Critical issues presentations/Kosovo Wiki Academies: potential and limits for outreach

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Submission no. 178
Title of the submission

Kosovo Wiki Academies: potential and limits for outreach

Author of the submission
  • Arianit Dobroshi
Country of origin

Kosovo

Topics

Outreach, Projects

Keywords
  • wiki marathon
  • editathon
  • engagement
Abstract

During 2013-2015 Kosovo hosted three “Wiki Academies” which engaged mostly high school students in the writing of Wikipedia articles about Kosovo and photographers in submission of photos. During this presentation I will explain the benefits of such a “shotgun” approach to editathons and its limitations.

The approach involved a selection process of applicants the majority of who were not aware Wikipedia could be edited, wiki syntax training and writing marathons of students in groups of 2-4 in the article writing process.

Our challenges were many: the writing had to be done in English, and writing and research skills are lacking in these students as well as sources. In addition, we had to engage the Wikipedia community to be gentle to these beginners.

Through a mentoring process we managed to get them to publish decent articles, most of whom survived the review process by the broader community.

The benefits of the projects were the content that was created: about 200 articles and 4,000 photos and the massive media presence and outreach in schools.

Some of our pitfalls were failing to engage the teachers, despite our desire to do so. Contributor retention was not satisfactory either. It is also inevitable result of our constraints that our process was elitist in favoring students who could write good English.

Result

Not accepted