Announcing new features on the Dashboard Timeline

In our continual efforts to improve our core resources, we’ve incorporated feedback from program participants to make the Timeline feature of our Dashboard tool more effective.

The Dashboard is used by all instructors and students in our Classroom Program. And since 2010, that has been more than 1,000 instructors and 43,000 students. That’s a lot of people who rely on our assignment management tool to add quality information to Wikipedia in a classroom assignment. And thanks to their feedback, we’ll continue to improve the resource to fit their needs.

We’ve heard from instructors that the amount of text on a given Timeline can be overwhelming for students, who are already following a syllabus and have other courses to keep track of, as well. That’s why we’ve cut down on the amount of words in any given block.

New Timeline block layout.

In a given week there are assigned trainings, optional discussion modules, and an “ask” in the form of editable text. This ask generally includes an on-wiki exercise where students can practice what they’ve learned in that week’s training. We have introduced a new “Exercise” type module for these assignments. These modules appear like trainings do for a given week, but are not graded. They provide further guidance for students to complete that week’s Milestone.

Example of an Exercise module.

Another notable change in the Timeline is the introduction of two new training modules: Drafting in the sandbox and Moving work out of the sandbox. These two new trainings will appear in the Timeline when students begin drafting and when they’re finished with their drafts, respectively. The trainings are adapted from the former Sandboxes and Mainspace training, which introduced both concepts at once. This way, students will learn about relevant steps as they are ready to perform them.

New Moving work out of the sandbox training as it appears in the Timeline.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about the Dashboard, reach out to To read more about the continual improvements made to the Dashboard, read Technology Director Sage Ross’ take on running a newbie-friendly free software project.


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