Facilitators planning

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search

Group allocations

As referred in Savithri's introductory video, WikiEducator is a non-hierarchical community. The allocations below do not in any way signify rank, authority or facilitation experience. In this regard, WikiEducator is best described as a meritocracy where the responsibilities are assigned to individuals based upon demonstrated "intelligence", "passion", "committment" and "merit", as demonstrated by history in our community, most notably the core values of open education and free cultural works licensing. This is combined with a good dose of pragmatism taking into account the availability (in terms of time) for individuals to assist with this workshop as measured by pre-workshop support and personal communications (notwithstanding prior experience in our community). We're in the business of sharing knowledge as partners for co-creating a better world -- not rank and authority in the community. Hope this makes sense -- but drawing on experience, this is the best way to organise a large workshop. That said, everyone is free to contribute in ways which are meaningful in the spirit of open philanthropy. Be bold and help us achieve our mission so that learners can have access to free education materials. Our role as facilitators is to provide an authentic wiki experience aligned with our core values.

Group A Group B Group C Group D Group E Group F Group G Group H

Group coordinators

  • Monitor progress of user pages in the group
  • Assess and award WikiApprentice Levels 1 & 2 at appropriate points in the workshop
  • Share ideas and provide support for your team.
  • Provide appropriate feedback, advice and motivations in relevant wiki discussions
  • Provide WikiNeighbour comments on user pages
Wayne Patricia Gita Ramesh Ben Alison Patricia Wayne

Facilitation team

  • Monitor user pages in your group
  • Correct obvious syntax errors on user pages and their subpages providing feedback and suggestions where to get help.
  • Provide appropriate feedback, advice and motivations in relevant wiki discussions
  • Provide WikiNeighbour comments on user pages





















Facilitation activities -- The first three days

The workshop is designed on the basis of the human need to try things before reading the instructions ;-) It is a supported learn-by-doing approach where instructions and activities are designed to help newbies explore the environment and get used to the navigation and how a wiki works. This can be a daunting experience for educators testing the wiki waters. Remember that for two-thirds of our new account holders -- WikiEducator is the first wiki account they have created (and we have the data to back this up :-). You can't learn to swim without getting your feet wet. We follow the approach suggested by "Art" Blakey, the American jazz percussionist -- "When you make a mistake, make it loud". Combine this with WikiEducators motto of "Just try it: Our community will support you" -- WE have a recipe for success! So if you see someone struggling -- which we can do in a wiki, do the neighbourly thing and help out. Next time, they will do the same for someone else.

  1. Day 1: In this workshop -- many participants are working ahead of schedule. The main activity for day 1 is to try a wiki edit by introducing themselves (A lot easier with rich text editing than standard wiki text). Our task as facilitators is to ensure that for every introduction posted -- there is at least one facilitator response to the welcome. Go to the Introductions page -- if you see an introduction without a response, feel free to add a welcome message -- ideally picking up on a point of interest mentioned in the intro. Remember to sign your comment :-). These do not need to participants in your "assigned" group. Typically introductions come in over the first 3 to four days -- add the Introductions page to your watchlist which will send an email alerting you to a new addition. If you happen to be awake and at your desk -- post a welcome response. Given that we are spread across multiple time zones -- we can almost achieve a 24/7 real time support service :-). Do what you feel is reasonable -- this is a large workshop cohort, one of our facilitators will jump in. We'll also have a community Kudos prize for the facilitator with the most edits during the course of the workshop -- should be fun.
    • Action -- Regularly visit the Introductions page (or use your watchlist for notifications) -- if you see a few introduction posts without a feedback message -- post one.
  2. Day 2: This is also designed to be quite relaxed and give folk time to find their way around the wiki. Day 2 provides a little "theory" on what wikis are and how they work. We also encourage participants to contribute their ideas and thoughts on the quality of open authoring approaches. From experience in prior workshops, this discussion produces insightful reflections on the quality of education. The value of this activity is in sharing thoughts and ideas. We encourage facilitators to listen during this discussion -- rather than take any value position on the debate ( and believe me -- it can be hard sometimes!). Clarify any misconceptions related to technology and process -- but avoid taking a value position on this discussion ;-). WE're all on different points and phases of the "open" journey -- I suspect you will be pleasantly surprised by the contributions in this discussion -- fascinating -- it helps us model our focus and support during the ensuing days. I recognise that as experienced educators -- you know all about the "rules" of good facilitation -- nonetheless -- wiki's are very transparent, and if you want to really learn about democracy -- join a wiki!
  3. Day 3 is also pretty relaxed -- purposefully designed to give newcomers and those finding their way a little time to catch up. The activities today are to tweak personal user preferences to receive email notifications and an invitation to complete our newbie survey -- data which helps us profile the community and plan for the future. Personal intros will still be posted -- but the good news is that this will start tapering off. From a facilitation point of view -- the first three days can be busy, especially with everyone introducing themselves.
    • Actions (1) Continue to post responses to the Introductions -- BIG thanks for the coordinated team work so far :-) -- Our objective is to have a least one facilitator response for each personal introduction and we are doing extremely well in achieving this target.

Facilitation activities - Day 4

The first three days are designed to familiarise participants with the WikiEducator environment and community through a process of self discovery - -i.e. we have not specifically provided instruction on wiki editing skills. Day 4 is the first Day of instruction where we cover basic text formatting, lists, headings and subheadings. Participants will create a sandbox (a subpage from their user page) and the activity is semi-automated using an input box so as to avoid teaching the creation of subpages using wikitext. After Day 4, participants will have covered the requirements for WikiApprentice Level 1 and it is possible to achieve their first certification. The discussion activity for Day 4 is to start thinking about a wiki project and participants are encouraged to sign the optional learning contract.


  1. Review the instructions and links for Day 4
  2. Continue to monitor the introductions page -- Some users who were not able to figure out how to post an edit through self-discovery will now be able to do this after Day 4's instruction.
  3. Add the discussion on ideas for a wiki project to your watchlist and provide advice, comments and suggestions for projects. Facilitators with a more intimate knowledge of community projects should add links to WikiEducator exemplars and similar projects to help generate ideas. Where possible -- try to encourage participants to "buddy up" with each other -- working together we achieve more than working alone. However, be sensitive to the fact that open collaborative work is a new concept for many participants and Newbies sometimes prefer to work alone while they gain confidence with the wiki model.
  4. Please note that we have changed the process for signing the optional learning contract. Previously we asked participants to print out the learning contract, sign the document and email the signed copies back to the facilitator. The method was cumbersome and did not take advantage of the wiki features. We now include a boiler plate text for the learning contract on the user page for the participant to sign using their wiki signature.
  5. Monitor user pages in your group -- if you see someone struggling, provide advice, support and direction under the "Feedback and notes from my WikiNeighbours" subheading. I have found it useful to link back to the relevant tutorial pages -- the tutorials provide detailed instructions and saves time when providing feedback. Please note that this workshop is based on the Rich Editor -- so please point users to the relevant Rich Text tutorials (and not the older tutorials based on standard wiki text).
  6. Monitor progress against the requirements for WikiApprentice Level 1. Participants must demonstrate bold, italics, numbered and bullet lists, headings and subheadings to qualify for this certification. These competencies should be demonstrated on the user page or sandbox. Don't forget to check the sandbox when certifying. (Facilitators will not be able to verify completion of the Newbie survey.) Any WikiEducator with a higher level certification than the one being awarded, can certify a lower level. The certification is done by completing adding the relevant wiki syntax in the Personal info box on the user page. You will see an attribute | WM= in the edit view contained within the {{Infobox_personal}} template. This stands for WikiMaster. If the user has demonstrated the required skills for this level, you insert a 1 and sign your user name (case sensitive without "[[ ]]"), for example | WM1=Mackiwg (Being WikiApprentice level 1 awarded by user Mackiwg). A level 2 Apprentice will be | WM2=Mackiwg and a WikiBuddy will be | WM3.2=Mackiwg. Please monitor the outputs carefully -- it is not unusual for a user to complain when someone has been awarded the wrong certification. This is based on a "trust model" and being a wiki, we have a detailed record of all certifications awarded ;-). I suggest that the group co-ordinator does a check of the group at the end of your Monday or early Tuesday morning. There is a time lag because of the time zones -- but it usually works out fine.

Facilitation Activities - Day 5

Today participants focus on internal and external links and should add are least one internal and one external link on their user pages. Both links are a requirement for WikiApprentice Level 2 and today is one of the steps on the path to the next certification level. Today is less onerous than a full schedule on Monday and purposefully designed to give a little breathing space for participants and (facilitators) to catch up a little.


  • Do another run checking for WikiApprentice Level 1 certifications in your group.
  • Monitor progress on creating links among your group -- provide feedback if you see someone is struggling.

Facilitation Activities -- Day 6 and Day 7

For many participants, Day 6 is the most difficult session. This involves a double challenge -- uploading images to the server and grappling with the complexities of copyright. Please keep and eye on the new images upload. If you see an image which is obviously copyrighted or where the user omits to provide the relevant meta data and acknowledgements - -please delete the file with an appropriate message for the deletion. For example "Image metadata and attributions missing". In the majority of cases -- this are innocent mistakes due to ignorance on copyright. Where possible, leave a friendly note on the user page pointing out the reason for the deletion. WikiEducator does not support copyright violations and we do our best to model ethical practice and respect for copyright.


  • Wiki certifications: After Day 7 (your Thursday) -- please run a check for WikiApprentice Level 2 certifications. You should look for evidence of an internal and external link, use of a pipe (i.e. the display text for the link) and evidence of manipulating images (eg size and placement). Please note that there is an unresolved bug with the rich editor which does not consistently display captions properly -- so don't assess captions. The most common error with links is where users link to internal pages using the syntax for an external link. For example [1] -- which should be Learning4Content. Please remember to also check the user's sandbox when certifying. Skills demonstrated on the userpage and/or sandbox qualify for certification. Sometimes users delete the link from the userpage to their sandbox. In the main wiki menu on the left, there is a link in the toolbox section called "Subpages" -- this is a quick way to see if there is a sandbox linked to the relevant userpage.
  • Monitor the wiki discussions pages and respond to questions.

Facilitation Activities --- Day 9 and Day 10

The workshop is now winding down. BIG thank you again to all our facilitators. The activities for Day 9 and Day 10 do not require major facilitation interventions other than participating in the discussions and reflections on Day 10 (Final Day of the workshop).


  • Please do a final run -- on the close of your business day on Tuesday for certifications in your groups and award accordingly. I'm about to leave for a short international mission and will not have connectivity due to transit on Monday / Tuesday of the workshop :-(. Could I ask the facilitation team to organise to divide the final certification runs of Group A, Group H and Group I which I've been doing. I will post the instructions for the final day before I jump on the plane. --Wayne Mackintosh 09:52, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Questions thoughts and suggestions

  • Does anyone have an image like this (EL4C21.png) but one we could use for this workshop? --Benjamin Stewart 15:37, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
    • Gladys made this one Ben, maybe you can ask her to make what you want.--Dr. Gita Mathur 18:13, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
    • Thanks Gita, I'll check with her. --Benjamin Stewart 19:43, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
      • Or you can make your own :-) Look for something that will work from the list of icons at the commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Icons_by_subject) -- anything in .svg format (scalable vector graphics). These are editable using free software -- Download a copy of Inkscape (free software) and you can edit and combine different svg icon graphics. --Wayne Mackintosh 22:53, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Put all your participants on your own watch list, so when people get actively you will be flagged. --Patricia Schlicht 05:11, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
My watchlist page is empty and I'm not getting emails either - did I miss some setting? Thanks Richardnz 10:49, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
(Comment.gif: Hello Richard. You probably won't get any email notifications if your watchlist is empty. You might check your preferences to see if the appropriate boxes are checked. --Benjamin Stewart 12:19, 22 July 2010 (UTC))
Hello Benjamin, I am also not able to see anything in my watchlist page. It is coming as blank whereas I checked the settings in MY PREFERENCES page. What can be the problem? Thanks. --Ramesh Sharma 14:15 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Benjamin, that is not the problem though - Patricia tells me there could be a bug. Richardnz 06:11, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
(Comment.gif: Nope not a bug, if a watchlist email is not followed through by linking back -- the flag will remain to avoid duplicate emails being sent. You must also check your preferences that you have the email button checked for sending emails for changes to pages on your watchlist. If you didn't provide an optional email when creating an account -- this feature won't work. You can enter an email address using your preferences. Also, when in your email preferences -- check to see if your email was confirmed - -You may have missed this when setting up an account. --Wayne Mackintosh 23:56, 24 July 2010 (UTC))
I'm feeling decidly "thick" - my email is confirmed, I've checked the settings specified here, pages are added to my watchlist when I edit them (watch tab changes to unwatch) yet still when I click "my watchlist" just a blank page. Tried in Chrome and Firefox. "if a watchlist email is not followed through by linking back" - this comment I don't understand, Wayne. Thanks. Richardnz 10:49, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Ok, so when you click My Watchlist, you see this. Then when you press view and edit watchlist you see something like this? I just want to make sure I understand what you are doing. --Benjamin Stewart 03:43, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
This is what I see when I click My Watchlist. If I click Show logged-in users, I see this. Is this what you are after? --Benjamin Stewart 04:03, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Hi Benjamin - thanks I have the emails coming now but my watchlist is still as shown here. Cheers. Richardnz 04:15, 25 July 2010 (UTC) here is the watchlist edit page
Well, the only thing that I see as being different is that you have a forward slash at the end of your URL address while I do not when I click My Watchlist. Also, you cleared your cache in your browser, right? Anyone else have any ideas? --Benjamin Stewart 04:33, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Hi Richard and ben...I am getting exactly the same as Richard. I am receiving emails advising pages on my watchlist have been changed, but when I click on mywatchlist link I get a blank page. Clicking on the watchlist edit page (same as Richards screen capture above) I also get a blank page. Cheers --jennip 04:59, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
  • My experience is just the same too--Dr. Gita Mathur 09:14, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Woo-hoo, it's working today! Richardnz 10:01, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Greetings to all! I can see entries in my watchlist today. Best wishes. --Ramesh Sharma 13:21 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Question on certifying to WM1

The skill based criteria is easy to check for and Wayne implied that we not worry about whether the user completed the newbie survey. What about the criteria: "Explain the wiki concept'? Contributing to the "open authoring" discussion is related. Shall we count that as meeting the criteria? Something else? Thanks, --Alison Snieckus 21:38, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

  • Good question. Defacto practice which has emerged running these workshops is not to check for the contribution to the open authoring discussion -- but to focus the certification on the wiki competences. (Hence the Workgroup which has convened to refine the criteria). --Wayne Mackintosh 21:46, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the clarification. Makes sense to keep the criteria very doable. --Alison Snieckus 01:19, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Can someone look at my page and certify me. (I know I'm facilitating and getting certified at the same time :) ) Carolct 11:11, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Congraturations Carol! You are deservedly certified.May you please also sign the learning contract in the same way you signed your note here.--Vkizza 16:43, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Vincent for stepping up. I was just about to certify Carol, but you beat me to it! --Benjamin Stewart 17:56, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Tips and ideas

  • Remember to sign your comments and posts us four tildes (~~~~) or the signature button in the rich editor. This way participants will know who is commenting and they can visit your user page. --Wayne Mackintosh 23:01, 20 July 2010 (UTC)