User:Lankiveil/Proposal:2014 Education and Outreach programmes
- "The chapter" refers to Wikimedia Australia, a charitable non-profit entity registered in Victoria, ABN 74 761 792 996.
Since 2010, Wikimedia Australia has offered Wikimedia training courses to the public. The vast majority of these have taken place within the framework of the regional workshops programme, where trainers have travelled to a regional location and delivered a day of intensive instruction to prospective new Wikimedia users. These sessions have delivered some important benefits, including raising the profile of the chapter in regional Australia and with partner organisations, engagement with demographic groups that are underrepresented in Wikimedia such as women and older people, and the creation of Australian local history content.
However, these sessions have met with more limited success when it comes to recruitment of long-term editors. In addition, while the cost involved in sending editors to regional editors has turned out to be less than expected, further efficiencies are possible by concentrating on locations where there is already an established community of editors to provide support to new users without the need to pay for travel and accommodation.
- Any new framework for education and outreach should concentrate on cost efficiency as a prime concern. It should not be necessary to spend large amounts of money to have a positive and measureable impact.
- Events should focus on areas that already have established editors, rather than paying for volunteers to travel to areas without existing editors. Exceptions to this principle should be rare and considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Except for one-on-one training sessions, each event should be held in conjunction with a partner organisation. This organisation can be a GLAM, educational institution, or any other group that aligns with the values of the chapter.
- Wherever possible, events supported by the chapter should be free of charge to trainees. In situations where the partner organisation charges a fee for participation, the chapter should consider charging the partner organisation in order to recover any costs incurred by the chapter or volunteers acting on behalf of the chapter.
- Any existing commitment made by the chapter to education or outreach activities that are beyond the scope of this proposal will continue to be honoured.
The three streams
The following three "streams" of training will be offered by the chapter in 2014:
- Series of introductory talks to introduce the concept of Wikimedia to the public. These will take the form of a one hour session with a lecture covering what Wikimedia is, introducing the concept of "Free" media, and a brief discussion of sister projects such as Commons and Wikisource. There will be no hands-on editing by the audience at these events. Reliant on in-kind support from a hosting institution in the form of a meeting room with a projector, and the ability to promote the event and fill it with attendees.
- Series of two hour intensive workshops, covering high level editing concepts (tentatively, one for "using the visual editor", one for "using Wikimedia Commons", and one for "Starting a new article from scratch". Intended for beginners rather than experienced editors. Reliant on having willing established volunteers with the necessary skills, as well as in-kind support from a hosting institution in the form of a meeting room with a projector, and either internet-connected computers or free wi-fi.
- A framework for brokering one-on-one training. This programme will match experienced volunteers up with individuals seeking Wikimedia training on a specific topic. This might be as simple as introductory Wikimedia training, or concern "advanced" technical topics such as template design or bot programming. Training can either take place in person, or online over a channel such as IRC or Skype. This is reliant
on volunteers putting their hands up and volunteering to provide this sort of training, and on that training being the sort of training that other people want. WMAU will facilitate this training by matching prospective trainees with trainers, and facilitating access to standardised training material (which may or may not be used by the trainer as they feel appropriate). Such training must be free of charge to the trainee; trainers must not charge a fee for training offered under this model.
Deliverables and Reporting
It is important that the progress of the programme is carefully measured in order to determine whether it has been successful or not.
As the chapter has not previously offered training of this type, it is difficult to determine what interest there will be from third parties. However, there has been strong demand for our existing regional training workshops (so much in fact that the chapter has not been able to meet all of it), so it is anticipated that there will be interest from the public and from partner organisations in these new offerings. As an initial goal, the chapter will set a target in calendar year 2014 of a minimum of six presentations from stream 1, and a minimum of six workshops (which may cover multiple days each) from stream 2.
It should be noted that in a programme such as this, quantitative metrics cannot provide a complete picture of the effectiveness of the work as a whole. For instance, it is not easily possible to measure whether a person who attended an introductory lecture on the topic of Wikipedia might be motivated to try their hand at editing afterwards. For this reason, metrics will by necessity focus on matters such as the number of sessions held and the attendance at those sessions. These metrics should be collected on an ongoing basis and published on a quarterly basis.
Stream 1 metrics
- Number of sessions held
- Number of attendees
Stream 2 metrics
- Number of sessions held
- Number of attendees
- Number of female attendees
- Number of editors who attend a session and make at least ten edits
mainspace edits (on any project)
Stream 3 metrics
- Number of volunteers expressing interest as trainers
- Number of volunteers expressing interest as trainees
- Number of known successful facilitations of training sessions
The program is designed to deliver maximum impact at a minimum cost. The various streams are designed to be inexpensive in money terms, with the main commitment being volunteer time to present, and administrative overhead in handling requests from external organisations, finding volunteers for each session, and reporting metrics gathered at each session.
To cover incidental expenses incurred in volunteering at such sessions (for instance, parking, public transport fares, etc), each volunteer will be able to claim reimbursement of up to $50 per session. Only actual costs will be reimbursed, and receipts or other documentation acceptable to the Treasurer will have to be provided before the reimbursement is paid.
Budget reporting should take place on a quarterly basis, and state the total amount of reimbursement actually paid, as well as the total amount that would have been paid if the maximum reimbursement had been claimed in every case. The ratio between the two will be used to help determine a budget for future calendar years.
Stream 1 budget
Assuming a worst case scenario of the presenter at all six sessions claiming the maximum reimbursement, then the total cost for the year would be $300.
Stream 2 budget
Assuming a worst case scenario of two volunteers claiming the maximum amount for a series of three workshops, the total cost would be $300 per series. If this worst case scenario were to take place for all six workshops, that would lead to a total expenditure of $1800 for the year.
Stream 3 budget
As all activity in this stream is at the volunteer's discretion, there is no budget allocated. However, if the trainer or the trainee require funds for an unusual situation or request, an application for up to $200 could be made through the Volunteer Support Programme. Any such expenditure would be accounted for under the VSP rather than this programme.
A further $200 for the year is allocated to cover miscellaneous and unexpected expenses, such as the printing of training material, completion certificates, postage, and other minor office consumables.
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(Amounts are shown in AUD)
Alignment to strategy
The recruitment of new editors and retention of existing editors is a primary motivation of the movement strategy outlined by the Wikimedia Foundation. The intent of these programmes is to facilitate this goal within Australia. Streams 1 and 2 will assist in the recruitment of new editors, particularly those who might not ordinarily be reached by established movement communication channels, such as older people and women. Stream 3 will assist not only in the recruitment of new editors, but also in the retention of existing editors by building on their existing skill sets and enabling them to tackle more complex tasks within our projects.
In accordance with the chapter's existing policy, one-on-one facilitation of training (Stream 3) should not involve minors, either as trainers or trainees. Minors should also not be permitted to attend Stream 2 workshops unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.