Wikipedia talk:Training

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Continuing to develop these trainings, and helping to get them translated and localized for other Wikipedias, may be part of Wikimedia Foundation's focus for the Global Education Program after the US & Canada Education Programs are handed off to volunteers and/or the proposed thematic organization by the end of May 2013—and I'll be working on some improvements to the trainings between now and May, in any case. This is a preliminary roadmap for the trainings.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 17:23, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

February/March 2013[edit]


Yes check.svg Done Reorganize the flow of the training for educators so that they request user rights before the end of the main training, before continuing on to the sections on creating a course page, and replace the confusing loop back to the feedback page.

Yes check.svg Done Integrate user rights request and course page info into the Ambassador trainings.


Yes check.svg Done Revise the pages with videos so that the video and page text are always closely aligned, and add explanation at the beginning encouraging users to use videos or text (or both) depending on their learning preferences.

  • Yes check.svg Done Create new screencast covering the creation and use of course pages (since it looks and behaves differently now compared to when the first video was made) (~5 hours)
  • Add a basic interactive tour of editing in the sandbox, using a guided tour. (In preparation here.) (~10 hours)
  • Expand Ambassador and Educator training to cover some meta issues such as a basic description of the Ambassador role and how it works, the use of the trophy case, scripts and tools useful for monitoring and/or grading student work, the education noticeboard and what to use it for, etc. (~15 hours)

April/May/June 2013[edit]

  • Expand "Editing" module to cover more wiki syntax (italics, headers, basic templates). (~10 hours)
  • Copyedit trainings to replace US-specific terminology (see [1]). (~2 hours)
  • Expanded "Advanced Editing" module to cover finding and uploading free images/media by others. (~5 hours)
  • Revise feedback interface to generate more specific feedback. (~2 hours)

After June 2013[edit]

  • Port de-localized version of the trainings (that is, with all the English Wikipedia-specific parts removed or generalized) to Outreach or Meta, to serve as a translation hub. (~30 hours)
  • Revise "Editing" module to account for the Visual Editor (after it deploys). (~5 hours, + more to update videos)
  • Tabulate and analyze feedback, identify areas for further improvement (~10 hours)


Thank you for this Sage Ross - I am sure you noticed a made a few edits on the main page linking some other pages. I also linked those pages back to here and added the pages to the Help:Contents/Directory and other intro pages like Help:Contents/Browse/Getting started - I am glad to see the traffic go up a bit as seen here. I am going to be make a proposal to have all the tutorials, traning and intros as seen at Help:Contents/Directory made into a {{welcome}} type template for new editors. Will keep you uptodate on that. PS again great work.Moxy (talk) 16:21, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Thank you Moxy!--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 16:24, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Testing the training layout[edit]

Thanks to User:Wnt writing a Lua module for it, I've built a new version of the training templates that lets us edit a single page to rearrange an entire module. It's in use now for the Newcomers training, so the contents of that training are set by Wikipedia:Training/Newcomers/index. Since we're now see a pretty steady level of page views for the landing page, we can start experimenting with the structure and content to see what is most successful in getting people to follow through to the end. Right now, based on page views of the final page, few people are making it through to the end.

I'm going to start out by significantly reducing the number of pages and keeping the focus on the how-to stuff instead of the rules. After a few weeks of seeing how that performs, we can change it up again. Suggestions for variations to test are welcome.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 16:27, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Experiment 1[edit]

Here's the first variation: diff.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 16:36, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Nice consolidation - much easier to follow.Moxy (talk) 18:32, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Experiment 2[edit]

I've slimmed it down a bit more to focus solely on the how-to of editing, and more significantly, redirected the menu to the first page. Looking at the page view stats, it's clear that very few people actually start the training after landing at the menu, this may help get people started.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 13:20, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Training vs tutorial[edit]

So what's the difference between Training and taking a Wikipedia:Tutorial? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 04:34, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Theses page are specifically for students, educators and Wikipedia campus and online ambassadors for our Wikipedia Education Program. Pages like Wikipedia:Training/For educators and Wikipedia:Training/For Ambassadors are not for the average editor. It happens to also have a newcomer section (that all can benefit from ) so the students involved with the Education Program can have a one stop place for information that is all formatted and presented in the same manner as there course training at Wikipedia:Training/For students. See Wikipedia:Assignments for student editors for more info.Moxy (talk) 05:39, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
@User:Moxy: I support the existence of specialized training for students and other groups, but I think Wikipedia:Training/Newcomers/Welcome should be merged with the Wikipedia:Tutorial. Perhaps we should hold a wider RfC on this? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 07:24, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
@Piotrus: The newcomers training was used as an experiment to see whether it would be useful for general newcomers, in place of the Tutorial. Judging by the relative page views of the successive pages of that training, it's not useful for them. I suspect strongly that the Tutorial doesn't have much impact either. I think we need to replace the Tutorial with something more interactive: something based on guided tours, such as the Wikipedia Adventure project that User:Ocaasi has been working on (or something similar but more utilitarian in style).
In the meantime, I don't think an RfC is necessary. Feel free to replace any links that go to the Newcomers training.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 13:06, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
We definitely need a one-stop-shop for newcomers to get some sort of "congrats! you're off to a good start!". I happen to favor the format of Wikipedia:Training/Newcomers/Welcome over the other. Ping to User:Ocaasi. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 13:36, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, it's pretty clear from the page views that newcomers don't find the format helpful. The fraction who click beyond the first page of it after finding their way there tiny. (I haven't checked, but I'm guessing the same is true of the Tutorial.)--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 13:43, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Regarding the page views, have you considered that most newcomers are not aware of the tutorial/training in the first place? That said, concrete numbers would be appreciated. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:17, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, certainly, few are aware of it. However, earlier this year (see #Views above) Moxy linked the Newcomers training from several fairly prominent help pages, and pointed out that this was bringing in a moderate and pretty steady stream of page views. But although people were clicking the links to check out that training, the number of page views dropped precipitously for the second and then third and subsequent pages. Very few people were going to the end. I did a couple of experiments to see if making it shorter and simpler would improve the apparent completion rate, but it didn't. (If you want to look at the numbers, you can use for the training pages around the time of the two "experiment" posts above.)--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 13:37, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Training/For educators/do use Wikipedia[edit]

Could we please get a different quote other than the one currently used at Wikipedia:Training/For educators/do use Wikipedia? It occurs towards the beginning of the slides and it says: Students do use Wikipedia, and they need to understand what it is and how to trace back to the primary sources. It is a valuable tool that is dismissed by too many people. I think this could give the mistaken impression that using WP:Primary sources is encouraged on Wikipedia. Biosthmors (talk) 14:35, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

@Biosthmors: I'm not particularly attached to that quote, but I don't think it's likely to mislead educators. The idea is that students are using Wikipedia anyway, and if they understand how Wikipedia works and how to use it as a starting point, they will wind up using it as an entry point to exploring relevant primary sources. Not interpreting primary sources in order to write an article is different from articles not using / referring to / pointing to primary sources. And getting students to go deeper into the sources beyond Wikipedia is one of the major things that educators like about Wikipedia assignments. In some cases, depending on what they are hoping for students to do as they conduct their Wikipedia research, there can be a tension between that motivation and WP:NOR. But that's an issue that is addressed head-on elsewhere in the training, and it's something that people come in with. Trying to avoid mention of that (valid) purpose of doing a Wikipedia assignment seems counterproductive to me.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 15:02, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
It's not a biggie, I agree. But I went ahead and made a tweaking edit to change "primary" to "[cited]" since it's policy not to base articles on primary sources, and I figure it's better to not plant unhelpful seeds in anyone's mind. Biosthmors (talk) 17:00, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

interactive editing tour[edit]

The students training currently includes an optional guided tour for an interactive tutorial on the basics of editing, launched from here: Wikipedia:Training/For students/My sandbox. Based on feedback from students, I will note usability problems. --Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 14:35, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

I added a new tour today, for praticing citing sources; it launches from Wikipedia:Training/For students/Citing sources tutorial.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 17:25, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
I added one more tour, a quick overview of additional common markup. It launches from Wikipedia:Training/For students/More markup.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 14:02, 20 March 2014 (UTC)


Self-awarded barnstars?[edit]

@Sage Ross (WMF): While I appreciate your efforts to create this training, I'm confused why you thought it appropriate to have the students award themselves an original barnstar. It seems ill-advised to me. Chris Troutman (talk) 05:57, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Chris Troutman: As used in first guided tour introducing users to markup, it serves a few purposes. It introduces them to the concept of a barnstar as a way of thanking people for their contributions, it shows them their own talk page, and it recognizes their (minor) accomplishment of successfully using wikimarkup. I'll also note that, although the edit gets recorded under their account, the actual experience from the user's perspective is that the system awarded them a barnstar (instead of them transparently posting it to their own talk page); the barnstar edit happens in the background, and they just see that they now have this barnstar on their talk page. Everything except the first purpose would be served just as well by replacing the barnstar with some other "nice work" message, but I don't see anything inappropriate about using the barnstar in this context.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 13:14, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
On the other hand, if you ask middle schoolers who participate in soccer or gymnastics tournaments what they think of an award that all are given for participation (or look to their bedroom floors for practical expressions of their attitudes toward the same), an argument could be made that offering any substantial reward for participation or smallest accomplishment diminishes respect for self and process. I think the described is a poorly considered use of this barnstar, and suggest broader review. LeProf (talk) 04:58, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Chris Troutman and LeProf: In the latest update, I've removed the explicit mention of barnstars from the tour javascript. If you wish to change Wikipedia:Training/tour/barnstar to something else (like a kitten, maybe?) feel free. I still think a barnstar is on balance the best option, but I don't feel strongly about it. If you change it, please note that for the current version I used the recursive conversion trick to add an unexecuted 'subst', so that it will properly insert a signature when posted via the tour. (Ping me to re-implement that, if you like.)--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 13:43, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
@Sage Ross (WMF): Thanks for your understanding on this point. I have made the change (switching the barnstar to a WikiCookie) and I believe that should work without coding problems. The recursive conversion trick is over my head, unfortunately. If I broke anything feel free to revert me and I'll let more experienced hands address it. Chris Troutman (talk) 15:51, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Done. The way you had it, it would just insert your signature on every person's talk page.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 16:01, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
A great example, I hope, of an issue raised, with collegial resolution of the matter. Cheers to you both, and I hope my stopping by was a help rather than hindrance. Cheers, Le Prof Leprof 7272 (talk) 17:09, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Quiz for new instructors still needed[edit]

We are still in desparate need of a quiz or other mechanism that can validate an instructor's understanding prior to granting them instructor rights. There has been prior brief discussion of this in these threads, but it does not seem to have gone far. Wp:CIR should apply, especially to instructors. Longtime editors are growing weary of correcting problems introduced by course participants running amok. Is there any headway being made on such a quiz? LeadSongDog come howl! 17:43, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

User:LeadSongDog: Wiki Ed's current tech roadmap has us tackling the trainings — including adding knowledge checks before you can proceed — in time for the first term of 2016.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:47, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Good to hear, though I can't see that trello page. In the interim, perhaps we could apply a simple tangible threshold of demonstrated contribution and accomplishment, such as having an existing article promoted to C-class or better. While it's a great thing to have hundreds of classes contributing, the paucity of durable contributions has been very troubling. Much of this must be attributed to instructors who don't yet know what they are doing here. LeadSongDog come howl! 18:02, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
User:LeadSongDog: Hmm... the Trello page is public, so I'm not sure why you're unable to see it. (It works for me even logged out.) But to answer your question, there aren't any plans to implement quizzes in the interim (we've got a lot of other things to build first), or to have an article contribution prerequisite for instructors. If there are specific classes from the current you have in mind that went badly and didn't make durable contributions, let's look more specifically into what went wrong/badly where you think better training / preparation on the part of the instructor would have made the difference. (Either here, or by email if you prefer.)--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 18:15, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps it's the firewall here giving me problems, I'll try elsewhere. Anyhow, please see Wikipedia_talk:Conflict_of_interest#Student editing and COI (and the prior section) for context. LeadSongDog come howl! 18:38, 17 April 2015 (UTC)