Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2020 November 17

November 17Edit assignmentEdit

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposed deletion of the template(s) or module(s) below. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page (such as the template's talk page or in a deletion review).

The result of the discussion was keep, but modify. Yes, this is a non-standard reply, because this is somewhat of a non-standard discussion. There were three main "camps" in this discussion: keep it as-is, keep but modify, and delete. The latter two groups were not happy with the banner being displayed and potentially staying there (some felt unnecessarily) for years, and they well outnumbered those in the first group. The question then becomes what to do with the template: delete or not. Here, the consensus is fairly strong that there should be some sort of indicator, and that the template should not be deleted outright. Once again there come further options for exactly how to modify, and the consensus at this point is to convert it to a talk page message of some variety. On the implementation side of things Sage brings up some very good points about what this talk page message could potentially look like (see their section), and multiple ideas were discussed regarding archiving, updating, and the like. That is a discussion that falls outwith this TFD, though, and should be pursued further in collaboration with the WikiEd team to make sure there is a smooth transition and implementation.

Some may think that a close of "turn it into a talk page message" means that this template should be deleted after replacement, but based the discussion and my understanding of WikiEd, there is a possibility that the template itself could still be used as a part of those talk page messages (potentially for ease of updating). Iff the discussion/result of converting this template into a (semi-automated?) talk page message results in the template itself not being in use, then there is no prejudice against its deletion after replacement/orphaning. However, until these changes are implemented (and yes, these things do take time) the template should stay in use in its current form. Valid and/or reasonable removals from old courses, as mentioned in this discussion, are still perfectly acceptable. Primefac (talk) 03:04, 11 December 2020 (UTC)

I never understood the point of this template. It lies dormant on a lot of talk pages giving the name of a student editor who edited the article. I find this problematic for two reasons. (1) in every case I actually checked, the student editor made little to no contributions, though I recognise that may well be selection bias. But more importantly (2) said student editor gets 'credit' for their contributions in the article history, just like every other contributor. I see no reason to emphasise their contributions with a talk page banner. Feels like silly banner blindness to me; how does this banner help editors improve the article? Example of typical template usage: Special:Diff/974586902. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 08:08, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

  • Delete. I agree with the nom. If the Wiki Education Foundation wants to assign pages to their students, they should open a project page which should have a table with whatever data they need there. There is no reason to bloat the talk pages of so many pages with information that 99% of the community just not care for. And it seems they already have those pages (example: Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/University of Maryland/INST201-0101 Heroes and Villains in the Age of Information (SP 2017)). --Gonnym (talk) 11:00, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove most I can see value in them when the assignment is ongoing but not many years afterwards. I've posted a notice to WP:EDUN. --Trialpears (talk) 12:58, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
    I don't even see a value in an ongoing assignment. If an editor wants to categorise for their own value, it's up to them to do it. I don't really see how non-involved contributors benefit from the alert; it's just like another new editor editing the article. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 15:49, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
    Update regarding the talk page message conversion: I would be absolutely fine with that outcome. I believe the message should be visible during the assignment and be removed some time afterwards. This can be achived in several ways and a talk page message which gets archived is probably the most elegant one I've seen yet. --Trialpears (talk) 07:49, 10 December 2020 (UTC)
  • There's also {{IEP assignment}}, {{WAP assignment}}, and {{Educational assignment}} (and probably others). It's a long-time practice that has come up many times on ENB and elsewhere. Each time there's been a consensus that the community wants to know when students will be or are editing an article, with no consensus about how long afterwards these should be retained (if not indefinitely). Other discussions have talked about changing their appearance/collapsing. These are ultimately not for students (or for Wiki Education, which tracks articles through its Dashboard unless I'm mistaken) but for the community the students are joining. Consensus can change, of course, but it may be worth digging out those old threads before deleting a template that appears on tens of thousands of pages IMO. No strong opinion on it myself, though. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 14:34, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
  • The reasoning behind this template is that it's particularly useful for other editors who are watching an article to know the context for when a student editor is planning to work on the article. Others can easily find the instructor and/or ask Wiki Education staff to step in if things start going in the wrong direction, and they know the timeframe when this new editor is likely to be active. I know that many editors find them useful (although how many find them pointless, I'm not sure). At least when we started using instead of the old Education Program extension, automatic, consistent posting on article talk page was considered a necessary feature to ensure transparency of what is going on with classroom projects; the fact that old extension *didn't* do that was one of the complaints about it (among many). One good option might be to modify the template so that it doesn't display anything after the course is over.--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:26, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Delete per nom. Though I like User:Sage (Wiki Ed)'s suggestion of making it output nothing once it's no longer pertinent; that seems like a pticly good way of handling things and could use a hidden category so that the presence doesn't get wholly lost, in the way that bot-removing them would do. — OwenBlacker (he/him; Talk; please {{ping}} me in replies) 19:04, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep: We need this template as a warning that students are about to edit an article that we have watchlisted. There have been numerous cases where an instructor has assigned unsuitable articles to their class. On occasion the regular editors at WT:MED have intervened and suggested more suitable articles for a student to edit – with all parties benefiting from the change. Of course there is no point in bloating the talk page after the assignment has finished, but it would be a trivial task to set a tracking category that would quickly enable a bot or an editor using AWB to go through and archive the notice after completion. --RexxS (talk) 21:18, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
    If it's needed for that purpose, why not have people (or, the dashboard's bot in this case, I suppose) automatically create a new section on talk rather than add this template? That would allow for discussion too. It seems like more a talk matter than a header banner matter to me. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 22:26, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
    Just read this reply; it seems we're thinking alike again haha. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 23:53, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
    If you can persuade all of the course leaders to change to creating a talk section rather than using a template, that would be fine. But you need to do that job before deleting this template, which remains useful until that happens. Let me know when you've accomplished that and I'll change my !vote. I should add that because there are multiple ways in which students pick articles, or are assigned to them, and these are freely changed at different points in a course, the suggestion to use a "dashboard bot" to create talk page sections is completely impractical. A template is simple to add and remove if there is any change to the assignment, and reducing that flexibility is not an improvement to the way we work. --RexxS (talk) 12:27, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    If there's a change, add a talk page comment to the talk page section and then there's a log of the original and of the change? I mean, doesn't pretty much everything on Wikipedia happens in this format? ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 12:59, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    These editors are absolute novices and you overestimate the ease with which they learn to deal with talk pages. If you had any experience with working with student editors, you wouldn't be so quick to assume that they work in just the same way as experienced editors. The simpler their tasks are initially, the more likely they are to accomplish them accurately, and we need the warning notification before they start editing in earnest. --RexxS (talk) 13:47, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    You misunderstand me I think. If I understand correctly, these notices are mainly for their supervisors/course leaders/peer reviewers, right, not for the new editor themselves? Those people would know how to use talk pages ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 14:06, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    To add, I think I am aware of the challenges faced by new editors (and have constantly said the bar is too high). But I don't see how this template helps at all. It isn't even visible on mobiles, unlike talk sections, which is the majority of our users (I don't know about student editors). ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 14:08, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    I don't misunderstand you and you don't understand correctly. Some courses have the notices placed by the instructor; some have them placed by students as part of their assignment. In neither case are we likely to have an experienced editor involved in the process, and it is untrue that in most cases they are as familiar with talk pages as you think. You need to spend some time working with these courses – or at the very least, do some research through the archives to gain an understanding of just what level some students and instructors can be. When we teach new editors properly, we take it one step at a time, and build each step on the previous one. Getting them to add a fixed piece of text to the top of a talk page comes before making a new section and posting to it. If they are editing, they are almost certainly not doing so on mobile devices, so the visibility of templates on mobile is irrelevant. The principal value of the template is in providing an early warning via the watchlist to editors who steward the affected articles. It does that job well and I haven't seen any informed suggestions about how that function would be performed if this template were deleted. --RexxS (talk) 14:27, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    I'd like to think I can follow a reasonable argument, so I kindly ask you try provide a decent rationale to help us understand then. I, and others here, have given perfectly acceptable reasons why this template doesn't make sense and is problematic, and the rebuttals do not convincingly address this. The template documentation itself contains no information on why this is useful or required. I've took a skim through Wikipedia:Student assignments, which is a long and detailed page (with info like WP:STUDENTS as well) yet fails to expand on the purpose of the template outside of telling instructors to place it initially, not expanding on that at all or listing how it's useful to students or other editors.
    The only reasonable conclusion I can draw from this, and the weak objections here, and indeed a skim through archives (which I did before nominating this), is that nobody seems to be able to justify its existence but some want it anyway. If I'm wrong, clearly addressing why this template is valuable seems helpful. "Early warning via watchlist", for example, is already addressed by making talk page sections instead, which also pop up on watchlists (equally as much as any other revision). And on that note, the rationale that editors can update a template's params but cannot write a talk page comment seems unconvincing to me. Besides, perhaps editors should be taught how to read a talk page; seems a pretty important skill to have in a collaborative environment. For the record, these combined have over 50,000 usages on article talks. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 14:50, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    It's a pity that you've not been able to follow the arguments of multiple editors here who have to deal with the effects of students editing the articles that they curate. You are attempting to remove a template that has a clearly defined use for those of us who feel the effects of student editing and replace it with some hand-waving about making entries on the talk page.
    Perhaps you can understand better by following an example? I looked at the template notice at Talk:American football (first on the 'What links here' for this template). It was placed (nominally) by User:Joeeluff on 28 February 2017. Checking their contributions shows that they in fact actually edited Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/University of Maryland/INST201-0101 Heroes and Villains in the Age of Information (SP 2017) and the act of editing their dashboard triggered the addition of the template by the dashboard software. You can see that they had to merely copy two things from the preceding student and change them to the article title and their name. At that point Joeeluff was on their sixth ever edit, having failed to accomplish the task on 16 February 2017 on their third edit. Now, it should be abundantly clear that the degree of expertise in Wikipedia editing shown by Joeeluff was incredibly low at that point, and yet you're suggesting that they should be asked to create a new section on a talk page and make a post in it with the their details and those of the course. Either that, or you're suggesting that the maintainer of the dashboard software (probably Sage (Wiki Ed)) will be required to re-write the dashboard software so that it creates a talk page section, as a consequence of deleting this template. That's an incredibly thoughtless piece of make-work simply because you don't understand how the template is used and its value to the content editors who benefit from advance notice that a course will be editing an article on their watchlist. --RexxS (talk) 23:02, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
    Well, our points are on the record and others can evaluate them, so I'll shut up for a while. But regarding rewriting the software and deleting the template: only one file (and perhaps its caller) needs to be updated, and who knows, maybe I'll submit a pull request to do that myself. In the meantime, before such a change, obviously the template would be held in holding and not deleted until that is done, although a bot to convert (current)/orphan (long-ended) usages as appropriate would seem fine. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 01:24, 20 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Convert to a talk page message. I agree with the nominator's concerns about banner blindness, but also see the value in there being a heads up about student editors. The behavior that we seem to want is something that gives notification but won't stick around at the top of a busy talk page forever, and that's exactly what a normal talk page message achieves: it'll get archived once it disappears into history. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 23:51, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
    One other advantage I should add is that having a thread for when a student editor is working on a page makes it easier to engage with them. E.g. if a thread appears at an article that's a terrible choice for an assignment, we can reply to that, whereas it's not possible to reply to a banner. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 23:34, 10 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep at least until it is replaced by something else. It's very useful to get a heads-up that student editors are going to be at work, per RexxS. Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 06:08, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep in modified form: The templates give useful warnings when students are active, and are useless when the students have finished. I like the line suggested by User:Sage (Wiki Ed). Course instructors could be required to provide an expiration date when setting up courses, or templates could automatically expire say 3 months from the time they were added. The template would then cease to display after it expires and/or a cleanup bot could periodically delete expired templates. —Epipelagic (talk) 06:12, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    I'd push back a bit against the idea that the templates are useless once a course has finished. Let's say I come across a very low-traffic page, and wonder why it's actually quite thorough, but has some non-standard formatting. The information that it was improved by a student editor a few years ago provides useful context for why the page is the way it is, whereas if the banner disappeared, I might burn through time looking at the history and then pursuing the editor to their talk page before realizing that they're no longer active because they only joined for a student assignment. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:49, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep – I've helped out a fair bit with students on WikiEd assignment. Even when I come upon an article where a course isn't active anymore, it helps to be aware of the student editor's passage. So what, if a banner records the passage of a student at Talk:Non-binary gender in 2016? What possible harm does it cause to leave it there? What is the policy-based or technical reason for removing this template? Server load doesn't cut it. Is it about vertical scrolling fatigue, when an article accumulates twelve assignment templates? Roll them up in the {{WikiEd banner shell}}. If you want to make my work on articles where students are or have been involved harder, then vote to remove, but please explain the concomitant benefit to the project that outweighs the disadvantage to me, so I can better appreciate the tradeoffs involved. Would be interesting to see a breakdown of !votes by users who are involved with WikiEd in some capacity, and those who aren't. And I'm wondering if silly banner blindness correlates strongly to the latter. Mathglot (talk) 10:01, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep in modified form or convert to a talk page message. I find it useful to know I should be on alert to help newer editors and to warn them when their choice is probably inappropriate (f.i. featured articles). It has become a pet peeve of mine that I constantly have to remove them, being active on climate-change related articles that have proven popular. Having their removal automated would solve that and the talk page clutter. Femke Nijsse (talk) 11:28, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
  • A lot of the keep concerns is about the WikiEd editors. If an editor has concerns about another editors edits, the first place they go look is not at the top of the talk page of that article to check if there is a WikiEd template. The place they go to, is the user's page and talk page. A template on one of those pages would be much more helpful and to the point, than a template on the talk page. Additionally, regarding the comments about a time expiration and for others to remove, that's the opposite of how it should work. If a project wants to use templates, it should also be their responsibility to handle its removal when its over. --Gonnym (talk) 13:04, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    A single student course may edit articles across several different WikiProjects. The simplest way to archive/remove expired templates is by bot, so what is the rationale for requiring every different WikiProject to run a bot to archive/remove the templates from the articles in their scope, when a centrally run bot could do the job? How does it help to make the members of a WikiProject "responsible" for removal? --RexxS (talk) 13:47, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    Wugapodes below says that an automated tool adds these to talk pages, that tool should also handle the removal. Also, do automated tools like this need to pass BOT approval? If so, I'd very much like to see its request. I find it very concerning that such a proccess can work without cleaning up after itself. --Gonnym (talk) 14:54, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
    Have a look at the example I provided above in response to PR. When they start an assignment, a student adds their name and an article title to a table row in their dashboard and the dashboard software is triggered to add the template to the article's talk page. It's not a bot in the sense we use it: it's just the same as when we move an article to a new title and the software changes the sitelink on Wikidata as if you'd made the edit. The problem with "cleaning up" is that it needs a trigger. A student adding themselves to a course on the dashboard is the trigger to add the template, but I can't identify a reliable trigger for the clean-up you want. --RexxS (talk) 23:02, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
  • To address a couple threads here: the templates are added when a student assigns that article to herself (or when an instructor assigns it to a student). It's done through the Wiki Education Dashboard, not by manually editing the page (it was manual in the early days of the education program, but as pointed out here, it's not so reliable to try to get brand new editors to do something like add a talk page banner properly -- so now it's semi-automated). I imagine any replacement, like a talk page message instead, would be similarly semi-automated through the Dashboard to ensure the required information is there and that it's formatted correctly. The upside is that the information will be standardized and reliable; the downside is it's hard to say whether anyone would see responses to it. Still, if persistence of the banner templates is the issue, a talk page comment may be better? — Rhododendrites talk \\ 14:57, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    A talk page comment is perfectly fine with me. I'm not trying to remove collaboration, I just don't think this helps, and I find it problematic both from a bloat POV and from a WP:OWN one. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 14:58, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    I'm good with a talk page comment too, and then it can be archived automatically like all other comments. I would actually prefer a talk page comment to a banner, because other editors can reply to it. There have been many times I would have liked to say, "Here is why this is a terrible choice of article for a student project" or "Please propose what sources you're planning to use." Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 20:43, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Oh my gosh we so need this talk page template Keep. What a nightmare it would be to not know when student editors are about to descend upon an article, and this talk page template lets us know. I fully agree with the problem that they create talk page clutter, which can be tamed by adding {{banner holder|collapsed=yes| (to collapse a lot of talk clutter), and they can also be removed to the article archives. I also completely delete some years later as it turns out the students never even edited. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:12, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    @SandyGeorgia same as above; have you had a chance to read the threads on this page yet? Genuinely curious, because if you need to know when student editors descend upon an article why not use sections on a talk page like every other discussion? Heck, pin it. It goes on watchlists, it is permanently recorded in archives, and can be discussed. Further, these are used on 50k+ articles, any handful I choose indeed, as you say, the student editors did not edit and the notices linger indefinitely. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 20:47, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    One of the (main/many) problems with student editors is that they rarely read or participate on talk pages-- either article talk pages or even their own user talk pages. I'm not sure a talk page section would help. And when one finds these templates on medical articles, one can more easily go back and find the faulty edits from the identified students. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:26, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep for now. These are added by an automated tool. Deleting it just means we'll have an automated tool adding nonexistant templates all over the place. Bad plan. I like the idea to use a talk page message, but until that is implemented in the dashboard software, deleting this is going to cause more problems than it solves (and the problem it solves is small). I don't buy the WP:OWN arguments. These get plastered all over linguistics talk pages and the article rarely even gets edited, let alone have someone stick around to trying to own the article. Courses last at most 6 months, so if you see an old banner, just remove it. If that feels too bold for you, use {{WikiEd banner shell}}. Regardless of how we handle the frustration with the banners, deleting it out of spite isn't going to lead to any meaningful improvements. (edit conflict) Wug·a·po·des 20:55, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    If we decide to convert this to a talk page message, we would certainly get the automated tools functioning that way, not just recklessly break the functionality. Let's discuss here what we want, and once we have consensus on that, the how will follow. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 06:34, 20 November 2020 (UTC)
    What? We can't just blindly decide things and hope everything falls into place. We did that with candidate ordering in WP:ACERFC2020 and look how that went: it didn't happen because it took more work than anyone was willing to volunteer. Same with hundreds of tickets on phabricator. If you don't have a plan to implement the software changes, you're just wasting our time on something that's unlikely to ever happen, or worse, something that will break things. Figure out who would make the changes, when, and get buy in from WikiEd for deployment. Until there's a plan that goes beyond "we'll figure it out later", I'm not going to recommend anything other than keep. Wug·a·po·des 08:55, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
  • keep per Wugapodes rationale--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 23:25, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep per RexxS and SandyGeorgia. Nikkimaria (talk) 00:19, 19 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Convert to Talk Page Message. The general concept warrants acknowledgement, but not a full Banner. It should be a message somewhere further down in a respective Talk Page. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 04:09, 20 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Convert to talk page message. Serves the same purpose of notification, has greater longevity, adds encouragement to actually interact. Main caveat would be whether the WikiEd Foundation has the bandwidth to re-code how its Dashboard currently automates this template? If there is interest in adding/removing a category or some other indicator (i.e., setting it to age out of the category or removed by a bot after X months), that could additionally help. But the banner is not needed in perpetuity. (not watching, please {{ping}}) czar 01:05, 22 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Convert to talk page message No reason to keep it for years after the student has diappeared. I saw it many times. Before I knew what it is all about, the template discouraged me to revert the said student's meritless contributions. It made me think Wikipedia has a "special deal" with the university and reverting those edits will violate that "special deal." (talk) 04:40, 22 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Convert to talk page message per The Mysterious El Willstro and Czar. - Brojam (talk) 04:25, 23 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Delete or convert to talk page message - I don't see how they serve any real purpose in improving the site. They just add clutter with no benefit to WP at large. See Talk:To Build a Fire for an example of unneeded clutter (seven student editors). ‡ Єl Cid of Valencia talk 20:55, 23 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Delete and replace with a talk page message. Have thought about doing something about these for a while. I agree tt is great to know when a student is about to edit and article, but like the nom I have often found the contributions to be too sparse to warrant a permanent banner. They then create additional clutter a the top of the talk page once their purpose is served. A talk page message that can be archived serves the same purpose. AIRcorn (talk) 00:31, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep – WikiEd students are known for often exhibiting newbie behaviour, thus if I see a succession of well-intentioned somewhat-but-not-totally clueless edits to an article which have the look-and-feel of a student editor's, I tend to check the talk page precisely for this template. If it isn't there, the clueless part of the edits can usually be reverted on sight; if the template is present, it is usually better to try engage the student in upping their game. Example, Talk:Baroque music. --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:46, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep articles started by students have a distinct flavor/style of writing, that often has lasting effects on the article -- being able to see that rapidly, as a contributor is important, and by hiding it as a talk page message is likely to get it archived and lost in the development of the page, Sadads (talk) 12:29, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Convert to talk page message. It's something that needs acknowledgment, but not to the level of a talk page banner. A talk page message shows up on watchlists and gets archived, which is an appropriate level of visibility. — Goszei (talk) 20:43, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Delete. It is of little use and takes up space. A talk-page message would do. Nerd271 (talk) 23:02, 10 December 2020 (UTC)
Break post-reopenEdit
  • Procedural note: A previous close of this discussion was undone by the closer following discussion here. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 00:25, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep It's a useful way to see if student editors edited the article; talk page messages get archived, and it's just more convenient to have the template. Zoozaz1 talk 03:34, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
    Regarding the fact that talk page messages get archived, that's a feature, not a bug. Copying my comment from Nihonjoe's talk: If an article is active enough that discussions on its talk page are being archived, it's also likely to be monitored well enough that contributions by student editors will have been reviewed and integrated by the time that happens. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 19:07, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Convert to talk page message per others. - Favre1fan93 (talk) 03:37, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep in modified form per Epipelagic. h 07:39, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment regarding talk page archiving, see Template:Do not archive until. e.g. {{subst:DNAU|CourseEndDate}}. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 11:57, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep. Now that the point of the template has been explained, can we all go home, please? Yes, there are arguments for using a different method of notification, like a talk page thread (and there are arguments against), but any change will need to happen at the level of the Wikiedu worklflows and the software they use. If they're changed, this template may become obsolete from that point going forward, but I'm not sure I see how that could retroactively affect existing uses of the template. – Uanfala (talk) 03:27, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
    All options here are technically possible, and bots can convert/orphan existing usages as appropriate. Given the large and active discussion here, it’s pure BURO to require a new discussion on this matter for alternatives. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 10:03, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
    Well, this mess of a discussion is a very good illustration – BURO or no BURO – that deletion venues aren't exactly the best place for brainstorming ideas for improvements to processes. – Uanfala (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 13:39, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
    Generally yes, but the TfD closers are usually good at summarising discussions. The benefit here is a neutral advertisement to people through various talk pages which see this template, people who will not watch {{rfc}}, WT:EDU, WP:VPR, etc. It gets a good variety of opinions directly relating to this discussion. It is templates for discussion, after all, not templates for deletion. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 14:36, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
    Well, if this TfD nomination's actual purpose was a user experience survey, then it certainly did a very good job of pretending to be a deletion nomination instead. And in light of the pushback against the previous close of this discussion, it appears difficult to imagine it was actually community feedback that was sought here, and not what is normally the aim of a TfD – a binding resolution. But you can't have a binding resolution without a meaningful proposal, and a meaningful proposal needs to answer at least two fundamental questions first: how is this going to apply to existing notices, and how are changes going to be implemented in the dashboard software. – Uanfala (talk) 14:55, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
    Really, the close (ie the 'binding resolution') is just a summary of the consensus of the community on a particular matter, which can be achieved here. It is separate from the technical implementation of that consensus. More complicated ones happen in holding: nobody individually has to implement a consensus and there's no deadline to do so; sometimes it takes a while (WP:ACTRIAL) and sometimes is still waiting for implementation (WP:DC2016). All technical solutions written here are very feasible (see Sage's talk, too), which is all that really matters. Nobody is going to spend the time writing the code itself without a consensus that it'll actually be used. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 16:39, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Convert to talk page message per above. For those who wish to hide this message, hopefully this will soon be easier via CSS. Daask (talk) 06:35, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Delete – unnecessary talk page clutter. The User CSS feature is something only a small fraction of editors and readers know about or have the skill to write code. That makes "hiding via User CSS" an insufficient remedy, and necessitates removal. Senator2029 ❮talk❯ 08:52, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Delete – per nom. -Śαǿturα💬 16:18, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment – The CSS edit request which would enable anyone to disable display of the template on an opt-in basis seems like a reasonable solution to me for those who are worried about TP clutter. I don't buy the argument about "code-writing skill"; if we can require editors to post four tildes as a basic competence requirement for editing here, then they're smart enough to paste something onto a page and save it. Also, since we already have {{WikiEd banner shell}} which can collapse multiple templates to save vertical space, it could be modified so that "collapsed" is the default. The dashboard could be modified to automatically generate the banner when the first template is added. That would leave a single banner of about 2 centimetres (0.79 in) on the page irrespective of the number of assignment templates in it. That doesn't seem like a lot, and I don't see why that is so egregious, that it requires deletion of the template that many users evidently find useful to them. Mathglot (talk) 19:03, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
    Anything that is opt-in is only ever going to be adopted by a small fraction of editors. That's not an adequate solution—making the number of talk page banners readable should not require custom CSS tweaks. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 19:13, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
    What's "readable"? A two centimeter high WikiEd banner, makes a talk page headed by a 7 cm. high standard talk header unreadable? Mathglot (talk) 20:42, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
    Well, see, herein lies the issue. Everyone says "but this is just 1 more inch" and quickly it all becomes untenable. Besides, multiple of these templates (or its sister templates) can be on a single page, some with half a dozen of them. Also, the "code-writing skill" argument is taken out of context, it was in response to a suggestion that these editors are incapable of creating a talk page section / replying to talk page messages (which btw, should now be improved by the new DiscussionTools reply feature). If an editor can't reply to a talk page message, they can't edit a template either. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 22:24, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Delete/Convert to talk page message Unnecessary talk page clutter. Nom sums it up. -DJSasso (talk) 22:08, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Delete/Auto archive after expiry. I'm a WikiGnome and a complete novice content editor. Could I please have a template to warn users that I'm about to descend onto their favorite articles? I think it would be very useful for editors to know when I'm about to start... Dpleibovitz (talk) 00:47, 10 December 2020 (UTC)
Wiki Education Dashboard behaviorEdit

Hi again! First, I'll chip in with my opinion of what we should do:

  • Keep, and optionally hide the template ~6 months after a course ends. I find it useful to see which classes have worked on a given article; per SandyGeorgia, it's often relevant to see when a class class recently worked on an article even after it has ended, as many editors wait until just after a course ends to clean up loose ends and rework/review/remove new content as appropriate. I also understand the concerns about clutter, but I think that is best handled by changing the template. I think keeping this template at the top and keeping the markup in place is a much better option than posting something as a new talk section at the bottom of the page, because updating the information about a class as it changes will be more confusing otherwise.

If the consensus is that it needs to be turned into talk page message instead of something that stays at the top of the page, I can work on changing the Wiki Education Dashboard and Programs & Events Dashboard code so that this new behavior applies on English Wikipedia. (I would have other languages retain the current behavior, so as not to disrupt their preferred usage.) But I have several questions about what, exactly, we would want it to do. In particular, if we switch to talk page messages:

  • What should happen when a student editor is no longer working on it? It's somewhat common for assigned articles to change, so that the student editor is working on a different article instead. Currently, the Dashboard can simply remove the template when this happens. That's probably not the right behavior for a talk page message in its own section, though... especially since there might be replies within that section.
  • What should happen when the editors working on a given article change? The current template works based on a list of editors working on the article, and other editors assigned to provide peer review feedback. Should a new message be added each time another student joins the team associated with an article, or should the original one (if still present) be modified to add details about the other additional editors working on it?
  • What should happen after the talk page message has been archived or removed? The current template update behavior is designed to be idempotent, and any time any of the assignments for a course are changed, the system attempts to update every talk page of an assigned article for that course. This results in no change in cases where the template is already up-to-date. The idea here is to ensure that we don't miss articles because the first try to post it hits an edit conflict or other random problem. That gets trickier with the talk page message format, as there's no easy way to differentiate between a case where the message just didn't get posted the first time because of an error vs. a case where it got archived already and (ideally) shouldn't be reposted. Are we okay with talk page messages getting re-added after they got archived? Or are we okay with abandoning the failsafe of checking every article each time the course assignments change, and having some small portion of articles miss getting the talk page message at all?

--Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:41, 10 December 2020 (UTC)

Sage (Wiki Ed), regarding the first issue, if the dashboard is already automated, I'd assume it'd be possible to just post an update to the talk page thread. Regarding the second, the thread could just consist of the same template we use now (plus a header and signature), so it could be edited the same. The last issue seems like a technical problem, not something related to what the desired behavior is. I'm not familiar enough with how the tagging works to be able to offer advice but I'm sure there's some way to resolve it. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 23:32, 10 December 2020 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page (such as the template's talk page or in a deletion review).