Wikipedia:Proposed Indian Education Program

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This page is for discussion of the Indian Education Project (IEP) (moved from Simple Talk)

India Program's proposal to Simple Wikipedia community[change | change source]

Hi Everyone,

User:Hisham & I (User:Nitika.t) work with WMF's India Program in New Delhi. We're writing this to share some ideas, get your opinions and to start a conversation with the Simple Wikipedia community.

Background about WMF's India Program

India has about 1.2 billion people and one of the world's largest youth segments. It has 28 languages with hundreds of dialects. It has a long and interesting history and a wonderful diversity.

India is one of the fastest growing nations on the Internet. The current level of 80 million of Internet users is expected to increase to 237 million by 2015. Also, between 400 - 700 million Indians have mobile phones, and a growing number have Internet access through their mobiles. Today, India represents only 2.0% of global page views and 1.6% of global page edits on our projects, even though India has 4.7% of global Internet users and about 20% of the world's population.

India Program's main aim is to support and build the Indian Wikimedia community. An important goal is to encourage more people to contribute by editing. This will help our projects by improving the quality of articles about Indian topics.

To this end, we run different kind of pilots — such as basic community building or using social media or improving the quality of outreach — all to handhold new editors and get them to feel a part of the Wikimedia family. We work closely with the community and a lot of our efforts go into helping community members independently conduct activities.

Background about India Education Program

Amongst different types of outreach efforts we support (such as workshops, wikiclubs, etc.), one of our major plans is the Wikipedia India Education Program (IEP).

Here, we partner with universities or high schools and support teachers to use Wikipedia as a teaching and learning tool. Students are trained to write Wikipedia articles under the guidance of these teachers, Campus Ambassadors (CAs), Online Ambassadors (OAs) and other members of our community. Everyone involved (including professors, CAs, OAs and students) are given thorough training on how to edit on Wiki (based on that particular Wiki's rules and policies), training on some of the important policies, how talk pages work, etc.

Even after the in-class assignment ends, students will be encouraged to remain active and continue contributing.

What is the context for this proposal?

We are reaching out to you (the Simple Wikipedia community) to see if we can support a pilot of IEP on your project. There are many reasons for our suggestion:

  • We are excited to run this pilot with your community considering the welcoming and supportive attitude you have to new editors, especially towards students. In a sense, the visions of IEP and Simple Wikipedia have common ground in the belief that students can become long term editors through the right kind of support.
  • We had tried a pilot last year (on the English Wikipedia.) This pilot failed - for a number of reasons. A summary of these and the suggestions for the future is here. (In addition, we have summarised all the lessons here and there was an independent report that was also prepared.) We are taking great care to make sure that all these lessons are included in the pilot we are proposing to you.
  • Simple Wikipedia is suitable for new editors whose mother tongue is not English. Though most IEP students will be comfortable reading, writing and speaking in English, it is not their first language. They will not be able to use complex words or frame big sentences — which is great for Simple Wikipedia project.
  • With about 84,000 articles on Simple Wikipedia, there is a nice opportunity to add/improve articles in different subject areas. An IEP pilot will help to improve content on Simple Wikipedia but will also provide trained long term editors who can become long-term members of the community and help build the project.
  • I do not know how many India-related articles there are on Simple Wikipedia right now, but this pilot can help build this content and Simple Wikipedia could be the (global) hub of India centric articles. This can be used by other Indic language, non-Indic language as well as English Wikipedia communities as a base from which to improve the articles about India on their respective projects.

What is India Program proposing?

We deeply love that your the Simple Community is friendly and welcoming and warm. However, we wanted to clarify the following: Everything that we are proposing to the Simple Wikipedia community is based on the following guiding principles

  1. Just because your community is small and friendly, we will not violate your trust by doing things that you are not comfortable with
  2. Just because your community is small and friendly, we will not reduce our focus on strong program design (including adequate training, adequate emphasis on quality, adequate processes for anticipating and managing potential issues, etc.)
  3. We will always keep in mind that simple English does not mean bad English

Here are our initial ideas around how the pilot would work: (but please note these are suggestions and we'd like to build the pilot collaboratively with your community)

  • Main objective of the pilot: To encourage students to become new editors through their class assignments — and to remain active beyond that. We plan to do this through effective training, close hand-holding, strong supervision during their class assignments, making it fun and exciting by trying to set up a club, and and actively encouraging them to keep editing beyond their assignments and become active members of our community.
  • Sandbox to article mainspace: We want to make sure that the students are adequately supported to improve content — and, given a lot of them will be first time editors, they will be encouraged to write in their respective sandboxes to begin with — and a careful process will be followed to move content from sandboxes to the article mainspace.
  • Selection of subjects: Students will write articles from arts or humanities, all from an Indian context, e.g., Indian history, Indian economics, Indian geography, etc.
  • Selection of students: The assignment will not be compulsory for students, but we will actively encourage voluntary participation. Professors will select students for the assignment in their classrooms based on their writing skills, technical ability and interest.
  • Selection of Professor: Professor will be selected based on their commitment, technical ability, and basic editing potential.
  • Scale of the project: The initial pilot will not be more than 50 students. We would like to expand - but only after the intial pilot.

Next Steps

We'd like to hear from as many of you as possible to get your thoughts and comments about this proposal. We suggest:

  • If you agree with our suggestion please add {{Agree}} as a sign of your agreement under the "Agreement" section.
  • If you have any comment, suggestion or a question please add them under the "Comments" section.
  • If you'd like to discuss this further we can organise an IRC office hour. Please suggest a preferred date and time under the "IRC" section to schedule one. (We might need to have more than one IRC to accommodate for the different times zones that we all are living in — and I'll make sure we log the IRCs so that everyone can read them.)
  • If you'd like to organise a 1-on-1 Skype/Gtalk chat/call to discuss this further please write to me and I'll fix up a suitable time for us to do a call. My email id is nitika@wikimedia.org.

Under each of the first three options please remember to put your signatures after your comment by inserting 4 tildes like this ~~~~ Nitika.t (talk) 09:47, 19 June 2012 (UTC)


Agreement[change | change source]

  • Agree, as you already know. Osiris (talk) 12:05, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Time2wait.svg While I still agree with the proposal in theory, some legitimate concerns have been raised so I am going to let the discussion run its course before I confirm my consent. Osiris (talk) 10:04, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Agree - Basically you're going to have students use the wiki supervised in an effort to encourage Indian users? If so then most definitely yes. Kennedy (talk) 12:15, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
    Hut 8.5 makes a good case and I will remove my 'vote' at this point. I would not directly oppose this but will take a back seat for further developments. Kennedy (talk) 11:21, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Agree, definitely. --weltforce (talk) 14:35, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I've read some really constructive opposing arguments, so I think I'd better keep  Neutral. Hope your understand this because I see many advantages though. --weltforce (talk) 23:00, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Agree Jonayo! Selena 4 ever 15:54, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Agree --Peterdownunder (talk) 07:33, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Agree Noice. :) Bella tête-à-tête 09:32, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
    Sorry, I really hate doing this, but I should have read over the issues more carefully... 50 students does seem a little risky. I don't think it's impossible, but our wiki is undoubtedly very small at the moment. Bella tête-à-tête 02:25, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Agree Firstly, I've got to apologize for my recent inactivity on this wiki. Secondly, I must lend my support to this pilot. I've been quietly reading everything going on here, and understand the opposition. When I first spoke to User:Nitika.t a few weeks ago, I believe that I mentioned that there would probably be opposition relating to not having the manpower to tackle this project. So, I wasn't surprised to see the opposition, but I must say that I am a little surprised by the amount of opposition. So, I do support this pilot. With a condition. I would propose starting with 25 students as opposed to 50. Stick with 25 for a time period that can be discussed. If the community feels that the 25 students are editing acceptably at that time, then bring in the additional 25, bringing the total up to the desired 50. I've read a majority of the report from the failed pilot, and am willing to allow myself to think that meaningful lessons have been learned. I also think that sticking to 25 for a time will allow us to make sure the same issues won't be seen. My two cents. Thanks guys!--Gordonrox24 | Talk 05:07, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Agree - The project seems to be a clear chance to get what we want most: editors. Although I understand mistakes might have been made previously and that more than doubling the number of editors could cause havoc, I think this is the best opportunity we will have in a long time to really help change Simple Wiki in a good way. Yottie =talk= 13:17, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Hi Guys, I wanted to point some things out. Gordon, you said if the size of the class could be dropped to 25, you can read below, how less than 50 will not make sense for this project and that might be the minimum. Second, this might seem like a unique opportunity, but let's look at the track record. In all the years I've seen, WMF hasn't taken any action to recruit editors for simple wiki, it was and isn't a priority. This has never been about simple wiki, it is about their education program, and letting it continue after it created a mess on the largest wiki, where several admins commenting here, wouldn't have allowed it as easily.
This project was taken on for English Wikipedia. There is no shortage of editors or admins there, and they are more than capable of expressing their own opinion. Just read the feedback on en.wp, talk to the admins. If you think you can handle the mess and oversee this project if it goes wrong, then I will understand your support.
Third, the editors recruited the last time around, rarely stuck around. So, even under the impression that they don't create a mess, this will not change the level of activity here. As soon as they stop being graded to edit here, they will stop in likelihood. The Education program will take this as success. What most people here might not know, is the context of this activity. WMF is not doing this directly, their Indian staff is, for a program in India. Everyone running this on the India side, is not an editor, they started editing during the last IEP and they are doing it alone without the support of the majority of Indian editing community, involved en.wp Admins and several others. As you can also see, several of the staff members started editing here to prove their point, they should be working with existing editors, not trying to become editors themselves just to push their project. So, I hope you guys know what you are supporting, for simple wiki's sake. Theo10011 (talk) 21:58, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Disagreement[change | change source]

  •  Disagree I wasn't going to comment at all, but researching the issue more on en.wiki. I just plain don't think we could cope with issues if they cropped up here again. Its mentioned below that we have 9 active admins, not only that but our total active population on the wiki last time I looked at the stats was less than 20. We just don't have the manpower to cope if it goes bad again, which based on what I have read looks like it is a very very good possibility. Nevermind finding 10 editors to act as ambassadors...that is half our active population of editors. It simply won't happen. -DJSasso (talk) 11:54, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  •  Disagree - At least for now. See my comment below, it's like what Dj said. -Barras talk 14:04, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  •  Disagree - I originally suggested simple wiki as a tangential idea months ago. Simple wiki is in no way ready to handle the influx of these kinds of editors. The students have poor command of the english language, and the individuals leading this program have nascent understanding of editing themselves. Given the stats on active admins, and the fewer pair of eyes patrolling, this is a bad decision and I oppose it. Theo10011 (talk) 15:54, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  •  Disagree The size of the project appears to be too large for our user base to handle, particularly if the problems which cropped up in enwiki occur here again. 50 students is more than twice the number of active users here, and it'll be difficult for us to patrol the edits. Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 16:13, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  •  Disagree. I'm sorry, but after careful reading of the discussion, I'm coming down against it. Point #1: We can't handle it, and it will leave us with long-lasting problems. Point #2: The Indian side of the project was a shambles before, and from the discussion, too much of that framework is going to be repeated. In general, WP is a bottom-up organisation. That's not to say top-down initiatives should not be done, but they need to meet problems that we ourselves decide are important. For instance, information about how non-editing readers work with our articles would be very interesting and helpful. Macdonald-ross (talk) 11:05, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Adding emphasis to just one idea in Macdonald-ross's diff above, it seems worth mentioning that MERC-C used the term "moral hazard" in comments here. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman explains moral hazard as "any situation in which one person makes the decision about how much risk to take, while someone else bears the cost if things go badly." This term seems to summarize the careful opinions of many others, does it not? ----Horeki (talk) 16:59, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  •  Disagree - Theres a hell of a lot of reading here to which I confess I have not managed to complete. I get the jiist of it but the thing that rings alarm bells here for me is that there are a number of user from en.wiki coming with words of warning about the mess that it caused there. The 'supervised' bit was key for me in my previous support, but I have doubts as to how well the supervision will be organised now. We just about manage to quell vandalism, tests and good-faith errors here just now, without adding 50 active, inexperienced users into the mix. You can tell someone to remain in sandboxes but you know how easy it is to make a mistake and it will likely be left to the 'native' (for lack of a better word) users to clean it up. Before in my support I imagined that with such a carefully planned process we would be able to account for this, but those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. I fear that this could get out of hand and we would definitely struggle with such few numbers. In essence; the idea of the project is good, but the implementation in the past was not, and this programme's reputation is worrying. Kennedy (talk) 08:58, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Adding emphasis to just one idea in Kennedy's diff above:
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."George Santayana
These timely words seems to summarize the careful opinions of many others, do they not? --Horeki (talk) 16:24, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  •  Disagree The amount of copyvios that came last time were bad. I am sure it will be repeated. The India mailing list archive is more than enough to say so. --Rsrikanth05 (talk) 09:58, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
  •  Disagree. Theo10011 and Kennedy say it better than I can. -Mh7kJ (talk) 21:46, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
  •  Disagree because the sales strategy converts all comments into mere quibbles. For example, the argument of diffs here + here are red flags which convince me to stop trying. This is not "engaging the community as a partner". Our project is enhanced by contributions from those who are willing to help us with India-related articles, but this proposal is about something else. It does help me appreciate the idiomatic phrase "cart before the horse"--Horeki (talk) 10:50, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Adding emphasis to ideas which all accept, Nitika.t wrote:
"Replying to Horeki .... one of the major objectives of this program is to increase India related content on Simple English Wikipedia. Students enrolled in the program will be editing India centric articles like Indian history or Indian economics or Indian geography etc. Higher familiarity with India related topics will also help students add good quality content. It will be great if Simple English Wikipedia becomes a central place for all India related content."
Yes, we are on the same page except for the first word -- "replying." In fact, this diff is not a reply to me or anyone. Nitika.t describes her words as a "response", but in fact, it is only a kind of sales pitch. It is non-responsive precisely because there is no meaningful, timely or practical content. With regret, the sentences show what I and others have noticed. For example, where is evidence of willingness and ability to acknowledge the current and projected array of unintended consequences which others on this discussion page have highlighted?

The 2011 IEP failed in part because the structure was not nimble enough in responding to questions and problems as they arose. With regret, I perceive mirrored patterns in 2011 and 2012. Is this not a "lesson learned the hard way"?

Each of the "disagree" votes asks the same question: What different kind of strategy could possibly succeed in "engaging the community as a partner"? In other words, Hell is paved with good intentions, and roofed with lost opportunities. Each question and each "disagree" are opportunities. --Horeki (talk) 14:42, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Comments[change | change source]

  • It's hard to say no. But I've read the feedback reports on what went wrong before, and I do think much of it will happen again. We have few resources compared to main en.wiki; can we cope? Hmmm... Macdonald-ross (talk) 15:45, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
We can cope. As usual, copyright violations generally stick out a mile (or kilometer) because they aren't in Simple English. And it would be nice to spend some energy helping people who are trying to make a contribution for a change. --Peterdownunder (talk) 07:37, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
It's not a plain copy and paste -- most of the problems are with close paraphrasing. We have had issues with close paraphrasing from a book (not necessarily available digitally via, say, Google Books) transcribed to the wiki with additional typos and other errors, mixed in with poorly written original(?) content. MER-C (talk) 08:38, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • On of the main issues from when this went south on the English WP was to do with inadequate supervision of the students in order to identify copyright violations. The problem is that it is difficult to work with complex English text in such a way as to rewrite it without closely paraphrasing the original source, and that doing so requires a surprisingly high degree of English literacy. Not everyone with English as a second language (and, indeed, not everyone with English has a first language) has the necessary skills, so a large pool of editors turning up at once with varying language skills may be problematic. It may be that Simple's requirement of highly accessible writing will mean that this is less of a problem, but I'm not sure of the extent that this will hold.
So I guess my queries, based on what happened on en.wp, (and I'm speaking as an en.wp editor, so I may be out of place), regards how to ensure the supervisors will have the skills to identify copyright violations, and whether an adequate ratio of supervisors to students can be guaranteed if a high number of students choose to be involved. - Bilby (talk) 06:23, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
There were somethings that went wrong in the initial pilot. However, we are taking great care to make sure that all the lessons learnt from previous pilot are incorporated in the pilot that we are proposing to you. I do acknowledge your concern that Simple English Wikipedia community is extremely small and hence we'll be taking whole host of precautions and steps. Here are some initial thoughts that we will factor in the pilot design:
  • Keeping the initial pilot extremely small with no more than 50 students. To start with we want work with a small set of professors and students.
  • Providing extensive training to students, professors and CAs way before they start editing. Training them based on simple style guide and policies of Simple English.
  • We'll make sure that students start by editing in their Sandbox, so any kind problems can be dealt there itself.
  • It will be great if 10 Simple English Wikipedia editors agree to get actively involved in this pilot. The idea is that we can pair these 10 editors to 5 students each (10 editors taking care of 50 students in total); to review and check contributions of students on regular basis. And it's only after the editors give a go ahead sign will the article will be moved from Sandbox to article mainspace.
  • In addition to all this, besides 10 Simple English Wikipedia admins/editors working as Online Ambassadors, we'll also have 10 Campus Ambassadors ( trained accordingly to Simple English Wikipedia guidelines) training and helping students write articles in their classrooms.
  • One of the Simple admins have already agreed to run some kind of mini CCI work page to support the program.Nitika.t (talk) 08:36, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
That would be me. Though as Peter says, it's very easy to spot something that's been copied from somewhere else since it won't be in Simple English. So I honestly don't think it would have to come to that. Especially if they're keeping everything in userspace until it's ready. It sounds incredibly well planned out. Though to be honest, I think you'll struggle to find 10 resident editors willing to take on an ambassador role, but we'll see... Osiris (talk) 08:43, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Keeping the initial pilot extremely small with no more than 50 students.
1000 is to 50 as ~750 is to x? For the proportional burden to be the same, x = 38. I've heard on en.wp that simple.wp has 9 active admins; is this true?
Training them based on simple style guide and policies of Simple English.
Neither you nor Hisham have had any experience with the Simple Wikipedia apart from a few token edits made yesterday. Who's going to do the training? What will their experience be? You cannot train people on policy and community expectations if you have no experience yourself.
We'll make sure that students start by editing in their Sandbox
Isn't that what was supposed to happen on en.wp?
And it's only after the editors give a go ahead sign will the article will be moved from Sandbox to article mainspace.
How is this going to be enforced? Remember from the report: "Indians are famous for breaking rules. If you don't want to wait in a queue with a billion other people, you find a way to go around the system".
It will be great if 10 Simple English Wikipedia editors agree to get actively involved in this pilot.
Don't. I have wasted at least 30 hours cleaning up after this trainwreck and it was not worth it. MER-C (talk) 09:06, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
I got the active admin figure from here. Hut 8.5 11:15, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm sticking my head in here from en.wp to counter the overly optimistic and overconfident tone of this discussion. I was the editor who cobbled up en:Wikipedia:Contributor copyright investigations/Indian Education Program despite organizational incompetence from the WMF. The problems with the IEP go beyond those mentioned above:

  • Indian students are much more likely to plagiarize and copy wholesale than your typical ESL editor (this is not their fault; it is a problem with the Indian education system).
  • The organizers are still totally unaccountable for their decisions and moral hazard still exists -- the only negative consequence they have experienced as a result of the pilot failure is me and a few other editors throwing crap at them.
  • This seems to be an attempt to avoid the English Wikipedia community and the adverse consequences of stuffing up again.
  • Students were generally clueless and unresponsive to talk page messages. Despite efforts by [CO]As to contact students by talk page, email, Facebook and SMS, they still didn't correct. In retrospective, the en.wp community was far too lenient with the IEP students -- we did not warn enough, we did not block enough (see the discussion at en:Wikipedia talk:India Education Program/Analysis/Independent Report from Tory Read#Comments).

Other comments:

My good will towards this program is exhausted. I recommend the simple.wikipedia community reject this proposal. MER-C (talk) 09:30, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

  • After reading the parallel conversation going on at enwiki, I have a few questions now. How much content are the students expected to submit? How involved are Hisham and yourself likely to be and what would your role in this be? You wrote above that the Simple Wikipedia is a good place for editors whose mother tongue isn't English. I must point out that writing in Simple English is much, much harder than writing in regular English. One needs to have a strong vocabulary and be able to substitute simpler words for more complex ones without changing the meaning of a sentence. Readers who have limited understanding of the English language might be our target audience, but I would expect that as editors, they would have a harder time writing articles here than they would on the regular English Wikipedia. So.. given that, do you still consider the Simple English Wikipedia to be the best environment? Osiris (talk) 10:04, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
The amount of content that students will be expected to submit will be something that will be discussed with the Simple Wikipedia community at the stage of project design - and then discussed with the relevant teachers of these students. (My personal opinion is that something in the region of 500 words per student is likely to be the average - but like I say, that's just my opinion.)
My role with India Program is to work on education as well as other efforts to increase participation from India (such as improving the quality of outreach as well supporting Wikiclubs.) I will be devoting a considerable share of my time and efforts on education. This initiative is the single most important thing for me, by far. Hisham and I work closely together and he will also be devoting a lot of time and effort on this. (We are already doing this.) We both (just) started editing on Simple because we want to become even more familiar with the Simple Wikipedia community and learn the style guide and the policies much better.
I completely agree with you that writing on Simple Wikipedia is not easy. We are not proposing Simple Wikipedia because it will be easier to edit than English Wikipedia. We will not be diluting any element of our pilot design, or the training to students and others involved, or the processes for maintaining quality, or the limit of the number of students, or any other pilot design element just because it is Simple Wikipedia. In fact, because the Simple Wikipedia community is small, we will take extra care on everything that we do.
On the point on the discussions that are happening, like I mentioned in my original post above, we did make mistakes. We have learnt from these mistakes. We have spent a lot of time making sure that we documented all those mistakes and want to work on addressing every single one as well as is humanly possible. There might still be issues that arise - but they will not be because of a lack of effort or poor planning or low quality implementation. Nitika.t (talk) 10:35, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • As someone else who has been involved in cleaning up the mess this program made on the English Wikipedia I would advise you to stay away from it. The program was, in short, a disaster and very few students produced usable content. The students had very poor English skills and a large fraction resorted to plagiarising material. Even ignoring the copyright issue the contributions were very poor quality: many students didn't adhere to basic policies such as NPOV or referencing, couldn't find an appropriate place to work (we had students trying to rewrite featured articles) and some were just incompetent (I saw people writing about "anti-natal care" or Adam Smith's "cannons of taxation"). The people who were assigned to supervise the students were often little better than the students themselves. If you want a somewhat more accurate picture of the program than that given above I suggest you read this report, or these archives. Hut 8.5 11:15, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
    • I now only read this last comment (I simply don't have the time to follow all this currently), and I've to admit that this sounds quite worrisome. We don't even have 30 active contributors and even less active admins. If the students cause any bigger or smaller mess, we will need ages to fix this. This is simply impossible here and (well, I usually belong to the more nasty admins) if there is too much work, I will just end up nuking everything and blocking all as a clean up measure. We already have like thousands of complex articles, unwikified articles, outdated articles, unsourced articles and those are only the already tagged ones. If we get more of this kind of work, because we allow this, then we just make ourselves a fool. We don't have the man-power to get the current issues fixed, so I don't want to think what happens when we get more such stuff. -Barras talk 14:01, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Hi All,
First let me introduce myself: I'm a Wikipedian who started editing in 2005, mostly on the German Wikipedia. In 2008, the Wikimedia Foundation hired me as one of their first staff members and I'm currently overseeing the Wikipedia Education Program. I'm based in San Francisco and in my free time, I'm still writing articles and uploading pictures to Commons.
My current role with regards to the different education related activities around the world is to provide guidance and support to the local teams. We've started the Education Program on the English Wikipedia in 2010 with classes from the U.S. and we've launched a couple of pilot programs in other countries as well (Canada, India, Egypt, Brazil). With the exception of the India pilot last fall, the program has been very successful in creating a great amount of good new content (more than 5,900 articles have been improved or newly created so far) and within the first two years of the program's existance, more than 80 universities participated.
With that said, we've clearly learned our lesson from the first iteration of the India pilot. We're currently reaching out to you in order to make this an open and collaborative process. We would like to hear your concerns as well as your ideas on how to make this project a success.
My general take on failure is: When you get bucked off a horse, you should get back on again as soon as possible. You have to think about why this happened and you have to learn your lesson.
We've learned a couple of things during the first India pilot. Let me name the most important learnings:
  • Involve the community early on: that's why we're here :-)
  • Start small: that's what we're proposing – a small group of students, not more than 50 (see Nitika's post).
  • Carefully select the students: only students who have the interest and the adequate writing and research skills will participate.
  • Build a solid support structure: effective training for both students and professors and close hand-holding during the pilot.
After the first India pilot, we've thoroughly evaluated the situation. Based on our learnings, we've started a pilot in Egypt that has been a great success. I'm not saying that the situation in Egypt is the same as in India, but I'm confident that we're much better at this point when it comes to setting up a pilot that works.
Please let me know if you have any questions. --Frank Schulenburg (WMF) (talk) 21:42, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Hi Frank, there is probably no one here who respects you more than I do. I completely trust your opinion, and I would strongly vouch for your and the education program's track-record in all areas other than India. You have my utmost respect and gratitude. But this situation is different, your involvement with IEP was limited, Tory's report highlighted how the India staff took the lead without even a general idea about editing, and policies, barely a couple of months after they were hired. The involvement and discussion within the India list has been very limited on this subject in the last few months. To most of us, the majority of the discussion around this second iteration has been in secret, no one within the Indian community is particularly supportive, no one from en.wp who dealt with it is supportive as you can see above, even the local community here is not completely convinced. If you still think this should be pushed ahead with the exact same people as the last time, against the wishes of so many without consensus then, I don't know what to say. I would still respect your position nonetheless.
On the analogy of getting bucked and back on a horse, with all due respect, this isn't the same horse. It's a smaller and weaker one that won't be able to buck anyone off, however you can break it in the process. Only 20% of IEP copyvio have been investigated after 7 months, if en.wp's massive community is taking this long, what chance will this small community have. You can look at the stats above, even if the class size is 50, it is still twice as large as the entire active editing base of this wiki. Add to that, 9 active admins, this is going to put an undue burden on this community. I don't need to point out that it will still be the exact same people who never edited before they were hired, who will run things on a daily basis, and you would be on the opposite time-zone.
As I said, you are more qualified than anyone else to judge this and I will completely respect your opinion. But the blow-back on this tiny community might be too harsh, any large problem might need cross-wiki involvement. Theo10011 (talk) 22:32, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Hi Theo, thanks a lot for your feedback. I really appreciate it a lot. We're not going to push this if the community is not on board. What do you think – how could we make this a success and at the same time minimize the risks for the community? Working with less than 50 students won't make sense. It's the nature of a pilot like this that you need to have a group large enough in order to get some meaningful results. So, what else can be done? If all students work in sandboxes first – is that too big of a risk? If the students are not getting it, the articles just won't get moved to the article namespace. Can you think of other ways that would make it easier for the community to handle this? --Frank Schulenburg (WMF) (talk) 22:53, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
And this is why I respect you.:) If hisham had done what you just did above months ago, we might have worked together on this program. And not just me, I know a couple of Indian community members that had ideas and mostly wanted to be heard. The most I saw on the list wasn't much beyond, the second iteration of IEP is coming. I'll repeat some things I have said over the year, I might even have them written in some email or log from last year, if anyone wants to dispute that these things are new.
  • I suggested the problem with the last program was Hisham's choice of Pune and the Universities. I told him his choice was wrong in Berlin last year, only a few weeks after he joined WMF. The Universities he chose were not reputed, and some weren't really much beyond diploma mills and really bad private colleges. They weren't from a very large city, so undoubtedly the student base was from even smaller cities and towns, not particularly well-versed with the English language. There was no surprise that language was one of the large problems the program encountered. From what I have been told, the choice of Universities even, in Pune, were not the top-tier, but only those who seemed interested on a short notice. Now, compare to your experience with working with Ivy leagues, this was undoubtedly going to end badly. The same rule applies, getting the right kind of universities takes effort and time, because they have a reputation to protect themselves, standards, and when their students screw up, they either take responsibility or disciplinary action themselves. (You can compare your own impressions from visiting Pune, what you thought of the ones you met.)
  • I have suggested numerous times about incorporating the IRC help channel for 24 hours live support.
  • The Indian community is currently not on-board with this at all. This has to be addressed. There are other issues with the India staff that are bleeding over to the education program. They need to be addressed before anything.
  • I would suggest waiting a bit longer and going with en.wp community with the help of the editors commenting above, I would suggest completely remove all control over the decision if this goes ahead of not, from the India staff. If this even starts to go bad, the people commenting above should have the power to instantly stop the entire program.
  • This might be an odd suggestion, but how about you create a new wiki? (education program wiki) or use Outreach wiki? It can act like your sand-box and only approved articles can be moved to the article-space. You would have complete control over what happens, the right guides and what you build there, can be scaled for every other program you do. You can activate the community you already had their, with ambassadors, volunteers, from all wikis who would be willing to help out centrally, right in one place.
  • I would really like to see limited involvement of the staff that ran the last effort, and more involvement from you, and mostly active editors running the program. The India staff's position should be pulled back, limited to an administrative role and as a resource, nothing more. Just like it is in most cases with staff where content and editorial decisions are left to editors, I really don't like this new role of staff members organizing meetups and teaching how to edit. (Maybe you can understand that point being a long-term editor yourself, but it kind of strikes me as odd at times, especially when someone starts sounding didactic to veteran editors.)
Anyway, this is probably not all. I think I can have more ideas if you care to hear me ramble on some where else. Regards. Theo10011 (talk) 23:32, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks again! Let me highlight a couple of your ideas:
  • Choice of university: Which other university do you think would be more suited? Could you point us to instructors who might be a good fit for the program? Re:Pune – we've actually heard from a couple of people that Pune has a higher percentage of students who struggle with the English language. With that said – already having some basic support structure in Pune might make it easier to get things set up. However, I totally get your point about the language skills. Now, is there a way to clearly identify and pick those students who have the language skills that we need?
  • Stronger involvement of the community: Actually, that was one of the things that we did differently in Egypt. The training events were 100% led by community members and we started to communicate with the community early on. We've build strong relationships with the people in Egypt – I even got an Arabic name (Hazem حازم), what an honor! Now, what would be the best way of getting a stronger involvement of the community accomplished in India as well?
  • IRC helpchannel: Sounds like a great idea. I'm just concerned that the students might have technical problems with this. I guess, not so many people have ever heard of IRC before. Would Facebook be an alternative? I know that Facebook is extremely popular in India. What do you think?
  • New wiki: I'm not so sure about this. In the end, we would like to see a certain amount of the students become members of the community. If we let the students work in a closed system, they will never learn how to deal with their fellow Wikipedians. And it will be much more difficult for them getting used to the specific Wikipedia guidelines and policies. Does that make sense?
  • Hisham and other staff in India: I actually think everybody on Hisham's team has learned a lot over the last year. And I know: they're eager to get it right. And I don't like staff-bashing in general – well, maybe for obvious reasons ;-) In the end, we all have a common goal. So, let's focus on how we can make this a success. --Frank Schulenburg (WMF) (talk) 00:26, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I would strongly suggest you abandon Pune all together. All the infrastructure you might have accumulated is going to turn into a problem. The CA that were developed still aren't very experienced and they haven't assimilated in to the existing community. The majority of the universities there are still not in the first two tiers that this country has to offer. It is very hard to separate students who have a better command of the language than others, than to find who are genuinely interested in editing. They would have to have both in equal amounts, which you will not be able to guess from just academic records. Again, I can't advice you more strongly against Pune. All the bashing aside, Hisham was and is wrong about Pune, if he's the one pushing for it again. Now, you have my opinion for the record, like he did last year.
  • This is a tough topic. The indian community is currently not well supportive or aligned with the India staff. I have no idea how to address this and get them on-board. Forget 100% involvement, even 50% would be very hard from veteran members given the current state. My point was, that never seemed to have been a priority for this re-design, the staff believes they are well-equipped and community can be marginalized. Just to note, you are the only one asking about the community here, you can check the India list for the 2 line email that went out yesterday with just a link to this plan asking for comments. Again, I don't know how to fix this larger issue, but the community is not entirely to blame - And, like you, I might be biased in this opinion. ;)
  • Sure, but my point was you can set up a dedicated system for IRC outreach available 24 hours around the world. An editor is always awake some where in the world. You can customize with a one click option to join IRC and chat with an editor. FB might be another option, but it just doesn't sit right with me, seems too low-brow compared to the approach you have taken. There is nothing unique or popular about FB usage in India, its the same as what you might know, people procrastinate, play games and post pictures of their cats just like everywhere else. Would you be open to incorporating something like this in your future iteration of education program in the US? The same mixed feelings that you might have, are what we have.
  • I understand. But given how low you are setting the bar, outreach might be a better options. Let me explain, compare the number of active users and admins, aside from the recent state of hibernation at outreach, at its peak, it had a more active community than simple. At less than 30 editors and 9 admins, outreach can do better as far as providing a community goes. What I was suggesting was building your own ecosystem, get the people willing to help out from en.wp, simple wiki, Meta, outreach, then add the ambassadors, the local CA, you guys, the rest of staff, and you can create a controlled environment. The idea is to create an incubator for newbies, russian Wikipedia tried something like this. Only the serious editors who want to edit on their own and not for a course credit, stay after the course and join en.wp. It is an option worth considering if you want my opinion, maybe this can be fleshed out more.
  • I hope they learned, but not the first lesson. We the editors, the existing community are still on the outside looking in, even now, you are the one engaging in a discussion. I don't see hisham around here or on Tory's report or any other page on wiki about this. No opinions were solicited before yesterday when this move was announced, rather than discussed. Theo10011 (talk) 01:42, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Hey Theo,
  • University: Which university would you choose?
  • Community involvement: I was thinking about coming to India in September. Would that be a good opportunity to get some people together and have a conversation on how to proceed?
  • IRC: Over the last couple of terms, we had a dedicated channel on IRC, but only a small fraction of the students used it. Do you have any idea of how to get the students from India to actually use this kind of support channel?
  • Wiki: Do you have any idea whether the Russian project was successful? Did they publish a report somewhere?
  • Hisham: I know that Hisham is currently dealing with some non-workrelated stuff. Other than that, I think it's ok to come up with an idea and start the discussion from there. That's what's happening now.
Again, thanks a lot for all your time and effort in this conversation. I really appreciate your input. I'm eager to see more people from India editing Wikipedia. And I would also be very happy to see more India-related content on the web. That's why I think this is worth pursuing. Over the last two years, students contributed so many great articles, and also good pictures, charts and even videos. I truly believe working with students is a great opportunity and I would like to see this happen in India as well (and not only in all the other countries around the world). --Frank Schulenburg (WMF) (talk) 02:43, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • It's a rather long list, but you don't need a lot of specialized knowledge. Just pick Delhi and Mumbai and look for established Universities and their rankings, online(Just google it or check WP categories ;) ). Do a scatter approach by contacting all of them and see who is interested. There's an entire North Campus of Delhi University, with several dozen well-reputed colleges located in a single location - That was my first pick to hisham, then there are IITs, IIMs, a couple of Good private Universities- and that's just Delhi. I'm sure Mumbai has equal number to boot, I suggested Xavier's college [1] in Mumbai apart from North Campus in Delhi (Obama conducted his town hall meeting there in 2010). I'm pretty sure they all already have their own articles, you should be able to get a sense from looking or reading about them.
  • Sure, I cant guarantee that I will be around but I think if you generally approach the community yourself, and bypass anyone in the middle you'd have a much better response. You can start a discussion on the India list, contact the chapter, or if I'm around by then, I'd more than happy to arrange something.
  • The Russian project (new editor incubator) worked wonderfully. It was talked about and complemented a lot last year around Meta(around late 2010), the individual who designed this (Samat) even applied for a fellowship to expand and scale his project, last I remember, I was introducing him to Zack. I can put you in touch with him if you like - he had a fellowship proposal that I and several russian editors endorsed - [2] it wasn't funded as far as I know. But he was very amiable and eager to help.
  • Oh, I didn't know. I think I have an idea, I understand.
Honestly, Frank I think you are more qualified than anyone to design and customize this for India, for all the cultural, ethnocentric things you should bypass and just talk to the community yourself directly. Tell them what you think, what you have and give them a chance to get involved. You'd have a much better shot not just with the Indian community but the en.wp editors talking to them directly, then this multi-tiered approach.
I know you want to see more of a response, more content generated from and by Indians. But I think there's been a dearth of new ideas for a while. Going a bit off-topic, I introduced a student from JNU(a university in Delhi) to Annie about 1.5-2 years ago, a few weeks after Barry and Zack joined WMF. She was interested in a small student club in her University and Annie tried to follow up with her, but she had to move to Boston or something, and it fell apart. From that day till now, nothing new has been tried, the education program has been IT, there has been no other attempt, no large project or ideas, just small-scale outreach and minor things. it's no wonder that this one project is all we can talk about and analyze ad nauseum, there's not much else. You have my word, I'm not trying to bash anyone with that comment, I guess I just expected a lot more. :| Theo10011 (talk) 03:35, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Wow, that's a lot of good and helpful information. Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. --Frank Schulenburg (WMF) (talk) 04:28, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm now neutral on this. I would really like to see this project go ahead. There's no doubt that we need more contributors, especially from that region. You know what went wrong last time and so have evidently planned with a view to prevent those issues from recurring here. However, I feel as though there are other issues you haven't planned for, and they need to be recognised so that you can discuss ways to work around them. Hut said above that the stuents in the first project had very poor English skills. If that's going to be true of this group also, then they're going to have an even harder time trying to construct prose in simple English. Secondly, you won't get 10 editors willing to supervise this thing -- at least not from here. I think you'd be lucky to get five. To say that there are 9 active admins and 30 active editors is using a generous definition of the word "active". Given that lack of manpower, there is no room for error.

So what are the possibilities to mitigate our concerns? If you can get some volunteers from the English Wikipedia to help supervise this thing, it'll make it much more manageable. If they stick to their sandboxes until they're given the OK, they're educated about the repercussions of plagiarism beforehand, and you successfully recruit a willing team of supervisors (from either here or enwiki), then I'm open to a trial of fifty editors. Osiris (talk) 03:55, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Osiris, thanks a lot for your thoughts on this. Getting some more volunteers ligned up will certainly make this more manageable. And I agree with you – it will also be key to educate the participants well about plagiarism and to only reach out to students who have adequate English skills. We really need to have a solid plan on how to make that happen. And let me add this: the discussion so far has been very helpful and constructive and I'm very grateful for every comment. It helps me definitely to understand the situation of the Simple English Wikipedia and its community much better. Thanks again. --Frank Schulenburg (WMF) (talk) 04:34, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Hi,I contribute to en.wiki from India, mainly WP:IND,a project which started almost 6 years back and little to Malayalam Wikipedia. WP:IEP on the first edition had too many students and activity level in WP:IND was very low at that time. We wikipedians tried to help to this project at our best. Same time we were engaged in first WikiConference India 2011 so the help was limited. Let me tell about one editor BPositive, he now volunteers to run "Wikipedia:WikiProject India/Collaborations of the month". User:Ashwin guided him on that and now he has taken up that. This project had no activity for two years. BPositive, is editor who came to Wikipedia through this program.Even for the WikiConference India, students who came through IEP program helped a lot in organizing. As an Wikipedian I would personally like see more wikipedians across the world to come to wikipedia editing. If Simple Wikipedians can help in this, that will be so nice. -- naveenpf (talk) 04:25, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Hi Naveen, thank you so much for your feedback and your support. It's great to hear that BPositive now plays such an active role in WP:IND. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to get more people like BPositive who believe in our mission and who think that helping Wikipedia is worthwhile. Every single new user who makes good contributions to Wikipedia is worth our time and effort. From all I know, there's not one magic formula for recruiting new editors. However, the Education Program has brought thousands of students to Wikipedia who would have never clicked the Edit button otherwise. And let's not forget the many people – like BPositive – who've made some other valuable contribution (like helping with events or teaching others about Wikipedia). So, thanks again for your comment. --Frank Schulenburg (WMF) (talk) 04:44, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Just one last thing before I go to bed: I will be in meetings all day tomorrow. So please bare with me if it takes longer than usual for me to get back to you tomorrow. --Frank Schulenburg (WMF) (talk) 04:51, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Hi Osiris, and thank you for your comments.
  • It is true that some students the last time round had issues with English - but not all. This time round, we suggest addressing this by keeping it voluntary and working with professors and students to encourage only those who have the required writing skills.
  • If we get 5 members from the existing Simple Wikipedia community, that is a great start. We will constantly work on minimising time required by everyone through the many elements we are proposing for quality (e.g., limited numbers, single article per student, greater faculty involvement, start off in sandboxes, multiple reviews of content in sandboxes, phasing the movement of content to mainspace so there are lesser spikes, etc.) I am sure there are more things that we could add - and we will do so as they get suggested.
  • Additionally, on the point on number of editors, we will invite folks from English Wikipedia to support this initiative. It is essential that they familiarise themselves with Simple Wikipedia policies and writing style and the community. Since the next semester starts only November, there will be enough time for them to practice editing here according to Simple rules and policies. I am confident we can get some folks - especially because some have already told me so! Hisham (talk) 06:28, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
I ought to have introduced myself in the earlier post. I head up the India Program team of WMF - and we work to support the community in India, including encouraging new editors. I urge you to look at the potential for this proposal to partner with you and build your community and get great content about India. We have very few editors from India (about 2,500 active editors across all languages - for 1.2 billion people.) Our largest Indic project has only 100,000 articles. English Wikipedia has only 1,15,000 articles about India - of which 90,000 are start / stub. We want to make a small and very careful start.
  • There were mistakes made in the pilot last year. We will work on every detail of this pilot to include every lesson. We want to work with you on all of these, and add more if we have left out anything. Please look at the many things we want to do better. If something did not work in the past, that does not mean it can ever work - especially with so many improvements (e.g., smaller scale of 50, voluntary participation, only India-relevant articles, better training especially about Simple Wikipedia policies / style, deeper teacher involvement, enforcing of writing on sandboxes, sticking to Ambassador to student ratios, etc.) Please do consider all these - and do add if we have missed out any.
  • The proposal to come to Simple Wikipedia is NOT because Simple Wikipedia is easier to edit than English Wikipedia. Simple English is not bad English. We are not reducing the focus on quality just because it is Simple Wikipedia - whether it is student selection or training or reviewing content. Indeed, because your community is small and friendly to new editors, we are going to be even more careful about everything that we do. We are totally focused on building a strong pilot design in close collaboration with you - that will address every aspect of quality and management of the pilot.
  • There are several ideas - all of which are valid - and we will consider all of them in an actual pilot design. (Personally, I think ideas like the IRC channel for help, or the social media group for help, or Delhi / Bombay as possible locations are all great ideas, etc.) There will be so many more things, I am sure. Hisham (talk) 06:35, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Hi all, with the number of critics that Hisham seems to have developed, I think its time the India team get their share of praise also. For those who know me, hello, for those who don't, I'm not really a very important person, however, I do have something important to say. I am a second generation CA of IEP 1.0. So to be honest, I can give you the hands on story of what went wrong. Before clearing a few doubts, a little history and praise: I never knew that Wikipedia could be edited before 2010. It was only thanks to Hisham and Nitika, when they came to my college, oh yes, Symbiosis Internation University, one of the top ranked colleges in India, and also, since it was a success at my college, am pretty sure we know how to write english, basic english at least, hope it shows here. So, yes, when they came to my college, I actually learnt about Wikipedia, became a CA, assimilated with the community in Pune as well as in Kolkata, did various outreach and am hooked to the Wikipedia movement, in short, at least a potential long term editor, thanks to Hisham and Nitika, and there are at least 20 people who can say the same, though they just edit their merry ways in Wikipedia, unaware of mailing lists or even what is going on here.

I am here to prove a point, yes, we made tons of mistakes, thanks to people like theo, the mess was still contained and is unfortunately still undergoing a lot of cleaning. I myself handled over 200 students single handedly, going through their work without even knowing what Twinkle is, with just google and the edit button and removed so many copyvios, that I don't even recall...(including close paraphrasing)...patrol wikipedia for such even now...and I had such an overwhelmed workout because our OA's failed to show up...in fact, certain OA's even apologized publicly at Wikiconference 11. If they were there when we needed them, things would've been easier for us CA's.

Yes, IEP 1 ended up being a pain to everyone involved, but it also became the single greatest outreach in India. Now, all that the simple community will be expecting from the students are the same as from newbies and if 9 admins are unable to handle 50 students with the help of 1 CA per 5 students as well as an active OA. Then, how do you justify my 200 articles with no tools at all.

That being said, I really believe in this project this time, the India programs team might not be in good terms with the Indian community, but they've been doing marvelous work and newbie generation is as high as ever, I won't say thanks to them, but at least, all the outreaches I have done, I've had their support. In the end, when the project failed, everyone was quick to jump the gun and blame IEP and us ambassadors, it was more of passing the buck instead of helping out. Worldwide however, the editors like Kudpung were wonderful. They blamed us, but they also helped us.

Initially, I was not thrilled with the concept of having to do IEP 2 in a wiki I am not familiar with, but what Hisham has told me, its a very nice community, I'm sorry English editors, but a lot of students as well as CA's left en wiki, only because the en editors were really being mean, I don't blame them, with their amount of work though.

As for IEP, simple concept to the Simple Wikipedia admins,

  1. 2:5 ratio (being one CA and OA)
  2. 50 students (all volunteers with good english skills)
  3. Close monitoring
  4. Sandboxes (if your not satisfied by the content, feel free to delete the userspaces and block the users, those sandboxes will never see the light of day, and you won't have any info leaking out to main space).
  5. Harshest of penalties from professors: I'll speak to the profs and make sure if anyone does copyvio even after one warning, he/she gets a zero and banned from this project.
  6. The India team has delayed IEP for a long time just to do analysis, even users on the Indian lists have been asking if they were too scared to bring it again, so yes Wikipedians can be frightening at times, nonetheless, the whole point is trying to get community collaboration on this. New editors have been growing, lets not stop it because of what's happened in the past. We've learnt from our mistakes, and at the slightest sign of trouble, we'll pause and review. Anyone is welcome to help out: I don't really believe that anyone man can make a huge difference, no offense Frank, but rather a whole community can. We need new faces on Wikipedia, new ideas, and since its simple wiki, we have Defcon 5 alertness.

I would really love for the support, again for any doubts, I re-emphasize: Sandboxes (if your not satisfied by the content, feel free to delete the userspaces and block the users, those sandboxes will never see the light of day, and you won't have any info leaking out to main space).

--Debastein (talk) 13:19, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Hello to one and all. I'm BPositive and I was also a 2nd generation CA for the first version of the IEP. Like my fellow CA Debastien, I too started off editing Wikipedia only after the IEP. I went on editing articles related to Data Structures during the IEP time and later worked on articles of my interest once the IEP was over. Now, I am a volunteer co-ordinator on WP:INCOTM on en.wiki and I work with editors across India and carry out collaborations. To put it straight - had there been no IEP, there had been no BPositive on en.wiki. Not praising myself, but just reiterating the several positives that have come out of this pilot. I have read the several comments on this post and I appreciate the concerns raised. However, I support this new initiative by India Programs.

Some of the reasons -

  1. Making it voluntary: The very fact that it will be voluntary, reduces the chances of copyvios to a great extent. Obviously, only the interested folks will sign up for the task in hand and will definitely try to avoid those "bad" means to get done with things.
  2. Less number of students: With the number limited to 50, I really don't see any problem in it. Yes, the numbers suggest that only 9 active admins and 30 editors are there, but having expreienced IEP as a CA, this is nothing. Also, concerns have been raised that there are only 30 active contributors. But what if 10 (or maybe 5) out 50 students become future active editors. The number would increase to 35 or 40. Just trying to be optimistic as my username suggests.
  3. Planning & analysis: Seeing the effort put by Nitika and Hisham, and the planning and analysis involved after learning from the mistakes from IEP, I think we should all appreciate their efforts and give them an opportunity to implement them. Training of the CAs, OAs, professors and students will be a crucial factor in deciding the success of this initiative. I'm sure there must have been proper planning about the same. Also, universites which have students who have a good command over English language shall be selected.

All I would like to say is that we have all analysed our mistakes, learned lessons from them and have developed plans. Just need to take all the necessary precautions well before starting off with this pilot. All the best wishes. Will offer support. BPositive (talk) 14:23, 21 June 2012 (UTC) Hey everyone, Simple talk is not a usual place for me to check, but given the discussions on IEP I would like to add something into it.

  • Firstly let us not assume that simple wikipedia is chosen because its just say simple, I guess Hisham and Nitika are here to help grow simple wp and choosing the best for IEP.
  • I totally support the suggested number of 50 students and a student to CA ration of 5:1, this was one of the major problems experienced as a CA in pilot. I think that if the number is small then the mess (if created) can be controlled.
  • The CAs like User:BPositive and Debastein and AbhiSuryawanshi are now at least capable enough to detect and revert a copyvio.
  • Simple WP community should no way feel that they ll be burdened with the mess and load of IEP, if everything goes through then CAs will definitely play a very important role over here to keep the program smooth and running.
  • Why are we assuming that even this will be a screw up? If we simply read the facts and statistics of Pilot then never ever we would be able to go for any Education Program, especially in India. As Frank has already suggested that learning from IEP Pilot has been of great help in Egypt, shouldn't we start small with IEP 2.0 too?

What I want to convey to Simple WP community is that please don't panic given the past situation and scenario, CAs would be of great help to you guys. Thanks. --Rangilo Gujarati (talk) 15:34, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Hey all, I'm Arjun Mangol Kanoth, User:Écrivain in English Wikipedia. I'm a 2nd generation CA for IEP 1.0 and have been through the rise and fall of the pilot program and hence have seen the problems encountered at ground level. IEP 1.0, I agree, had a lot of drawbacks, most important of which was the sheer no. of newbie editors, with no prior introduction to Wikipedia whatsoever. This coupled with a lack of language skills in the general public proved to be an unhealthy combination. I myself handled 250 students of 2 classes and know what problems every new editor faces.

Okay, lets address the problems raised here. Firstly, reputable universities? The colleges selected for IEP 1.0 were College of Engineering, Pune,(COEP) a 150 year old college, 3rd oldest in Asia and alma-mater to India's first engineer; Symbiosis University, one of India's top colleges. That is hardly called 'not reputed', my friend. And the fact that was raised that Indian students are incompetent, and tend to mess up articles?. Hmm, well, I'll let you into a little secret of ours, shall I? After the fall of IEP, we Campus Ambassadors, were hardly content with what we did, we knew, if we had the right students with the right mindset and enthusiasm, it would work wonders, so we forayed into the Pune student community, called up our friends in different colleges, set out agendas and ways on how we could edit Wikipedia as a group once again. We set our sights on Cummins College of Engineering for Women, a college that hadn't even heard about the pilot. User:BPositive, a fellow 2nd gen CA along with User:Ram Shankar Yadav and User:Rangilo Gujarati, both 1st gen CAs, started a group on Facebook with a few girls from the college so as to train them in editing Wikipedia. Wiki editing caught on like wildfire and we have around 80 members in the group guided by BPositive, me and other CAs depending on availability, trust me, there was no 'Indian staff' or 'Indian community' involved, We wanted to, we did it. Another similar venture in this field was the conception of the Wikipedia Club Pune by another CA User:AbhiSuryavanshi, who took it onto himself to convene every week and hold editing sessions, the target audience ranging from high school students to working individuals. He's currently involved in holding the 'Wikipedia takes Pune' contest in July. So there you have it, we never stopped and never will, its in our blood by now. login> wikipedia> edit, and we intend to pass it on, I've taught every friend of mine who showed interest how to make a user account and edit, while avoiding copyrights and other nuisance. In IEP 1.0, not everyone wanted to learn, there were people who never cared for Wikipedia, people who preferred books to online content, can't blame them, that's what happened when such people were made to sit down and forced to edit, another blunder we did, not taking into account every student's interests. I and the other CAs sat down with every friend of ours who came to us, and helped them out, we've dealt with the biggest copyright violation blunders to being IP blocked for a week.

So if 4-5 CAs can manage around 30 people completely new to Wikipedia, and help them write an article from scratch, reference and edit top importance articles of Wikiproject India, I'm sure a workforce of the upcoming IEP 2.0 can as easily manage 50 students, who have good language skills and are enthusiastic about editing. The other major problem that comes in between here are the professors, okay I'm a college student, and I find teachers very boring save a few. The teachers that were involved in the IEP's COEP chapter were half hearted in their evaluation and treated Wiki-editing rather gingerly, like an intrusion into the traditional teaching methods, whereas few whole heartedly welcomed the change, and passed on the enthusiasm to the students. We need to make sure that the teachers who accept Wiki-editing as coursework evaluation put their heart into it as well. Well, I have more to write, but my pizza's getting cold, temme what you guys think.

Cheers Écrivain (talk) 15:54, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Écrivain, I don't really know you. Let's correct some of those statements, and let facts in-
1) Here are two ranking pages for colleges within India -List of Indian engineering college rankings and India today Ranking Symbiosis doesn't exist in either list, the only college from pune is College of engineering that comes in around #20. So while you enjoy throwing around terms like "top colleges", the facts really don't support your generalization. Symbiosis is a private chain of colleges, which established its Pune campus in 1971, and received recognition not too long ago. It was "Deemed to be University" in 2002, by Ministry of Human resource Development. (All of this is from the en.wp article.)
2) This really isn't about whats "in your blood", it was a project undertaken by the Indian staff, and generated a lot of mess for the en.wp editors, and it risks doing the same here. This was never about you, or any CA. On a side note, I see you haven't quite mastered wikimarkups yourself, I don't see any indents between all the 3 CA's commenting above.
3) I fail to see any substantial content in your post, just what you did during the program. It really doesn't matter if you enjoyed your time or not, or what you learnt. The indisputable fact here is, it created a mess for en.wp editors. If you want to dispute that please go ahead, I'm sure MER-C and a few people above can provide you with the facts and ample evidence. Theo10011 (talk) 16:49, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Break[change | change source]

  • Comment Hello all. I'm an editor at English Wikipedia, one of the many who spent literally hundreds of hours on cleaning up the IEP there last year. Obviously, this is a decision for the Simple Wikipedia community to make. I'm just going to list a couple of things it would be wise to ensure before you go ahead with this:
1. Insist that mechanisms are in place for meticulous, accurate records of every single student on the project and that there be a designated person from the IEP who will be responsible for keeping them up to date.
2. Insist that the IEP's "gate-keepers" are sufficient in number and sufficient in experience well before starting the project. One set of gate-keepers is supposed to be the university teachers? If that's the case, then Gotanda's suggestion below is essential:
"Asking faculty to put in some time editing on a regular basis for a month or two first... Commitment to the wiki and its readership first, then build a project"
The second set of gatekeepers is supposed to be the "Ambassadors", but which type, and how experienced? Newly trained Campus Ambassadors (CAs) are not appropriate for this job. Nor are newly trained Online Ambassadors (OAs). Yet on the IEP's "Lessons learned" they state:
"CAs should be asked to edit at least 5 stub articles and these edits should be checked."
I assume this means "create" rather than simply edit existing stubs? If so, this should be completed here on Simple Wikipedia well before the program begins. More importantly, who is designated to "check" their contributions? Are they expecting the Simple Wikipedia community to do this? Are they instead providing their own "checkers". If so, then those checkers should also have created a minimum of 5 stubs here on Simple Wikipedia—regardless of their experience on other Wikipedia projects. Ditto all their experienced OAs. Ditto any CAs they plan to re-cycle from last year.
3. As a general point, I still think that the IEP is seriously under-estimating the challenge of writing adequate articles in Simple English. It not only requires a near-native command of English, but also metalinguistic skills. Above they state that their students
"will not be able to use complex words or frame big sentences — which is great for Simple Wikipedia project."
No, it's not great at all. Unless you have a near-native comprehension of the often advanced, idiomatic, and relatively uncommon vocabulary and the complex sentence structures used in your English sources, you cannot properly communicate that content, let alone in Simple English. I saw this time and time again with the IEP students last year. They couldn't fully grasp what they were reading and when they tried to put it into their own words they very often ended up with something either incomprehensible or the exact opposite of what the source had actally said. It's possible to overcome this by being highly selective of the students chosen, but you can't cut corners.
I hope this project succeeds, and it has a chance to. But that can only happen if both the IEP and the Simple Wikipedia community go into it with your eyes wide open. Voceditenore (talk) 16:51, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • It did create a mess, there's no denying that, it spiraled out of control, that's what happened. You must note that we had over 1000 students over 24 courses participating in the pilot, and it was hard on all the CAs and volunteers of en.wiki. I myself spent all my waking hours identifying and reverting copyvios during those days. English Wiki admins such as Kudpung and Voceditenore ( HI! :) ) helped enormously in stemming the flood of unreferenced material into mainspace. But what IEP 2.0 focuses on is a very short term and easily conceivable goal, a handful of students, very good in English, eager to edit Wikipedia, and already have prior knowledge of how Wikipedia is written or have used it often to be familiar with it, and CAN write in simple english. Also I believe that the Simple English Wiki was not chosen thinking that it would be simple to edit and rather that most of the articles under Wikiproject India and some others are stub class or not even started in this Wiki, thus providing an opportunity for students to actually add viable content to the article, compared to the problems faced by many students of IEP 1.0 working on already developed articles which led to a lot of unreferenced material and copyright violations. Also a small no. of students makes it easier because of a good CA - student ratio and the monitoring of the sandboxes becomes easier.
  • And sorry for that, checking the facts, I stand corrected. But don't you think changing colleges for the program is going to help very little? Every college has its share of slackers. Xavier's college, which you had suggested earlier, I have a lot of friends in the college, being a resident in Mumbai myself, and they didn't take much to the idea of editing Wikipedia, let alone copy their projects from it. But colleges like National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, have a vast potential I've seen and are very interested in the Wikipedia program, but its remote location poses another problem. Pune though being a small city, I believe finding 50 enthusiastic people with a good command over the language and writing skills for the second stage isn't a hard task, though I also stand for it to be open to be set in other cities as well, provided we get a good response. Écrivain (talk) 18:20, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Hi Ecrivain, nice to see you again. I think most of your comment is in reply to Theo, but I just wanted to say that you raise a very good point. It's much easier to find interesting topics for new editors to create here. This wasn't the case with IEP at English Wikipedia which I think contributed to some of the problems. A lot of the important and easily researched topics there already had articles. By the way, I just tried my hand at creating an article here. Wow! It is not easy to write in Simple English. I'm not even sure if I succeeded and I taught English language and linguistics in British universities for many years. Voceditenore (talk) 21:49, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Hi Voceditenore. I wanted to just clarify one point on article selection. We did make mistakes earlier on this - and this time round, we are proposing choosing topics that are non-existent or start / stub on both English and Simple. We are also proposing topics only about India. These is for 3 reasons. Firstly, is to make sure that we don't have a situation where students are tempted to copy straight from English Wikipedia. Secondly, it is to build distinctive content about India - which in this case will be (to begin with) on Simple Wikipedia - until other projects pick up this content as they deem appropriate. Thirdly, teachers will be excited and motivated that their students are creating original content and having to do the research and thinking and writing required for this. A recent assessment done on English Wikipedia showed that there were only about 115,000 about India (out of about 4 million) - and of these as many as 90,000 were start or stub. We can find articles. Hisham (talk) 01:34, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

I am not going to comment on the known issues of IEP which is well documented. Should Simple Wikipedia accept this program is completely within their autonomy and only the true Simple Wikipedia community can decide on it.

However, I don't understand the involvement of "India programs" in developing "Simple Wikipedia". "India Programs" which is a part of "Global south strategy" is expected to increase the reach of Wikimedia projects in India. However, I have never seen Simple Wikipedia coming up in search results or anyone using it from India. (Please let me know the visitor stats for the project from India if this could be considered an Indian language Wikipedia.) It has around 15.2 M page views per month "globally". To put it in context, Hindi Wikipedia has 6.2 M page views per month. So, what is the point of spending resources in the name of India programs? Which Indian or global south citizen is this program going to benefit? Who actually are using Simple Wikipedia? Just because Indian students are involved doesn't make it fit to be seen as a "India program". I just see it as outsourcing ;)

If English Wikipedia's high standards pose a barrier for students, then the program can be tried in non-Wikimedia projects like Wiktionary / Wikibooks / Wikisource or in a welcoming Indic language project. If language is a barrier, then students of language studies and humanities can be involved. I would like to reiterate the point many others have mentioned here that writing in simple English may need better mastery of English. One hope for this program as I understand is expecting the students to migrate to other Wikimedia projects. Unless we have solid data on this conversion we can't comment on this. Another hope is that the content may be used by other Wikipedias which I think is very unlikely. Based on my experience as a Tamil Wikipedian, we either refer English Wikipedia or relevant local language Wikipedia for better content. Never have we refered Simple Wikipedia for anything.

Even if we drop the India tag and assume that this program is run by WMF directly, considering the cost (at least two staff involved for months, other logistic costs for organizing) the program will have more ROI if done in any other Wikipedia project which has a better reach. Say, Chinese or Arabic :)--Ravidreams (talk) 04:09, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Ok, so am sorry Theo10011, I really did not expect you to take this to this personal level, since you too are a newbie on simple wiki. I've been hearing on how welcoming the simple community is, well, I found that in Osiris, thank you. By the way, Theo10011, this is called an internal link and I can make one... :) Also an external link for you to prove that my University is not as rotten as you believe, please look at number 25. Hope, that makes you happier at least. As for the other concerns raised here, I am sorry to say that if you believe that 50 students with so many CAs, OAs as well as stringent rules, again I mention rule 4. in my statement: Sandboxes (if your not satisfied by the content, feel free to delete the userspaces and block the users, those sandboxes will never see the light of day, and you won't have any info leaking out to main space).

If us newbies can handle 200 - 250 articles at a time, and if 9 experienced editors are so worried, then instead of actually stopping this project, why not have a constructive flow and suggest to us better ways. Don't mind me saying this, but I'd really like to hear a few experienced simple wikipedians and not just the same voices going on and on as to how scary we all are and how the world will come to an end, a bit more constructive would be wonderful. As for the concerns of Voceditenore, I understand your concerns and love that you came and commented here. The CA's are no longer total newbies and yes we shall try to do considerable editing in simple english to get our hand acquainted, which is particularly of deep difficulty to me. This time we are also taking students with a good command of english and have stringent protocols to monitor and manage each and every edit they make before it reaches main space, what else can be done is all that I ask? Again I draw reference to point 4: in my statement: Sandboxes (if your not satisfied by the content, feel free to delete the userspaces and block the users, those sandboxes will never see the light of day, and you won't have any info leaking out to main space).

If the sandboxes have issues, try and fix them, if no one can, nuke them, block the editors, block us CA's if you don't like us, but give us a chance to prove ourselves. Last year we worked our *sses off. The couple of CA's that survived the onslaught, did tons and tons more than expected from a newbie. So we have much more experience now, why not give us an opportunity. Again, point 4 as well as I say, pull out the moment you think things are going bad. If it succeeds, you'll have 50 articles that are either improved or created. With such a controlled experiment, is it not worth giving us a chance, do the positives not outweigh the negatives?

This time we know we can do it, unfortunately, its very hard for newbies to start off selecting articles in English wiki as major topics are already generally covered well. Hope this community takes some time and actually considers this point. We are willing to lay all concerns at rest, but you need to give us a chance to do as such. --Debastein (talk) 05:45, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Oh lawd, such words. I don't see where I took it personal with you. If you think pointing to a ranking of colleges is taking it personal, then we should all be careful what you deem personal next. You seem to have a problem with comprehension, so let me re-iterate-
1) So far, you are the only one who called your own university rotten. What I pointed to were facts, Pune college of engineering sits near 20 in two listed surveys. Neither of them listed Symboisis, feel free to point me to it in the 2 links I cited, in case I missed it. I did not comment on it at all, whatever I said you can find in the wikipedia article about its approval and formation dates.
2) I really didn't bother reading your rules. You are entitled to your delusions.<sarcasm> The brilliant and inventive "rule" about deleting sandboxes is truly unique, its ingenious really, after years of editing, even teaching a couple of staff members how to edit, and the fact that you said it in bold, that just drives it home for me. Forget us and the active indian editors, the en.wp admins commenting above, Frank and the entire WMF staff, you, you alone, should design this program. I don't think you need any of us. If only we had such brilliance when the first IEP was going on. </sarcasm>
3) As far as doing constructive things go, how about fixing the mess that was created the last time around. The copyvio investigation isn't complete yet from the last time around. MER-C listed some things you can still do to clean up.
4) It's baffling how unaware you are of your own context. What the education program was and is, about. I have never heard of CA's being this contentious. Regardless, the same CA and the same colleges aren't used in succession. But who am I, you probably know more about everything than me.
5) You started editing last year because of the education program. I started at English Wikipedia and strategy wiki a few years ago, even then, my first edit here still predates your account.
Regardless, you've made some of my point for me. <sarcasm>This is off to a great start in hands of CAs like you. </sarcasm> Theo10011 (talk) 06:39, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Hello all; no I have not read what is above in detail, but I think a few concerns should be adressed, before I can take a meaningfuil decision:
  • SimpleWP is a small community. Most regular contributors know each other's writings; even if they have not interacted in real life, there is some kind of "trust", in the sense that when I see an edit by one of these editors in recent ("new") changes, I don't cross-check; I trust the respective editor has made a meaningful change to the article. Depending on how "active" is defined, there are between 25 and 40 "active" regular contributors here.
  • Some problems will arise that are dependent on number of new editors. "Adding" 50 people to this Wiki will mean this wiki basically doubles in the number of contributors. In the long run, each editor added will shift the focus of the wiki, very slightly, towarts the subjects of interest of that editor.
  • After the end of the pilot, this wiki will have more articles; some of these will have to be reviewed, and changed so they fit this wiki. This is probably a lot of work which will fall back to the current users. There may be more editors afterwards, because some of the people invovled in the pilot found this wiki interesting.
  • Ths pilot is a big opportunity for the wiki to get new regular contributors. For the last years, the number of contributors has been more or less constant; taking part is a big chance. We lack "specialists" for most fields of study.
  • The writing style here is different from EnWP; for this reason, I suggest that each person who is to to act as a gatekeeper spend some time editing here. I would suggest they accumulate at least 1500 edits, before the start of the pilot.
  • Given the size of the wiki, the number of editors in the pilot, as well as the next steps need to be thought about very carefully. Ideally, the pilot is also limited in in time (with a start and end date), and all articles created are flagged (to smplify review). The accounts created for participants are flagged, during the runtime of the pilot.
In short: this pilot gives us a big opportunity, which we should take. Before we do, we need to make sure that the pilot doers not radically break our wiki; which means looking into the terms very carefully. We cannot avoid change, so we better look forward to it. --Eptalon (talk) 09:55, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Hey Eptalon, Thanks you for being so constructive. I sincerely appreciate your comments and ideas.
We are not suggesting to begin the pilot before Nov which gives us 5 months of preparation time. During this time, we can ask the CAs and teachers to get familiar with Simple Wikipedia's writing style and policies and to start editing. Importantly, it will give enough time for them to get to know the Simple Wikipedia community.
Yes,the pilot will be time bound by the semester of the class and we will review it at the end of this period before we progress. I really like your idea about articles being flagged. We can most definitely incorporate that in the program design. In addition we could also make templates that every participant could add not only on the article they are working on but also on their respective userpages. Nitika.t (talk) 10:37, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
There is an extension for monitoring the Education program now. Read blogpost. That will probably make life easy for program coordinators to overlook the activity. If need be we could have a flagged revisions, but considering students will edit on sandboxes, that might not be necessary. Logicwiki (talk) 11:28, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Regarding Simple Wikipedia's capacity to run such a program, I have few questions / suggestions:

  • Have they partnered with other Wikimedia communities / non-Wikimedia agencies before? This experience can be vital in determining their actual strength to run such a program. The actual number of active editors / admins don't mean much, as not all of them will be interested or have time to work on any single project. So ultimately, given the current size of the community, the success and work load of the program will fall on very few (less than 5) fully committed editors. They need not be admins. But, they should be available both offline and online (off wiki channels included) as such programs require high level of co-ordination among various players. I can vouch for this situation from my experience seeing two major state level contests and Google translation project that ran in Tamil Wikipedia. The size of Tamil Wikipedia community is almost similar to Simple Wikipedia. And having same admins working on multiple Tamil Wikimedia projects makes it more similar. So, instead of going for rough numbers on active editors, see if few from the community can take "full responsibility" for the successful completion of this project.
  • If you are going to introduce 50 students + (how many) CAs + OAs + staff + program admins, faculty all trying to edit Simple Wikipedia in such a short period, it will have profound effect on the community dymanics of an organically evolved small community like Simple Wikipedia. It can leave the community exhausted / focus shifted or at worse go dormant. Every community should grow organically with the pace it can manage.
  • Having articles in Sandbox will help to not affect the project's credibility directly. But, the work load is not less. Any mature community will go through the same arduous process of improving, recommeding for deletion and so on. Google translation project was one top-down program with its own problems that almost killed few Wikimedia communities in India which could not cope with the mess created. Tamil Wikipedia is one of the relatively stronger communities in India and yet it could not even cleanup 10% of the mess created by the Google project. Another tendancy of the community I have noted is that they will be glad to cleanup good-faith mess / errors done by fellow Wikipedians but not mess created by a program with which they were not fully satisified.
  • If 500 words from one student can be seen as one article, the least you can get is 50 articles. Max can be 1000 articles if we can be overly optimistic. Is it worth the effort?

I am not a Simple Wikipedian but out of good will for the community I want to know whether it is really ready for such a program. I hope that after this initial proposal and discussion, we leave the native Simple Wikipedia community to discuss on this alone and respond to IEP.

//In general, WP is a bottom-up organisation. That's not to say top-down initiatives should not be done, but they need to meet problems that we ourselves decide are important. For instance, information about how non-editing readers work with our articles would be very interesting and helpful.//

+1 --Ravidreams (talk) 18:27, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Replying to Horeki - I didn't want to write under the Disagreement section hence I'm replying to Horeki under the Comments section. Horeki, one of the major objectives of this program is to increase India related content on Simple English Wikipedia. Students enrolled in the program will be editing India centric articles like Indian history or Indian economics or Indian geography etc. Higher familiarity with India related topics will also help students add good quality content. It will be great if Simple English Wikipedia becomes a central place for all India related content. Nitika.t (talk) 13:45, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Hello, For those who doesn't know me, I am ansuman, active on en and or language Wikipedia. Also I was an Indian version of OA for IEP, Pune. Having read above comments, I think we need more experienced editors who can volunteer for this. About CA's who volunteered last time (not all), I think they are not experienced enough to help new editors, this is I assume Theo's and other's one of the concerns, who opposes. I have seen Rangilo's work during the program, he was great. And now I see BPositive, turned out to be a very good editor. As I mentioned before we should seek helps from more Indian editors like Tinu, Naveen and Srikeit (I see Tinu and Srikeit are not very active and they have mentioned the word occasional), who can volunteer. First I think we should reach out to all the Admins and experienced editors from India who are willing to help. Then make a list, if we have 30, then a yes from me. And remember this is a volunteer work and everyone willing to help might not available when we need them. We should not expect helps (or make them help because of the mess) from the editors like Kudpung, Ruud Koot and many others who helped a lot last time. And we should get their thoughts on this too. I would like to know few things, sorry if I sound dumb:
  1. Why students will step forward to edit on simple Wikipedia, when there is English Wikipedia and google doesn't even show simple.wikipedia links ?
  2. How many readers we have from India on Simple Wikipedia ? What the statistic says ?
Have we discussed on these issues ? -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 14:44, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Ansuman, I agree with your words. Let me introduce myself, this is Karthik from the EN:WP (as most of them are) with 17K edits. Here's what I feel... Why will people turn up to Simple Wikipedia, when a giant English Wikipedia exists. Making people understand about Simple Wikipedia sounds scrap when we talk about diminishing editors count at the EN:WP. Just my opinion :) Karthikndr (talk) 18:48, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Hi there, let me just ask you one question and clarify this, are you asking as to the usage of simple wikipedia as a medium, as in why people should edit at all in simple wiki, when ther is a large english wikipedia already there or are you asking specifically about students, because, this statement applies to both, cause students are also editors, and if you feel that they are doing it only for exposure, and simple wikipedia will not be able to grant them that, then you also ask questions as to how normal editors will behave given the same constraints. To answer you, most of the students that I have been in touch with, would be happy to do it in simple wikipedia, to be honest, primarily because most of the editors are much nicer are more personal here. Last time, most of the students stopped editing and did a lot of copyvios, in a way to get back at the editors who just used a copyvio template and did not explain to them as to how it constituted a copyvio. While I am not blaming them, they are not required to, but the fact is, community introduction goes a long way, a simple example is this:
this user was initially blocked, because of copyvio and after a personal message from the admin who had blocked the user, the user referred to the admin, took help from the admin as well as us CA's and then got back on the horse and generated quality articles that, she was awarded a barnstar by this user. Having personally known this user, this barnstar was the difference between her hating Wikipedia and loving it to edit beyond the specified time of the program. Though she has stopped currently due to time issues, she has promised me, that she will again edit in IEP 2.0 if there is one and edit whenever she can. So this is just one example, if this community so likes, I can provide more such, just to tell you that not all users were blocked and their topics nuked, we did have a bunch of succesful users, now in the vast numbers, they seem to have been lost. We even had two GA's,Robinson Crusoe economy and Rangar Nurke's balanced growth thoery, but with a much smaller sample size, I am pretty sure, the amount of disturbance can be contained and in fact, this will prosper and give pretty decent articles and long time contributors. IEP 1 gave english Wikipedia myself as a potential long time contributor along with various others, am sure IEP 2 can give simple wikipedia the same, minus the copyvios and vandalism as it is now more structured and more controlled. So in reply to the previous comments, the editors who stuck with the program even after their professors cancelled it, basically the ones who were voluntary contributors had a high success rate, which I feel, was only because people love to share knowledge with the world.
In fact, in my opinion, its a double whammy, people who will be successful here might re-create their articles on english also if they want more exposure. Contrary to popular belief, not all students do it more interview boards, and goodies, I certainly don't, yes a lot do, but we are not taking the bunch that is on board for the goodies and the limelight, if that doesn't get us any editors at all, I'll be dissapointed with status of student mentality, but we won't let students who think its a easy way to copy paste even survive here. I love wikipedia as all of you, so its either GA or bust, but for that you must give us a opportunity once. With such stringent protocols, I really don't think the simple community has too much to worry, yes it was a disaster before, this time, its much better controlled, we've learned our lessons and are ready to prove and lift this curse over our head.
As Louise E. Boone once said, Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have. --Debastein (talk) 20:02, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I tried to get through that wall of text above, there is absolutely nothing substantive there in terms of an argument. So I'll just answer Karthik instead. As you can read on this page Karthik, the biggest reason for avoiding en.wp is the already bad impression there, and the number of admins and editors against this. Understandably, their patience has been exhausted and they would just start blocking/ deleting or moving arbcom or the wider community, to stop this project all together. Simple wiki, is a new venue for the program, no one here who actually knows this program from the last time around, no arbcom, tiny community, less people to notice and complain. They might also be hoping that the poor command of the english language translates over to simpler command of the language; that is not the case. Theo10011 (talk)

Why is it so hard to to understand! If we have sufficient volunteer then we do not need a nicer/friendly place. And why normal editors edit here, they know. But here the case is different, we are making them edit so we need to tell them (whether they ask or not) why, why not English Wikipedia  ?

  • That is what I want to know, What is the usage of Simple Wikipedia ? Who reads Simple Wikipedia ?

(e.g. I edit OR and EN Wikipedia, coz there are millions and billions of readers. Likewise they need to know.)

Are we doing it here because;

  • English Wikipedia Community does not allow ?
  • Just sake of doing it ?
  • Simple Wikipedia does not have more articles related to India ?

I would prefer to know the answers from Frank Schulenburg. -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 07:18, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Hi Ansumang,
We were proposing to bring new editors to the Simple Wikipedia, because we've learned that a friendly and welcoming environment is essential for letting new users make their first steps on Wikipedia. If a community – or even smaller but very vocal parts of it – is generally not open and opposed to letting newcomers join Wikipedia, then initiatives like the Education Program just don't make much sense.
Since my first edit February 2005, I've always believed that openness is something that gives Wikipedia a special status among the larger projects on the web. However, I cannot ignore that things have changed and some parts of our movement are just not as open and welcoming as they were some years ago. That's why I believe that we should focus our energy on those environments that are most likely to give newcomers a positive and inspiring experience.
We've seen on the Arabic Wikipedia last term how important it is that the existing community is approaching new users in a welcoming and nurturing way. Based on that positive experience, I've come to the conclusion that it makes sense to invest most of our time and energy in environments that provide the right preconditions for integrating new contributors.
With that said, I feel like we've come to a point where we should think about wrapping up the discussion. Before we do so, I would like to thank everybody who expressed their thoughts on this page. I felt that it was essential to have this conversation – both for understanding each other's feelings and thoughts. I, for my part, learned a lot and I am more than grateful for how much time and energy people put into this discussion. I've read many thoughtful comments and lot's of good ideas that are worth considering.
Now, if I'm hearing everybody right on this page, the existing Simple English Wikipedia community does not support the proposal to a level that would justify to start working with new users from India on this wiki. Although Hisham succeeded to line up a good number of Wikipedians who would be willing to support such a project, a significant number of the established Wikipedians feel like we should not pursue this initiative.
Am I summarizing this correctly? Also: does someone think we should continue this discussion? --Frank Schulenburg (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 20:06, 27 June 2012 (UTC) 
Oh, and just another thing: LiAnna, who's on my team, just published a new brochure on Commons that showcases some professors who are using Wikipedia in the classroom. We're calling it "Case Studies: How professors are teaching with Wikipedia". Maybe some of you are interested in learning more… --Frank Schulenburg (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 20:16, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Frank Schulenburg — no, this is not summarized correctly.
No, we should not continue this discussion except to highlight a fundamental mis-reading of this discussion thread. The re-framing statements are arrows which miss the target.
This is about rejecting a classic "pig in a poke" scenario.
Please reconsider your point of view:
The significant and only "precondition" at issue here is a very flawed proposal, not simple:Wikipedia.
In stark contrast, for example, a very different kind of strategy has marked the development of a pilot SEWP program at Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) here and here. Strategic planning and context-building here and here were quite distinct from the IEP 2.0 proposal.
As a Wikimedia Foundation leader, I hope you can begin to see that a slight shift in perspective is reasonable and necessary. --Horeki (talk) 15:13, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Horeki, I was actually referring to Ansumang's question "Why Simple Wikipedia and not English Wikipedia?" So, what I was saying was: we chose Simple English Wikipedia because we think that its environment would be more welcoming and encouraging for newcomers. And this discussion did not change that perception (at least not for me). Sorry for not being more explicit. --Frank Schulenburg (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 10:08, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Thank you Frank for your response. I totally understand your points even though I am not agree at some points. But we can see clearly where it is going! Only 5 volunteers are experienced; is not a good number. I don't think it is possible to run a program unless and until the team understands the system completely. I do hope the team will succeed to get sufficient number of supporters. And I request to propose only after getting sufficient number of supporters and volunteers. Thank you all! -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 16:37, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Horeki, you mentioned Pig in the Poke. So who's being deceptive? --Rsrikanth05 (talk) 19:12, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
"Who" is probably not the best word-choice.

Can we agree that our wiki-context is more often about "what", not so much about "who"?

The practical issues in this discussion are all about "what"; and the difference is important, don't you think?

In other words, this discussion page is about what is necessary in a process of "engaging the community as a partner"? --Horeki (talk) 21:34, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Discussion about India[change | change source]

This diff and response has been moved from User talk:Horeki

Hey Horeki, I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am about the misunderstanding on the proposal page. I guess you thought that I was referring to the Simple English Wikipedia, when I was in fact talking about the English Wikipedia (compared to smaller Wikipedia language versions like Arabic, Simple, Czech etc.). I have no doubt that the community on the Simple English Wikipedia would be welcoming and treat newcomers in the most friendly way. Sorry again for not being more explicit. --Frank Schulenburg (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 10:16, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

NO, BLUNTLY, no -- this is very unwelcome. This belongs on the IEP proposal page.

THE POINT
The one, sole, single, narrowly-focused topic of discussion is about the IEP proposal. Yes or no?

In public relations, spin is a form of propaganda, achieved through providing an interpretation of an event or campaign to persuade public opinion ....
"The Emperor's New Clothes" is a story by Hans Christian Andersen. It is about a "misunderstanding" involving clothes that are invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, a child cries out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!"

BESIDE THE POINT

All attempts to re-focus on tangential issues are nothing but "spin".
"Spin" is not good in this context.

  1. No — This discussion had nothing to do with "letting newcomers join Wikipedia".
  2. No — This thread had nothing to do with "not as open and welcoming as they were some years ago" nor with "environments that are most likely to give newcomers a positive and inspiring experience".
  3. No — The comments on this page had nothing to do with "approaching new users in a welcoming and nurturing way".
  4. No — Summarizing correctly has nothing to do with "environments that provide the right preconditions".
BLUNTLY, there is one and only one question which has been asked and answered: What fails in "engaging the community as a partner"? --Horeki (talk) 14:59, 3 July 2012 (UTC)


Way forward[change | change source]

As a way forward, I propose the following:

  • The people involved in IEP do some magic, and identify the editors that will act as "gatekeepers" for the students. This process of identification is done over a period of weeks (say the next two weeks).
  • The "chosen people" start editing here, as normal editors; likely with a focus they will have when they are supervising students. They become part of the community. I expect them to accumulate 1500-2000 (mainspace) edits, before the start of the program,that is over a period of 3 months. This is: 500-700 edits a month.
  • Mid-october the community re-assesses the situation, and decides whether to give the go ahead.
  • If the go ahead is given, all accounts created as part of the process (one per student, not one per class), and all articles created are flagged with a special template to be create).

While this editing/collecting trust is under way, the community continues the discussion and tries to settle the open points. Given the "pilot" will invole 50 students, we probably need 10 "gatekeepers". What do you think? --Eptalon (talk) 10:17, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

I've already begun this with the editors that volunteered below. Two have started editing already, and about 5 others have said they will begin editing later in July after their RL commitments are cleared up. The rest haven't responded to my messages yet, but I'm aiming to get at least 10 reasonably established by August. Osiris (talk) 10:28, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
I know some Simple Wikipedia editors have been inviting the folks who have offered to volunteer for this pilot to start editing on Simple, which I think is great. I agree with Eptalon we should invite and encourage and support them as they edit and gain experience on Simple over the course of next few months. Im not sure how many of them will have "1500-2000" edits before Nov. After all they are also volunteers and we cant force them to edit and meet targets. However, we should be in a better position to evaluate the go/no go options in Oct. In the meanwhile I'd humbly request all Simple Wikipedia editors to continue helping, mentoring and guiding these volunteers while they learn the workings of Simple Wikipedia. Nitika.t (talk) 09:05, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Though an inspiring goal, I also thought 500-700 edits per month until November was a bit on the hopeful side. In addition to total edits, edit frequency is important. Being part of any community means being there. 100 edits every Saturday seem less meaningful to me than 5-10 edits each of 4 to 7 days a week. Editors have to check in often. Also, total edit counts miss out on the quality. Good, simple writing is important. Correcting errors is important. Communicating well with others (but not having the majority--or even a large portion--of an editor's edits in usertalk) is important. Getting started sooner rather than later is most important. Jumping in during October (or even September) is probably too late to become known as an editor and to understand this wiki and how it works in time for a November start. Gotanda (talk) 09:44, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

Personally I think its pretty clear this is a dead issue. This plan simply won't work here. Especially not with such a ridiculously short time frame as November. -DJSasso (talk) 20:21, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

I agree. Macdonald-ross (talk) 08:45, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it's pretty clear that there are no signs of a "way forward" -- see here. --Horeki (talk) 19:12, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Additional information about India Education Pilot[change | change source]

Dear All,

There dozens of things that we will be proposing differently this time round - that will address the concerns of the first pilot. These include - but are not limited to - keeping the size of the pilot small (50), focusing purely on articles directly related to India (e.g., Indian economy, Indian history, Indian culture, etc.), introducing teachers in a lot more detail to Wikipedia, assertively driving the point about avoiding copyvios to students, putting strict systems in place for the students to write only in their sandboxes to begin with (and moving onto mainspace only after an ambassador has given a go ahead), ruthlessly maintaining the ratio of students (even if it means dropping students because we don't have enough ambassadors), etc. etc. etc. Yes, the initial pilot did fail but that doesn't mean that it will fail next time too - especially if we are going to be so much more careful this time. Just because things didn't work out the way we wanted them to work out doesn't mean they never will!!


I do also want to talk about the potential for Simple Wikipedia. We want to encourage new editors from India to contribute to Simple Wikipedia. We will encourage them to remain active beyond their assignments. We realise they will not remain active if they do no make quality contributions. I think this is achievable - but will take effort and diligence, which we shall put in. We will put in place a very rigorous program to train them on how to edit. We want them to add quality content about India on Simple Wikipedia - especially in a context where there are only about 1,15,000 articles related to India on English Wikipdedia (and nearly 90,000 of them are either Start or Stub.)


I had originally intended to share this post sometime after the initial discussion above - but I feel, given the nature of the discussion, now might be the right time. You will find this post useful to understand the approach we are proposing and the attention to detail and quality that we are suggesting to run the next pilot. As mentioned several times before, we have tried to incorporate all our lessons from previous experience to suggest this new program design. Under each of the sections you'll find our rationale for suggesting what we actually are and how we are going to implement it.


We'd like to hear from as many of you as possible on this detailed plan. You can leave your comment under the "Comments" section under each of the 10 headers. If you agree with the recommendation please add {{Agree}} as a sign of your agreement to the "Comments" section under relevant head, or else please feel free to leave your comment. For example, if you agree with the selection of the wiki, add {{Agree}} in the "Comments" section of "Selection of Wiki" or write a comment like "in my opinion, we should run the program on... because..." If you agree, but also want to add a comment, please feel free to do so. Either ways, please remember to add your signature after the comment.


Since this will also serve as the program design for Simple English Wikipedia, can I request Simple English Wikipedians to comment under this section, because after all this is their project. If you're a non-Simple Wikipedian and would like to leave a comment could you please do so in the previous post on Simple Talk. Nitika.t (talk) 14:09, 20 June 2012 (UTC)


Main Objective[change | change source]

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The pilot's primary objective is to encourage students to become new, active editors and to be successful beyond their class assignments - through effective training, intensive hand-holding and strong supervision during their class assignments, and actively encouraging them to remain active beyond their assignments.

WHY HOW
  • India is under-represented in the Wikimedia movement - with only 2.0% of global page views and 1.6% of global page edits, even though India accounts for 4.7% of global Internet users and about 20% of humanity. There is a need to encourage new editors from India to improve the "sum of all knowledge"
  • There is a need to encourage new editors across the world, but especially so in the Global South and in places like India. Students represent a particularly significant pool for which to try and and encourage and support new editors.
  • Students will be told the basics of Wikipedia and given all the essential training. Training will not only involve Wikipedia editing but will also lay emphasis on some of the policies, protocol of talk pages, briefing the participants about Wikipedia community and ongoing activities and initiatives.
  • A logical way of becoming and remaining an editor is by making quality contributions - and these will be encouraged at every stage.
  • A support environment will be in place to keep student's involved even when outside of their classroom and this will be a combination of on wiki, real-life and social media engagement.
  • There will be a strong element of motivation and excitement about their editing - so that they remain enthused to stay as editors after their assignments.
COMMENTS
  • Each of the bullets of the "Why" is easy to support; but the "How" is not yet practical. --Horeki (talk) 18:55, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
We have many ideas that we want to discuss with the community when we build the pilot design. For instance, we propose 6 different in-class sessions with the students to progressively take them through Wikipedia. We propose a combination of a live IRC chat and a dedicated facebook help group as well as check-ins by Ambassadors to provide additional support. We propose a Wikiclub at the school or college so that students feel excited, and we will encourage the club to do fun activities like photothons or editathons on fun topics. We would love to give out certificates for the successful students so that they feel pride even after their sessions. We want to stay in touch with students even after the assignments and encourage them to edit. We will invite them to meet other community members during and after the class assignments. This is not a full list; just a set of ideas - and I am sure we can add to to it as we build the pilot. Hisham (talk) 00:59, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
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Selection of Wiki[change | change source]

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Students will edit Simple English Wikipedia - and there will be a carefully gated process of moving content from sandboxes to the article mainspace.

WHY HOW
  • There is large opportunity to add/improve content - given that there are just under 100,000 article in total on the project.
  • The community is friendly to new editors, especially students.
  • The Simple English community has a tradition of supporting initiatives with students across the world.
  • The Simple English Wikipedia is suitable for first-time, non-English native-speaking, new editors who - in addition to the challenges of learning wiki editing might also have some challenges with English language. Notwithstanding this point, as outlined in this and later sections of this document, there will be no dilution of efforts to encourage quality contributions.
  • Every element of the pilot will encourage quality contributions - including selection, training and monitoring of students.
  • To start with, students will create/improve articles on simple.wikipedia. Beyond their assignments, students will obviously be free to remain as editors on simple.wikipedia or to also start editing on other Wikipedias.
  • As outlined in a subsequent section on article selection, articles will be chosen that are non-existent or start/stub on English Wikipedia. An added benefit will therefore be the creation of distinctive content on simple Wikipedia.
COMMENTS
  • What is the "carefully gated process"? There's really nothing to prevent anyone moving anything at any time.
    "Simple English Wikipedia is suitable for first-time, non-English native-speaking, new editors": it's really suitable for first-time, non-English native-speaking readers more than editors. --Auntof6 (talk) 17:23, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Students will be told to edit only on their sandboxes to begin with. The first round of checks will be done by the teacher - who will have been introduced to Wikipedia before the start of the pilot. The next round will be done by an Ambassador or other community member, and only after they have checked the article, given feedback and the student has corrected any errors will it move to mainspace. Also, teachers and students will have intermediate milestones so that students don't land up with a whole load of content on the very last day of an assignment. This gated process will make sure that any issues can be and will be dealt at different stages, by different folks, within sandboxes. Hisham (talk) 08:09, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Basically echoing what Auntof6 said. Most people that don't edit here regularly make the mistake of thinking this is a good wiki for people who have English as a second language to edit. Which is actually quite the opposite, it is harder to write good simple English than it is to write regular simple English. This wikis is really only good for readers who are English as a second language. -DJSasso (talk) 17:35, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
By no stretch are we suggesting Simple Wikipedia because it is easier to write. Sorry to repeat myself but we know that Simple English is not bad English. We are coming to you with this pilot because of your community's friendliness to new editors, especially students, especially from global backgrounds - not because it is easier to edit. Everyone who is involved will be trained on the specifics of Simple Wikipedia - faculty, students, folks from the English community who want to help out. There will be no dilution of any of the pilot design elements or quality standards just because it is Simple. As I've said before, precisely because your community is small, we will take extra care. Hisham (talk) 08:09, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Only the first of bullets of the "Why" is valid; and the "How" is not yet practical. --Horeki (talk) 19:03, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Could you clarify if there are any specific doubts you have. I have tried to elaborate on the "How" in my response to Auntof6 above. More than happy to add any further points you would like clarified or address any additional questions you have. Hisham (talk) 01:02, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Clarifying diffs are not obscure nor difficult to parse in Please review the "Disagreement" section above. It is timely to highlight the phrase "cart before the horse" which Gotanda uses in the "Selection of Faculty" section below. --Horeki (talk) 18:44, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
I am really not trying to be difficult, Horeki, but I genuinely don't understand which specific clarification are you waiting on us to reply to. I have added comments to both the sections you referred to where I thought it was relevant to join the conversation or wherever I thought there was something useful I could write or. Please do point me to anything might have missed out - and I'll comment. Hisham (talk) 01:43, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
A Wikipedian builds a "house of cards"
This IEP proposal is like a house of cards.
These diffs have questioned and rejected some of your IEP premises and assumptions.

Please consider whether it possible that you mis-perceive these practical points as mere quibbles?

Please recall that Wikipedia:India Education Program/Analysis/Independent Report from Tory Read#Overall assessment underscores the importance of "engaging the community as a partner in the planning process". --Horeki (talk) 20:47, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Hi Horeki. I am not looking at any aspect of this discussion as quibbles at all. On the contrary, this is part of the process of having a much stronger and deeper engagement with the community - to partner with the community, right from the beginning in the planning process.Hisham (talk) 03:15, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
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Selection of Subjects[change | change source]

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Students will write articles pertaining to arts or humanities - all in the Indian context, e.g. Indian history, Indian economics, Indian geography, etc.

WHY HOW
  • There are very few (we don't have the exact number) India centric articles on simple.wikipedia (and indeed on any of our other projects - indicating the considerable scope of improvement of India related content.)
  • The objective is to improve quality of India centric content on simple.wikipedia and - as a desired by-product, help improve content about such topics on other language Wikipedias. It would be incredible if simple.wikipedia becomes the project with the best quality content related to India - amongst all the movement's projects.
  • Students will work on simple.wikipedia to edit articles that don't already exist or are start/stub India related articles on simple.wikipedia as well as en.wikipedia. This affords the greatest opportunity for improving content across global wikipedias.
  • Students will contribute content based on the policies and editing style of simple.wikipedia.
  • For their in-class assignments, they will not work on basic subjects (e.g., basic mathematics or basic engineering); everything will be in an Indian context.
COMMENTS
  • Except for one editor (I have not seen in years), and another editor the SimpleWP community was not able to talk to, none of the current regular editors has a background / knowledge of India-relating subjects. The current user community will therefore only be able to provide a very limited amount of help, and will in most cases not be able to check the veracity of articles beyond basic factuality of history or geograpy-related subjects. The same concerns go for non-obvious vandalism, say changing dates of events in an article. --Eptalon (talk) 09:21, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Please do keep in mind that we will also have teachers (of the specific subjects that these students are editing.) They will look at the student's contributions while it is still on sandbox. These teachers will be trained on editing on Simple Wikipedia before the students start editing - so the will have some basic familiarity. In addition, we will also have ambassadors on the ground in the city where we do pilot who will have some degree of contextual understanding of the topic - who will also help out. Content will move to mainspace only after the teachers and Ambassadors say they are ok with it. Hisham (talk) 09:34, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Each of the bullets of the "Why" is easy to support; but the "How" is not yet practical. --Horeki (talk) 19:05, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Let's take the example of an Economics class. The teacher has a syllabus covering a series of topics that they want to cover in that semester. Typically, they would have asked their students to (in most cases, as individuals) submit written assignments on some topic from their syllabus. Sometimes the teachers decide the assignments and sometimes, they ask students to select. Either ways, we will check if the articles are currently available on Simple (or English) Wikipedia. We will encourage those articles which do not exist on both, or are Start / Stub on both to be given as assignments to the volunteering students. This way, this pilot can help build new content on Simple Wikipedia - that is not currently available on any project. Instinctively, you will see that topics - such as topics about Indian economics, are not adequately covered - so we want to explore these rather than basic economics topics - which are more likely to be already covered somewhere. Hisham (talk) 01:07, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I see this as being the strength of IEP 2.0. Reading through all the posts (here and on Enwiki) a lot of the problems were the number of different topics edited. And this is what had made the cleanup so difficult. Where students are keeping to easily identifiable topics and articles and they stay in the sandbox until ready, problem should be much easier to contain. When working with the Nagoya University group, there was little "damage". About one third of the articles were basically mainspace ready with help from the course coordinator and us, another third required quite a bit of copyediting and checking by us before they were moved, and the rest are still sitting in the sandbox until waiting for me to decide whether to edit or just delete them. --Peterdownunder (talk) 06:27, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your points, Peterdownunder. Not only would this be correct, in addition, the students and articles could have some form of template tag so that it's easy to keep track. Hisham (talk) 03:55, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
  • If this proposal is accepted, I'll be willing to review (and if needed, verify and correct) India-related articles (I'm from India, so I do have knowledge on India related subjects). Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 17:03, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Very nice to read your comment, Pmlineditor, and thank you for your kind offer of help. It would be wonderful for help from an existing Simple Wikipedian with knowledge about India. Much appreciated. Hisham (talk) 03:55, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
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Selection of Students[change | change source]

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The assignment will not be compulsory for students, but will actively encourage voluntary participation. Professors will select students for the assignment in their classrooms based on their writing skills, technical ability and interest.

WHY HOW
  • We don't want to force the assignment on students by making it compulsory as editing is not something that everyone can or would want to do.
  • A concern - especially in the Indian education context - is that if the assignment is completely voluntary, it will not attract any meaningful participation.
  • The call about how and who to select and encourage students will be - rightfully so - with the professor of that class. We will provide 2 suggestions which they can use (or adopt):
  • Get all students to edit in their sandboxes and review after a certain period of time and quantum of content, at which time those who cannot or do not want to do it can opt out
  • Select a certain number of students who the professor believes can participate successfully
  • Professors will also be encouraged to conduct a small test for judging students technical and language proficiency skills.
  • In all cases, students will be exposed to Wikipedia and given sufficient motivation to participate
COMMENTS
  • Comments from IEP 1.0 are about the wikipedia community not knowing who was involved in the project, and the delay in getting that information. How is this being addressed in the new proposal?Peterdownunder (talk) 22:30, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
There will be a project page on Simple Wikipedia that will give names, contact details and responsibilities of every one involved in the project - from the WMF team to Campus Ambassadors to Online Ambassadors to teachers. It will also have the full list of all students (with usernames) and the specific articles each one is working on. In addition, this will be categorised in such a manner that it will be abundantly clear which student is from which class, under which teacher and who her/his Campus/Online Ambassadors are. Hisham (talk) 14:00, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Another complaint was students from IEP 1.0 not knowing about, and not knowing how to respond to talk page messages. Is this being addressed in the new proposal?Peterdownunder (talk) 22:30, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
This is an important point of difference in the training we would like to propose. In this pilot, we would like to do much more training on more details of the projects (e.g., Wikipedia policies, writing styles, etc.), interacting with the community (e.g., how talk pages work) as well as building relationships with existing editors than we did the last time round. In the first pilot we made the assumption that students will learn a lot on their own after we teach them the very basics. In this pilot, we will - upfront - induct them into how to become Wikipedians and teach them upfront a lot more about editing. Hisham (talk) 14:00, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
  • A comment from the review of IEP 1.0 felt that the wikipedia community were far to lenient, and that the students involved did not know that any poor quality editing made more work for someone else. The Simple English Wikipedia community have become less tolerant over the last few years, and now generally only give three warnings before consequences are applied. We simply do not have the resources for extended dealing with repeated problems. Editors that do not take notice of comments and warnings on talk pages can expect to be blocked.Peterdownunder (talk) 22:30, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't think I would completely agree with your point on en-wp community's leniency towards IEP 1.0 students - but that's not important. I totally understand and agree with your point of Simple Wikipedia's approach. I do not think there should be any greater (or lesser) levels of tolerance for these students as you would have for any other (new) editors. If the Simple Community determines that 3 warnings are what will be given before users are blocked, then this is exactly what should apply to students.Hisham (talk) 14:00, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
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Scale of the project[change | change source]

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The initial pilot will not be more than 50 students - and with an intent to scale up.

WHY HOW
  • Since it's a pilot we want work with a small set of professors and students.
  • Enroll maximum of 50 students in the first pilot.
  • Each student will be working on one Wikipedia article.
  • Numbers may be scaled up in subsequent semesters - and this will be based on learnings from v0.2 pilot as well as the availability of Ambassador resources.
COMMENTS
  • Current size of the SimpleWP community is between twenty and thirty named regular active contributors, and between five and ten unnamed active contributors; of these, there are about ten active admins / bureaucrats / checkusers / oversighters. --Eptalon (talk) 11:52, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Following Ep's comment, the critical issue is how many of these are both willing and capable of assisting the project. Of those contributors who are not admins, many contribute only on a tiny range of topics (certain pop stars or sports for example). They will never work on a project like this. Of the active admins, some almost never work on the actual content of the articles. Their preference is to develop the framework of the wiki (such as categories) or on vandal interception. Everyone is a volunteer; all make up their own minds as to what they want to do. It is prudent to expect that many will continue to do whatever it is that they like doing. Macdonald-ross (talk) 13:31, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
IMO, this practical comment requires an explicit, in-depth response -- if not from Hirsham and Nitika.t, then from whom and when? --Horeki (talk) 18:46, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
We do invite volunteers from the Simple community to participate and there are different ways they can, and they will choose to do so in areas which are of interest to them. I would suggest that if we get about 5 existing community members to help out - we will try and encourage folks from other communities (such as the English community) to join them. We will make all possible efforts to get folks from English to learn about Simple policies and style, and start editing on Simple and get to know the community and build relationships. I know that getting 5 is not easy given the small size but I do want to point out that the potential to help get new editors, help students and build distinctive content on India might serve as a strong motivator. Further, the time that is required from them will be managed because there will be Ambassadors on the ground as well as professors who will be trained. There are many ways that folks can help - and very few of them actually require deep knowledge of a subject. For instance, one can help introduce Simple Wikipedia style or policies to students or existing English Wikipedians, or someone can help with looking at articles from a Simple style perspective or someone can just look at the appropriate categorisation. Some can be online mentors for teachers or Ambassadors. Some can just help motivating students or teachers; that's also required! There are so many different ways that folks can help - which can be common or similar to the kind of stuff they already like to do. Hisham (talk) 01:16, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Working on one article is a great idea, it keeps any potential problems confined. should solve many of the issues raised about the project. with assistance from some enwiki editors (especially with copyright and general wiki style, we can check the Simple English, it seems to be achievable. We have had issues with Indian editors in the past (mainly anon IP), if we could encourage a couple of Indian based students to get involved with the Simple English community, it would be to our great benefit. --Peterdownunder (talk) 06:36, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
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Training[change | change source]

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Training (for CAs, students and professors) will lay adequate emphasis on not just how to add adequate quality content (which is important) - but also on how to gain a deeper understanding of involvement with the movement, community and projects - thereby encouraging ongoing participation.

WHY HOW
  • The aim is to increase good quality content on various Wiki projects but also to engage new editors to become long term Wikipedians.
  • Training will not only involve basics of Wikipedia editing but will also lay emphasis on some of the Wikipedia Policies, protocol of talk pages, briefing the participants about Wikipedia community and ongoing activities and programs.
COMMENTS
  • I'm not sure I've seen mention that the people proposing this actually know what Simple English is. It's not just English that's simple. It's a specific subset of English -- there are lists of the words that are included. Granted, we don't always reach our goal of using only those words, but that is the goal. Will the training cover that? --Auntof6 (talk) 03:18, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely, Aunt0f6. This training will specifically address this. We will build the training modules with the community - and they must cover this including list of works that are used, sentence construction, etc. Hisham (talk) 06:24, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I have already mentioned it above: Those people acting as "gatekeepers" need to be familiar with this wiki: They need some experience editing here, and they meed to know how this wiki works. A decent article in Simple English provides a good explanation of a scientific subject. What is different form this wiki to EnWP is that this wiki targets a different audience. The vocabulary / capacity of understanding English of our users is more limited here than it is with the "typical" EnWP user. Please forget about using word lists; they can be a tool, but as soon as you start writing scientific articles, they become rather meaningless, as a scientific article needs to make use of the domain-specific vocabulary of that particular field of science. I don't know how to get a measurable metric, but when selecting "gatekeepers", their capacity to explain a subject (of their domain of study) should be taken into account. I know this may be difficult to check, as being able to explain well is usually a "soft skill". We cannot expect someone who is not established in their domain yet to have this capacity, so this will only apply to gatekeepers, not to students. --Eptalon (talk) 10:25, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
The word list is but one of the aspects that could be covered in the training - amongst many others. We can always decide - with the Simple Community - what should and what does not need to be covered when we come to final pilot design. With regard to scientific subjects, may i point out that the subjects we are proposing will be Indian arts and humanities subjects and not scientific subjects. (This does not have a direct bearing on your point about vocabulary - but I just felt I should clarify it.) On the aspect of the "soft skill", there are ways of way of checking this?" In the selection of Ambassadors, we can include asking them to explain something relatively complex in a simple and short manner. (These could be Wikipedia policies or something more directly related to the subject.)Hisham (talk) 14:01, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
As an example from the arts compare Impressionism to its EnWP version. This is not about word-lists, it is simply about being able to explain in easy-to-understand language; this is just one example which comes to mind, there may be better ones. --Eptalon (talk) 14:14, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
Seen both the versions - and I totally appreciate and agree with your point. The Simple version is not just about "simpler" words but also about the total article structure, sentence construction and manner of explaining - which makes it so much easier to comprehend. It does take considerable effort, for sure.Hisham (talk) 14:36, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I do so agree with all of Ep's comment. Incidentally, it's a beautifully written piece of English from an editor whose native language is not English. Although it is not, in the vocabulary sense, 'simple'. It illustrates how difficult it is to write about complex topics in a 'vocabulary list' way.
    I think all our long-term editors would agree that anyone acting as CA or 'professor' on this wiki must have extensive practical experience of writing and teaching in English, and wide experience of wikipedia in general. I imagine everything written by students would need copy-editing. Macdonald-ross (talk) 10:57, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
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Selection of Faculty[change | change source]

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Faculty will be selected based on adequate level of technical proficiency, commitment and basic editing potential.

WHY HOW
  • It is essential to work with professors who have the right motivations and capabilities - and there will be a screening process to select professors, which will include understanding of wikipedia and basic editing skills
  • To make sure faculty plays a more active role in the pilot, it is essential that we work with the right kind of professors.
  • Further, sometime in the future, these professors should be able and willing to adopt similar in-class wikipedia assignment as a teaching tool with relatively limited external support.
  • Faculty members are essential as the first point of guidance to students - even though students will have access to Campus & Online Ambassadors for help with editing.
  • This process will further increase the ownership that professors have of the pilot.
  • Applications will be invited from interested professors.
  • We will ask professors to submit a formal proposal of their intent, understanding, time & effort investments and personal editing abilities to incorporate Wikipedia assignment as a teaching and learning tool.
  • Professors will be trained and encouraged to edit as part of the selection criterion - and they will be encouraged to gain reasonable level of Wikipedia editing experience before the start of the program.
COMMENTS
  • Comment: There has been a lot of discussion so far, and I've been too busy with work recently to take part as the idea was unfolding, but I do have a suggestion based upon my own experience.
"Professors will be trained and encouraged to edit as part of the selection criterion" As mentioned by Macdonald-ross above, there is room for top-down but bottom-up tends to work better and be more sustainable. I'd say prospective faculty must have some editing history before the project could begin or gain support. The best way to know this wiki is to take part and contribute. Assemble the team of faculty first.
"(T)hey will be encouraged to gain reasonable level of Wikipedia editing experience before the start of the program" Let's see how this part progresses before making any decisions or commitments. If several faculty demonstrate a commitment to editing and show that they understand the issues by being active editors, that will build confidence.
I only began using introducing a small group of students to this wiki on a fairly limited basis after I spent a solid year of consistent editing here. Asking faculty to put in some time editing on a regular basis for a month or two first would help them become part of the community. They will know how this wiki works and build communication with editors and admins. A few faculty members should be able to do that, or else the project will not work well anyway. Commitment to the wiki and its readership first, then build a project. Gotanda (talk) 11:44, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
IMO, this practical comment requires an explicit, in-depth response -- if not from Hirsham and Nitika.t, then from whom and when? --Horeki (talk) 18:44, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
This is a great idea - for all the reasons mentioned above. We want to encourage teachers to become more familiar with Wikipedia and with editing. In fact, we want to propose this as a selection criteria for which teachers we work with. The idea of having them edit beforehand is excellent and will also help to improve the chances of success of this project by having additional trained pairs of eyes for training of students as well as reviewing content in Sandboxes. It also reduces the time and work load on the existing Simple community. We must and will look at this in the final design. Hisham (talk) 01:20, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Hi Hisham, you wrote "We must and will look at this in the final design." so I think I wasn't clear. Any "Final Design" is putting the cart before the horse. The way I see it, Indian university faculty members participating in this wiki is an absolute prerequisite for making this project work and for getting the active support of current editors. Without that, no amount of planning or design will make any difference. If the faculty aren't on board, experienced, and committed to Simple English Wikipedia, then any project will probably fail and all of this discussion will be moot. Get Indian faculty active on this wiki first. Their experience will then inform any potential project design. I see little point in planning anything or making any decisions until the IEP can demonstrate that there are faculty willing to make the time commitment. Intentions and plans are all well and good. I have nothing but respect for my fellow educators, but I know what the life of a university faculty member is like. If it isn't a "must do" item, it generally won't get done. Line a up a few profs willing and able to make this a priority and then we can see. Nothing will attract support from other editors and admins like active contributors. In my experience, without demonstrated commitment from the faculty, there is no project-on a wiki or anywhere else. Gotanda (talk) 02:55, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Agree with you, Gotanda - and thank you for the clarification. I was suggesting that when we build - with the community - the final pilot design, the above elements must be a part of it. There will also be a go / no-go decision that should be included for teacher selection. What I mean by this is that teacher involvement is essential. That is totally agreed. If a teacher expresses interest, we want to see the her/him getting actively involved. If we see a teacher not willing to make the effort, than the pilot design must include a point where we say that we should not work with that faculty member. I'd like to suggest that there are several aspects that need to be worked on in parallel - and I'd request that we look at the total pilot design. For instance, if we are open to getting English Wikipedians to support the program, they also need time to get familiar with Simple policies and style and community. This can happen in parallel to the teachers editing, can it not? Similarly, if we need to prepare all the training material that is required for students, work out the help pages for them, start building the project page, and start asking which students might be interested, all these will need time and can be worked on in parallel. They will get refined as we go along so it's not like we will be stuck with a final version of anything too early in the pre-pilot stages to make changes that the community ask for - but it will help us be a little more time-efficient. Of course, like I said earlier, there will be go / no-go decisions at every stage (including after the project has actually started.) I'm saying all this because I am aware of the many moving parts that are required for this pilot - and I'd like to see how we can best work them prudently. Hisham (talk) 03:10, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Excellent ideas.--Peterdownunder (talk) 06:39, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
I like the idea of go/no-go at each stage. May be if you could document that, it might give a better confidence to the community. Logicwiki (talk) 11:22, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • So, where is the proposed IEP with this: "Asking faculty to put in some time editing on a regular basis for a month or two first would help them become part of the community. They will know how this wiki works and build communication with editors and admins. A few faculty members should be able to do that, or else the project will not work well anyway."? November may seem a long way away, but unless some faculty start editing on Simple regularly and soon, they will not have the requisite experience to carry this out successfully. It takes time and commitment to build a project. I would very much like to see both. So far, I do not see any faculty associated with IEP putting in time on this wiki. (Please correct me if I am wrong.) There is no such thing as "extra time" in the typical faculty member's schedule (thus my reduced edits during June/July, my busiest time of the year). Tick-tock. Gotanda (talk) 10:10, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
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Campus Ambassadors[change | change source]

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There will be the need to provide adequate support to students and one key element will be Campus Ambassadors. We will have a judicious mix of experienced and non-experienced Wikipedians as Campus Ambassadors. Adequate training will be provided to new editors to become active editors and understand our movement and projects and our community - before they start training the students as Campus Ambassadors.

WHY HOW
  • It will be mission critical to have the right level and kind of on-ground support available for students (and indeed professors)
  • We will have to recruit non-experienced Wikipedians as CAs because of a limited number of experienced Wikipedians there are in any city in India to support a pilot - even at this scale.
  • It is proposed to have 5 students per Campus Ambassador.
  • We will use Geo or Central notices to call out for CA applications
  • We will try and have as many experienced Wikipedia editor as CAs (depending upon their availability in the city and amount of time they can invest.) For those who do not have prior experience on Wikipedia, training will be provided and their edit history will be reviewed before starting in-class sessions.
  • Logistically, it makes most sense to have as many Campus Ambassadors from whichever institute the pilot is running in.
COMMENTS
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Online Ambassadors[change | change source]

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Simple English Wikipedia community involvement will be encouraged through online ambassadors with clearly defined roles as well as engagement with all relevant Wiki projects.

WHY HOW
  • To encourage experienced Wikipedians to guide students
  • To encourage members of relevant Wiki Projects are aware and involved with the students.
  • Online Ambassadors will each have 5 students and be paired up with a Campus Ambassador. Along with the CA, the OA will review a student's work, provide inputs and training, alert and support to students when they spot potential problems, help students understand policies better, introduce students to engaging with the community, give a go ahead to move content from sandboxes to mainspace and lastly, be available for queries from students.
  • Active Simple English Wikipedia editors will be encouraged to take active part in the program as Online Ambassadors, or through some other role.
COMMENTS
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Communications[change | change source]

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There will be a single project page for all updates about the pilot. All communication about the pilot - internal as well as with the community - will take place on the associated talk page.

WHY HOW
  • Rather than having discussion on multiple talk pages, we will maintain a single central page to discuss any and all aspects associated with IEP.
  • A detailed project page will be maintained on simple.wikipedia which will have all relevant details of the pilot.
  • The talk page of this project page will be the central place for all all IEP communication.
  • All project team updates (including major updates withing CAs and OAs) will also be shared on this page.
COMMENTS
  • Comments relevant to the subject should be left on the talk page of the article, comments relevant to a process (e.g. data collection, finding relevant sources, etc.) should go to a project-specific page. Editors outside the project-specific group may not be aware of the project-specific page, and they should not need to read through comments that do not concern them; subject-specific comments are better off on the talk page of the article. --Eptalon (talk) 09:35, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Yup! Fully agreed Nitika.t (talk) 09:45, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
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Volunteers for the India Program[change | change source]

One of the biggest concerns with this proposal is that we won't have enough local editors willing to help supervise the student's work. To secure an adequate number of volunteers to support the program is going to require bringing in experienced editors from other Wikipedias. I'm told by Nitika and Hisham that a number of editors have already expressed interest in acting as Online Ambassadors and/or Campus Ambassadors. I know that some of them have already introduced themselves above, but they've been swept up in the discussion. For the community to see exactly who and how many are willing to work with this project, please introduce yourselves below and give us a rough idea of what kind of responsibilities you'd be willing to take on.

This will help us to get a better idea of how much investment there is in this and how much time and energy the local community is going to have to invest on top of that. Osiris (talk) 09:22, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

This should be a disclaimer - For the record, the 4 individuals below are previous ambassadors from the first IEP Pune pilot. Some, or most of them created their account during or after joining the IEP program. They were OA/CA the last time around responsible for this. As far as regular Indian editors go, you can read the comments on the India mailing list about how much support this has from veteran editors and community. Ravidreams above is the only editor, who as far as I know, was not directly related to the IEP last time around. If you want closer inspection, I might suggest contacting Kudpung, or MER-C, they aren't indians but dealt with the program the most, even on daily basis. Theo10011 (talk) 20:57, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Comment. Out of the 13 editors who have volunteered so far, only 4 of them have edits here before this month, and most of those have only a handful of edits. Only one volunteer has a significant number of edits. If you are a volunteer working to increase your edits here to show that you're familiar with us, it would help us feel confident in you if make edits that show you understand how we are different from other Wikipedias. --Auntof6 (talk) 19:01, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
BTW I heard a rumor, that the staff members contacted a few of the editors off-wiki to add their support here. I'm sure that might not be the case with the editors volunteering below, I know some of them are genuinely helpful. But do try and keep that in mind, in light of the instant spurt in volunteers below, achieved overnight. Theo10011 (talk) 22:03, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Please refer to Orisis' note at the very start of this section. There were folks who said they would be interested in helping (from other communities) - and that is why this section was started. I have pointed folks out to this section myself - and asked them to sign up if they are interested in helping out. I am pleased to say that there are - at the time of writing this - 13 volunteers, including 2 Admins on other Wikipedias (in this case English), a long-term Simple editor from India, 2 members of the Wikimedia India Chapter's Executive Committee and a healthy mix of folks who can provide on-ground and online support - all from India. The whole intent was for the Simple community to get a sense of whether there were other folks willing to help out, who they are and how they could help. Auntof6: Totally agree. It will be essential for volunteers to do precisely what you are saying and I have encouraged whoever I have spoken to to learn more about the Simple project, the Simple community, the Simple style guide, etc. and to start helping out on Simple articles. It is early days yet - but I am confident that they will give you the confidence as we go along. Hisham (talk) 03:05, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
That's no rumour. The IP team is covertly canvassing for support on this page through an email campaign. One of the recipients forwarded me an email which they received asking for support. I would like to remind Hisham and his team that though email campaigns may get the attention of few users temporarily, but they hardly ever work out in the longer-term. Additionally, I have some serious concerns regarding the capability of some of the users who have signed up below to effectively lead the Education Program on simple English Wikipedia. --Nearly Headless Nick (talk) 15:06, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Just a quick comment for or on the volunteers: Except Bhadani, no one of the people who want to volunteer are in any way experienced here. They all have almost no edits to this Wiki. For me, it doesn't really matter what rights, edits and other stuff they have on other wikis. We work differently here. Especially those who are mainly from the English Wikipedia cause often problems. The main point is that we have quite some different rules here, and we want to write in Simple English, which doesn't mean it is easier than normal English. It is not all about checking copyright and spelling/grammar, it is also important to understand simple English, that means to be able to write simple. It is possible that it is just me, but experienced people should also know how to link to other projects/languages without using blank urls. At this point in time, I don't really think that the possible volunteers are suitable for this. A volunteer on this project should really be knowledgeable about this project. Everything else (like en.wiki adminship, experience on other wikis, etc.) are nice, but not enough. Just my opinion on this. -Barras talk 20:37, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
    • I feel I ought to point out that most of the people below are not very experienced on enwiki either. Only 5 of the 13 listed have 500 mainspace edits to enwiki (Bhadani, Naveenpf, Tinucherian, BPositive and Srikeit). The rest are, by and large, people who registered to help with the first round of the program and don't have a great deal of experience elsewhere. Hut 8.5 13:01, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Volunteers[change | change source]

  1. Onground support in Pune,I am Editor on Marathi Wikipedia and English Wikipedia and now - Learning Simple Wikipedia too. Abhishek Suryawanshi (talk) 09:43, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  2. Online support, I am an editor on English Wikipedia and using Simple Wikipedia too. was one of the Online Ambassadors for IEP 1.0. I can help here as an OA also. [reviewing content for copyvio,reviewing references, supporting on facebook] --Deepon (talk) 13:18, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  3. Onground support in Pune, Editor on English Wikipedia, contributing to Wikiproject Aviation, Wikiproject India and Wikiproject Dubai, was one of the 2nd gen CAs in IEP 1.0. Assisting teachers, students, checking for copyvio, copyedit, giving presentations Écrivain (talk) 14:28, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  4. Agree to give both on ground as well as online support, editor on English Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, and Bengali Wikipedia. Campus Ambassador of IEP 1.0, former host of the Teahouse project, also the volunteer in charge of introducing newbies to Wikiproject India. Am an active counter vandalism fighter and have rollback rights on english wiki, so know how to handle students with wikify, copyedit, vandalism, and most horrid, copyright violation issues. Am comfortable with teaching new students as well as teachers and bringing them onto wikipedia. For this project, the minimum time I can give is 7 hours a week, being 1 hour each day, though if required, I'm ready to put in more than 4 hours per day. --Debastein (talk) 18:19, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  5. Can provide online and occasional on-ground support. Administrator on enwiki. Provided some support for IEP v1.0. --Srikeit (talk) 03:57, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
  6. I can provide onground as well as online support in Pune. I can also take some seminars on wiki editing in other cities which I usually visit like Indore,Madhya Pradesh,India and Dubai,United Arab Emirates. I am ready to put in 1 hour on a weekday and as long as required on a weekend. --Mihir.khatwani (talk) 03:23, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
  7. I edit English Wikipedia as well as Marathi Wikipedia to some extent. Coordinator for the Indian Collaboration of the Month (INCOTM) WikiProject on en.wiki and a previous featured Wikimedian of the month on Wikimedia India. Haven't made any edits on this wiki but will surely get used to this wiki in some time. Will offer online support for the program and will do copyediting, detecting copyvios, monitoring the progress of students, etc.BPositive (talk) 06:14, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
  8. Can provide occasional Online support. I am an administrator on English Wikipedia and a Board Member of WikimediaIndia - Tinucherian (talk) 06:16, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
  9. Online support from me.Excited to help students and enable them to edit wikipedia. --[[naveenpf]] (talk) 06:17, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
  10. Willing to provide online support as well as occasional ground support. Wasimmogal2007 (talk) 08:19, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
  11. Willing to provide online support. I am an editor on Malayalam Wikipedia, English Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. I was an Online Ambassador for IEP-1 and I can help here as an OA too. --Netha Hussain (talk) 11:49, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
  12. I am Bhadani from English Wikipedia; I am also one of the administrators of English Wikipedia. About 6 years before, in 2006, I did a number of edits on the Simple English Wikipedia and created many new pages. I know that Simple English Wikipedia requires more pages about India. I would love to help the students (as also other editors) by revising the texts on their sandboxes/ elsewhere, and provide Online support from time to time. If possible, I will also try to provide occasional ground support if events are organized in towns and cities near Ranchi like Patna, Jamshedpur, Kolkata, or in Ranchi itself. However, I will have to first read and understand the latest guidelines and policies here to up-date myself. --Bhadani (talk) 14:43, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
  13. I'll be more than happy to provide online and offline support for IEP 2.0. I can dedicate 4-6 hours per week. Ramshankaryadav (talk) 16:12, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
  14. Willing to provide online support as well as occasional ground support. Yann (talk) 10:55, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  15. I am not a speaker of any Indian language but I am willing to provide on-wiki support with correcting English grammar and communication with editors. A Clockwork Orange (talk) 04:13, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

Progress report[change | change source]

July

It's the end of July now, so I'll just make a quick statement about the progress of the volunteers so far. Collectively, we got 15 volunteers to sign on to this. I haven't seen Bhadani check in since June, so I'm not sure what's happening with him. Five of the other volunteers have begun editing, though only semi-actively and most have not drawn up many edits between them. BPositive has made the most edits and would be a good candidate for online ambassador in my opinion. Of the rest, who haven't yet begun editing, four replied to my messages and stated they would begin shortly; the other five I haven't heard back from.

I will make another summary in a month's time. Osiris (talk) 06:01, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

August

It is now the end of August ...

  • Despite explicit offers to work together, none of the people who were IEP supporters seem to have responded with evidence of work on new articles or changes to old articles.
  • Despite several new articles about Indian topics -- including Sports in India and India at the Olympics, there seems to be scant evidence of interest in improving Category:India.

There seems to be nothing new to report. --Horeki (talk) 18:58, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

  • At the end of July some very big changes to the organization and staffing of the India Program were announced. It's possible that the plans to use Simple English Wikipedia for the India Education Program (part of the overall India Program) have been put on hold while the reorganization takes place. It might be worth contacting User:Nitika.t (Nitika Tandon) for an update on their proposed editing project here. Voceditenore (talk) 06:01, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Ya, there were some major changes. Hisham left WMF, as did Barry Newstead, who made that announcement being linked above. There seems to be some reorganization going on, but not much is known about the future direction. Frank I believe, might be filling in for Barry in the interim, he would be the best placed to speak about the future of this program, but there hasn't been any announcement related to this, to my knowledge. Theo10011 (talk) 11:18, 30 August 2012 (UTC)