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History of Wikipedia Education programme at Christ (Deemed to be University)

Posted by Ananth Subray at Oct 29, 2018 02:20 AM |
This article gives the insight of Christ Wikipedia Education Program, how students are involved in different capacities in the program and shares the best practices of the Education Program.

This was originally published in Wikimedia Blog


Wikipedia Education programme at CHRIST (Deemed to be University) started as a pilot project in 2013 with a goal of using Wikipedia as a pedagogic tool for the undergraduate students. Both the educators of the WEP and of the university were new to one such approach. Students of five Indian languages--Hindi, Kannada, Sanskrit, Tamil, and Urdu--were chosen were enrolled for the program as students opt for these languages as their second language. During the first and second year, almost all the students created new Wikipedia articles where the majority of the articles were below accepted standard. The difficulty in making students learn about input tools in their languages, Wikipedia basics, and wiki markup pushed for creating "how-to" video tutorials in Hindi and Kannada. Working with Urdu was discontinued after the second year because of program staff exit. Slowly, the program was reoriented in a manner that new students learned native language input and markup for the first two semesters by digitizing books on Wikisource and later by editing Wikipedia articles during the next two semesters. This helped better the output by increasing the quality of articles by nearly 30%. From 2015 the program was further improved by helping students get more hands-on training of input, wiki markup by intensive typing during the first semester, a few advanced options like interacting with each other on user talk page during the second semester, moving to Wikipedia editing and developing articles on Wikipedia sandbox during third semester, and finally moving the articles by peer-review from fellow batchmates, faculty and the larger Wikipedia community. The faculty is involved in the development and on-wiki review process ensuring quality.

The program so far has gone to the level of producing about 70% very good quality articles where nearly 0.6% of the articles are of really poor quality. The female to male ratio is surprisingly equal and at times, there are more female students as compared to the male ones. However, there is little concern in integrating the student-Wikimedians to the larger Wikimedia community.

Also, there is little exchange of learning and best practices between cross-language outreach programs across India across several different languages. One of the ways to better this process is making program leaders talk to each other.

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