Wikipedia:Education noticeboard

Latest comment: 5 days ago by Mathglot in topic Contentious topics
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    Student assignment at Uskudar University editing medical articles edit

    Some users have posted on a health/medicine-related talk pages that they are students at Uskudar University editing for a course called Biotechnology in Neurosciences (NEU547/1). Possible WP:MEDRS checks and copy editing/cleanup needed.

    I found these users through their article talk page comments:

    It seems like these students may be part of Flower of truth (talk · contribs)'s Brain, Neuroscience, and Biotechnology Edit-a-thon or something similar. I'm not sure why their pages don't have the typical student notices/WikiEd staff interaction. Wracking talk! 21:02, 25 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    I'm so glad that you tracked down what the course is. This is the same problem that I reported in #Student editor needs help, above. I hope that Flower of truth can help with this, because the subset of these students that I've seen have been raising all kinds of trouble, and appear to be in serious need of guidance. (By the way, because of the geographical location, this is not within WikiEd's remit.) --Tryptofish (talk) 22:37, 25 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I knew it felt familiar! Thanks for connecting the dots. Wracking talk! 22:52, 25 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    (Also: thanks for explaining the WikiEd/WMF Labs difference... I think my eyes have glazed twice over now) Wracking talk! 22:54, 25 January 2024 (UTC) Reply[reply]
    At least some of these folks have not been trained very well - I was very confidently told by one of them that anything found on PubMed is reliable, which is clearly not in agreement with WP:MEDRS. MrOllie (talk) 22:39, 25 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @MrOllie: Hi, thanks for the note. You comment about my students it seems. All students got the initial training by completition of Wikipedia training modules, so I believe they can not be so bad. Students were advised to use secondary sources in Pubmed. Nevertheless, there may be some students, who cite primary sources from Pubmed. I think such things are normal and happen all the time. We do not expect everything to be perfect at once! As a Doctor of neuroscience, who is a published author in biomedical sciences, I can say that Pubmed is an internationally recognized database for biomedical research which covers the primary and secondary sources published in respected peer-reviewed journals. Why are you objected to Pubmed, in general, may I ask? Please note that my students are afraid of editing Wikipedia and then during their editing experience some felt discouraged and quite exhausted due to some unfriendly approach or comments from some users, -I am not sure if you are one of those. I think it is important to be supportive during critisism, if fostering a diverse and inclusive community of Wikipedia editors is important. My students edit in English since the course they take from me at Uskudar University is taught in English. For this reason, I am not sure I could get help from Wikipedia Turkiye team as they should be dealing with Turkish Wikipedia but I will contact with them (@Basak @Zafer) otherwise, I feel quite exhausted with the current situation, which I find not quite judgemental. Flower of truth (talk) 13:33, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    correction: which I find quite judgemental. Flower of truth (talk) 13:34, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I did not objected to Pubmed, in general. I noted that many sources that are found on Pubmed do not meet the requirements laid out in WP:MEDRS. Even in your message you wrote that Students were advised to use secondary sources in Pubmed. - while some secondary sources will not meet MEDRS either. If your students have received some unfriendly approach it is because when they have been approached about the errors they were making they began arguing or continued making errors even after being made aware of what the requirements are. MrOllie (talk) 13:58, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    4 January 2024:
    --Dustfreeworld (talk) 14:10, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @MrOllie I appreciate your dedication to Wikipedia. On the other hand, it is also important to be flexible and constructive. Remember: "Wikipedia does not have firm rules". (1) if there is an argument, as you mentioned above, I do not think that it is always one sided for each case, but it seems to me that you tend to label my students from your side directly, without thinking their side of the story. (2) Secondly, indeed, I had the impression that you mentioned your opposition to reliability of the sources in Pubmed in the beginning, not to the profile of the sources to be secondary or primary. If you must know: by checking the website you can also see- and I would like to say, as well, yes Pubmed is one of the most respected database in biomedical sciences and yes, scientifically, all sources in Pubmed are considered as reliable source (as much as possible), but not all sources in Pubmed are secondary sources and all students know that. (3) Please also note that, when I mention "students" I refer to graduate neuroscience students who already have a degree. For instance a graduate neuroscience student who has a degree in Psychology should be able to edit an article about "binge eating disorder" and should know which source to cite. All students are aware of choosing reliable secondary sources but sometimes they may choose primary sources by mistake or so but also due to their proficiency and background in the field that they might think of citing that primary source. and why? here is why: (4)Indeed it is not uncommon that a lot of primary sources are cited in Wikipedia including subjects in Medical articles and students see them. Under these circumstances, your actions of focusing on one specific student (this is what the student told me) and erasing completely their valuable efforts and edits for something not a deadly mistake, without giving the chance of revision does not sound to me constructive and flexible enough to maintain a positive and inclusive environment especially for beginners, who have are already afraid of editing in Wikipedia. Thank you! PS. I will not comment on this anymore. I will look for help from Turkish Wikipedia team but also semester is over so the wikipedia editing assignment will be over soon. Flower of truth (talk) 16:31, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Secondly, indeed, I had the impression that you mentioned your opposition to reliability of the sources in Pubmed in the beginning - I said nothing of the sort. There is obviously a language barrier here. I think that Zefr's advice, linked above, to edit in the Wikipedia project corresponding to your native language is good advice. all sources in Pubmed are considered as reliable source - No. That is exactly the problem, most do not meet WP:MEDRS and are not considered to be reliable on Wikipedia. For instance a graduate neuroscience student who has a degree in Psychology should be able to edit an article about "binge eating disorder" and should know which source to cite. And yet they were making obvious errors, and when this was explained instead of correcting their approach they kept making the same errors, and became hostile and made personal attacks. MrOllie (talk) 17:06, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @MrOllie, I think the link you mentioned was posted by me, not by Flower of truth. Editors are people, we all make mistakes. And those may cause misunderstanding as well.
    As a side, I did see some very humble students being wikibullied. [1]
    I believe people may become hostile if they (believe they) are attacked first. You may want to continue the discussion at How do we welcome new medical editors? --Dustfreeworld (talk) 17:32, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I've posted about this at WT:MED#Problem with class assignment in medical topics. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:42, 25 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    First of all, you should read every single content added by every student before mentioning them and overthrowing them by saying "They have not been well trained". Secondly, we have pointed out the purpose of the editings we have made, on the talk pages. Either way, our content will be checked by professionals and if it needs to be deleted, it will be. If you are willing to help us, I would like you to read every content and give specific arguments regarding why our editings are not following the guidelines according to you, this would be absolutely the right thing to do rather than signaling us this way. Thank you for your concern! Yasmine Gana (talk) 06:07, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That's not how it works in WP:MEDRS topics. Those articles have much more strict editing standards, and students should not be touching them without very clear understanding of the rules. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 12:56, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    WP:MEDRS does *not* override policies such as WP:OWN, WP:CIVIL and WP:PRESERVE. --Dustfreeworld (talk) 14:00, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Of course not. But it does require a higher standard of citation and fact-checking prior to addition, which seems incompatible with the above statement that edits will be made then if it needs to be deleted, it will be. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:25, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree that some form of review (in sandbox?) *prior* to addition would help. I don’t know what’s the current official suggestions about this from Wiki Education, or other related authorities. I don’t think it should be compulsory though. Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia that *anyone* can edit. It’s always in an imperfect state that’s under improvement. --Dustfreeworld (talk) 16:24, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    And being imperfect shouldn’t be an excuse to violate WP:OWN, WP:CIVIL and WP:PRESERVE. --Dustfreeworld (talk) 16:48, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @HandThatFeeds, MEDRS isn't intended to be a "higher" standard. It's intended to help editors find out how to translate the "normal" standard into medical topics, because "normal" isn't quite what editors – even senior academics – expect. For example: academics care about Scientific priority (e.g., giving credit to the original scientist) and Wikipedia cares about being up to date (i.e., using a recent textbook). WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:18, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It's higher in that medical topics can lead to actual harm if they contain poor or incorrect information. Perhaps "more strict" would've been a better phrase for me to use but, regardless, MEDRS subjects are going to be scrutinized a lot more closely than other articles. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:36, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'd have picked one of the geopolitical areas as the one that gets the most scrutiny, but I'm not sure that the scrutiny is helping us. The demand for MEDRS-ideal sources not only sometimes involves thoughtless reversion, but it has extended even to claims that a particular plant oil is red (they objected to the supposed "promotional tone" of the peer-reviewed review article), or that people wear makeup to cover up acne (they claimed that if there weren't multiple medical articles mentioning this, then having a single sentence about the zillion-dollar cosmetics industry in the article on Acne wasn't WP:DUE), or that certain substances are used in cosmetics because of their effect on skin tone (=skin color. If it's not obvious why that's silly, find the nearest teenage girl and ask her if she thinks there'd be any point in buying colorless Rouge (cosmetics)). We're not necessarily making things better by driving away people who actually know something about the subject matter with our "Tut tut tut, didn't you know that MDPI journals are supposed to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, which is why I mindlessly insta-revert every addition of them by newer editors?" WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:56, 28 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Other students (based on talk comments), for anyone checking contribs:
    I also noticed discussion at Talk:Neuroenhancement, as a few students congregated there. Dustfreeworld and Zefr were involved in that discussion. Wracking talk! 23:22, 25 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thanks Wracking. The related discussion can be found at: How do we welcome new medical editors? --Dustfreeworld (talk) 11:36, 26 January 2024 (UTC); 18:32, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Someone has also started this: Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Strange editing from Uskudar University --Dustfreeworld (talk) 17:18, 27 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thank you very much for pinging me. I am from the user group in Türkiye. We are experienced about helping students editing WP but do not have experience about students editing medical topics. I will try to help by informing the users about using sandbox first.Basak (talk) 14:24, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I will note that some of the edits from this group, such as this and this, have fabricated facts based on citations that had nothing at all to do with the facts in question. I find this to be very problematic. WikiDan61ChatMe!ReadMe!! 15:45, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Issues of concern at the Neuroenhancement talk page are 1) absence of WikiEd staff notification about the course (responsibility of the instructor), 2) absence of the course outline, a Wikipedia user-instructor supervising student edits, and list of participating students with their assignments, 3) students making their first edits, with no apparent knowledge of medical source quality, to complete a homework assignment, and 4) Turkish students editing with poor English skills.
    Wracking - is there a proposal you have in mind for resolving this to support article quality while enabling WikiEd-qualified students to participate? Student edits of diverse medical articles with little/no review by instructors have a history of damaging articles and consuming time of other editors to maintain the quality of medical content.
    It's possible a bot could be produced for medical articles via the Idea Lab using factors like those above to assure basics are in place on an article talk page before students make their first edits. Zefr (talk) 16:02, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Zefr: FYI WikiEd is the support system for classes in the US and Canada. Courses everywhere else fall under the Wikimedia Foundation's Education Program. The notifications and staff support you're referring to generally do not exist for the latter, unfortunately. There are templates students can use to tag article talk pages, of course (Template:Educational assignment), but it must be done manually. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 16:20, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Oof. That seems like a recipe for disaster. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:00, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Indeed, it is. I'm going to be blunt, and this has nothing to do with OWN or bullying or anything like that. The purpose of class assignments at Wikipedia is to have students learn what editing Wikipedia is like (and hopefully to improve content). It's not for other Wikipedia editors to suddenly become unpaid teaching assistants for a class, or to provide special editing conditions that would not be offered to other new editors (including having to clean up a mess). Problems I've been seeing, including copyright violations, are far from trivial. I highly recommend that Flower of truth, and perhaps the students, read WP:ASSIGN, because that reflects community norms for class assignments. This class needs to conform with that, and receive the kind of guidance that they will need to do it – and not to scold other editors for being "judgemental". (Finding out how other editors react to student edits is part of the learning process, too. And if it's not what you want for your class, you are free to teach it in some other way, outside of Wikipedia.) So there are two ways that this can go. One is that the class is taught about this the right way, and conforms with the community norms of the English Wikipedia. Content is improved, and it's a happy outcome. The other is that the student edits get reverted when they are not improvements, and if things get bad enough, the students get blocked. Just as we would do with any other new editors. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:44, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thanks for the link, Tryptofish. I think it’s mutual, and how do we welcome new medical editors is very important too. [2] --Dustfreeworld (talk) 15:18, 27 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    In my experience, WT:MED has a tendency to be a walled garden. As for mutuality, I'll say more on that just below. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:24, 28 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I have no specific proposal. I am unqualified both on the MEDRS and WikiEd (or Wikimedia education program) sides of things, so I brought the conversation here.
    As far as I know, WikiEd discourages students from taking on medical articles and makes them aware of MEDRS. I don't know if the less-centralized model does/can do this. Also, see the conversation above about potentially preventing certain articles from being assigned to WikiEd students.
    That said, I think we need to pay mind to WP:BITE, as we have a group of new editors who seem to be editing in good faith and engaging in discussion with editors outside their classroom. WikiEd projects have gone much worse than this. Wracking talk! 00:05, 27 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Of course we should keep BITE in mind, and of course there are mutual responsibilities where other editors should consider the feelings of student editor newbies. After all, I started the original thread on this noticeboard by seeking help for one of the students. But I'm very serious about the need for the instructor to work with us. Class projects are different than other kinds of editing by new editors. The edits show up suddenly, and in large quantities, where it becomes much more work for other editors to fix anything that needs to be fixed. And student editors differ from other new editors in that someone (the instructor) has made them come here in order to get course credit, as opposed to people who just decide on their own that they would like to try editing. So we have to treat it differently.
    In any case, we have a problem here, because at least some of the students are not engaging productively with other editors. I've seen student talk pages where the students tell other editors that the other editors are wrong, when the opposite is the case. This looks to me like poor guidance from the instructor. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:24, 28 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Agree with most of what you said in the first half of your comment.
    The question is, if Alice’s mum made her come here in order to get her next new toy, or, Bob’s girlfriend made him come here in order to get her agreement that he can buy his next new car, as opposed to people who just decide on their own that they would like to try editing, do we have to treat it differently?
    Further, I've seen student talk pages where the editors tell other students that the other students are wrong, when the opposite is the case. This looks to me like poor guidance from ___. --Dustfreeworld (talk) 03:33, 28 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Presumably neither Alice's mum nor Bob's girlfriend are sending dozens of people at a small subsection of articles in a short amount of time, and therefore Alice and Bob, whatever their motivation for editing, differ far less from "typical" new editors than editors coming here as a result of class projects do. (Unless their motivation for editing turns out to actively conflict with the purpose of Wikipedia, in which case the most likely result would be that they sooner or later end up blocked as not here to build an encyclopedia.)
    But let's say Alice's mum/Bob's girlfriend were to send large numbers of people at a small number of articles, and the instructions given to these new editors conflict with the Wikipedian rules and guidelines, or fail to properly guide them in how to edit, or otherwise result in a high volume of subpar edits; and their motivation for editing makes them less likely to listen to the advice of other editors as opposed to that of Alice's mum/Bob's girlfriend? These folks would almost invariably get blocked as meatpuppets of Alice's mum/Bob's girlfriend. (And very frankly speaking, typically with less hesitation and fewer attempts to guide them into editing in a way that confirms with English Wikipedian norms than what happens with student editors)
    The different way in which student editors are treated does not solely involve strictness that might or might not happen with individual newbie editors making similar edits. It also involves a good deal more leniency and attempts to get the coordinating party behind the group to actually coordinate and work with the English Wikipedia than what almost all other forms of new editors appearing as a group get, especially when it's a group that causes a significant amount of work for other editors to clean up. AddWittyNameHere 12:34, 28 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Ah ... I see a lot of assumptions in your post ... I’m not sure I understand all of them ... I don’t see much leniency that you mentioned; and “significant amount of work for other editors to clean up” may have been an overestimation as well. I don’t think your assumptions like “fail to properly guide them in how to edit” align with our definition of meat puppets. With all the discussions so far, I seldom see people talking about the benefits of having undergraduate/ postgraduate editors (who know much in the area they study) decide to stay and becoming part of us. We are talking about around 27 postgraduates just for this course. What if, say, 4 of them decide to stay, and 2 of them become our Featured article editors? How many more FAs will we get? How many positive contributions are we going to have from them in the years coming?
    Of course I’m over estimating. If I were them, to say for sure, I won’t stay (why would one decide to stay after being wikibullied, without any apology from anyone, and who is still the subject of discussions being accused of making “subpar edits” after weeks, decide to stay? If they do it’s just too naive, isn’t it?). After all, fail to make new participants to become part of us is what killing the project. Cooperation, good communication and assume good faith are what make Wikipedia great, not warnings and the desire to punish. --Dustfreeworld (talk) 12:43, 29 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'm sorry, but hyperbole about what['s] killing the project is as old as the project itself. It's a tired argument and not a valid one. Wikipedia is not going to shrivel up and die because we told a class they need to follow our rules. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:12, 29 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I don’t know what’s *our* rules vs *their* rules. I don’t think *all* of *us* are following *our* rules. I see many of our articles are dated. I see many information that should be there isn’t. I don’t think people are telling others to “follow our rules”. I see people telling others *not to edit here*.I also see people posting multiple warnings in a very short time without explaining any *rules* beforehand. I don’t think the project will “die” tomorrow. Just that it’s *not* a great project anymore. --Dustfreeworld (talk) 14:30, 29 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It's the same project it's always been. Everything else is projection on your part. Proclaiming things were better before is just rose colored glasses.
    We've improved tremendously since the Wild West times of the early project, when MEDRS, BLP, and many of our other safety policies just plain didn't exist. People wanted more content, regardless of whether it belonged or not. Growth was paramount, and it led to all kinds of problems.
    So no, I don't agree with the idea that this is "not a great project anymore". We've always tried to help newbies, but we've also drawn a line where people quite clearly don't belong. Nothing worse about how it's done now, and in fact it's a lot better than it used to be.
    That said, we're going around in circles, so I'm bowing out. I've said my peace. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:45, 29 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I’m not comparing between now and before. Perhaps it’s better if I say “just that it’s not a great project” without the word “anymore”.
    I’ve never said that we don’t need rules. Quite the opposite, I’m saying that some of us(?) are violating some of the rules. It seems that we aren’t talking about the same rules.
    It’s good to have rules. The problem is, people who know the rules very well are violating them blatantly without being punished (i.e. rules not enforced).
    On the other hand, people who have never heard about some rules are being accused of violating them (while most of the time it’s just content disputes, which might even have been caused by the WP:OWN mindset of the other party), without adequate explanation given, and are threatened with blocking or not to edit.
    Repeat: After all, fail to make new participants to become part of us is what killing the project. Assume good faith, cooperation and good communication are what make Wikipedia great, not (unwarranted) warnings and the (inappropriate) desire to punish. --Dustfreeworld (talk) 17:32, 29 January 2024 (UTC); 12:36, 30 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Improving information for non-NA educators edit

    I'm setting up a small one-seminar assignment for my students. It's UK-based, and I'm struggling to find the relevant information.

    • I started at Wikipedia:Education program/Educators. Here we link to the historical page on how to set up course pages. Given this is the North America instruction, I'm not certain if this is something I also need to do. Should these links be deleted, given these instruction are superseded?
    • I started with the Instructor Orientation Modules; the heading colours need tweaking to have sufficient contrast with the with text per WP:CONTRAST.
    • This training directly point me to the generic Programs and Events Dashboard (as I'm not North America based). I assume instruction exist for educators in other world regions too. Could the NA training
      • Either point to these resources?
      • Or have a "non-NA" fork, which only goes over the more generic training?
    • I've condensed the The education header a bit, but it still has information overload, and lacks information for non-NA instructors:
      • "Wiki Education Foundation only supports classes in Canada and the US. Classes in all other countries are supported by other organizations." Is there a list of other other organisations supporting classes?
      • Any objections to me removing the information about how to stop archiving / archive faster? Seems to advanced for the intended audience here.

    —Femke 🐦 (talk) 08:31, 28 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    The programs and events dashboard is based on Wiki Ed dashboard, but intended for a broader range of uses. Most of the time, it's for tracking metrics and edit-a-thons, by Wikipedians-in-Residence, GLAM outreach efforts, etc. But it's also a tool for instructors. The big difference is the WikiEd dashboard is there to help you structure and track a whole assignment, with milestones, tracked training, discussions, etc. The P&E dashboard has some training modules and such, but it's all with the new editor in mind, not necessarily student editors. It's useful to track a group of users' edits, and it's useful for those training modules, but it's not the assignment-running machine that the other dashboard is. The WikiEd dashboard training modules, which again are designed for instructors and students, are accessible by anyone. The differences are that (a) they'll talk about some specific features in their Dashboard that I do not think are in the programs and events dashboard, (b) there will be frequent mentions of staff support where there is no staff support outside the US/CA, and (c) those trainings cannot be tracked or integrated into a course page (because you cannot create a course page on the Wiki Ed dashboard if you're outside the US/CA). In other words, it might be more confusing than it's worth when working with students who already have a lot to learn about this place.
    All of that dashboard content, however, is CC BY-SA licensed, so you could theoretically fork it and develop better education-specific training for the p&e dashboard, if the WMF were ok with it, and otherwise start a separate dashboard altogether (I think the dashboard code itself is open, too). My understanding of why the WMF hasn't invested more in the p&e dashboard (and the education program generally) is that it would require a huge amount of resources to translate the content effectively, to build a tool that can work in many languages easily, and which considered the specificities of educational situations in different parts of the world. As a result (or perhaps for other reasons), the international education program has been extremely under-funded. Meanwhile, it seems like there are fewer resources for educators outside NA today than there were ~8 years ago. The education program extension has been deprecated after it was abandoned by the foundation, there were once a lot of resources over at the Outreach Wiki, but that's been rolled into meta:Education, which has almost no content. I hope that's temporary, and that they have some big moves in the work, but I'm not in the know.
    For now, the best bet is typically to use the P&E Dashboard resources and reach out to your local affiliates. Wikimedia UK has certainly supported educational projects in the past, and may have more infrastructure in place for it than is evident from education program documentation. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 16:59, 28 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thanks for the detailed reply! A large share of the world is English-speaking (especially ESL) and not in NA. So I imagine it wouldn't be too much tweaking required to point educators to the parts of the existing instructor orientation modules that give you information (rather than helping you create assignments directly).
    I'm aware of Wikimedia UK's literature on this, have chatted to them before and have used the Dashboard before for an edit-a-thon. For myself, the only extra information I need now is whether I should make a course page. Is there enwiki policy around this? —Femke 🐦 (talk) 17:42, 28 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    No policy, no. It is encouraged by Wikipedia:Student assignments, though that is an information page rather than formal guidance. The reality of these assignments is the rules for how they're organized only really matter once there's a problem. If there's no documentation about a course and students are making lots of mistakes, the volunteers involved get a little bit extra irritated. Back when I was first teaching with Wikipedia, the process was pretty decentralized. There was WP:SUP, but people also frequently just created a new page in projectspace or on their userpage, and had students point there. The course page extension streamlined that a bit more, but was clunky to use and then development was abandoned. The Dashboard is better, but has the geographic downsides above. If I were running an assignment in the UK these days, I'd create a course page on the p&e dashboard and add pointers to it from all the students' user pages. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 20:38, 28 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Ah, so the dashboard counts as a course page. That makes a lot of sense :). The WP:student assignment page requires some TLC; it has a lot of wall of texts. I'll see if I can find some time to improve the useability of that page, when I understand how everything works here a bit better. —Femke 🐦 (talk) 21:04, 29 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Wiki Ed course submissions archiving and header edit

    Please note that the subpage at Wikipedia:Education noticeboard/Wiki Ed course submissions was over 700 kb; User:Graham87 archived a big chunk of it and set up automatic archiving so it won't get this large again. I tweaked the archive box display params for banner style and bot notice advice (the Talk header failed to display the bot notice for some reason). Can someone monitor the page to verify that the first archiving run looks good, whenever that occurs? Thanks, Mathglot (talk) 19:00, 30 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

      Done. Lowercase sigmabot III has now had two archiving runs, and all looks good. Mathglot (talk) 01:09, 3 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Concerns about WikiEd course assignments edit

    I first posted yesterday on Ian (Wiki Ed)'s User talk with Serious concerns about a Wiki Ed assignment about this. Haven't received a reply there yet and then thought this issue might also belong here on the noticeboard, especially after seeing Wikipedia:Education noticeboard#New Wiki Education Dashboard feature: preventing assignment of specific articles above.
    A university course page - Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/Southeastern Oklahoma State University/COMP II (Spring) - states For one of their primary assignments for the course students will select an under-developed Wikipedia article with instructor guidance.
    So...the underdeveoped article one student picked?
    Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
    Am here to ask if it's possible for someone who is active in WikiEd to contact the course instructor about the student having this shooting article as their course assignment because, yeah...not a Good Idea because not underdeveloped & in my estimation one of the most contentious/vandalized/scrutinized articles on Wikipedia - probably not something a new editor should tackle.
    I have no official standing with WikiEd but I think it would be prudent for someone from WikiEd to contact the instructor and the student and maybe suggest that some other, shorter, start-class/stub article or some article with loads of maintenance templates would probably be a better choice. Thanks, Shearonink (talk) 16:01, 1 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    I've emailed the instructor. Thanks for flagging this. Ian (Wiki Ed) (talk) 20:07, 1 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Multi-section courses edit

    Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/Allen University/English 102 Section 6 (Spring 2024) and some of the lower-number sections showed up on my watchlist. It got me thinking that, when multiple sections are happening here at the same time, that amounts to a large-enrollment course that will result in a large number of simultaneous student edits. Maybe WikiEd treating each section as having its own course page, with its individual supervision, is a good approach. But we've had problems with overly large classes in the past, and I want to make sure that we are not encountering a new source of potential problems here. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:28, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    @Tryptofish This is something Helaine takes into account when approving courses. Both course size and multiple sections of the same course (it looks like there are three sections here are issues that Helaine takes into account when approving courses. These courses are small, so it's probably less of a worry. Ian (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:02, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thanks! Good to know. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:00, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    I think I posted Wikipedia talk:Education program#Projects in contentious topics area to the wrong board edit

    Should I move it here? Doug Weller talk 17:34, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    I was able to follow your link, and find the course page via the student's user page. I see that it is a course under WikiEd. That means that the WikiEd people who are assigned to the course, User: Helaine (Wiki Ed) and User: Ian (Wiki Ed), can tell the student to select a different page to work on, make sure of the same for the other students in the class, and let the instructor know what the situation is. WikiEd generally steers students away from CTOP topics, and certainly from pages that the students will not even be able to edit. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:21, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Tryptofish Thanks. I hope that User: Helaine (Wiki Ed) and User: Ian (Wiki Ed) will also advise the gender related courses. Doug Weller talk 08:44, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    User talk:OsaRosa is asking for advice as to what they should do about their project in the gender topic area. I'm not sure where to point her. Doug Weller talk 09:31, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Is anyone going to respond to her? Doug Weller talk 14:56, 11 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Doug Weller I will ask Helaine or Brianda to get in touch with her. Thanks so much for flagging this here. Ian (Wiki Ed) (talk) 16:58, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Ian (Wiki Ed) No problem. I originally found a student planning to edit a page under ECP and then found two instructors with courses in the gender area. Doug Weller talk 17:07, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    FAQ link at dashboard student welcome template edit

    The student welcome template identified in the subst'ed hidden comment as <!-- welcome --> contains a link to a FAQ at, however that page is devoted solely to the questions instructors might have, and nothing about students. The instructor FAQ page does have a link on it to the student FAQ page at, however that page is devoted solely to username issues, and lacks any of the kind of common issues that I imagine would be useful to a student enrolled in a Wiki Ed course. Mathglot (talk) 07:30, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Featured article assigned to student editor edit

    Thought I saw a notice about this previously at this board, but can't find it now. Communication is a featured article, and has been assigned to an editor at Fairmont State U.. I don't know if featured articles should be automatically restricted from student articles or not, but it sure is a tough hill to climb for any new editor, to try to figure out how to improve a FA in their first few edits at Wikipedia. Seems like a poor assignment choice. Ping Brianda (Wiki Ed). Mathglot (talk) 09:33, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    @Mathglot, Definitely a challenging assignment for a first time editor. After @Chipmunkdavis's ping about it, I left a message on the student's talk page. I just followed up with them in email to make sure they get the message, and choose a better article to work on. Brianda (Wiki Ed) (talk) 19:00, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Peer review page edit

    It looks like a student has opened a peer review page at Wikipedia:Peer review/Deficiency judgment/archive1, mistaking it for part of their classroom review process. Thebiguglyalien (talk) 19:32, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Thanks for the ping @Thebiguglyalien. I've contacted the editor and looped in the instructor to orient the student. Brianda (Wiki Ed) (talk) 19:31, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Contentious topics edit

    Is there any guideline, recommendation, or opinion at Wiki Ed about whether students should be assigned articles designated as a Contentious topic? Currently, Gender and Technoculture 320-01 (assisted by Brianda) has students assigned to Gender-critical feminism, Feminist views on transgender topics, and Transphobia, all designated as contentious. (There may be others, I only checked the ones I thought would be.) I checked the archives, but the only discussion related to this topic was this one, and it isn't directly relevant. Tryptofish started that one, so might have an opinion on this. Mathglot (talk) 05:14, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Thanks for the ping. My understanding is that we have a consensus that student editors should steer clear of CTOPs, and that WikiEd advises students of this. But of course, some students initially do it anyway. In my experience, once the WikiEd advisor finds out about it, they can be counted on to tell the students to find a different page, and point it out to the instructor. I expect this will happen here. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:12, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thanks Tryptofish & Mathglot. We do try to steer classes away from contentious topics, but given the large swaths of Wikipedia that are or were covered, we take a more nuanced approach. For example, climate change articles have rarely proven to be a problem for student editors (at least in the dimension of them being contentious), so over the years we changed our approach from steering classes away from those topics to encouraging certain types of classes to participate.
    We've supported a large number of feminism-related classes (this class alone has run 22 times before this term) and improving the topic area is important. While the arbcom ruling is limited to "gender-related disputes or controversies and associated people", it isn't always clear up front what's disputed or controversial and what isn't. But telling instructors and students they need to stay clear of "gender", as a whole, on Wikipedia, probably would be.
    We try to strike a balance between steering students away from categories of articles where they're unlikely to have a good experience, and trying to help them understand how to edit collegially. In this case, Brianda has gone over the list of articles that students assigned themselves and suggested that they might want to drop certain topics, while also trying to provide extra support in the event students do run into problems. Ian (Wiki Ed) (talk) 22:15, 22 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Focusing my reply only on the following:

    it isn't always clear up front what's disputed or controversial and what isn't

    By "contentious" in my OP, I meant strictly: "article whose talk page has one of the (four, I think) contentious topics templates". If it has one of them, then it's contentious for the purposes of this discussion; if it doesn't, then it isn't. So students and instructors would have a way of determining it. Not yet ready for prime time is a template I'm working on which will detect this; e.g.:
    Draft template examples here, but see below for dedicated "{{Is contentious}}" template
    • {{Draft:Article attribute decoration|contentious|Transphobia}} 
    • {{Draft:Article attribute decoration|contentious|Iguana}}
    (Don't worry about the icon; you can either embed it in an #if, or maybe I'll provide yes-no booleans later; also, this draft template may cease working or work differently at any time; it's still in development.) The point I wanted to make, though, is that "contentious" can be well-defined, if we want it to be, by associating it with presence/absence of Talk page templates. Mathglot (talk) 22:36, 22 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Ian, one approach that I think would be helpful to WikiEd staff when deciding whether or not to steer a student away is to look for whether or not there is a CTOP warning template, or edit notice, on the talk page. If there is such a warning already present for a given page, then it should probably be pretty close to automatic to tell the student and the instructor. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:03, 22 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Ian, I've written Template:Is contentious which will detect this as a standalone template you can use, copy, or reengineer if you are using wiki ed dashboard software in a non-wikipedia environment:
    Hope this helps. Mathglot (talk) 00:04, 23 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]