page

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.

Shortcuts:
  • 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)


Duplicate artile creation as "college project"[edit]

See Alice Stopford Green (Project). I've slapped a Merge template on it to merge to the existing Alice Stopford Green, and left the editor a note. The article was created in editor's sandbox but then moved to main space with the edit summary "Project for college". No indication of what college, or how many other students on the same course are doing the same sad waste of effort by creating duplicate articles (with lots of refs but no inline refs, no wikilinks ... basically a college essay dumped into the encyclopedia).

Oh dear, just checked out the image and found it's "Own work" - a nice sketch of someone who died in 1929. Hmmm. PamD 15:17, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Hi PamD. I'd say a prod is a good route here. It's not a good redirect candidate and it does look mostly duplicative. I'll look into it and try to find out which class the student is associated with (though from a quick glance it does not appear to be one of ours). Thanks for the note. Adam (Wiki Ed) (talk) 16:06, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I changed my mind about Merging, and PRODded instead, because with no inline references there would be no way to incorporate the material from this "(Project)" page. I wish tutors would teach their students how to edit, not just point them vaguely in the direction of the Encyclopedia. PamD 16:47, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Ecology postgrad course at Maine?[edit]

There seems to be a postgrad project at Maine - see Talk:Plant strategies. I've left a note there and added the "Educational assignment" template, and left a note at User talk:IceAgeDoc. PamD 08:11, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

@PamD: I previously went along and successfully CSD'd a student piece in the past and felt pretty bad about it, which is why I only tagged that article with the common "there's an issue but I can't be bothered to fix it" tags yesterday. It's on my watchlist, and hopefully they'll start working on it soon because, as you said, students don't get a free pass -- samtar whisper 08:22, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
@Samtar: After the tutor asked how best they should have gone about this, I moved it to Draft:Plant strategies which seemed useful - the students can now work on it together and discuss it on the draft's talk page. No idea whether this is the standard recommendation for similar projects but it felt like a good idea. PamD 15:12, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)@PamD and Samtar: Thanks for the heads up. I've forwarded the professor's information to my colleague, Helaine (Wiki Ed), who will be reaching out to talk about how Wiki Ed can help. It looks like she's involved with the assignment on-wiki, which is always a good thing, and as far as I can tell (though I haven't looked exhaustively), it seems limited to this article? Also pinging Ian (Wiki Ed). --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 15:13, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
@Samtar and Ryan (Wiki Ed): There are two other groups of students working on upgrading existing articles (total of 7 students in 3 groups) - see User talk:IceAgeDoc#Course?. The tutor is interacting both with me and with her students, but seems to be a brand new editor herself. PamD 15:17, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

"Workshopping" articles on the article talk pages[edit]

I'm not naming names as I'm not sure this rises to the level of "incident" so forgive me if this is the wrong place to post this, but it it typical to "workshop" educational assignment articles on article talk pages? By this I mean filling them up with walls of text that may include complete proposed rewrites of sections or whole articles. If there's a quick link to the guideline I'd appreciate it, I don't have time at the moment to look it up and wanted to register my alarm at this phenomenon here. I'm thinking a subpage or sandbox would be a better place for this sort of thing. Valfontis (talk) 18:49, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Is that really so bad? I think talk pages are terribly under-utilized for proposed rewrites, and I know I use them to stage things like that (albeit on a much smaller scale, usually lists of references rather than sections). If the students leave off without completing it, it's more easily discoverable than a subpage etc. Choess (talk) 01:05, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
I just think they're messy and hard to follow since newbies don't really understand section heading levels and the like. But if there's not guideline for this then it's as good a place as any, I suppose. I'll sit on my hands and tidy up after if need be. It might be an issue on more heavily trafficked pages, however, but I'm sure the people who usually watch those pages can intervene when needed. I guess I'm just being a bit territorial about people who don't understand How Things Work Around Here using "our" pages to do their homework. I'm sure I'll get over it since in the end hopefully it will enhance the project rather than detract from it. Valfontis (talk) 01:30, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
@Choess: @Valfontis: Perhaps it could be recommended that such drafts be collapsed, but kept on the same page, as a sort of compromise between the two. I understand your concerns, Valfontis: a balance needs to be struck between respecting the guidelines of Wikipedia and its openness to newcomers in a way that is neutrally beneficial. --Rubbish computer (HALP!: I dropped the bass?) 19:34, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
That's a good idea. I'm a bit tied up at the moment but if I run across any pages I deem "messy" I'll wait a decent interval and collapse them. Fall term is almost over here! Valfontis (talk) 19:59, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
I actually think this is a good thing, and certainly better than using a Sandbox (or even a subpage). One of the prime points of conflict with student assignments is when a student (usually very close to their deadline) simply dumps a mass of text into the article itself. It's often not at all clear where it's coming from, and not infrequently gets reverted, leading to hurt feelings all around.
If students use the talk pages to work things out, then regular editors at least know what's going on (or that something's going on). The fact that things may be messy is by the by; as long as things are useful for the students, then I think regular editors can mostly sit by and simply watch what's going on. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 20:40, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

Educator requiring some assistance[edit]

Hi all, just been alerted to an active {{Help me}} some of you may be interested in. Looks like an educator which needs to be introduced to some "Education folk". If you respond, could you please deactivate the help me template? Cheers Face-smile.svg -- samtar whisper 22:06, 26 December 2015 (UTC)

I've reached out to her, thanks for bringing this here! Eryk (Wiki Ed) (talk) 16:38, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
No worries, and thank you for picking it up :) -- samtar whisper 16:50, 28 December 2015 (UTC)

Student/admin editing own school page[edit]

Greetings: A recently joined user apparently works for or is a student at Arcata High School. They added a long and overdetailed list, I removed it and explained about reliable secondary sources. They added a long and uncited "history" of the school; I have been unable to verify this "history". The comments on the section restorations imply that I'm in error by removing uncited material, and despite my friendly suggestions, they seem to be on their own roll and not understanding about references. In the external references section has been added some link to an art center which has no apparent connection to the school. I am a bureaucrat and administrator on Commons and while I'm familiar with some of the en:wiki processes for situations like this, I am not an expert. Rather than edit-warring on this, I am coming to you for assistance. Ellin Beltz (talk) 15:25, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

class currently studying DC history/urban studies/sociology?[edit]

Perhaps there's a class studying the DC/Tacoma Park area (perhaps from Maryland? perhaps in urban studies or sociology?), since today I saw two brand new articles by two brand new editors on very closely related topics: Draft:Sammie Abdullah Abbott from User:Chocolate City student; a second article, Draft:Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis from User: Alessandragrossman that uses as primary reference a FORTHCOMING book called Chocolate City ("Chris Myers Asch with G. Derek Musgrove, Chocolate City: Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, forthcoming).") If there *is* a class, I'd encourage students to fill out their Talk page, and to link to a central page describing the class. If this *isn't* a class, then it's even more of a mystery...Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 06:02, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for flagging this, Jodi.a.schneider. I'll see what I can find. ---Eryk (Wiki Ed) (talk) 16:59, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, Eryk (Wiki Ed). It's now looking to me like an African-American history course, this seems to fit the general pattern: Draft:New Negro Alliance by User:McGara DeWan & Kaiya Adams. Content overall looks good but they may need some pointers (e.g. no shared accounts, ...)Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 03:20, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
And this one: Draft:Hobson v. Hansen by User:Dalshakh. Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 03:55, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
These articles cite the FORTHCOMING book Chocolate City: Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital. The two history professors who wrote the book teach at UMBC and University of the District of Columbia. My bet is that one/both of them would know more about this. George Derek Musgrove and Chris Meyer Asch Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 04:04, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
Hi Jodi.a.schneider, thanks for the information. They appear to be teaching two courses this term which might relate to this, though both were due to start on the 25th of January. Samantha (Wiki Ed) will reach out to him to see if these are his students. Adam (Wiki Ed) (talk) 16:34, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
Hi All, I've reached out to the instructor to offer our support for the student work if this is a classroom project. I'll keep you updated on what I hear back! Samantha (Wiki Ed) (talk) 18:10, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
Fantastic, thank you both!Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 20:40, 1 February 2016 (UTC)