We love to tell the stories of the thousands of students and hundreds of professionals making meaningful contributions to Wikipedia’s content through our programs every year. Those individuals make a big difference in spreading free, reliable knowledge globally. And we’re proud to share in their successes.
Rarely, though, do we talk about the behind the scenes of our work at Wiki Education. What goes into ensuring that the thousands of people who rely on our tools and staff every year are best supported to do all that great work? Here’s a glimpse into what we plan to do in the coming year. For those wishing to read our Annual Plan in full, please find it on our website.
We now offer Wikidata courses!
In July 2019, we launched our first Wikidata courses as part of our professional development suite of offerings. Through both in-person and online courses, we now train professionals in how to understand, contribute to, and query Wikidata, the structured open data project in the Wikimedia umbrella. Wikidata is already becoming strategically important to librarians, archivist, and educators. Our courses help individuals identify how Wikidata is most relevant to their goals and give them the skills to navigate and contribute to the platform.
We’ll continue to expand our Wikipedia course offerings.
At this point, we’ve equipped hundreds of professionals with the skills and know-how to edit Wikipedia. They’ve brought their expertise, perspectives, and time to improving the site’s information — while at the same time making meaningful professional connections in our virtual, synchronous courses. In the coming year, we will create flexible course offerings that meet the needs of our partners and individual participants and that improve the quality, equity, and reach of open knowledge. More courses mean more opportunities for professional development, public education, and personal empowerment.
We’ll continue our Communicating Science initiative.
Science content remains a focus of Wiki Education’s programmatic work. Through supporting courses in both our Student Program and Wiki Scholars & Scientists Program related to the sciences, we will improve the availability of scientific information for the general public. That means expanding the already extensive impact that students have made through our Student Program and creating more professional development course offerings for scientists.
We won’t stop improving the Student Program user experience.
In our effort to further increase the efficiency of our programs, we’ll make significant improvements to the Dashboard user experience for students and for instructors so that fewer students require Wikipedia Expert intervention and more instructors recruit colleagues. We will design better scaffolding so that students know exactly what they need to do at each step of an article-writing assignment, and we will create better tools for reviewing and grading the individual exercises and assignments that comprise a Wikipedia classroom project.
Thank you to our community, who offers feedback and inspiration for us to make changes, to grow, and to support as many people as we can in this important work.