Wikipedia talk:Student assignments

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Guidance on selecting a topic or article to improve[edit]

See User talk:Kira2525#November 2016 and particularly my post at the (current) end of the conversation.

Students attempting to edit already well developed articles, or writing drafts on topics that are already well covered by one or more existing articles, often experience resistance, with their edits being reverted or otherwise rejected. This is simply because improving such articles is quite difficult, often beyond the competence of many undergrad students. So I think we should have a guideline somewhere that cautions students (and teachers) to select topics that are not already well covered - it's much easier to improve a Stub than a B-class article, the latter would be almost impossible for a first or second year student on their first exposure to WP. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 09:24, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

That's a good idea, thanks. I'll put some thought into it. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:27, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for the hook up!✋ Angelina k (talk) 05:11, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

This is important, and an on-going issue. Instructors or students select a significant topic topic they're interested in, but adding to an extensively developed article runs into problems of repetition, balance and coordination that new editors often find difficult, giving the students an unpleasant experience and creating largely fruitless cleanup work for established editors. The ideal target is a tiny article on an important topic that is not already covered elsewhere. Wikipedia is full of such articles, once you look. Then even if the contributions have the usual student flaws, they may provide raw material for further improvement. Kanguole 13:22, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for the reminder. Yes, it certainly is an on-going problem. I just expanded the "Choosing a topic" section to explain how stubs are better choices to edit than are more advanced pages, and also warning classes away from Discretionary Sanctions. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:55, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Big changes of May 11, 2017[edit]

Many significant changes were made on May 11, 2017 without any discussion. Let's discuss first. The removal of all material related to "ambassadors" is quite significant. Let's hear some background on why this is "outdated".

Also, the presumption that an assignment didn't go as planned should not immediately cast blame on the instructor giving the course or students as being "disruptive". Editors who encounter students may react badly to WP:RS and expertise that contradicts their convictions and/or challenges their ownership of article(s) and content, or threatens their entrenched POV. After all, we are well aware that editors do come to wikipedia with both declared or undeclared WP:COI, create sockpuppets and do many unacceptable things to promote a COI agenda. That students and instructors coming in good faith might not be prepared for the incivility and biting of established Wikipedians, who might not afford these new editors the courtesy and assumption of good faith or who are violating policy themselves should not be blamed on the instructor and students, when they are not the cause of the drama. --David Tornheim (talk) 03:52, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

Ambassadors[edit]

With respect to ambassadors, as far as I am awares these no longer exist as an entity. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:56, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
The WEF disowned ambassadors years ago but I was told that the community can still use ambassadors, as WEF does not hold the monopoly on Wikipedia's engagement with educational institutions. Use of the ep-campus flag and the in-classroom tutelage would not be coordinated with the WEF's parallel efforts so that probably should be deconflicted someday. Chris Troutman (talk) 22:06, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Agree, but I am not aware of the community supporting ambassadors in an official capacity either? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:49, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Wiki Ed stopped managing the Ambassador programs, and stopped assigning them to classes. The program does still exist, and in fact we continue to work with ambassadors who volunteer to work with classes/instructors (the more people helping, the better) -- we just don't make those connections anymore. It basically comes down to an organizational need to be able to ensure consistency in the support we provide -- that instructors and students in hundreds of classes know what support they can expect, when they can expect it, and for that to be delivered every time (more or less). That kind of thing would be entirely inappropriate (not to mention unrealistic) to expect of volunteers, but is perfectly normal to expect of paid staff. So paid staff are assigned to classes instead.
It's true the Ambassadors program has been largely inactive on enwiki, but there are still ambassadors, additional people have become ambassadors, and they're still certainly relevant to any Education Program activity outside the US and Canada (not to mention other Wikipedias). Part of the reason people regard it as inactive is that there are few applications and most (but not all) wind up languishing on ENB with no support for a long period of time, until an admin (almost always Xaosflux, by my memory) comes by to close them out (usually "not done" due to lack of support).
Tryptofish, this is why I've demurred a bit when you've invited me to edit the page. I'm happy to answer questions on the talk page, but I see the purpose of this page as presenting information and advice about student assignments from the perspective of the Wikipedia community rather than from the perspective of Wiki Ed or the Education Program. Though there's obviously a lot of overlap, the community is more than Wiki Ed or the US and Canada Education Program, and it's more than the Education Program. So as I see it it would be inappropriate for me/us to make nonminor edits.
It's worth bringing up that a few of us have tried, a few times now, to revive Online Ambassadors with a different scope (basically, "a Wikipedian who helps out, remotely or in-person, with offline Wikipedia events"). See here: User:Tokyogirl79/Wikipedia:WikiProject Online Ambassadors. I was/am involved (in a volunteer capacity). "Was/am" because that initiative, too, has gone inactive (a couple times), but I would be happy if someone took interest and pushed it forward. --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 23:21, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Thank you, Ryan, for those comments. Editors may not be aware that Ryan and I have had discussions about this page at my user talk. The edits that I made were largely designed to address the fact that Ryan told me that the page had become out of date, as indeed it had. Many of the changes were intended to draw attention to working with WikiEd and making use of the Dashboard system, as opposed to simply creating a class page de novo. And what Ryan said here about ambassadors is correct. As several editors in this discussion have pointed out, although there still are some ambassadors, the program is largely inactive and historical. In fact, if one looks at the previously linked-to pages about ambassadors, most of them are now marked as inactive. If editors would like to restore the advice to ambassadors, I'm open to discussing that, but since most remaining ambassadors are now well-experienced, and extremely few if any new ones are being appointed, I'm no longer seeing the need to provide advice to them. And I oppose telling students that they can ask their ambassador for advice, because they usually won't be able to find one. Instead, I changed it to the WikiEd liaison for the class, because every class set up via the Education Program now has one, and they are very helpful people for students as well as instructors to get advice from. I really do not think that any of my edits would be controversial. If anyone would like to question anything specific about those edits, that's fine. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:45, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
One thing regarding the above: Instead, I changed it to the WikiEd liaison for the class, because every class set up via the Education Program now has one - Wiki Ed is the Education Program at institutions in the US and Canada. WMF still runs the Global Education Program, which covers institutions everywhere else. The vast majority of classes on enwiki are in US/CA (off-hand, I'd estimate 90-95% of Education Program participants), but not all of them. In other words, it's not quite every class set up via the Education Program that has Wiki Ed staff working with them. That said, anyone can use the training materials. Most are on Commons, and the Programs and Events Dashboard is a version of the Dashboard software Wiki Ed developed, forked with the express purpose of anybody being able to use it. --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 02:49, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
I have read through the above discussion.
(1) Ambassador program: It appears to me that the Ambassador program continues to exist but is not as prominent as it once was, and there can be no guarantee that an ambassador will be assigned to any class, but there is a guarantee that a Wiki-Ed rep. will be assigned to the class. I suggest we change the language accordingly rather than delete everything about Ambassadors.
(2) and (3) are now in the #resolution section.
Let's work collaboratively rather than unilaterally to make improvements to the page. I suggest we discuss one proposed bold revision at a time, probably in new sections or subsections. --David Tornheim (talk) 04:41, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
but there is a guarantee that a Wiki-Ed rep. will be assigned to the class - As I mentioned in my comment just above (perhaps not phrased clearly), this is not quite accurate. While anyone is free to use the various Wiki Ed training materials and the Programs and Events Dashboard, Wiki Ed (which in this case means Wiki Ed staff) only supports the Education Program at institutions in the United States and Canada (which is the majority of classes, but not all of them). --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 21:00, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
I've been thinking about Ryan's explanation about the US and Canada, versus the 5–10% of classes in the WMF Ed Program that come from other English-speaking countries (and thus have access to the Dashboard and all the training materials, but do not get a WikiEd person assigned to them). I'm pretty sure that my edits (principally Edit 8 and Edit 9) are consistent with that, but I also am quite agreeable to adding another sentence, explaining the geographic differences. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:39, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
  • There has been no ambassador program since 2014 I was part of the original ambassador program which started in 2011. I have run instances of the wiki education program since. I do not have any particular authority, but I have been watching the organization of wiki community tools and services which anyone can use, and I might be able to share information quickly to save anyone reading and research.
I appreciate that people want to save the ambassador program but it always had major flaws, it never was viable, and it has been almost totally dead since 2013. I proposed to formally shut down the old program several times, with the last time on wiki being in August 2016. I think that what was discussed then could guide what is being discussed now, and also that discussion links to earlier relevant discussions. If anyone has questions and wants to talk, then they can email me for phone / Skype / Google Hangouts chat and I can answer any questions. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:12, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
@Blue Rasberry: Thank you for this information. --David Tornheim (talk) 20:19, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
I read through that entire discussion there. It appears the program is more in limbo than totally dead, where some ambassadors still exist and have special privileges and one or more commented there. (I had actually seen that discussion before which is one of the reasons I did not think it correct to delete all mention of ambassadors) Are you an employee of WMF acting here (and it that discussion), or speaking as an editor? I can see you have much involvement with the Ambassador program. How did the "Ambassador program" get created? Does it have a constitution, is it run by WMF, is it run by consensus, is it a collection of editors who decided to make it, etc.? If you would like to answer those questions in a separate forum dedicated to the Ambassador program, or point me to a FAQ that explains it, I will be happy to look. Also, who was deciding to grant or not grant the various Ambassador privileges? I note that people appeared to have applied and shown interest but apparently, their applications have languished, because the program is in limbo. --David Tornheim (talk) 21:04, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
@David Tornheim: I can answer any questions you have here. No, the answers to these questions cannot be easily found anywhere written.
"It appears the program is more in limbo than totally dead" - The program never got out of its limbo pilot phase. It went from limbo to dead without ever finding life.
"some ambassadors still exist and have special privileges" - The primary function of the program was to grant access to use the mw:Extension:Education Program installation on English Wikipedia. That ceased development in 2013, and no one should use that now. Yes, I still have that user right and it has some other odd privileges.
"Are you an employee of WMF" - No, I have never worked for the WMF. So far as I know, no WMF employee has commented on the education program in English Wikipedia since 2014 or earlier.
"How did the "Ambassador program" get created" - it was the convergence of several programs in 2011-12, each of which have their own history. Wikipedia:WikiProject United States Public Policy is most prominent for piloting the concept.
"Does it have a constitution," - No, it never did
"is it run by WMF" - No, it never was, although the program depended on WMF staff support
"is it run by consensus" - yes
"is it a collection of editors who decided to make it, etc.?" - No, the WMF established it then turned it over to wiki community control without designating any leadership or chain of command
"who was deciding to grant or not grant the various Ambassador privileges" - Only these "course coordinators" are supposed to do that. I am one of those.
"program is in limbo" - It is quite dead. Perhaps ask whatever questions you need to ask to determine how much life there is here.
Other questions? Blue Rasberry (talk) 21:38, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the complete and concise answers. I spent the last hour reading from those materials you posted and started drafting more questions and thoughts, but I think I can simplify the questions from more reading, so I'll post later. I think I will shift back to reviewing each of Tryptofish's edits for the time being. --David Tornheim (talk) 00:51, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: I'm back. One of my big areas of confusion here is that it appears there is not a single "program" for Ambassadors, but quite a few different ones. I found a dizzingy array of various lists/"programs":
Q1. Are you saying that ALL of these lists and "programs" are dead? Or just a specific program related to Education?
Q2. Also, if the Ambassadors of a list are inactive, from what I read it seemed a lot of the problem had more to do with placement issues, even though editors seemed to be interested. Shouldn't we be trying harder to help those who are interested get more involved rather than turn them away?
Q3. If other lists are indeed active, shouldn't we be working with them?
Q4. In one place you say, it was the convergence of several programs in 2011-12, each of which have their own history. Wikipedia:WikiProject United States Public Policy is most prominent for piloting the concept. This makes it sound like Wikipedians created it. Later you say the WMF established it then turned it over to wiki community control without designating any leadership or chain of command. Can you explain?
Q5. When you said that the WMF established it, can you point me to the documentation and communication from/to WMF about what they created? And also to further communication/documentation about how it was going, how much money was dedicated to it, etc., whether they were withdrawing funding, renewing it, etc.?
Q6. I do understand Wiki Ed is funded by WMF, and I have the feeling there is a chain of command there. Is there documentation for that? Was Wiki Ed an official replacement or was it a supplement to an already existing program? Where did WMF communicate about the relationship of Wiki Ed to the previous program it had created?
Q7. How did you become a Course Coordinator? Does that have the same meaning or a different meaning than an "Ambassador"?
--David Tornheim (talk) 22:42, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
Shoot. I see the signpost article posted by Chris troutman will help answering some of these questions. I also noticed that some of the pages that I thought were active, like Campus and Online Ambassadors say they are defunct to. (I typically ignore hatnotes! Bad habit.) --David Tornheim (talk) 22:55, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
@David Tornheim:
Q1 - Yes. Here are some definitions of dead - 0 people being served, 0 people presenting a service, 0 people benefiting.
Q2 - No, we should turn people away. Imagine that there was a storefront, and it closed 3 years ago, but Yelp or Google or whatever says it is open. The store is empty, it has no employees, its doors are locked. Some people waste their their time traveling there. I understand they want service but no one benefits by sending people to a dead end. All pointers sending new searchers to the dead end should be removed. Optionally, and totally unrelated, someone can respond to the interest by setting up a new shop elsewhere. The situation would be much clearer for people seeking if they could be told the truth about what actually exists.
Q3 - If they did, then yes, but they do not, so no. Start by determining what actually exists first then match the documentation to reality, rather than expecting reality to match the documentation.
Q4 - the public access project was WMF-funded and ceased to exist when staff funding for the project ceased
Q5 - No, but I can tell you that this documentation probably does not exist, and if it exists, probably is not publicly available
Q6 - Mostly incorrect. I think Wiki Ed might have had less than 5% of its budget from the WMF since it was established. That is just a guess but whatever the case, Wiki Ed is quite independent even if it did get some funding.
Q7 - I think the only correct way by the original plan would be for me to designate someone. I am the only one left active in the education program. This is different from ambassador.
Please ask more questions. I appreciate your interest about all these things and I do need support from you or someone like you. At the same time, I think your questions are way off the mark. Have the experience you want, but in general, 5 hours of on-wiki research brings about the same understanding as a 10-minute phone conversation, and I could tell you whatever you wanted to know by voice chat if you liked. The documentation is misleading because it is wrong. I do want a support program to exist but I do not think there will be anything other than confused conversation until at least a few people agree to remove the old bad documentation. Blue Rasberry (talk) 02:22, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Bluerasberry: Thanks again for your answers to the questions. I read them yesterday and am still contemplating how to respond. I honestly don't understand how your answer to question to Q1 above could be correct. I feel equally puzzled by the answer to Q2. What I have read seems to suggest editors really want to help and be involved in the Ambassador program and helping with these education programs and nearly everyone who showed interest at WP:ENB was rejected and turned away instead and not even thanked for showing their interest. I'm not really sure what it has to do with an empty store front. To me supporting students and instructors in an organized way is positive and completely doable, no matter what banner you put it under. Even if some particular program funded by WMF has disbanded a new one with similar goals can easily be recreated with the same editors encouraged to participate and new editors solicited and supported. --David Tornheim (talk) 03:10, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

David Tornheim You are presenting some blame directed at some group of people when you say "was rejected and turned away instead" "not even thanked". You are expecting that someone was a power broker doing the rejecting, and that someone had a high position and could give better thanks than a typical Wikipedian. I think that blame should go to an empty store front, because the origin of that offense is the expectation that customer service should be coming out of an empty store closed years ago. The expectations which form the basis for blame are highly mismatched as compared to what was ever offered or existed.
I expect that you are puzzled. I am aware that my answers, while technically correct, cannot possibly possibly be giving you any insight except hopefully to indicate that you are entering this conversation with many expectations which do not match reality. What is confusing in text or on wiki is not at all puzzling in voice to voice conversation, so I will again offer to talk by voice. I just emailed you.
To continue the conversation here, I could ask what kind of power brokers you think either exist now, or used to exist, or which ought to be established. I know that many people are tempted by the idea of setting up authorities to run a program. Personally, I do not think that can work and want a different model, but I would talk through whatever you have in mind either in terms of what has been tried, is being tried, or can be tried in the future. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:13, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

Questions to be resolved[edit]

  • It seems to me at this point that there are two significant questions to be resolved here. First, do those ambassadors who still exist need advice from this information page, or are they already aware of what they need to know? Second, should we encourage students to seek advice from an ambassador, or should we conclude that most students will be unable to find an ambassador if they look for one? My individual take is that it is the latter, for both questions (and I think the Signpost article and accompanying discussion support that view). I realize that there are also broader issues about the ambassador program(s), but those should be discussed at WP:ENB or WT:ENB, because we cannot really make decisions about that here. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:25, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
I do agree that these are two pertinent questions, but there is more to it:
  • 1. Good Advice: The advice given to Ambassadors is good advice, and I believe we should keep it regardless of whether Ambassadors continue to exist or not. Even if Ambassadors no longer exist in any capacity whatsoever--something I am not yet convinced of--I suggest we keep the good advice to the Ambassadors and change the audience that section is addressed to. The section could be addressed instead to "Helper", "Class volunteer", "Aide", or some other name.
  • 2. If the Ambassador program is languishing, why? There obviously has been and continues to be interest (with approximately 30 applications in the last year). What can be done to support, encourage and facilitate editors who obviously want to connect and engage positively and constructively with instructors and students? It seems to me that nearly all the editors who wanted to help and took the trouble to file an application showing their interest have been rejected, turned away, and their interest in helping was completely ignored. I don't think we should be discouraging people who want to contribute.
Deleting the material addressed to editors who want to help is a step in the wrong direction. It has the effect of presuming we are not capable of organizing editors who support instructors and students. I simply don't believe that.
  • 3. The stakeholders are not here. Why are the Ambassadors or former Ambassadors not part of this discussion? They should be included.
  • 4. Because there is no guarantee of an Ambassador assignment or availability for all classes, but a possibility, the language could easily be revised to indicate that, e.g. "Ambassador (if available)."
(@Chris troutman: I'm especially curious about your opinion, considering your article in the Signpost.)
--David Tornheim (talk) 02:35, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
The reason that I want to focus this discussion is that I do not want to have the discussion give way to filibuster and keep going on long after most editors regard the issues as resolved – and also, because there is nothing to be accomplished by trying to decide things at this information page that cannot be decided here because the discussion belongs at WP:ENB or WT:ENB.
  1. I have no objection to moving a select amount of "good advice" into the advice for editors section.
  2. That cannot be decided here. Please take it to ENB, but please do not use it as an excuse to hold things up here.
  3. In fact, some of the still-active editors from that group have already commented. There is certainly nobody here creating obstacles to participation in the discussion.
  4. I've already said that I'm friendly to doing that.
--Tryptofish (talk) 16:14, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I talked to Bluerasberry and I think I understand the issue. I am not going to try to explain it in full, but propose an alternative language that perhaps we will find acceptable. It is my impression that the Ambassador program was a good idea but it needed WMF support to work and didn't get enough, and without that support, it would be better not to approve anyone in the official capacity as an "Ambassador". To this I believe I mostly agree that continued referral to the program that does not exist as was initially planned would be misleading to to instructors, students and editors who want to be come Ambassadors.
My suggest is to rework that discussion and remove all reference to the Ambassador program itself, but rename the section that can be saved for volunteers who specifically come and want to help classes. I will make proposed changes below. --David Tornheim (talk) 22:31, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
One could argue that there is an unclear line between editors who offer to be volunteers as you describe, and editors who just edit the same pages that students are editing and who want to do something helpful. In that regard, I think it might be better not to have a separate section about volunteers, but instead add a paragraph to the "editors" section, along the lines of: "You might also choose to volunteer to work with the class throughout the assignment period. In that case, please... ". --Tryptofish (talk) 22:44, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
I would like to see a list of people who choose to be on a volunteer list. People who found their way to the Ambassador program and applied should be welcomed to join that list. All pages about Ambassadors would indicate that this is a possible alternative for them.
I think we need to distinguish between editors who encounter students and are annoyed (who might think students and instructors have come in bad faith, are messing up Wikipedia, don't care about our rules, are not a positive contribution, etc.) from editors who believe students and classes are a net positive and who want to positively engage and support the instructors and students to create positive outcomes. It is my belief far too many editors see students and instructors in a negative light and a threat and would prefer they be given a COI designation, chased off, prevented or dissuaded from posting articles in user space, prevented or dissuaded from editing articles in userspace, etc. Those who do not see students and instructors in such a negative lights and want to be supportive should be addressed differently than editors who incessantly insist on rigid following of rules and try to get them punished, dragged to noticeboards with various allegations and warnings, or chased off. (Comments, Bluerasberry?) --David Tornheim (talk) 23:18, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
@Chris troutman: ping also and wonder what you think. --David Tornheim (talk) 23:22, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
Also, my proposed revisions are done. Feel free to comment on them. --David Tornheim (talk) 23:18, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
Why would there be such a list? --Tryptofish (talk) 23:20, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
To help the students and instructors and Wiki Ed, as I explained above just now. They will know who has offered to help and would know who to contact to ask for help. --David Tornheim (talk) 23:25, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
I understand that. What I meant was why would there be a page or part of a page on Wikipedia on which all such editors would be listed. I would think that such editors would just do it, but not list themselves somewhere. Also, I think it's important to point out that editors who want to help, and editors who have been annoyed, are not mutually exclusive groups. Any time spent watching ENB and ENI will show that there is a lot of overlap. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:30, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
For the same reasons the Ambassadors have had pages and lists--so that those that want their help know where to find them, and so that those who want to help are notified of activities they can help with. --David Tornheim (talk) 23:42, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Pinging Ambassadors[edit]

To increase increase participation, I am pinging some of the people who are on the Ambassador lists, especially those that show an interest in helping newcomers or students and/or have a diverse set of interests.

@Blurpeace, Piotrus, Bejinhan, Ktlynch, Neelix, DGG, and PeterSymonds:
@Mike Christie, MikeLynch, Ssilvers, Elekhh, and Yunshui:
You are all on the OnLine Ambassador list. Do you have any thoughts about the proposed changes WP:Student assignments related to Ambassadors? --David Tornheim (talk) 23:14, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
@Frankcjones, Orangemike, Antony-22, Sadads, Koavf, Kithira, and Nikkimaria: (Bluerasberry already pinged)
You are all on the Campus Ambassador list and have been active on Wikipedia in the last month. Do you have any thoughts about the proposed changes WP:Student assignments related to Ambassadors? --David Tornheim (talk) 23:29, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
@David Tornheim: I don't mean to be obtuse but do you have a three-sentence summary? For what it's worth, I haven't actively done any ambassadoring for awhile but I do make myself available whenever I see the opportunity. Even when I've done it on campus, virtually no one ever takes advantage of it. ―Justin (koavf)TCM 23:37, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Koavf Thanks for responding. Totally understandable! I have been thinking about the problem of how overwhelming this entire discussion would be!
My simple summary: Some major changes to the page were proposed, including deleting the entire section Wikipedia:Student_assignments#Advice_for_ambassadors, which I opposed. Bluerasberry argues that the Ambassador program is defunct (which appears to correct) and suggests all mention of it be removed. I have suggested (in the section immediately below) changing the Ambassador section title to address "volunteers" (or aides) and maintain a list of people (like yourself) who want to help students. --David Tornheim (talk) 00:06, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
@David Tornheim: Thanks. I appreciate you spelling it out but I'm not sure that I have more to say other than in any reasonable sense, the ambassador program is defunct or at least dormant. I actually traveled for training in it years ago--I can't imagine that happening now. ―Justin (koavf)TCM 00:16, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
I've been pinged. If there are no longer any "ambassadors" (or equivalent), why not delete the section and just add anything that you think is generally applicable to the "advice to editors" section? FWIW, my experience was that the ambassador program was just a lot of work for the ambassadors, who largely had to (eventually) completely rewrite the student contributions. The instructors generally were not interested in being Wikipedians or really encouraging the students to be wikipedians, except with respect to the particular article that they were assigned to edit. 80-90% of the students never learned to add reliable sources to their contributions despite what I would call heroic efforts to teach them. All in all, it was a mega-waste of my time. -- Ssilvers (talk) 01:24, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
@David Tornheim: I had a great experience using the materials in Wikipedia:Student_assignments with my students. I was interested in the ambassador program, but it added nothing to my experience (or my students'), and I wouldn't miss it next time I use wikipedia in my teaching. I had a little direct support from Wiki Education Foundation staff, which was excellent and made a big difference to my experience. I hope that everyone using wikipedia in their teaching could benefit from the Wiki Education Foundation staff as I have. Comtebenoit (talk) 05:28, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

DT's Proposed changes to Ambassador Language[edit]

Note: Items in square brackets and footnotes are commentary on proposed changes.

Advice for ambassadors volunteers[1]

     For a list of current regional ambassadors, see here.

You represent give a face to the editing community.[2] Please help your instructors and students to understand Wikipedia in a welcoming manner, so that student experiences are enjoyable and their contributions improve the encyclopedia. Please establish a good working relationships with the instructors and students you engage with. (perhaps by collaborating on the course page) so that you can help improve the assignment (even if only for future semesters), and make sure that it does not contradict Wikipedia's norms. Attempt to incorporate the requirement that students thoughtfully review each other's work on article talk pages, with enough time left in the course for students to address the comments.[3]

Your help with plagiarism issues is welcomed. Early in the process, If you choose to help with plagiarism, try to dDiscuss with the instructor how you will notify them if plagiarism occurs or has likely occurred. You might also decide to give advice to students on article talk pages (or in peer reviews) to incorporate your suggestions into the assignment.

Although we all hope things will go smoothly, there is the chance that problems with copyright violations or student unresponsiveness to concerns will develop. Talk with the instructor about what possibilities exist if a student's contribution receives a poor reception., including grading the assignment from a sandbox.[4] If non-student editors contact you with concerns about the class's editing, please try to help and respond as quickly as you canbe prepared to respond promptly, and please take those concerns seriously. Help editors, in turn, understand the class. Please facilitate the advice given in, and the general spirit of, this information page. Award the barnstar mentioned above if it is deserved.[5] Thank you for volunteering to serve as a liaison between Wikipedia and a classroom!

As a volunteer, it is worth putting careful consideration into whether or not you would like to work with a particular class. It may be a good idea to come up with a mutual agreement between the instructor and yourself that deals with such issues as what actions the instructor will take if plagiarism or other problems are uncovered.

  1. ^ volunteer, aide or some other designation are editors who self-identify as wanting to help classes in general and want to make their availability to help known and would like help in finding appropriate classes by others like Bluerasberry and Wiki Ed who know where help might be needed.
  2. ^ Volunteers would not "represent" the community. But everyone who communicates with instructor and classes do create PR, so I think something should be said to indicate that. Not sure the best language.
  3. ^ I think this oversteps the bounds of volunteers and should be the work of Wiki Ed. We could put in language about helping with course a syllabus if such advice is welcome.
  4. ^ I don't think volunteer editors should be telling instructors how to grade their students.
  5. ^ I don't know if that should stay or not. I'm not familiar with the barnstar

--END--

  • I would much rather add some language along these lines to the "editors" section, as I explained above, and I'm not seeing the need for a separate section for editors who "volunteer" as opposed to other editors. I'd like to see if any other editors support this proposed section. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:48, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
It's not a proposed new section. The section is already there. I am just proposing to change the name of those being addressed--those who have specifically offered that they want to work with and support instructors and students (which was the role of the Ambassadors)--as volunteers (or aides or some other name) rather than Ambassadors which refers to funding that has been eliminated. --David Tornheim (talk) 01:18, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
I very clearly said "separate section", not "new section". --Tryptofish (talk) 18:46, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
You said I'd like to see if any other editors support this proposed section. It's not a proposed section. It's already there. You are are seeking to change the language of the exiting section that is already there. This section is important because it distinguishes advice to editors who have volunteered specifically to help students from ordinary editors who might show up here because they are annoyed with the students and the instructor. It would be nice to assume that all editors want to help students, but from what I have seen that is not the case. --David Tornheim (talk) 22:33, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

David Tornheim's conerns[edit]

I have read through the above discussion.
(1) Ambassador program: It appears to me that the Ambassador program continues to exist but is not as prominent as it once was, and there can be no guarantee that an ambassador will be assigned to any class, but there is a guarantee that a Wiki-Ed rep. will be assigned to the class. I suggest we change the language accordingly rather than delete everything about Ambassadors.
(2) Civility: I am very much opposed to the removal of this text: You represent the editing community. Please help your students understand Wikipedia in a welcoming manner, so that student experiences are enjoyable and their contributions improve the encyclopedia. Please establish a good working relationship with the instructor (perhaps by collaborating on the course page) so that you can help improve the assignment (even if only for future semesters) Civility is one of the five pillars and we should remind editors to treat students this way rather than the open hostility that I have seen.
(3) Misc. there are a number of other changes, including what I mentioned above that have not been addressed regarding Tryptofish's BOLD changes.
Let's work collaboratively rather than unilaterally to make improvements to the page. I suggest we discuss one proposed bold revision at a time, probably in new sections or subsections. --David Tornheim (talk) 04:41, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Discussing the changes individually is fine with me, and I'll be happy to set up that subsection right after making this comment. But you are framing the issue in a misleading manner by labeling it as being about civility. It's not like I removed the advice to treat students and instructors civilly. I did indeed remove the ambassador section, and what you quoted here was part of that section. It was advice to ambassadors, not to editors. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:34, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

@Tryptofish: Please do not try to edit war in your prefer version and follow WP:BRD. I do understand you made numerous edits and may not want to lose all that work. I certainly don't oppose every single one of the individual edits. In the future, if you are going to make such sweeping changes, please considering discussing your WP:BOLD changes first. If you want me to, I can try to add back changes I agree with. Also, we are probably not as far off as you might think. This is not black/white. We are supposed to collaborate not impose our new versions on others. --David Tornheim (talk) 04:18, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

@Ryan (Wiki Ed): It would have been better if you discussed potential changes to this page on this page rather than your talk page. Then we would have a record of the discussion where it belongs. Can you and Tryptofish copy that section over here and provide a permalink to what is relevant?

When you say, this is why I've demurred a bit when you've invited me to edit the page. I do understand your concern, but I do think you should speak fully at the talk page as a representative of Wiki Ed, when you are speaking in that capacity. I also hope you do not mean by "demurred" that you were "deferring" to Tryptofish's judgment. Although Tryptofish has worked for some time on these pages, he is not more equal that other editors. Deferring to the community I understand, but Tryptofish is only one member and does not represent the entire community. This must be a collaborative work per Wiki rules. I probably would have been working here long ago if I was aware of the program, as I have a background in education and feel these courses are a huge benefit to Wikipedia. I do intend to be more active with regard to Wiki Ed. --David Tornheim (talk) 04:31, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

@David Tornheim: It would have been better if you discussed potential changes to this page on this page rather than your talk page I wasn't referring to any particular proposed change(s). Sometimes this page comes up on ENB or one of the other venues where Education Program-related matters come up. The most recent instance, if I recall correctly, was simply concerning linking to this page in general -- Tryptofish suggested including a link to this page in another student editing resource, and I left a message saying this page has a few things out of date, and asking whether there are things covered here that should also be covered in other student editing resources. He invited me to edit the page, and I demurred (in the sense of being reluctant). You didn't miss out on anything particularly substantial. :) That said, Tryptofish (along with, for a while, Biosthmors) has been the driving force behind this page, so I have typically closely associated them with it. Tryptofish is also one of a very small number of people consistently engaged with the Education Program for many years, and I've come to value his opinion, which I find is typically reflective of a large swath of the community. But you are entirely right that this page, being in projectspace, is not his, and when I do discuss changes to this page, I will be more mindful to do so here. Always a good thing to have more people involved, I think/ :) --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 20:48, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
The discussion between Ryan and me is at User talk:Tryptofish#WP:STUDENTS. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:11, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Resolution strategy[edit]

I suggest we set an example on this page by adhering to WP:BRD rather than edit warring over a disagreement that may well be more muted than it appears. Also, it's best to discuss matters pertaining to this page on this page's talk page rather than elsewhere. *** So, in the interest of clarity, we ought to get the items that are under agreement out of the way first. Then, with that done, we can break down what's under contention, dealing with each component one at a time. Sounds like a plan? El_C 06:56, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Yes. I will comment on each of the diffs tomorrow, some of which I am fine with, some of which with minor modifications I can agree with. --David Tornheim (talk) 10:00, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
  • So "some of which [you are] fine with" but you reverted those bits anyway? That is not the underlying idea behind BRD. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:50, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm fine with BRD, but let's get the facts right about who is edit warring. I made a series of edits, and what I edited was non-controversial (beyond maybe needing to correct a few details via the normal editing process), except in the view of one editor. After that one editor reverted it wholesale, an IP editor reverted it back. That IP editor is NOT me. I made ONE revert. ONE. Period. David, on the other hand has reverted repeatedly, despite getting zero support from other editors on this talk page. I'll respond about content issues next. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:30, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
  • @Doc James: As you can see from my comments below about each of the 11 edits, some individual edits I was okay with, others I was not okay with, and some were a mixed bag. The problem is that Tryptofish had mixed additions of new material that was clearly needed with deletion of the Ambassador program and other changes, e.g. #Edit 8 and #Edit 9. It took over an hour to tease out the various kinds of edits into different categories of concern. If Ambassador removals were consolidated or completely sequential, then I probably would have just reverted that sequence, along with the other edits, but because Edits 8 and 9 mixed things, I could see there was no simple way to handle it, and as you know, often individual reverts cannot be done because of subsequent changes in the text. I do appreciate that Tryptofish made a number of individual edits rather than one huge edit--that would been even worse to discuss! Hopefully all is clear now, and we can move forward by restoring changes that are not a problem, and discuss those that are or might be a problem and work towards an agreement. --David Tornheim (talk) 05:38, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

@Tryptofish: This edit is not helpful IMHO. We should be collaborating and seeking resolution as suggested above by El C, which we both agreed to do, which is why I chose that header. It's not some "self congratulatory" title. Why you want to focus on "discussing the dispute" rather than resolving it and moving forward? I am trying to work with you and everyone else who is interested in improving the page. Let's discuss the content and proposed changes and seek agreement and consensus for changes as per El C's proposed resolution strategy. I took a break and am about to fill in the sections we created below. --David Tornheim (talk) 23:28, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Seems to me that you are the one who is discussing the dispute instead of seeking consensus by making that comment. Anyway, to give you a serious answer, you had rearranged the comments in this talk and put your own list of complaints at the top of a section that you then labeled as if you were the editor seeking a resolution. I'm pretty sure that you are the editor who started this discussion in the first place. Nobody else seems to be complaining that there is a major problem. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:43, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Okay, I see where you are coming from now. I will put the section header where El C's comment is. --David Tornheim (talk) 00:55, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

List of edits[edit]

I'm going to make that list, so we can discuss each one of them in a thoughtful manner. I created this section header as a placeholder, because it will take me a bit of time to assemble the list, but it is coming shortly. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:37, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Thanks. I was just about to do this. Can you make each one a separate subheading? If you want to divide them up, we can do that too. --David Tornheim (talk) 20:43, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
I've made the list, and numbered them for easy reference and discussion. I got an (edit conflict), so here it is:


Here is the list of edits, with diffs, and my reasoning. I'm numbering them. Anyone with concerns may refer to edits by those numbers. I would appreciate it if you do so below the list, instead of inserted into the list, in order to keep the discussion readable. Thanks.

  1. [1]: I noticed some awkward wording that had gotten into the page, and tried to make it sound less like a "warning" and more like a helpful pointer.
  2. [2]: I split a paragraph into two paragraphs, no change to the second one. In the first paragraph, I added some advice about how some assignments can be done without editing here, growing out of a discussion at ENB. A few paragraphs below, I added the word "mutual" to a parenthetical phrase.
  3. [3]: I added a "see also", to the consensus about a recent cautionary case that had become very high-profile.
  4. [4]: I removed a link to a page that has been marked "inactive".
  5. [5]: I changed some language in the student section, where it said to ask your ambassador for advice, to saying that you can ask WikiEd for advice.
  6. [6]: This is the edit where I removed the ambassadors section. Other editors have been discussing the current status of the ambassador program.
  7. [7]: Correspondingly, I removed the mention of ambassadors from the lead section.
  8. [8]: I changed some outdated information about course pages, that no longer correctly describes what course pages look like, and replaced it with how to find the Dashboard system.
  9. [9]: First, I replaced some out-of-date information about ambassadors in the instructors section with pointers about how to find the current training materials. Second, I switched the order of two sentences lower in the section, without changing their content, because I think it make the flow better.
  10. [10]: I corrected some links to WikiEd.
  11. [11]: I defined in the lead section what WikiEd is, and gave advice to work with them.

And that's it. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:07, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

I have responded to all the edits. I will continue with the discussion about #Ambassadors next. Regarding any of the edits I support that have no other objections from others, please free to put them back. If you want me to do that, since I reverted those edits, let me know. I am also comfortable waiting until others have more time to review this discussion and/or the edits. --David Tornheim (talk) 05:18, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for responding point-by-point. I find it significant that, aside from the Ambassadors section, you have rather few objections to the edits, and that all of those objections could have been dealt with easily through talk page discussion instead of wholesale and repeated reversion. And the discussions here seem to me to be going in the direction of agreeing with me that the Ambassadors Program has become largely inactive.
That said, I very much want to hear from other editors who have been watching here about their views of the criticisms that David has raised. I've responded below to the points where it was appropriate for me to reply, and now, I want to step back from this discussion and wait to hear from other editors. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:29, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
I agree we could use more voices. As for whether the Ambassador program is "inactive" or "dead", that is still unclear to me, because there appear to be quite a few different lists of Ambassadors. So one list (or "program") might be dead or inactive (e.g. regional ambassadors) and another still alive, e.g. "Campus Ambassadors" and "On-line Ambassadors". This part I am still trying to flesh out. There is also a question of whether inactivity in any "program" is caused by lack of interest or because editors who are interested and apply are being turned away or ignored. If it is the latter, I think we need to address that. --David Tornheim (talk) 22:14, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
About the latter, editors who apply at ENB tend to get prompt and attentive responses, but almost always they are new editors making the request as nearly their first edit because they think it will "look good", and they are turned down because ambassadors are expected to be experienced editors. It's easy to check on this by looking at the edit history or archives at WP:ENB. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:37, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
Edit 1 has been implemented in this edit
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
01:01, 11 May 2017 (35,964 bytes) (-1) (Advice for instructors: clarify)

1 I noticed some awkward wording that had gotten into the page, and tried to make it sound less like a "warning" and more like a helpful pointer.

  • Neutral -- either wording sounds about the same. --David Tornheim (talk) 21:19, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Support: Tryptofish's wording is clearly an improvement, this change should never have been reverted in my view. EdChem (talk) 01:14, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
A consensus has been reached and a modification of Edit 2 has been implemented
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
01:07, 11 May 2017 (36,256 bytes) (+292) (Advice for instructors: from discussion at ENB)

2: I split a paragraph into two paragraphs, no change to the second one. In the first paragraph, I added some advice about how some assignments can be done without editing here, growing out of a discussion at ENB. A few paragraphs below, I added the word "mutual" to a parenthetical phrase.

Tryptofish Regarding the proposed addition Sometimes, it is better to design a course so that students comment about Wikipedia in assignments that are not posted on the website, rather than actually editing, please provide the link to the discussion at WP:ENB, so I can review before commenting. [Having reviewed that discussion, I object to the addition as discussed below. (added 02:14, 20 May 2017 (UTC))]
Regarding the proposed addition If the assignment is to edit here, then the edits must be in accordance with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. I would support this instead:
If an assignment is to edit here, then editors are expected to adhere to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, as should the edits they make, or those edits are likely to be reverted. We do understand that new editors make mistakes and experienced editors are likewise expected to be welcoming to new users helping them to correct mistakes and learn to be productive Wikipedians.
Expecting all new editors to make only edits that comply with policy an unreasonable expectation. --David Tornheim (talk) 04:52, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
The ENB discussion is at Wikipedia:Education noticeboard/Archive 16#Use of article talk pages. You don't need to bother pinging me, by the way, because I am watchlisting here. I'm going to generally take the position that I'd like to hear back from other editors about wording changes, but I'm certainly open to tweaking the tone of that passage. I don't see this, however, as saying that new editors must never make mistakes. (Also, this page is an information page, not a policy or guideline page.) It's saying that new editors should become aware of policies, and that when an instructor creates a class assignment, they should make a good faith effort not to violate policies. Other editors: isn't that what we should expect? --Tryptofish (talk) 16:11, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
Tryptofish's splitting of the paragraph seems reasonable to me, but the comments on talk page need more to be clear without reading the ENB thread. On the policy guidance, I wonder about something s little softer than Tryptofish's but not as far as David's: If the assignment involves Wikipedia editing, compliance with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines is expected, though occasional lapses by newcomers are recognised as part of the learning experience. When it comes to content in article space, non-compliant edits may be reverted or even revision deleted and sanctions including blocks and bans are sometimes necessary to protect the integrity of the encyclopaedia. On the addition of "mutual," I agree that it should be included. EdChem (talk) 01:29, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
EdChem's version works for me. --David Tornheim (talk) 02:14, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Also, I am going to add my objection to adding Sometimes, it is better to design a course so that students comment about Wikipedia in assignments that are not posted on the website, rather than actually editing. There was no consensus for that at Wikipedia:Education noticeboard/Archive 16#Use of article talk pages. Pinging editors to of that discussion: @NewsAndEventsGuy, Marchjuly, Ian (Wiki Ed), Opabinia regalis, Ryan (Wiki Ed), and Train2104:
In particular Opabinia_regalis said:
Maybe I'm missing something here, but posting a review of the quality of an article or of another editor's recent edits to it seems like a perfectly reasonable use of an article talk page. Considering the volume of nonsense that gets posted on Wikipedia on a regular basis, students posting reviews of articles seems perfectly benign, and in fact it comes off as a little insular to object to reviews that came about through something other than our own internal Official Content Review Processes. If they're being posted on a talk page that's already high-traffic, it might be better to have them do it on subpages or review each other's work on their own talk pages, but in the general case this seems to me to be a complete non-issue. When I see these I usually just ignore them.[12]
I agree. --David Tornheim (talk) 02:14, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
I haven't been following the work on this page at all, so you all can ignore my interruption :) But FWIW I don't disagree with the line you quoted above. My point in the other thread is that it's not really accurate to say that these reviews are generally disruptive or unwelcome on-wiki. That doesn't imply that off-wiki reviews are bad or shouldn't be suggested. Opabinia regalis (talk) 05:33, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Ambivalent about the non-posting on article talk pages. I agree with Tryptofish that there has been plenty posted by students that is unhelpful, but instructors could improve this by requesting reviews of other students' work explicitly address strengths and weaknesses and make concrete suggestions for improvement. I am not clear on what Tryptofish means on the talk page but the rest of the changes that I supported above are appropriate. EdChem (talk) 02:42, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps we could make a section (or a new page) to give advice to students and instructors on how to write these reviews (including pointing them to the Wikipedia guidance for article assessment). I agree that the reviews I have seen have been less that impressive compared to what an experienced Wikipedian might write. So, instead of telling them to put the reviews off-Wiki, we should work on training them and guiding them to do a proper review? And even reviewing their review. --David Tornheim (talk) 02:54, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

Concrete Proposal: Tryptofish's splitting creates two paragraphs, the first of which is:

Your assignment and grading rubric should reinforce (and certainly not contradict) Wikipedia's norms, and your class should improve the encyclopedia. Sometimes, it is better to design a course so that students comment about Wikipedia in assignments that are not posted on the website, rather than actually editing. If the assignment is to edit here, then the edits must be in accordance with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines.

I have suggested modifying the last sentence, which David supported. I wonder if a compromise on the article talk page materials might also work, something like:

Your assignment and grading rubric should reinforce (and certainly not contradict) Wikipedia's norms, and your class should improve, or at least not harm, the encyclopedia. Assignments sometimes require students to comment about existing Wikipedia content, rather than to make article space changes, or to comment on changes made by other students. If you ask students to comment on article talk pages, those comments need to be in line with talk page guidelines; in particular, they should focus on article content in a constructive and objective manner, avoid personalised comments, and be inclusive of all editors. Politely pointing out missing content (preferably with reliable sources) is very welcome, as is noting areas where there is undue weight, inappropriate synthesis of sources, bias, etc. Commenting on strengths can also be encouraging. However, "reviews" in which students only praise each other, comments that reflect a battleground mentality to protect / defend "their" version, or debate the topic are inappropriate. You are encouraged to careful consider whether you are asking for posts that are inconsistent with the purpose of a talk page, such as by going beyond the topic into synthesis or original research. In such cases, you might consider an off-wiki submission or having the students post to pages in user space. If the assignment involves editing Wikipedia, compliance with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines is expected, though occasional lapses by newcomers are recognised as part of the learning experience. When it comes to content in article space, non-compliant edits may be reverted or even revision deleted and sanctions including blocks and bans are sometimes necessary to protect the integrity of the encyclopaedia.

Tryptofish and David (and anyone else interested), how does this sound? EdChem (talk) 06:09, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

I'm very receptive to modifying my original edit in this way (and would have greatly preferred to have discussed specific modifications in talk instead of complete reversion). The approach there is fine, and I agree that it is helpful to spell things out more clearly. I'd also like to make it more succinct, and leave out some things that students rarely do, so here is my suggestion for a revised version of that version:
Your assignment and grading rubric should reinforce (and certainly not contradict) Wikipedia's norms, and your class should seek to improve the encyclopedia. Assignments sometimes include student comments about existing Wikipedia content, rather than changes to the articles themselves, or include comments on article changes made by other students. If so, those comments need to be in line with talk page guidelines, focusing on article content in a constructive and objective manner. Pointing out missing content (preferably with reliable sources) is welcome, as is noting areas where there is undue weight, inappropriate synthesis of sources, bias, etc. However, "reviews" in which students only praise each other, or comments that debate the topic, are inappropriate. Please consider carefully whether you are asking for edits that are contrary to Wikipedia policies, such as posting personal opinions or original research. In such cases, it may instead be better to give an off-site assignment, or have the students post only to draft pages. If the assignment involves editing Wikipedia, compliance with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines is expected (though occasional lapses by newcomers are recognized as part of the learning experience), and non-compliant edits are likely to be reverted.
If we add something like that, I'd also want to check whether it should be accompanied by corresponding adjustments elsewhere in the instructors section. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:46, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
First question: Is this almost all new material, or is this an adjustment to material that is already in the article?
One suggestion I meant to make last night is to give them a proposed rubric and/or guidelines for how to write the reviews. This would probably keep the students (and instructors) on track. The guidelines for WP:GA assessment and WP:AfC would probably be a references as a starting point for crafting such a rubric, set of guidelines, or questions for students to respond to in their assessment. If WikiEd materials don't have this, then we should work with Wiki Ed to make sure that is done.
Both of your rewrites on first read appear to be improvements over the original proposal; however, I still am uncomfortable with the sentence encouraging working off-site. The purpose of these classes is to engage editors directly in working on Wikipedia and experiencing it directly.
It would be better to encourage them not to break the rules in the first place. It is my feeling that when they break the rules, it is because they don't yet understand the rules which is common to new editors. WP:AGF. Students are used to doing WP:OR and expressing personal opinions in class, and we have to make it clear that we don't want any WP:OR in our article and talk pages, explaining that it is distracting and irrelevant to our purpose. If the instructors want to do something off-Wiki, such as having students write self-congratulatory comments and do WP:OR, that's their business. It's not really our place to tell them what they should or should not do off-Wiki. We can just say, we don't want WP:OR and personal opinions in the reviews, or anywhere else.
As for both these proposals, again I prefer not to encourage work off-site. If there is a consensus that some form of encouragement to take the WP:OR and personal opinions off-site, then it should be worded so that we are not encouraging the entire assignment be taken off-site but only those portions that are un-Wikipedian. The language above does improve on this but still seems to encourage entire reviews to be taken off-site simply because some portion might be a problem. Instead, only that portion that is a problem should be encouraged to be taken off-site. But as I said in the beginning of this comment, better simply to tell them we don't want that on-site; If they want to do it off-site that's something they can decide on their own and we need not talk about it or encourage it. --David Tornheim (talk) 23:17, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── All of our guidelines and policies apply (including AGF and DONTBITE) regardless what you agree here. If you want to allow homework to be turned in via posting to article talk, even though the posting editor has zero intention of improving the encyclopedia, you'll need to get consensus for that at WP:PUMP or Wikipedia_talk:Talk page guidelines. I applaud editors trying to improve this project, but I'm don't have time to join you in the nitty gritty. Good luck. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:46, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

I agree that our policies apply. I don't think anyone wants students to post homework unrelated to Wikipedia to wikipedia. The WikiEd projects are set up for students to review each others' draft article on Wikipedia, and often their reviews show a lack of understanding of what makes a good article.
The question for me is how to add to the Assignment page some advice so that their reviews are more meaningful, appropriate and useful, and do not complement bad work or criticize good work, or urge the adding WP:OR or go off on some tangent about their personal theories about the subject matter that are not fully grounded in the WP:RS. Again our goal should be to help students and instructors to become more competent, not to chase them off and tell them they are not welcome here, if they are confused and make mistakes. I honestly feel they don't know what makes a good Wiki article and that is the entire source of the problem. And this is something we can address. Telling them they need to do their Wikipedia learning off Wikipedia is not helping them be better Wikipedians but is unwelcoming and seems more like WP:BITE. --David Tornheim (talk) 04:06, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Tryptofish's shorter version is fine with me. I also agree that there may be consequent edits needed.
  • NewsAndEventsGuy, comments on article talk made with no intention of article editing is fine with me, so long as it is about article content and can be useful to a future editor. Homework not about the article content is not ok to me.
  • David, this relates to this edit where Tryptofish split a paragraph and changed the first part, and alternatives for that text. Advising how to review better is a nice idea – feel free to develop and propose text on that topic – but let's not let that interfere with resolving the proposal being discussed here. Remember about off-wiki that an assignment can include OR or SYNTH that is fine for student work but not as WP content. Eg. Class to update 5 articles (in teams), review each other's work, and then to demonstrate understanding of the content to answer a series of questions applying the content to problems. The last part is much better done off-wiki. If you have a suggested tweak to Tryptofsh's version so that it is clearer that the suggestion is about the problematic parts being taken off-wiki, please propose it. EdChem (talk) 04:36, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Okay, I will get you a proposed revision shortly--by ~12:00 UTC. I had actually drafted one before when I wrote the above.
I forgot about demonstrate understanding of the content to answer a series of questions applying the content to problems. I agree that part should probably not be done on-Wiki, unless it is somewhere very specific to student assignments and not on article talk pages, possibly in user space, or some very student assignment specific area. I was not aware that this was done on-Wiki and I would like to hear from Wiki Ed about this aspect. I probably ran across that and didn't think it was going to be on-Wiki and forgot about it until now. I have not seen it completed on-Wiki. Have you? If they are doing that on-Wiki, we might need to have a consensus of voices on where it should go--if anywhere. WMF might be willing to provide separate server space for that, which is not officially part of Wikipedia, and they could include privacy options, where only students and instructors see it. Thanks for bringing that up.
I'm a little confused about the rush to get these changes in the text. Are there more classes starting on Monday? Are there new classes going on right now? --David Tornheim (talk) 08:02, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
There is my proposed revision (in redline with notes):
Your assignment and grading rubric should reinforce (and certainly not contradict) Wikipedia's norms, and your class should seek to improve the encyclopedia. Assignments sometimes include student comments about existing Wikipedia content, rather than changes to the articles themselves, or include comments on article changes made by other students. If so, those comments need to be in line with talk page guidelines, focusing on article content in a constructive and objective manner. Pointing out missing content (preferably with reliable sources) is welcome, as is noting areas where there is undue weight, inappropriate synthesis of sources, bias, etc. However, "reviews" in which students only praise each other, or comments that debate the topic without reliance on reliable sources, are inappropriate. (Please see: Guide to student reviews.[1])

Please consider carefully whether you are asking for edits or discussion that isare contrary to Wikipedia policies, such as posting personal opinions or original research. If any portion of your assignment involves asking students to express personal opinions or original research (rather than opinion about what is in the reliable sources),[2]In such cases, it may instead be better to give an off-site assignment, or have the students post only to draft pages that portion of the discussion would be better in user space[3], student draft page(s)[3][4]or off-site.

If the assignment involves editing Wikipedia, compliance with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines is expected (though occasional lapses by newcomers are recognized as part of the learning experience), and n; Non-compliant edits are likely to be revertedreverted.

Notes:
  1. ^ This will be on another page and we will make recommendations of what should or should not be in a student review. WikiEd may already have something like this.
  2. ^ I know this is repetitive. I want to be clear that only the portion of which is not appropriate for the talk page should be moved, and that portion that is appropriate can stay. There may be a way to simplify.
  3. ^ a b I'm not sure that it is a good idea to encourage that discussion to take place even in user space or user draft space. To me WP:OR really is generally to be avoided everywhere as it is distracting and irrelevant.
  4. ^ Also, discussion in draft space may be an issue too, because the student may want to move the article to mainspace and then that discussion would be on the article talk page.
Here is the revised version without notes or redline:
Your assignment and grading rubric should reinforce (and certainly not contradict) Wikipedia's norms, and your class should seek to improve the encyclopedia. Assignments sometimes include student comments about existing Wikipedia content, rather than changes to the articles themselves, or include comments on article changes made by other students. If so, those comments need to be in line with talk page guidelines, focusing on article content in a constructive and objective manner. Pointing out missing content (preferably with reliable sources) is welcome, as is noting areas where there is undue weight, inappropriate synthesis of sources, bias, etc. However, "reviews" in which students only praise each other, or comments that debate the topic without reliance on reliable sources, are inappropriate. (Please see: Guide to student reviews.)

Please consider carefully whether you are asking for edits or discussion that is contrary to Wikipedia policies, such as posting personal opinions or original research. If any portion of your assignment involves asking students to express personal opinions or original research (rather than opinion about what is in the reliable sources), that portion of the discussion would be better in user space, student draft page(s) or off-site.

If the assignment involves editing Wikipedia, compliance with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines is expected (though occasional lapses by newcomers are recognized as part of the learning experience); Non-compliant edits are likely to be reverted.

--David Tornheim (talk) 10:02, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Due to poor indentation this thread is very hard to follow and know who is speaking when. So I'm not sure who I am replying to but I'd like to clarify my position. We agree homework unrelated to article content does not belong here. I mean... well duh, do we need to say that out loud? That's not the point I am raising. Instead, I believe a critical review of our article content that is written up as homework with an intention of getting a grade is not the same thing as commentary intended to improve the encyclopedia. Instead, it is intended to complete the assignment and get a grade. Such commentary about our article content is abundant across the web, both on and off wiki. No one is suggesting we import every review piece from every source, just in case it helps some future editor later. I see no reason to welcome such material when it appears here first instead of somewhere else, or when it is written by students instead of someone else. If it is not intended to improve the encyclopedia, it's clutter. That's true even if one of these posts happens to contain the magic text that four years from now inspires an edit that is so awesome it is the equivalent of winning the powerball lottery. I mean, that would be a lucky accident, not an effort to improve anything. Such homework, even when it is about article content, does not belong on article talk pages. The intended audience is the professor, who gives the grade....or in rare instances other students who review the review. Serious article editors with pages watchlisted should not be buggered with classroom noise. It's easy enough to put that stuff in user space or the course page. IF someone here disagrees, then the point should be RFCd or better yet written up in a separate query at the V-PUMP. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 17:25, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

What happened to WP:AGF? Students are in school to learn the subject matter--not to please professors. These reviews are part of classes at universities--by experts in the field--to teach students to learn to use Wikipedia and write articles in that field. If the reviews you see have problems, shouldn't you be helping these students become better Wikipedian reviewers rather than telling them they are not welcome here (WP:BITE)? If we can't handle criticism, we have a big problem. --David Tornheim (talk) 23:08, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
(A) AGF is automatic but it is superceded when there is evidence of some other intent. The course instructions are all the evidence we need. If the instructor has taken the challenging and very interesting approach of grading students on their interaction with other editors in the consensus decision making process of improving the encyclopedia, that's fantastic and will hopefully grow us a lot of future editors after class is over. I'll be glad to help such students, and I bet a lot of editors would as well. But I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about the professor who tells students to turn in a paragraph containing a critical review of our articles on notebook paper on article-talk paper. That's different. Such course instruction are evidence they are not here to "engage in consensus decision making" (See WP:DISRUPTSIGNS point 4. It doesn't have to be malicious to be a problem.
(B) Interestingly, the cool teaching approach of grading students in part on their interaction and responsiveness is applicable here. I've asked ya'll several times now to RFC this or separately post at V-Pump. You're opinions are stated. Mine are stated. And since at issue is the applicability and interpretation of the nutshell text at TPG that's a pretty big deal and needs a broad consensus. Maybe the community agrees with you. Why not find out?
(C) Finally, you didn't respond to my observation that a simple solution is to have such homework turned in via UserSpace or the CoursePage, where it could be shown to the intended audience without intruding on others free time. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 01:14, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
NewsAndEventsGuy, about the difficulty of following this thread, I feel your pain! But thank you for agreeing that it's OK to point out that certain kinds of talk page postings can work better off-wiki. And I'll add my own opinion that it's neither bitey nor assuming bad faith nor being the most horrible people in the world to point out to instructors that they have that off-wiki option. David, I'm quite happy to see your suggested revision, and I'm happy to work with it. Primarily, my quibbles are that we should not direct readers to a page that does not exist (but we can add that link if and when it comes into existence, without waiting for that to happen now), and that there are a few places where there is repetition that can be fixed. So here is my revision based on yours:
Your assignment and grading rubric should reinforce (and certainly not contradict) Wikipedia's norms, and your class should seek to improve the encyclopedia. Assignments sometimes include student comments about existing Wikipedia content, rather than changes to the articles themselves, or include comments on article changes made by other students. If so, those comments need to be in line with talk page guidelines, focusing on article content in a constructive and objective manner. Pointing out missing content (preferably with reliable sources) is welcome, as is noting areas where there is undue weight, inappropriate synthesis of sources, bias, etc. However, "reviews" in which students only praise each other, or comments that debate the topic and are not based on reliable sources, are inappropriate. Please consider carefully whether you are asking for edits or discussion that could be a problem in any of those ways; if so, those edits or discussions might be better suited to user space, student draft pages, or submitted off-site. If the assignment involves editing Wikipedia, compliance with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines is expected (though occasional lapses by newcomers are recognized as part of the learning experience), and non-compliant edits are likely to be reverted.
--Tryptofish (talk) 23:24, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
In the interests of reducing redundancy I'll let it rest with my remark in this diff to David above. Good luck to both of you working out the overhaul. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 01:11, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Rather than the see also originally proposed, edit 3 has become a longer comment in a footnote
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
01:21, 11 May 2017 (36,424 bytes) (+168) (See also: add)

3: I added a "see also", to the consensus about a recent cautionary case that had become very high-profile.

  • Oppose -- This looks like WP:GRAVEDANCING on top of EJustice to me, considering you supported the indef. site-ban [13] and even opposed mediation by EdChem [14]. (I did participate too and supported Ed Chem's solution to work with the instructor rather than the more draconian solution ultimately chosen.)
    You claimed to have tried to work with the instructor [15], but I don't see it from Interaction Analysis. Compare with my interactions or Seraphim System's interactions.
    I don't think it is appropriate for you to be adding this very unfortunate result to the page, given your involvement in bringing it about. We need consensus to add this negativity to the page. --David Tornheim (talk) 02:25, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose current wording, it's too informal and negative - while it is not customary to source additions to the "See also" section, by the same token it is not customary to use that section to introduce controversial language into the article. Seraphim System (talk) 03:43, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
  • The noticeboard discussion is archived at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive288#EJustice matter. It's a "see also" link, not in the main text here. I want to make some things very clear to other editors watching here. My personal opinions in that discussion are beside the point here, although my opinions happened to be the same as the consensus that emerged. And there was a community consensus. And my linking to the discussion is consistent with that consensus. David conspicuously dissented from the consensus there, but that does not change the fact that the community reached the consensus that was reached. In fact, there was very strong opposition to David's (and Seraphim System's) positions from the community. This information page is not the page to wikilawyer against that consensus. I'm also concerned that pinging Seraphim System, who was one of the other dissenters, without pinging everyone else in that discussion, borders on canvassing. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:23, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
  • I didn't agree with the outcome of the AN discussion and thought that the close was poor in that it simply asserted a conclusion, but I do recognise that there was an arguable consensus even though the policy issues appear to have been under-considered. Despite this, this is not the place to dispute the close and, with it having gone unchallenged, it really needs to be taken as a fact here. It certainly is a relevant example for this page and a link that simply identifies it as a class that went wrong is not unreasonable. I would object to gravedancing but the link added appropriately obscured the name of the thread and did not point at EJustice, the institution involved, or the specific class. It could be re-worded as something like "A community discussion of what to do when a class went wrong can be read here." Also, David Tornheim, Tryptofish has a point in that, while your pings were informing those you mentioned, the overall impression from your post does border on canvassing, even if inadvertent. EdChem (talk) 09:53, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for that thoughtful explanation, and also for supporting my concern about borderline canvassing. I'm very receptive to revising the piped wording there, no problem. (I'll also note that this information page has long included some ELs to coverage of some earlier class projects that went badly.) --Tryptofish (talk) 18:44, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Tryptofish, I like to think of myself as fair and objective, and I believe strongly that part of that involves my recognising the possibilities that I may make a mistake or be wrong, that I may hold a minority view and consequently need to accept consensus is against me in cases where reasonable people may disagree, and of the need to abide by policy. I also believe it is important to be able to recognise and respond to problematic actions from those I might agree with on a general issue. I'm sure I'm not alone in having these beliefs, and am not claiming any special characteristics in this regard, I'm just explaining why it was important to me to comment to David on the canvassing and to express my view on the reasonableness of a link, even though I recognise that EJustice would probably prefer it not be included. David, I recognise your motives here and agree that any grave dancing would be unacceptable and potentially even cruel, but there is a larger topic here, concerning student assignment contributions to WP which have and will likely continue to cause significant disruption at times. EJustice's case is one of the most recent and was unusually disruptive, leading to an AN ban and a huge amount of editor clean-up work. It is thus clearly relevant to the topic of this page, and while we need to be respectful of EJustice in not making referrals to it into a scarlet letter, I can't see how it can be an unreasonable inclusion. However, as Tryptofish notes, there are other cases where classes went badly, and maybe a group of external links or even a paragraph on cases where classes went wrong would be appropriate as a way to show the present case as just one of many. Would you both like to suggest other links we should group together, or comment on the idea of a paragraph in the text? I was thinking along the lines of:
  • "The purpose of this section is to recognise that there have been cases where the outcome of a student editing assignment has been a lose-lose situation, with little content preserved in Wikipedia, student editors discouraged or disillusioned, an instructor frustrated, and a huge amount of time wasted by everyone involved. Considerable effort has been made to learn from problems that have arisen in the past, and to develop materials and other supports to try to avoid unfortunate outcomes, including this very page. It has become less common for classes to run into major problems but it does still happen, and when it does the Wikipedia community has and will continue to act in line with Wikipedia policy even what that is inconvenient for student editors and their instructors. In cases where there are copyright infringements and / or plagiarism, the problematic text must be removed or edited to be compliant and all non-compliant revisions of the article must be revision deleted. This does make it impossible to see which editors added what text in the deleted revisions, which can be inconvenient for an instructor looking at collaboration, but it is a requirement for the license under which every edit is released. Article topics which are inherently non-neutral, already covered within existing articles, unsupported by suitable sources, or written as opinion or as original research are likely to be heavily edited or deleted. Content written in article space is included on search engines and is open to anyone to edit, so developing new articles in user or draft space is strongly advised. The following list contains illustrations of where classes have run into these problems, causing significant disruption to Wikipedia and difficulties for the student editors and their instructors. They also illustrate a range of responses from the Wikipedia editing community.
  • insert list of dot-point links with labels - for the EJustice case, maybe a link to the AN ban, a couple of relevant AfDs, the talk page of an article that was modified into suitability, and a history where the rev-del blanked much of who did what, and an EN / ENI link?
  • The black lives matter course has students raising queries about policy compliance, which went nowhere (unfortunately)
  • WT:CHEM / WT:CHEMS contains several examples of courses with highly problematic content
  • Any other similar for other cases come to mind - maybe some where early intervention led to a positive outcome?
The Wikipedia Community welcomes student editors and collaborations with WikiEd and through the Education projects, but it is crucial to the mutuality of the process that content be suitable for an encyclopaedia, written in line with policy constraints, and provided on the understanding that it will be open for others to modify. The Education projects and WikiEd want to offer support so that student assignments do not go wrong, and it is hoped that support can be provided quickly if there are problems so that they can be addressed before they become large or (worse) intractable. Ultimately, the Wikipedia community has and will continue to act to preserve the integrity of the encyclopaedia in line with policy, and that includes removing problematic content, deleting articles, and even blocking or banning individual editors. As can be seen in the above examples, there have been cases where student editors recognised potential problems early in the task and their concerns did not receive appropriate attention, leading to a much larger problem down the track. Concerns raised by relevant WikiProjects has also gone unheeded, and an us-and-them mentality does sometimes develop, in part because marking criteria and the instructor can be more important to students than is developing policy-compliant content.
To help support a collegial environment, all editors with concerns are strongly encouraged to ask about them (at the ENI noticeboard, for example) and seek a community view as soon as they perceive a problem. This greatly increases the chance of a win-win outcome. Wikipedia thrives on respectful collaboration and anyone genuinely asking for help should receive a useful and timely response, so editors should not hesitate to ask when they are uncertain. We have a guideline that encourages being welcoming to new editors, and experienced editors can be sanctioned under the civility policy for harsh or hostile responses, so in general a polite inquiry should receive a polite response. Everyone was a newcomer once, everyone is unsure about the application of policy at times, and everyone should be striving towards the same goal.
EdChem (talk) 01:08, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks again. I would have a concern that this would actually draw more attention to the cases where things went wrong, maybe more than is fair to those who received criticism. I would prefer to keep it at the level of "see also" and "external links". --Tryptofish (talk) 01:16, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
1. First, could you please strike the repeated allegations of canvassing? I firmly believe in open discussion to include the widest possible input. I did not include EVERYONE from the banning discussion--which would have been a huge list and taken quite some time to compile. I included two voices that were clearly absent, one from an editor (who like myself tried to work with the students and the instructors) and one from EdChem who was more in the middle and showed effort to do re-meditation to address concerns by editors to the instructor. If you truly believe this discussion has been compromised by not pinging everyone from that discussion, please invite everyone. Otherwise, I would appreciate it if you both strike the repeated allegations of canvassing which are not accomplishing anything productive here. --David Tornheim (talk) 02:09, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
2. there was no proof of "widespread disruption" in the EJustice case. A number of editors, included myself, asked repeatedly for proof and diffs and none was provided. I do not believe any such "widespread disruption" did take place, only evidence of particular statements by EJustice, compiled in such a way, that when taken out of context, it looked like a refusal to listen to concerns.
3. Asking new editors and students to try to read and comprehend one of our court cases--involving the bizarre rules of evidence, the decision making that is not done by a non-involved jury or neutral judge, but instead by everyone, including the involved parties, who are not in any way differentiated from non-involved parties, and the haphazard non-focussed discussion that goes in every direction and creates a TL;DR--is not reasonable to expect.
4. Brevity: I do understand the thinking behind EdChem's proposed statement, but I think it ends up being a long discourse on the negative possibilities in fairly abstract terms that new editors will not understand. If we are going to discuss what might go wrong, I believe we should put that on a separate page and direct the reader there, with the briefest summary here.
5. Alternative proposed section near the end (per 4.), which could direct to another page that is more in depth:
Rules
Like all organizations, Wikipedia has rules. Although we have a the core policy, Pillar 5 ("there are no firm rules")--allowing editors to disregard any rule and even ignore all rules if it hinders improvement of the encyclopedia--if editors disregard the established rules (of policy and guideline) and either an admin. or a consensus of editors concludes is the breaking of rules is a disruptive, there may be consequences, some of the them very harsh. Possible consequences include but are not limited to: being blocked (for 24 hours, 1 week, 1 month, longer, or indefinitely); being banned from the the site; being banned from interacting with a particular editor(s); being banned from a particular topic; being banned from posting on certain noticeboards; being subjected to mentoring, etc. Such decisions are made at noticeboards such as WP:AN/I, WP:AE, WP:AN. It may be worth reviewing decisions there to see why editors have been sanctioned. Both students and instructors have been subject to these punishments. [Here would be a link to another page which would provide guidance of how to avoid punishment and there could be a list of actual cases, and recommendations one what could have been done differently to avoid the problems.]
Pages on controversial topics have stricter editing rules such as WP:1RR when there are ArbCom sanctions. Look at the top of the talk page of the article, to see if it subject to special rules.
Please familiarize yourself with these rules which are the most common reasons for sanctions: edit warring/WP:BRD, WP:civility, WP:sock,... [others]
Also familiarize yourself with rules that were issues with students and instructors: WP:ADVOCACY, WP:SOAPBOX, WP:NPOV, WP:COPYVIO, WP:OR,...
If you are not clear on the rules and are afraid you might break one, please ask for help.
If an editor alleges that you have broken a rule, and you do not believe you have, ask help from Wiki Ed or volunteers that are here to help you. Arguing and becoming defensive may make matters worse and lead to further allegations of WP:IDHT.
If an editors puts a warning notice on your talk page or mentions your behavior at WP:AN/I , WP:EN/I or another noticeboard, this is very serious: Immediately seek counsel from trained Wikipedia experts who can help you understand the allegations and evidence against you, hopefully correct alleged problems, and ideally hopefully avoid sanctions and help you become a productive editor. An AN/I proceeding is as complicated as a criminal trail, and as a novice, you are often better off saying nothing until you have retained counsel, as anything you say can and will be used against you by your accusers, who are often experts at Wiki-law.
This would be followed with something positive and welcoming and explaining that these are exceptional cases, that we welcome students and want to make every effort to avoid punishing instructors or students. (I will note that I have read that we don't have "punishments" on wikipedia. It's hard for me to see the treatment of EJustice as anything short of punishment. Someone else can put in the weasel words.)
6. Concrete Examples: On a separate page, we should give concrete examples of what students may have a tendency to do that are a problem, and how to avoid such problems. Show "Don't do this:" and then show "Do do this:". And always refer students and instructors to how to seek help.
--David Tornheim (talk) 05:05, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
David, taking your points in order:
  1. No, I cannot strike "the repeated allegations of canvassing" as I do not believe any such allegations have been made. I indicated to you that while your pings were informing those you mentioned, the overall impression from your post does border on canvassing, even if inadvertent. That was and is my view, that the impression I get from your post does border on canvassing. I did not and do not state that you engaged in canvassing. I have not and do not plan to take any action. I do not believe that any sanction is warranted, nor do I see anyone having suggested one be imposed. I had hoped that you might accept and reflect on feedback offered in a friendly manner by a fellow editor, but whether you do or not is up to you. I am perfectly willing to accept that you were notifying editors you mentioned as a courtesy and had no other intent. However, when I ping other editors, I believe it is wise for me to consider how those pings might appear to others. You might consider whether it is productive for you to reflect on how your intent may be misinterpreted by others – or not... but I consider that offering some feedback and thinking about feedback I receive as helping to produce a collaborative and collegial environment.
  2. There is no point in re-arguing the AN discussion, nor is it a topic for this page. However, for the record, discussions went on for weeks and spread across education, article talk, user talk, AfD, AE, and AN pages, and there were also discussions with WikiEd reported back to the community. A very strong consensus was reached at AN that there was a problem requiring some action. I do not accept as credible any suggestion that the AN discussion was not based on evidence, though many joining it were aware of the extensive prior discussions.
  3. That is one reason to prefer presenting it as a "See Also" link as Tryptofish first suggested
  4. That is another reason to stick with the "See Also" approach. It appears that my suggestion is not going to find consensus, which is fine, I accept that my ideas may not be supported. Maybe another page is a better approach, though the more we add, the more there is to read.
  5. Basing a discussion on IAR is dangerous, it is a rule that is not wise to offer to a newcomer. All of these links are more reading that is likely covered elsewhere. Presenting ANI as akin to a criminal trial implies a level of severity and a structured / ordered process that are not justified, in my view. Debates over prevention v. punishment are not worth re-hashing here, either. I think we need to decide the purpose of a section to be able to consider what it might say.
  6. I think concrete examples are desirable, though many of the don'ts will be removed / rev-del'd
EdChem (talk) 08:03, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Replying to items with same numbers:
1. No further comment.
2. I am not trying to "re-argue" or re-litigate the AN discussion. If EJustice wishes to appeal, that is his decision. As for right now, the decision was made and it is being honored. I certainly hope no one thinks it was a positive outcome that we banned an instructor from one of the top universities in the U.S. (and the world) for trying to add material about environmental racism. The reason we are discussing it now is to warn instructors about how badly we treat new editors--including both students and instructors--when they work in certain controversial areas and cross certain lines. They do need to be warned, so they can stay out of trouble and seek out help from editors who want to help them. We do not want a repeat, right?
This entire disaster could have been averted if EJustice had gotten more help from supportive editors and he had counsel to help him respond to the allegations and interrogation. As far as I can tell he was blind-sided by a process he was utterly unfamiliar with and completely unprepared to defend himself. He clearly did not know alleging "systematic bias"--that he undoubtedly believed he was encountering--would be used against him. Only a new editor, who does not know that claiming "systematic bias" would be perceived as a violation of WP:AGF and WP:IDHT, would risk responding to allegations this way.
I never said there was "no evidence". There was plenty of evidence in the form of diffs (presented masterfully by the prosecutor) of EJustice's posts and responses to accusations and interrogation that offended at least 75% of community who weighed in and asked for EJustice to be banned. What I said was that there was no evidence of disruption. We asked for diffs and none was provided. The closer made no findings of fact, and this further supports my claim.
3. I don't see how see also helps the problem. All they would see is that EJustice and other editors got into to trouble and they will have no idea why, because of the chaotic nature of NB's. It is also prejudicial against EJustice to present it this way rather than to be very clear on what EJustice might have done differently. This is something EdChem and EJustice had agreed to discuss and until that takes place, I don't see it as helpful to present it this way. Perhaps EdChem and EJustice can collaboratively help craft good advice for future editors to avoid the Wiki-guillotine.
4. It appears that my suggestion is not going to find consensus, which is fine, I accept that my ideas may not be supported. You are making it too black and white. I don't think your ideas are completely off, but they need work. I made an alternative proposal for taking the abstract ideas you were trying to convey and putting them into more concrete terms that I believe new editors are more likely to understand. Saying that past classes were a disaster and we don't want them to be another disaster is not going to help, because they will have no idea what happened in the past. Instead we must be very precise about behaviors that cause a problem and how they should adjust behavior to avoid the disaster (and same for advice directed to editors). For example this text:
Considerable effort has been made to learn from problems that have arisen in the past, and to develop materials and other supports to try to avoid unfortunate outcomes, including this very page. It has become less common for classes to run into major problems but it does still happen, and when it does the Wikipedia community has and will continue to act in line with Wikipedia policy even what that is inconvenient for student editors and their instructors.
I'm not sure why we need to tell the instructors and students this. I think this is something they would assume we would do if we care about the project and needs not be mentioned. Instead we tell them what they should and should not do that will cause the trouble that everyone wants to avoid.
Maybe another page is a better approach, though the more we add, the more there is to read. Thank you for being receptive to this. Moving it to another page means less to read, because they can skip the details if their eyes are glazing over and come back to it later if they regain interest. In particular, they are likely to come back to read a separate page in closer detail if they being to encounter the problems described on that page. Additionally, both helpers and accusers can refer them to that page. It's really no different that the bazzilion WP:PAG pages we have that describe nearly every conceivable possibility in the minutest of detail.
5. Basing a discussion on IAR is dangerous I was not basing discussion on it, but simply complying with policy in WP:NPOV fashion. If one claims there are rules, one must acknowledge that WP:5P5 is a core policy and that WP:IAR is a policy too. it is a rule that is not wise to offer to a newcomer. Then why is it one of the first things that comes up when you get a welcome that refers to the Five Pillars? This has been the advice for newcomers for as long as I have known. I wrote an essay about it at Editor Retention here. We have to be honest and let them know about this huge contradiction of policy and practice.
All of these links are more reading that is likely covered elsewhere. True. Repetition of rules is standard practice here. New editors do need to know which rules are most likely to get them in trouble. New editors probably would not know that edit warring is bad news or that calling other people names when they call you names first is likely to get the new editor in trouble and the experienced editor who started the name calling will likely given a free pass, or possibly even be commended for taking the new editor to AN/I. Editors are far less likely to be banned for not choosing the best WP:RS even though WP:RS is probably one of the most important rules we have and should be covered first. This section is all about "How do I stop from getting picked up by a Wiki-cop and put in Wiki-jail?"
Presenting ANI as akin to a criminal trial implies a level of severity and a structured / ordered process that are not justified, in my view. I agree it is not very structured, and that it should be added that it is more like chaos and the new editor will get walked all over by the experienced editors, and that often one is assumed guilty until proven innocent, when the accuser is an experienced editor and experienced Wiki-Laywer. New editors simply don't know that and find out the hard way.
Debates over prevention v. punishment are not worth re-hashing here, either. The language can be adjusted.
I think we need to decide the purpose of a section to be able to consider what it might say. The purpose IMHO is to keep new editors out of harms way and to know of the dangers before they make their first WP:BOLD edits. They need to be warned how to deal with editors who have ownership tendencies and want them off "their" turf, and what to do when they are accused of WP:NOTHERE, etc. They need to know what behaviors in particular are likely to land them in WP:AN/I and get them sanctioned. They need to know what AN/I is and what being templated is all about. New editors have no idea, and we need to warn them. Saying "get help when you are confused" is a bit different from dire warnings about continuing to edit when someone templates their talk page and/or hauls them to AN/I or some other NB.
6. I think concrete examples are desirable Glad to hear it. though many of the don'ts will be removed / rev-del'd We can make up examples. Made up examples can be as useful as real examples. Examples should be as easy to understand as possible.
--David Tornheim (talk) 11:34, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Further replies:
2. What happens next with the EJustice matter is separate from this discussion. In my opinion, the upcoming WikEd discussion of what happened and what went wrong is the place for some of what you raise, rather than here, and that discussion is a sensible precursor to discussing "how do we support / advise future classes." This page should provide advice and support for class assignments and their editors but this is not the place for adding "warnings" of dangers, advice on "responding to allegations," and how to "defend oneself" on ANI. We want to support, advise, and offer an summary of key points of editing for newcomers, not offer a point-by-point on controversial topics. And yes, I recognise that my suggested additions are in a different direction from my suggestion, but I am finding the idea of a separate page for that more sensible.
3. Perhaps the "See also" dot point needs to be made broader? For example, "Cautionary Tale: A recent course on a controversial topic (link?) went very wrong when new article content was developed that was inconsistent with WP policy. There were discussions with students and the instructor on user talk and article talk pages that varied from productive to contentious. Some successful new articles were developed (notably the XXX article after extensive talk page discussions with experienced Wikipedians, links), but there were also articles deleted (links) or removed from article space under the deletion policy. The situation escalated to include discussions with WikiEd representatives both on-wiki (links) and off, noticeboard threads (links to ENB / ENI), and ultimately sanctions under the block / ban policies (link AN). This is an extreme case, but does show the problems that can occur when problems are not caught and addressed early, and also that the Wikipedia community will act to protect the integrity of the encyclopaedia." I see this as a cautionary tale of things going bad rather than as a way to explore what should have been done better. We could also add other, less problematic examples, like some of the ones on the WT:CHEM / WT:CHEMS pages.
4. You are making it too black and white. I don't think your ideas are completely off, but they need work. My black-and-white approach reflected trying to get the necessary changes to this page made. A separate page is striking me as a better approach, only of use if a controversial topic is contemplated or a class starts to go wrong, and so not needing to be read as part of the general support from a page like this. This is also a reason for keeping point 3 as a "See Also", as an extra set of readings if it is of interest or use to a reader – or, as you put it, another page means less to read, because they can skip the details if their eyes are glazing over and come back to it later if they regain interest. In particular, they are likely to come back to read a separate page in closer detail if they being to encounter the problems described on that page. Additionally, both helpers and accusers can refer them to that page. It's really no different that the bazzilion WP:PAG pages we have that describe nearly every conceivable possibility in the minutest of detail.
5. Experienced editors get themselves into trouble invoking IAR, newcomers are not well-advised trying to use it. We do not need student editors and instructors being told their work is WP:ADVOCACY or WP:POV or WP:OR or WP:SYNTH responding that WP:IAR allows their work as it improves the encyclopaedia (in their opinion). Any description of IAR needs to start with the other core policies and to explain that IAR is not a trump card, especially when it comes to content policies. You are suggesting a need to explain "How do I stop from getting picked up by a Wiki-cop and put in Wiki-jail?", I prefer to explain "How to comply with content and behavioural policies" so that the existence of policies for dealing with problems can be recognised but not focussed on. How to wiki-lawyer is not advice anyone needs. EJustice, for example, would have benefited much more for support on how to address copyvios (say) than how to defend himself and conduct a wiki-campaign. On ANI, we need to help editors avoiding ending up there, not giving a description which is contentious and hopefully useless to the overwhelming majority of editors reading this page. Also, student editors are more likely to be the ones who have ownership tendencies and want them off "their" turf, and if they are following content policies then being "accused of WP:NOTHERE" is less likely. Asking when problems first arise is consistent with getting help and support, rather than inviting accusations. I do agree, though, that some advice that some editors are less supportive of newbies, particularly student editors, is worthwhile.
6. You are correct, we can make up suitable examples.
EdChem (talk) 02:23, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the responses. I'll get back to you soon. Maybe we can make a short summary of what you and I can agree on (and what we might still disagree on), for the TL;DR readers, and then hat most of this discussion. I am open to agree on a number of other things you said in the last post, but I need to run right now. Thanks for your involvement in this and taking concerns from everyone into consideration and collaborating towards agreement. --David Tornheim (talk) 02:49, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
As far as I am concerned, all we need is a simple and brief see-also, as was in the original edit. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:49, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

@David Tornheim: Tryptofish and I have worked comment into a footnote in the lede. I believe this addresses this edit for this page, at least until a separate page (such as you suggest) is developed. Please comment (and Tryptofish and anyone else, of course) on whether this edit proposal can be closed off. Thanks, EdChem (talk) 23:57, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Neutral I like that the professor is no longer named. I do not mind too much that the case is linked in a footnote. I think the resolution is misleading because it says, "An unusually serious problem occurred in a 2017..." when in fact these kinds of situations are routine in the education program. The preferred way to note this would be to have a central log of significant problem situations and then link to that log, but it is problematic to maintain a log because usually no one wants to log their class as a problem. The disadvantage of not having a log is that over the years, these things happen repeatedly, and people see them for the first time, and collectively it becomes difficult to recognize that this sort of problem is inherent to this sort of outreach and not a rare anomaly. The 1500 student psychology class in 2013 was one well-discussed problem. I know there are others that were significant enough to make many people greatly upset. It is hard to get people to surface these because it always seems accusatory, but from another perspective, these outcomes are nobodies fault and are something to discuss and address as a known challenge. I say close this out. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:40, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
  • I think the "unusually serious" refers not to the type of problematic editing or problematic course orientation, but to the level of disruption as reflected by the community's response. There was indeed a large problem with that psychology class a few years ago, and some big issues with the India program, but otherwise, while a few classes pop up at ENI and a couple at ANI each term, it's a small percentage of classes and they're typically dealt with pretty quickly IMO. I'm surprised to see this case characterized as "routine". Obviously, I have a COI in saying that, so FWIW. --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 20:24, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
@Ryan (Wiki Ed): I miscommunicated, and my intent is in agreement with what you say. I think that major problems are routine when paid staff are not involved. In this case, I think the biggest part of the problem was the interaction between the class and professor and the wiki volunteers. I think that a strong voice like Wiki Ed can shut down problems like this immediately if identified, reset the situation, then proceed correctly. I agree that practically all problems can be resolved and turned into positive outcomes with even light oversight by designated paid staff. I oppose the crowdsourcing of problem solving with classes. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:32, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Just a minor note, that the professor was never named in any version (except via following a link, of course). --Tryptofish (talk) 00:15, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Edit 4 implemented in this edit
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
01:24, 11 May 2017 (36,289 bytes) (-135) (Advice for ambassadors: inactive)

4:I removed a link to a page that has been marked "inactive".

  • No objection to removing reference to obsolete list. If any of the various lists of ambassadors has been left out, then those should be added. Please note on-going discussion on #Ambassadors above. --David Tornheim (talk) 01:46, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Support: The feedback from former Ambassadors and the marking of pages as inactive shows the program is no longer functional. David may be interested in trying to resurrect it in some form, and if that happens this page may need modification, but the current situation is what we must recognise here. The link needs to be removed. EdChem (talk) 01:03, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Edit 5 has been returned to the page in this edit and a subsequent edit adds mention of help templates and notes the likely rapid removal of non-compliant article content
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

01:29, 11 May 2017 (36,158 bytes) (-131) (Advice for students: inactive)

5: I changed some language in the student section, where it said to ask your ambassador for advice, to saying that you can ask WikiEd for advice.

  • Defer to #Ambassadors. I prefer we complete the discussion at #Ambassadors before I make any recommendations. --David Tornheim (talk) 04:56, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
  • General Support: The feedback from former Ambassadors and the marking of pages as inactive shows the program is no longer functional. David may be interested in trying to resurrect it in some form, and if that happens this page may need modification, but the current situation is what we must recognise here. However, not every class will have a WikiEd liaison, so some modifications to recognise that need to be considered. Perhaps also point to the option of using the help me template on the article talk page? The page as it currently stands is offering outdated advice and immediate updates are needed. EdChem (talk) 01:08, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
  • I agree with EdChem. I am okay with this edit too, given that the program no longer exists, and mention of WikiED should definitely be included, and addition of the {{helpme}} tag. Using helpme is an excellent idea. Good thinking! --David Tornheim (talk) 02:31, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
  • The above two comments have not been hatted as my additional edit is open to comment, criticism, etc. If it is supported, the hat can be extended. EdChem (talk) 06:26, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
    • I like that subsequent edit. Good idea. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:56, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
    • @David Tornheim: Are you comfortable with the addition I made when I implemented the edits? If so, I will hat edit 5 as resolved. Thanks. EdChem (talk) 20:03, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
    • @David Tornheim: Tryptofish and I are in agreement that this is resolved, and you have not commented since I made an addition on 20 May and asked for your input specifically on 25 May. I propose closing this as resolved unless you have a specific objection. Thanks, EdChem (talk) 23:57, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Not sure I am not sure where this conversation is currently. I favor removal of all reference to Wiki Ed. Wiki Ed is unable to make any particular offer of support to the Wikipedia community except that they run their own programs and take responsibility to clean their own messes. If anyone else causes a mess then Wiki Ed had never made a commitment to clean up after others. They provide some online tutorials which anyone can read or use, but language like "please raise your concerns with WikiEd" is presumptuous. Wiki Ed negotiates their own relationships. That said - I think Wiki Ed is very helpful. I would prefer language directing people to general Wikipedia community support, then over time and if and only if the community gets an invitation from Wiki Ed to send referrals, then language can be changed. The default language should not lead people to expect services from Wiki Ed, or any Wikimedia chapter, or any Wikimedia Foundation staff, or any staffperson at all. This gets a little complicated because Wiki Ed is quick to support schools in the US and Canada, but they do not do this in regular partnership with Wikipedia volunteers and they do not appoint volunteers to speak on behalf of their organization. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:47, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Instead of removing the section on Ambassadors as Edit 6 did, the section has been commented out in this edit and it is thus available for modification / integration elsewhere on the page. It is not, and should not be, visible as it is out of date and inaccurate.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.


01:32, 11 May 2017 (33,933 bytes) (-2,225) (Advice for ambassadors: delete the whole section as out of date)

6: This is the edit where I removed the ambassadors section. Other editors have been discussing the current status of the ambassador program.

  • Defer to #Ambassadors. I prefer we complete the discussion at #Ambassadors before I make any recommendations. --David Tornheim (talk) 04:57, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Propose alternative: The feedback from former Ambassadors and the marking of pages as inactive shows the program is no longer functional. David may be interested in trying to resurrect it in some form, and if that happens this page may need modification, but the current situation is what we must recognise here. Consequently, the text in its present form is inappropriate and should not be retained. However, the ideas of repurposing the section to advice for editors interacting with the class is worth exploring, but that exploration should not hold up the updating of the page any longer. So, I propose commenting out the section to allow for a separate and focussed discussion after the updates to remove mention of the ambassador problem are complete. EdChem (talk) 01:17, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Edit 7 implemented in this edit
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

01:36, 11 May 2017 (33,891 bytes) (-42) (top: update)

7: Correspondingly, I removed the mention of ambassadors from the lead section.

  • Defer to #Ambassadors. I prefer we complete the discussion at #Ambassadors before I make any recommendations. --David Tornheim (talk) 04:57, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Support: The feedback from former Ambassadors and the marking of pages as inactive shows the program is no longer functional. David may be interested in trying to resurrect it in some form, and if that happens this page may need modification, but the current situation is what we must recognise here. The link and mention needs to be removed. EdChem (talk) 01:09, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
  • I am okay with this edit now to remove mention of a program that no longer exists. --David Tornheim (talk) 02:24, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Edit 8 has been implemented in this edit
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

01:46, 11 May 2017 (33,834 bytes) (-57) (Course pages, user pages, and user names: update)

8: I changed some outdated information about course pages, that no longer correctly describes what course pages look like, and replaced it with how to find the Dashboard system.

  • Support revision to handle new dashboard methods. [and replacing Ambassador with WikiEd (added 02:37, 20 May 2017 (UTC))].
  • Defer to #Ambassadors. I prefer we complete the discussion at #Ambassadors before I make any recommendations about the removal of content about ambassadors in this edit. --David Tornheim (talk) 05:01, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Support: The feedback from former Ambassadors and the marking of pages as inactive shows the program is no longer functional. David may be interested in trying to resurrect it in some form, and if that happens this page may need modification, but the current situation is what we must recognise here. The changes update to the current process and are needed. EdChem (talk) 02:29, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Edit 9: First change has consensus and has been implemented in this edit, sequence change subsequently gained consensus
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

02:05, 11 May 2017 (33,905 bytes) (+71) (Advice for instructors: update)

9: First, I replaced some out-of-date information about ambassadors in the instructors section with pointers about how to find the current training materials. Second, I switched the order of two sentences lower in the section, without changing their content, because I think it make the flow better.

  • Support addition of information about Wiki Ed and about dashboard. --David Tornheim (talk) 05:12, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Support addition of Please do not give students credit for writing an arbitrary quantity of words or bytes. Wikipedia should not contain unnecessary and off-topic material, because encyclopedias prize brevity. --David Tornheim (talk) 05:12, 13 May 2017 (UTC) (struck 22:03, 13 May 2017 (UTC))
  • Oppose moving Support addition of Wikipedia has its own "grades" for articles, reflecting how article quality is conceptualized by the editing community.[1] --David Tornheim (talk) 05:12, 13 May 2017 (UTC) (revised 22:03, 13 May 2017 (UTC))

References

  1. ^ Please also take a look at the various cleanup templates that can be applied to an article when specific things could be improved upon.
The original flow made more sense to me emphasizing that it would be unfair to use Wikipedian's grading method as part of the rubric for assigning student grades (just as it would be inappropriate to grade students on what portion of their articles or edits "stick" in mainspace--something that is almost entirely out of the students and the instructor's control. If that is not emphasized, we should emphasize it. I will make a new section to discuss this.)
I do see Tryptofish was connecting the WP:GA material, but I think the issue of distinguishing GA from grading rubric is more important. Perhaps adding more to the area about GA reminding the reader that GA is a kind of grade as discussed previously would accomplish that. --David Tornheim (talk) 22:03, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Defer to #Ambassadors. I prefer we complete the discussion at #Ambassadors before I make any recommendations about the removal of content about ambassadors in this edit. --David Tornheim (talk) 05:12, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
The second and third points you raise ("give students credit" and "its own grades") were not changes by me. I only switched the positions of the two sentences, in order to create what I think was better flow. I did not add anything to those sentences or alter them in any way. Those two sentences have been there for years. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:01, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
Ah, yes. I'm still getting used to using the more advanced diff tool, which is a huge improvement over the old one. Have changed my vote accordingly. --David Tornheim (talk) 22:03, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
  • General Support: The feedback from former Ambassadors and the marking of pages as inactive shows the program is no longer functional. David may be interested in trying to resurrect it in some form, and if that happens this page may need modification, but the current situation is what we must recognise here. Tryptofish's modified order seems more logical to me, but I think a comment that article grades are often outdated might be added, as another reason not base grades on them. Certainly the outdated ambassador-related material needs to be removed. EdChem (talk) 02:35, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
  • It should be noted that this edit is now impacted by the discussion about the earlier edit (edit 2), that dealt with student comments on talk pages. I think the only remaining question is about where to put the sentence about Wikipedia having it's own "grades". We should look at these two edits as a single topic now, in order to best position that sentence. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:02, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Tryptofish is correct, given the changes to edit 2, the positioning of the comments on WP article grades needs reconsideration. I was in favour of moving it as Tryptofish had done in the original series of edits, but with subsequent changes I am now inclined to leaving it at the start of a paragraph. I do wonder, however, whether we should also add to it that some article quality grades are only awarded after a discussion that establishes a consensus (A, GA, FA), and that the others can be changed by any editor and so can be contentious or out-of-date. Thus, the grades of B and below are unreliable and this is likely to be a stronger disincentive to using them in assessment. Thoughts? EdChem (talk) 20:12, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
I've never really seen the point of including anything about it, and I would rather delete that sentence than expand upon it. I think that there is an awful lot of information for instructors and students to take in throughout the page, and understanding article assessment is just not that important. The parallel with school grades is more "cute" than informative. It might be better to delete the sentence, and instead, have a "see also" (hopefully not controversial) that links to the article assessment page. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:37, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
I can see the relevance if an instructor were to think that article grades were some reliable indicator of quality. However, I think a reduced prominence is sensible. So, I propose that we add a footnote after the sentence Your assignment and grading rubric should reinforce (and certainly not contradict) Wikipedia's norms, and your class should seek to improve the encyclopedia in the advice for instructors section:
Wikipedia has a system for grading article quality which is used by the various WikiProjects (groups with interests in particular content areas). New articles can take a while to be assessed (at present, nearly 10% of Wikipedia's articles have no grading) and the timing of re-assessments following substantial editing is also unpredictable. To achieve any of the three highest grades (Feature Article (FA), Good Article (GA), and A-class) an article must be nominated and be supported by consensus following a formal evaluation by independent editor(s). The time frame involved is unpredictable and typically incompatible with the editing schedule of student assignments. The lower grades can be assigned or re-assessed by any editor but may not be accurate or reliable, especially when the categorisation was done by an inexperienced editor. These grades may be considered as a course coarse correction made following comment below from Dodger67 filter of article quality, useful for the editorial community but only really reliable at the higher end. Consequently, they are fundamentally ill-suited to an instructor's assessment of their students' contributions, and it is unwise to include article grades as assignment goals. There is no benefit for students who are inexperienced editors trying to assign grades on article talk pages, and any self-assessment task should not involve formally assigning Wikipedia article grades.
I then suggest we remove the first sentence of the following paragraph, namely Wikipedia has its own "grades" for articles, reflecting how article quality is conceptualized by the editing community.[8], and move footnote 8 (about cleanup templates) until after the word "respond", two sentences later. As usual, feel free to shorten / adapt / etc. EdChem (talk) 06:45, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
There is a typo at "These grades may be considered as a course filter of article quality..." the word "course" is incorrect, it should be "coarse", or actually "rough" might even be better. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 08:52, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, Roger, correction made. EdChem (talk) 10:46, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Excellent idea, and  Done. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:49, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

I have added to the clean up template ref and related it to both students and instructors. If there are no objections, I think edit 9 can be closed as reolved. David Tornheim, are you comfortable with this as it stands now? EdChem (talk) 00:38, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

David Tornheim and Tryptofish are you both comfortable with my additions to the comments on templates on article pages being related to instructors and students? If so, can the edits on this proposal can be closed off? Thanks, EdChem (talk) 23:57, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Not sure I am judging the original proposed edit. It presented three links.
  1. outreach:Education WikiEd - I say never link to the outreach wiki. That entire wiki is mostly defunct, and it is mostly developed by paid consultants who are not familiar with Wikipedia culture. For information about English Wikipedia, I say stay on English Wikipedia. Content there is not stable.
  2. Wikipedia:Training/For educators This is fine. It is strange to send people to a soft redirect to leave Wikipedia for training, but Wiki Ed really does provide the best online instructor training and they make it available to everyone.
  3. https://dashboard.wikiedu.org/ - avoid linking to this. This is a private service only for organizations partnering with Wiki Ed. For anyone who is not Wiki Ed staff or partner, instead go to meta:Programs & Events Dashboard. This is the exact same software and provided by Wiki Ed, but it is installed on Wikimedia servers for use by the Wikimedia community. Anyone can use this to track any program, whether a class, a workshop, a casual get-together, or any other circumstances in which someone wants a report on the editing activities of a group of Wikimedia contributors to any Wikimedia project in any language.
Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:55, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Partially a response to this, and also to another comment above (the one with Wiki Ed had never made a commitment to clean up after others. They provide some online tutorials which anyone can read or use, but language like "please raise your concerns with WikiEd" is presumptuous. Wiki Ed negotiates their own relationships). Without commenting on the main points here, I do want to clarify that Wiki Ed, as the Education Program in the US/CA, will support any class at a post-secondary institution in those two countries. No partnerships are required. The only exception to our support of institutions in those areas is when an instructor's assignment raises serious red flags (insisting on grading based on what "sticks" in an article, a very large number of students, a low-level class editing complex medical articles, requiring original research, etc.). If we can't convince the prof to change it, and can't convince them to do a different kind of assignment, not providing official support is pretty key part of the quality control process. Access to staff time and tools is part of the motivation for reluctant instructors to follow best practices, and the consequences of not doing so is typically what eats up the community's time. If we committed to clean up all messes, there would be less motivation not to make a mess, and it would take away from the classes who do follow best practices. I understand you're not suggesting it's desirable or even possible for us to commit to cleaning up all education-related messes, so I want to be clear that I'm not necessarily disagreeing with your points as they relate to this essay. I just want to ensure there's no impression that Wiki Ed is exclusive or exclusionary other than its geographic boundaries. I'll add, by the way, that those classes we don't support are very rare. I'm not the one who has those early conversations with profs anymore, but speaking just from my experience it was maybe 2-3 each term that we'd discourage, and maybe 1 would move forward anyway. --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 21:08, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Responding to EdChem's question, it's fine with me. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:18, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
  • @EdChem: I am okay with this edit. I also agree with changing "course" to "coarse". I'm not sure what you proposed to be changed in the quote box above (do you have a redline?). I haven't been able to keep track of the numerous changes that are going on to the article.
Of greater concern is Bluerasberry's assertion that WIki Ed should not be the official go-to for English Wikiepdia. I believe that is technically correct, because Wiki Ed does not serve all countries, much less all English speaking countries. The text should be carefully crafted to avoid giving the false impression Wiki Ed can be relied on when that is not the case. --David Tornheim (talk) 02:30, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
Edit 10 has been implemented in this edit
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

02:09, 11 May 2017 (34,008 bytes) (+103) (Course pages, user pages, and user names: tweak)

10: I corrected some links to WikiEd.

  • Support change. --David Tornheim (talk) 05:02, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Support correction, should not have been reverted. EdChem (talk) 01:32, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Edit 11 has been implemented in this edit
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

02:13, 11 May 2017 (34,130 bytes) (+122) (top: add)

11: I defined in the lead section what WikiEd is, and gave advice to work with them.

  • Support addition of information about Wiki Ed. --David Tornheim (talk) 05:03, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Support addition, should not have been reverted. EdChem (talk) 01:33, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

Can we resolve this soon?[edit]

I've been, for the most part, just having a two-editor discussion with David for several days now, and it has the potential to just keep going on and on. I've yet to see significant support for David's concerns, and I am getting worried that other editors have just given up or lost interest. So I'm going to ping the other editors who have previously expressed opinions in this discussion: Doc James, Chris troutman, Bluerasberry, EdChem, and a courtesy ping to El C. And of course if anyone else who is watching would like to comment, please do. I'd appreciate it very much if you could indicate your views of #DT's Proposed changes to Ambassador Language. I would also like you to indicate any of the list of 11 edits that I made and were reverted, where you feel the edit should remain reverted or should be modified in any way. Thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:59, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

I've replied to the one where I was pinged, and where it is easy enough to comment. Everything left touches on Ambassadors, where I don't have the knowledge for an informed opinion right now. EdChem (talk) 01:47, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks again. I think that you have been very patient (and I would like to think that I have been patient too). But I continue to feel that this discussion has gone on long enough, and I'm uninterested in just watching the constantly changing goal posts, so I am re-pinging Doc James, Chris troutman, and Bluerasberry. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:46, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Traveling and have just a few hours before I run out of power. Looks like a bunch have consensus. Which ones still need further opinions? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:17, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Tryptofish, I meant that I needed to look further into the Ambassador issue, which I have now done. The information above from former participants is very clear, the program is defunct and the edits to remove reference to them are necessary and appropriate. David's suggestion of repurposing the current advice for ambassador section into advice for editors who interact with the class can be considered separately, but the bulk of the changes should be restored. EdChem (talk) 00:59, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

Tryptofish and David, I have implemented changes as follows:

  • edits 1, 4, 7, 8, 10, and 11 have been implemented
  • edit 2: I have made a concrete proposal that awaits comment from you both
  • edit 3: Long discussion, but my reading is that a separate page be developed, and that the "See also" be changed to give context. I have made a proposal near the end (in red) to be considered by you both
  • edit 5 has been implemented but I made a subsequent change which needs consideration
  • edit 6: the ambassador section, I have commented out instead of deleting so it is available for integration with advice for editors unconnected to the class... hopefully this will find consensus
  • edit 9: I have re-implemented the first change, the second appears to me to lack consensus, so I've left for further discussion.

All other edits are invited to comment, of course, and I hope this advances us much closer to resolution. Regards. EdChem (talk) 06:46, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

That was excellent work, thanks! And very helpful in moving the discussion forward. I'll make some specific replies to the still-open sections above, and maybe we can next make a simpler (tl;dr) list of the issues that still need to be resolved. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:12, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Now that I've gone through all the details, I think I can sum up the remaining issues fairly simply:
  1. The instructors section should be revised according to the issues raised about #Edit 2 and #Edit 9, and there isn't much remaining controversy about how to do it, more like just wordsmithing.
  2. We need to resolve the issue of the see-also in #Edit 3.
Now that the ambassadors section has been hidden, which is fine with me, I ask that any proposal to restore it in revised form be presented in talk before being implemented. I think that actually covers everything. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:27, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
A tl;dr for editors who have been pinged: Basically, you need to comment about this edit. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:27, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
^No. This is not correct. There is more at-issue. There are at least four additional matters that were discussed here that need input:
  • 1. What are we going to do about editors who want to help instructors and students if the Ambassador program is kaput? How will we change the page to incorporate their help?
  • 2. Do you support the removal of the text about the Ambassador section? Should we rename Ambassador to something else like volunteer and adjust accordingly?
  • 3. Should we be encouraging students and instructors to be doing their assignments off-Wiki, when the purpose of these Wiki Ed assignments is to engage editors on-Wiki?
  • 4. Should we create a page to guide students/instructors about how to follow our rules and give advice on what not do to? Rather than "see this case where an instructor was banned. And, good luck figuring out how our court system works."
--David Tornheim (talk) 23:32, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
My tl;dr: unchanged.
David, it seems to me that you are putting obstacles in the way of getting consensus, by bringing up tangential issues:
  1. It has already been decided to comment-out the ambassador section for now. We do not yet have a meaningful program for "editor volunteers", and any such program would need to be created at WP:ENB but not here. There is no reason to hold up these edits while waiting for that to happen. There's nothing wrong with adding a bit of helpful advice to the editors section. We need a good proposal for what that should be, and we don't have it now. There is no need to wait for it before making the other revisions, but it can be added later.
  2. Yes, I support it, and so does everyone else in this discussion except you. It can stay commented-out for the time being.
  3. We should provide the information that it is an option, that's all. And the revisions under #Edit 2 are already doing that.
  4. If you want to create such a page, please feel free. But do not hold the discussion here hostage to that in the mean time.
--Tryptofish (talk) 23:35, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Please refrain from allegations of bad faith. Please strike your comments that I am "hold[ing] the discussion hostage", "filibustering", etc. I fail to understand the urgency you seem to have for getting your proposed changes on the page, when there is WP:NODEADLINE. On top of that, most of the edits (7 of 11) have been declared by EdChem to be resolved and I have made no effort to re-open them. When this first came up, I quickly responded to the edits I agreed with. The reason it has been slow to resolve is that very few editors seem to care, and only EdChem came in to speak to specific edits (a number of editors did express views about Ambassador program). So to accuse me of "hold[ing] the discussion hostage", "filibustering", etc. is really out of line.
The reason I responded no above, is because you seem to think this discussion is only about changes you want to be made, and if you get what you want, everything is done, and everyone should be told to leave. It's not just about your edits. I would not have invited so many editors to comment if that's all that matters. This discussion goes way beyond that, about making the students and instructors feel welcome, which is CORE POLICY (WP:5P3). That discussion needs to continue regardless of what happens to your proposed edits, many of which I supported early on, offered to put back 7 days ago (to which you said wait [16] to hear from others first on the changes we agreed on), and now 7 of 11 are now in the article.
If I invited other editors to comment on particular matters, please don't tell them to go away and that all that matters is one particular edit you want to go through. --David Tornheim (talk) 01:00, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
I have noted your comments here. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:13, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
David, the edits that I "declared to be resolved" were all ones where, I thought, you were in agreement and so there was not outstanding dispute. I tried to leave open everything where I thought there was not consensus. In my view, there was urgency for two reasons: firstly, the content of the page was out of date and so should be updated as soon as practicable. Student editing happens at different times in different places – WT:CHEM has this current thread where DMacks has commented on the this course of approximately 120 students that the "edits from this course I've encountered on watchlist are virtually all nuke-on-sight bad. It's as if they had no training or resources about the basics of what WP is and how articles and subarticles are structured." (emphasis added) There is also this thread for a student in another course with issues of suitable referencing and tone – and editors are better able to point to this page when it is current. Second, Tryptofish made a series of discrete changes, which allowed anyone who disagreed (such as yourself) to selectively revert and discuss as part of a regular BRD cycle. Unfortunately, you chose to mass revert and an edit war began to develop, making it necessary to seek consensus on changes that were uncontroversial. This has wasted editor time as the discussion was much broader than was needed, and I believed and still believe that making the changes that have consensus and focussing the discussion on the actual areas of contention was both appropriate and desirable. I am responding about this because I did not appreciate what I felt was a possible inference that could be drawn from your post, that I had implemented my own view and your not re-opening them was a concession on your part rather than a reflection that you supported the changes as well. Perhaps you did not intend such an implication to be present, perhaps I am overly sensitive, perhaps it is the juxtaposition of your comments about Tryptofish's rather more strong comments with your comments about my actions that leaves me uncomfortable. I believe strongly in consensus. I believe that everyone's views deserve careful consideration if offered in good faith, and I think your idea of a separate page is worth exploring. I don't agree with Tryptofish that a "see also" link to just the AN discussion is a wise choice, your arguments have led me to reconsider on that point. I don't think that everything is finished once the above 11 edits have reached a resolution, and I don't think Tryptofish does either, but I do think that waiting for a perfect solution with extra pages / content is not a good reason for delaying implementation of improvements. For example, adapting the commented-out ambassador text has the potential to strengthen advice to editors unconnected to a course, but making those adaptations is a poor reason for leaving the clearly out-of-date section visible, which is why I removed it from being visible to readers. Given the comments above from editors who had been ambassadors that was unequivocal about the program's non-functionality, I believe removing it had consensus and by commenting it out rather than removing it and leaving it only accessible through history, I thought I was changing the visibility for readers (which was necessary) while making accessibility easiest for you or others who might wish to adapt it in the future. I have tried very hard to only act on consensus and to reflect all viewpoints. If you have a problem with any of the edits I have made, please raise it directly and I will be happy to discuss it, or even revert and start a new sub-section if you think my change was inconsistent with policy or unsupported by consensus. However, please take care in your comments not to imply that my actions are problematic unless you have a basis for raising an issue, and in that case raise it directly. Thank you. EdChem (talk) 00:54, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
@EdChem: Nowhere do I remember suggesting or implying your edits were problematic. My comment was addressed entirely to Tryptofish who has been making false allegations of bad faith that I was "holding the discussion hostage", "fillibustering", etc. I don't think you have been a problem. I said all along that I thought it wonderful that you wanted to work with EJustice rather than the more harsh punishment that others, including Tryptofish, brought on him. I commend you for that. You have proven to me that you are interested in helping instructors.
I already explained before why I reverted the entire set of consecutive edits all made on one day rather try to individually revert some: Individual reverts in a collection of edits almost never works unless all the edits are in separate places--which they were not--and some of the edits included things I agreed with and things I disagreed with. The simplest thing was to revert all at once and then come to agreement through discussion, which is exactly what was done. It is my understanding that in Wiki-law, a set of consecutive edits are the legal equivalent of a single edit when it comes to counting reverts in 0RR, 1RR, editing warring, etc., so reverting all at once is not some travesty and is the equivalent of a single revert, not multiple reverts. I simply brought the article to where it was 24 hours before and asked for discussion about the entire sequence of edits, which is the right thing to do. The "edit war" was the result of Tryptofish's refusal to follow BRD which an admin. confirmed. I offered to put back the material that I agreed on, and Tryptofish said no, that he wanted more discussion. So Tryptofish saying I was stalling was totally out of line. It had nothing to do with anything you did. You were fine. (Sorry it took me so long to respond. I took a Wiki-break.) --David Tornheim (talk) 03:18, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
For those following along at home, this, this, and this. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:49, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
I have been ignoring this conversation because I've already provided my comments to David Tornheim privately. I am only commenting now to specify that he does not have consensus for his proposed changes. Walking away from this conversation is the best thing to do. Chris Troutman (talk) 23:40, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
David, I'm glad you don't see my edits as problematic. EdChem (talk) 13:10, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

See also (Edit 3)[edit]

EdChem, thanks for that. I see that you regard the "see also" issue differently than I do, and I have held back from making any edits about it because I recognize that there is not yet a consensus about it. I've read your earlier comments about it, of course, but I'd like to ask you a few questions about it as of this time. Can you see an acceptable way to link to it without waiting for another page to be created, and without creating a separate section of this information page for it? Is there a strategy that you would feel comfortable with, in which the "see also" link could be worded differently than I had done? --Tryptofish (talk) 01:32, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
Tryptofish, my suggestion was the red part in this edit. My reasoning is that an AN thread is difficult to understand for those unfamiliar with both the course and WP. Experienced editors will follow links and look into what they need to examine, but this page is for inexperienced editors and a long AN thread with no context is intimidating and hard to understand, plus it fails to show that all sorts of interventions are tried before getting to the AN stage. I am open to trimming back to whatever are the essentials to lay the basis for understanding what was said at AN and why it came to that, my suggestion was off-the-cuff. And yes, in line with my comments above, I would see some form of words in the "see also" section as an incremental improvement that might be reassessed when (if?) a new page is available. I think including an example of a problem course is reasonable, but in a form that is accessible / understandable to the readers for whom this page is written. Does this seem reasonable to you? EdChem (talk) 14:01, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
OK, I asked again just to see if anything had changed, but I definitely hear you. Let me say first that it's just fine with me to let this issue go, and leave it out entirely for the time being. I don't think it's that big a deal, and I'd be perfectly satisfied with leaving this discussion, with the page as it is now.
That said, my own opinion continues to be that I don't want to make this topic too big a part of this page, in the event that we do include it. I've thought of two strategies that I would like to run past you and see what you think.
One would still be a "see also", with language roughly half-way between what I tried and what you had in red font. Perhaps the blue link at the beginning of the "see also" entry would be piped to "A cautionary tale". Then, after the link, there would be some text in regular text font, like: This was a Wikipedia community discussion about an extreme example of a class assignment that went wrong. In a course about a controversial topic, discussions with the instructor and students about the WP:NPOV policy failed to reach an understanding, and the community ultimately responded by blocking the instructor from future class projects. That's shorter than your version, but I think that it covers the most important points, and I would not want to make it significantly longer than that, although I'm fine with revising it.
The other option would be to not put it in the "see also", but instead cover it as one of the numbered footnotes on the page. I think we could put a footnote at the end of the first paragraph of the Overview section, that could begin something like On the other hand, when an assignment is not aligned with these norms, significant problems can arise. In an extreme example of this (link to AN discussion) that may serve as a cautionary tale... The footnote could then go on at greater length and in more detail that what I proposed in the first option, and we could largely cover what you put in red font in this way.
I'd be good with either of those options, and as I said, I would also be good with simply declaring victory, as it were, and walking away. Thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:14, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
@EdChem: I'm not sure whether you saw this amid all the other talk, but I went ahead and worked it into the revised footnote 2. I hope that this will be a satisfactory resolution. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:54, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
@Tryptofish: I did see it, I even have an edit window where I started a response. I'm in hospital at present... went in for a minor day procedure, returned that evening with pain and some complication, and am still here having been told by my surgeon that "it'll either start to improve, or it won't... and if it doesn't, he'll do some more tests, but he doesn't know what is happening." My WP attention has gone to the easy, I guess you can understand why.  :) I was inclined to the footnote approach, so I'll have a look. Ultimately a separate page is justifiable but I'm not itching to write it and waiting for one is not sensible. I think we've made good progress here, and there is reason for feeling a level of achievement and satisfaction. EdChem (talk) 00:05, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
Oh my, I'm so sorry about that, and I wish you a very rapid recovery. And you deserve commendation for editing at all under those circumstances. I too think that the issues have largely been worked out. Any corrections you (or anyone else) want to make to my edits: WP:There is no deadline. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:11, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, Tryptofish. I have tweaked your comment, including a link to the successful example of Talk:Environmental policy of the Donald Trump administration/Archives/2017/April and added some context. See what you think? EdChem (talk) 22:52, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

PS: Now home from hospital, pain much reduced, but what happened still unknown. EdChem (talk) 22:52, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

It's good to have you back! And I think the expansion of the footnote was a good idea (which, inevitably, I fussed with further). It's been a bit of a long slog since the initial complaints, but I think that we now have a page that looks good, and I'm quite content with it. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:22, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
I like your fussings, I think they make the text stronger. It's almost like editors working together can lead to a better outcome than anyone working individually... do you think we should write that down in policy and guidelines somewhere? I did wonder about highlighting some of the less successful article talk or user talk discussions, but I wasn't sure that that wouldn't highlight individuals too much. Should we link to at least one AfD? I think we are progressing well now, though we haven't had comment from David in a while, so whether we have consensus is unclear, and I want to continue to work with Ryan's input. EdChem (talk) 23:41, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Face-smile.svg --Tryptofish (talk) 00:19, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

Dashboard etc[edit]

@Tryptofish: Two quick things regarding your edits today: and the course should be listed as a class assignment. - That page is updated automatically when someone creates a course page on the Wiki Ed Dashboard. Few people actually watch it, since it's entirely semi-automated edits, so it might be confusing to link to it. (At present, the WikiEd Program is available only in the US and Canada, but the Dashboard tool is available to everyone.) The reason I added the qualifier "Wiki Ed Dashboard" above is that there's the original Dashboard at dashboard.wikiedu.org which is used by institutions in the US + CA. Then there's the Programs and Events Dashboard hosted by wmflabs. The basic functionality is present in both, but the Wiki Ed version has some Wiki Ed-specific elements built in (incorporating staff roles, for example) while the wmflabs version has a broader audience in mind, geared towards programs in general rather than just classroom assignments. I don't know that you'd want to go into detail, but it seems useful to distinguish in some way. --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 22:05, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

Thanks very much Ryan! Obviously, this can be confusing. I've made this edit to correct it: [17]. Does that get it right? --Tryptofish (talk) 00:09, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

"official"[edit]

here is nothing official about WP. Anyone can start any program they like, under whatever name they like, as long as it doesn't imply some non-existent official status. The enWP has no means of doing anything officially, which is why WikiEd is a separate organization. They can do things officially if they like, but it doesn't bind anyone here, nor are we obliged to pay any attention to their organizational structure unless we as individuals care to do so. (I think it is important that we do care to do so, both because they;re our friends, working in the same direction, and also in order to make sure that what they do with respect to the enWP will be acceptable at the encyclopedia.) On the other hand, if wikiEd wants to have the students in their programs write for the enWP, they must guide their editors to do things that will be acceptable here. Our standards are basically the same whoever writes the article, whether a student under guidance, or a person entirely on their own. That said, we need to recognize the realities of class programs: student writers will write as they do in other courses, and are no more likely to submit the material before their course's final deadline than they would be if they were writing an ordinary term paper. (I think everyone here knows the pattern from first hand experience). This makes some of our article quality methods inapplicable, because once they have left, they will not come back for revision. We can urge the wikiEd program to try to persuade the instructors to make the due date for the WP part of the course as early as possible, but -- based on my experience as a student and teacher -- trying to accomplish this is a very difficult thing. DGG ( talk ) 02:03, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for the comment. In the few courses I have looked at here, the deadlines are indeed setup to encourage exactly what you said, and it looked to me that students were complying. With the new shift to electronic learning, at the school I am taking course, there has been a shift to drop-dead deadlines (i.e. you turn it in 1 second late, you get a zero). I was in disbelief for quite some time, but eventually students get used to it. So, it may be more practical now to do what you suggest than even 5-10 years ago. --David Tornheim (talk) 02:26, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
I should mention that when I taught, I required intermediate drafts, usually at 2 or 3 stages and--it it was a methods class, with weekly reports of progress on the survey or whatever project they chose. This is more or less the generally recommended method, but my students were quite unhappy with this, and it showed in my student evaluations. But this was 7 or 8 years ago and earlier, and I hope you are right that students are more accustomed to it now. (I never had a firm final deadline as such, but I always scheduled each of them to give an oral summary to the class, and they knew they would be embarrassed if they were not ready. As for the written version, all I asked was that they get the work in before I had to submit the grades, but I warned them that if it was at the last minute I wouldn't be able to give them time to rewrite. I'm amazed when I read that faculty use unnecessary deadlines and penalties and attendance requirements--I consider them punitive and a way of showing who's the boss. )
Looking at ed program classes, many of them do require something like I did, with progress markers--it's the way teachers nowadays are taught to do it . But I notice that usually only a minority of the students actually keep up with them.
there are some obvious analogies with ordinary editing at WP. DGG ( talk ) 08:29, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

a few notes[edit]

Going to leave a few notes here. I understand there's been a lot of text generated over other recent changes, so I'll say at the start that little, if any, of this is of the sort of thing that needs urgent attention, and by all means come back to it if you're experiencing fatigue with this page. :) Also, please take all of these, in case it's not clear, as my own opinions on the page -- the perspective of someone at Wiki Ed rather than specific edit requests by Wiki Ed.

1. Footnote 1: See Wikipedia:Education Working Group/RfC. Volunteer editors are sometimes left with a mess and the burden of fixing poor-quality edits, merging content forks, and deleting articles.
In the context of the lead, it seems like this sentiment would be most effectively communicated directly/plainly, as I don't think it's very controversial that poorly conceived/executed class assignments can cause headaches for other editors. A link to an RfC from the Education Program's early days may be useful for historical/procedural purposes, but anyone clicking on the link for more information about what the note says will probably find it more confusing than helpful.
2. Footnote 2: One can browse User:jbmurray and Attention needed on several articles and users, for a couple examples.
It's unclear what from jbmurray's talk page this is pointing to, as his classes that he mentions there look to have been largely successful (unless by "mixed" the intention is to give a positive outcome along with a negative outcome). Perhaps this subpage is what's intended? It may also be useful to summarize what the reader should take away from that link to a length ENB discussion. Since the result wasn't exactly ideal (prof saying he won't teach with Wikipedia again), it's hard to extract constructive/actionable lessons from the discussion. That said, if the purpose is just to give an example of an experienced editor who had trouble with a class, it obviously does that, but it seems like it would be more useful if it were a "here's how to avoid this" rather than just "here's a mess".
3. Instructors are expected to have a good working knowledge of Wikipedia, and should be willing to help address core content policy violations[3] and, in the US and Canada, to coordinate with the Wikipedia Education Program ("WikiEd") system. (and then the note [3] is There are Wikipedia editors who will help you learn how to run a successful assignment. Consider delaying your Wikipedia assignment to next semester if you are not familiar with how things work. Someone will be happy to consult with you through video chat about how to run an assignment; please ask at the education noticeboard. You and your students will benefit from good planning.
the Wiki Education Program is global. There are resources at outreach:Education/Countries for people in many parts of the world, and WMF staff who can help try to make connections with people who can help in those areas. "Wiki Ed" specifically refers to the Wiki Education Foundation, which is the separate organization that manages the US and Canada arm of the Education Program. I'd recommend splitting this sentence and rewording along these lines: "Instructors are expected to have a good working knowledge of Wikipedia, and should be willing to help address core content policy violations in student work. The Wikipedia Education Program has many resources that can help instructors and students learn about Wikipedia and avoid common pitfalls. There are people who will help you learn to run a successful assignment, and you may want to consider delaying your assignment until next semester if you have not coordinated with members of the Education Program. For classes at institutions in the United States and Canada, contact the Wiki Education Foundation. For all other countries, visit the Education Program on the Outreach Wiki. If you don't know where to turn or have other questions, ask at the Education Noticeboard." This is a bit longer than the original, and I migrated the footnote into the main text, but it seems like an important block of text. Edit as you see fit, of course. In general I'd recommend highlighting the country-based support distinctions as early and as prominently as possible to ensure people get to the people who can help them with minimal confusion.
4. Each assignment should have a course page...
This links to a page that is specifically about the Education Program MediaWiki extension which is no longer maintained and scarcely used. Course pages with Wiki Ed are Dashboard pages, and are automatically created for everyone working with Wiki Ed. Likewise, templates are automatically placed on students' pages and article talk pages (there are some cases when this doesn't happen, that we're looking into, but in general it should be automatic). Most others should IMO probably be using the Programs and Events Dashboard. I don't believe anyone is maintaining the various on-wiki trainings, course page templates, etc. at this point, but I may be wrong about that. Not sure how this is best presented here.

I've written more than I intended here, so I'm going to go ahead and stop at the lead for now. --Ryan (Wiki Ed) (talk) 15:53, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

I have changed the format to number Ryan's points, for ease of discussion. Please revert if you object, Ryan. Thanks. EdChem (talk) 21:36, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Edit 3: I have made changes along the lines suggested by Ryan, with some tweaks to it and the surrounding content. Comments and criticisms welcome. Anyone can revert if they feel that it is necessary (and then please discuss here, obviously), but I think the basic thrust of the change is sensible. I tried to make the country-specific stuff prominent and the WikiEd at the end, and I agree with Ryan that this is important content to spend time on in the lede. We might want to split it into two paragraphs. EdChem (talk) 22:40, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Edit 2: I have expanded footnote 2 in two edits to reflect Ryan's comments. Reflect / revert / revile / reappraise / recapitulate / reinforce etc at your option. EdChem (talk) 23:02, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
  • As anyone following along has seen, I went ahead (partly simultaneously with EdChem), and implemented much of this. I trust Ryan will let us know if I still got stuff wrong! I'm cautiously hopeful that these recent edits have pretty much wrapped up the issues from the recent controversy, and I personally am quite happy with how the page is now. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:57, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
  • @Ryan (Wiki Ed): Any and all additional comments welcomed, as and when you have time, but particularly on whether my edits and Tryptofish's have addressed the four points you raised. EdChem (talk) 23:57, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

examples of best practices section[edit]

How are examples included in 'Examples the Best Practices' section not in violation of the Wikipedia policies of 'Wikipedia articles must not contain original research,' and 'All encyclopedic content on Wikipedia must be written from a neutral point of view (NPOV).' 'Best' implies a judgement call and it would be especially problematic if this section was added by the users themselves who conducted these Wikipedia assignments, seems biased.Decoybriefcase (talk) 00:20, 22 February 2018 (UTC)

This page is in the "Wikipedia namespace", which is separate from the encyclopedia and doesn't have to follow all of the same rules for content. It's not about an encyclopedic subject but about a Wikipedia-related activity. "Best practices" is just a way of saying "this is what works best" kind of like the examples given at WP:NPOV could be described as "best practices" for following NPOV. That's not to say they cannot be modified, of course. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 03:18, 22 February 2018 (UTC)