Project Plan

This is the plan. Read about the project here.

Activities

We’ll bring together small groups of feminist scholars affiliated with the University of Washington — these are the people who are capable of recognizing the ‘unknown unknowns’ of gender-related content — for an event(s) where they can identify specific content gaps (‘gap lists’) in their areas of expertise along with key resources that could be used to fill these gaps.

Then we’ll work with Wiki Education Foundation’s Classroom Program to use these ‘gap lists’ to recruit university courses to run Wikipedia assignments, and students can draw on the lists to address the gaps. Courses may be taught, for example, by one of the participating feminist experts, but this isn’t a necessity.

Timeline

  • July – Formalize partnership with subject matter experts
  • August – Course assignment development
  • September – Host brainstorming event; student training using Wiki Education Foundation materials
  • October – Midway review
  • December – Final project, evaluation
  • January – Write up

Budget

  • $5,500 – Project manager at 10hr/week, $25/hr for ~220 hours
  • $1,000 – A $200 honorarium for five subject matter advisers
  • $200 – Refreshments (for two events)
  • $50 – Space rental costs, if necessary
  • $250 – Discretionary funds for copying and/or childcare costs, if necessary.

Community engagement

Last February, at I Love To You: Critical Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, the participation of, and feedback from, participants about how and what to write about snowballed into the idea for a novel, distributed approach to editing. The steps proposed to do such a distributed editing project pilot will thus engage the community members who participated in the event. The proposed project manager and volunteer aim to be attentive and sensitive to the ways that this new approach might resonate with existing protocols and practices on Wikipedia. We will draw on the considerable resources that the Wiki Ed Foundation has developed to assist new student editors, for instance, with developing content. We will benefit from the length of time that the project spans – we’re not aiming to ‘fix’ content gaps in a day or even a week, but over a period of six months. At both the midway evaluation and final review, we’ll solicit feedback on how things are going in this distributed approach to identifying, collating, and working on content gaps from everyone involved: the advisers, the students, and Wikipedians (who may be involved in editing or reviewing new content) to check in to see what’s working and what’s not, these check-backs will inform the list of ‘best practices’ to be shared in the protocol for future distributed editing projects.

Sustainability

Beyond accomplishing the pilot, the goal of this proposal is to develop a simple, repeatable, scalable workflow protocol for similar events that could be run on any topic, without requiring further coordination by experienced Wikipedians. We’ll write up a report to share widely.

While there’s no such thing as a perfectly universal model, we hope that the protocol might inspire the organization of similar events that use and value the sporadic engagement of experts and successfully share such ‘gap lists’ for editing sessions with other participants. There’s been interest in the protocol by the Wiki Education Foundation, Art+Feminism edit-a-thons, and the UW Research Commons.

If the pilot goes well, we also foresee the potential to develop some simple technical tools to make it easy to run a ‘gap finding’ event with non-Wikipedian experts and collect a useful set of fixable content gaps. To start out, we plan to use non-wiki digital software to generate lists (for instance, a combination of Excel and Zotero), however perhaps there could be a way to integrate similar tools or software using Wikipedia’s existing interface.

Measures of success

We will consider “success” to be the enactment of this proposal. We will mark the midway and final points with critical analysis and reporting. The targets will be:

  • Recruitment of a minimum of five subject matter experts to participate;
  • Hosting a ~4 hour brainstorming session where to identify content “gaps” in a gender-related subject or topic, with somewhere between 5 – 25 pages analyzed in depth during the session (depending on the breadth of each page);
  • Recruitment of a university course that will use the materials;
  • Expanding the lists in to practical action-items for the students that make sense for the course;
  • Training and working with work these student editors for the duration of the course
    • At least 5 of the identified gap topics (new or existing articles) edited by these student editors, with at least 2000 characters of content and 2 citations added per topic.
  • Staging a final presentation session which may include the return of the subject matter experts to reflect on how their ‘gaps’ were addressed through the editing work of the undergraduates;
  • A documented workflow for running a gap identification event and using the identified gaps in a classroom editing project

Project team

Shameran81: Experienced project manager; Communication and media studies scholar; Instructor/teaching assistant with experience teaching with Wikipedia; Wikipedian; Feminist edit-a-thon participant; I Love To You: Critical Wikipedia Edit-a-thon co-organizer

Ragesoss: Wiki Education Foundation product manager; Digital strategist; Historian of science; Experienced Wikipedian



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