WikiSkills Handbook/Training Wiki Gardener

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Training Wiki Gardeners: a generic scenario with pedagogical material

This deliverable is the first version of the Wikinomics training module consisting of a generic training scenario and pedagogical material on developing collaborative skills in online environments. It consists of choosing and implementing learning units that promote personal and group skills : editing and collaborating online, engaging in public conversation, social tagging, sustainable community governance, and propose a methodology to evaluate their deployment and organise their (peer) assessment in a ECVET or VET context.
This document is part of the transfer strategy of the project that includes: building generic content, then allow for multiple localised sub-products matching partners needs and languages. In this sense, innovative and open results were deployed in partners custom training activities (Wikinomics training module and toolbox)
This content is part of the open heritage for the WikiAngels network, as well as, the Wikinomics Badges that will be further pursued with more experts (WikiAngels) and organisations (Wikinomics Badge Academy), and any other interested entity.

Keywords: Wikinomics; Collaboration; Learning how to learn; Skills; ECVET

Introduction[edit | edit source]

The Wikinomics training module main idea consists of choosing and implementing learning units that promote personal and group skills : editing and collaborating online, engaging in public conversation, social tagging, sustainable community governance, and propose a methodology to evaluate their deployment and organise their (peer) assessment in a ECVET or VET context.

The choice of the title Training “Wiki” Gardeners is polyvalent in many ways: “Wiki” is any online platform proposing collaborative features such as spaces for discussion, co-editing, policy rules: the Wikinomics project remains platform agnostic in a sense that wikis are the definition of collaborative platforms but they are not the only ones used for developing online collaborative skills. The Gardeners is a term that is, also, often used as particular role in wiki structures, such as the Wikipedia, but in this text is used to describe a complex set of competences: various collaborative, communicative and learning how to learn, skills, that can be performed in an online context.

Scenario and overview[edit | edit source]

Training the gardeners Description
Brief introduction Initiating participants in wiki culture aspects (such as gardening a wiki) proposing guidelines of working and collaboration, while developing their understanding for the underlying issues.

This scenario includes 7 face to face sessions and exercises in between sessions.

Keywords describing the topic of the scenario wiki gardening, knowledge management, collaboration, community building
Application in organisational context This is a learning scenario, deriving from the experience of the project, as well as other organisations (business, associations, large organisations) wiki efforts.
Targeted audience:
  1. VET trainers
  2. VET trainees
  3. Job seekers
  4. Researchers
  5. Professionals
  6. Entrepreneurs
  7. Policy makers
  8. Volunteers
The target users may be categorised in primary and secondary target groups.

The primary target group is the most important beneficiary of the Wikinomics dissemination actions. Primary target groups are VET educational stakeholders. This group includes : individual professors, trainers and trainees as well as their organisations, institutional decisionmakers in education from local to European level. Also, organisations specialised on formal, informal, initial and continuing vocational training and education, research groups involved in learning research. Secondary target groups are youth unemployed or job seeking, professionals and amateurs of various domains, entrepreneurs and small business on participatives culture, activists and volunteers in the open source movement, students, parents and policy makers in education.

Learning subject/ field e.g.
  • Collaboration online
  • Co-editing
  • Wikipedia and wiki roles
  • Hyperlink and linking of content
  • Social bookmarking
Using the example of Wikipedia and social bookmarking platforms, we will introduce participants to issues dealing with Wiki governance and provide them with guidelines on the Wiki gardening.
Specific objectives, participants will discover:
  • editing, writing and linking tips
  • cooperation skills
  • critical thinking skills
This is an effort to combine Wiki gardening steps with community management actions. Also, develop an understanding of community culture in collaborative environments
Learning resources involved e.g.
  • multimedia
  • hyperlinking examples
  • online resources such as Wikipedia, Diigo
  • search engines
Develop upon existing online communities practices
Wiki and other ICT applications involved (Collaborative platform...)
Infrastructure / equipment e.g. Internet connection, microphone, camera
Evaluation approach (group and peer assessment)
Typical learning time 7 sessions of 120 minutes
Temporal mode "Synchronous interaction" and "Asynchronous interaction" Keeping collaborative notes from organisers for feedback documentation

Session analysis - 1st session[edit | edit source]

Overview: the purpose of the session will be
- to provide an introduction to wikis and collaboration
- to facilitate a first editing session on a collaborative environment (wiki)
- to discover the core functionalities
- to motivate people rethink their role in a structure or process

The session takes place with or without individual laptops.

Learning objects of the training session (duration is indicative and dependent to the participants profile) include:

10’ duration :Intro to the intro (Trainer) - (support: slides)[edit | edit source]

  • Present the effort using the language of the a story, close to the interest of the group of trainees.
  • Ask the question whether participants are one of those people that want to contribute to something “larger” by doing small steps : “Are you one of them”..passionate!
  • You are the gardeners, share the importance of the wiki for the organisation and its sectors

One of the facilitators starts 2 page/wikis in the platform (but does not show them yet):

  • “visitors log book” and enters their names
  • “help us with the note-taking” and all facilitators enter inputs reflecting the discussions

15’ duration : (Trainer) - (support: slides & video & web)[edit | edit source]

But what is a wiki ? (0 - 2.48)
Wiki What? (new video from the =>The multiple ways a wiki can be used (teaching, collaborative note taking, project management, storytelling)

The wiki we all know (state the number of wikipedia languages and articles), answer the following question: Have you ever visited an article in the Wikipedia? Questions (How many edits? When do you think was its first version ?) and navigation through the page (on screen) to find the answers, go through:

  • Article
  • Edit button
  • View history and versioning

Interaction: list of examples of other wikis that you know?

5’ duration : (Trainer) - (support: slides & video) How did all of this become possible ?[edit | edit source]

Video presentation of 3’ max (0 - 0.40, 2.39 - 4.33).

The web and the wikis are possible because of:

The hyperlink
A hyperlink is a reference to data that the reader can directly follow, pointing to a whole document or to a specific element within a document. Impact on:

  • production, collaboration
  • organising and mapping content
  • link data

Hyperlinks are often used to implement reference mechanisms, such as tables of contents, footnotes, bibliographies, indexes, letters, and glossaries.

Discussion (reactions on the video and presentation)

10’ duration : Everyone opens his/her laptop[edit | edit source]

  • Show the platform
  • Navigation on the first page
  • Visual edit and save on collaborative note taking
  • Instructions of use - advanced features

30’ duration: “Hands on”[edit | edit source]

  1. “Hello world” exercise in the “Visitors Log Book” (this could be a wiki or an online pad) which was created earlier: link your name to your profile, enter one sentence on the training (for 10’ duration)
  2. Results of the first hour of the session - open questions.

1 hour duration “Hands on”[edit | edit source]

On individual laptops
Ask participant to edit Wikipedia pages (preselected pages preferably).
Ask them to identify the user name of last participant, to find the author of a specific piece of text, to search when the article was created. Make them explore the log of recent changes.
Consider using another wiki for a different experience (e.g., WikiVoyage)
Exercise should be done on individual laptops and without creating a user account (anonymous edition)
Collective feedback at the end of the session
Agreement on the next steps (homework)

Homework[edit | edit source]

  • creation of an account on Wikipedia
  • additional edits after creation of the account
  • adding self to a page listing all participants to the training session (link provided before hand) leaving messages on the other participants talk page and answering to messages left on own’s talk page.
  • Provide feedback on the Visitor Log Book

Session analysis - 2nd session[edit | edit source]

Overview: the purpose of the session will be to
- further discover wiki editing tools,
- discuss issues of legal responsibility as author,
- discuss copyright issues of the collective work,
- reflect on issues related to digital identity

With individual laptops

40’ duration : Feedback on individual homework[edit | edit source]

  1. Return to the “Visitors Log Book” wiki which was created at previous session. Read feedback together. Discuss homework results
  2. (Optional) Editing a new “note taking” article that will document what happens during the training : “Help us with the note taking of this training”. Discussion on the "about" us page (sent prior to the training): Editing an article called: Feedback on the Governance, in the form of questions, opinions
  3. Look at what is already in the platform or prepare similar material (Good examples and practices from existing content: links, titles, tags, subpages)

duration 30’ : (Trainer) - (support: slides & video)[edit | edit source]

  • Legal responsibilities on a collective website (host and authors)
  • Copyright issues (licences etc.)
  • Available video on open COPYLEFT licenses : a short film in English, or a film in French

duration 30’ : (Trainer) - (support: slides & wiki)[edit | edit source]

Take the example of one participant. Show his path on the wiki, his contributions etc. ---> digital identity, portfolio

Homework[edit | edit source]

to be determined (probably something around digital identity. Perhaps looking for one’s track on the web ?)

Session analysis - 3rd session[edit | edit source]

Overview: the purpose of the session will be to discover a second type of role (beyond authoring role) on a wiki project: the archivist. It will outline the importance of a different way of categorizing information and its associated benefits.

With individual laptops

Intro to the Gardeners (Trainer)(slides)[edit | edit source]

“Hands on”[edit | edit source]

Creation of an account on Diigo. Experiment on a Diigo group. Put emphasize on tagging content and experimenting finding relevant content in the Diigo group.

Tags and categories (Trainer)(slides)[edit | edit source]

  • Folkosonomy versus top-down classification using controlled vocabularies.
  • Different visualization of Wikipedia content (visuals:

Overview on category on Commons

  • How to tag images on Commons
  • How to create a category
  • How to categorize categories…
  • How to create a gallery

“Hands on”[edit | edit source]

  • Discovery of Wikimedia Commons
  • Each participant upload an image. Provide proper file description and attribution. Discuss licence.
  • Tag the image

Homework[edit | edit source]

  • Upload more images on Commons. Enhance tagging and work on categories.
  • Creation of a collective gallery of images on a topic commonly agreed upon during the training session

Session analysis - 4th session[edit | edit source]

Overview: the purpose of the session will be discover and discuss how rules are set up on a wiki alike project and how social moderation is handled. Further develop concrete actions on roles

With individual laptops

5’ duration : Governance on wiki projects (Trainer)(slides)[edit | edit source]

Introduction with the example of Wikipedia governance and how it evolved over time Wikipedia power structure
Discover the technical roles on Wikipedia (in particular administrators, checkusers and bots).
Voting methods used in wiki communities (condorcet etc.)
Explore examples of how rules are set up with the community

Discuss variations from cultural differences.
Compare with other wiki websites strategies

Homework[edit | edit source]


Session analysis - 5th session[edit | edit source]

Overview: the purpose of the session will be to explore the importance of holoptism on collaborative websites as well as learn how to track changes and limit damage.

With individual laptops

duration (slides as support doc & wiki with feedback)[edit | edit source]

  • More than Gardeners, “Networked citizens”and community builders
  • Discover the importance of setting-up an holoptic environment for a wiki-alike project (
  • Review of SoftSecurity versus HardSecurity with the concepts of Assume Good Faith, Limit Damage, Fair Process and Peer Review (as means to protect the content and the community in an open system)

1 hour duration - “Workshop”[edit | edit source]

Discovering tools used to fight vandalism and abuse on Wikipedia (black lists, bots, patrolling scads, trust “badges” etc.)

Homework[edit | edit source]

  • tbd (perhaps activity around patrolling recent changes on a wiki ?)
  • Do MBTI and compare results with world population percentages.
  • Also check out and compare percentage in each type List of Wikimedians by MBTI type

Session analysis - 6th session[edit | edit source]

Overview: the purpose of the session will be to give an overview of all contribution roles on a wiki and to study in more details the facilitation of the community and how to measure participants activity.

With individual laptops

5’ duration : Intro to the Gardeners (Trainer)(slides)[edit | edit source]

  1. Wiki roles and influence (Motiver les participants d'un projet wiki: l'influence des rôles. Introduction to the role of facilitator (and more generally, to the roles located in the “person/site” part of the graphic… )
  2. Become a motivator for others to participate (grasp their attention, communicate on the effort, share knowledge, inspire)
  3. Lead by example

15’ duration (slides as support doc & wiki with feedback) : More than Gardeners, “Networked citizens”and community builders. “Workshop”[edit | edit source]

Have the group be aware of the various ways people analyse the world and make decisions.
Community building

  • Bringing new members up to speed with the community’s technology.
  • Identifying and spreading good practices.
  • Supporting community experimentation.
  • Assuring continuity across organisational and technological novelties.
  • “Keeping the lights on”; make sure that the effort is alive

Measuring participant activity - reporting (overview)
2 approaches :

  1. reviewing a participant activity (one person approach, in detail)
  2. tracking the activity of a group (such as a group of trainees )

More: Views of existing material, Clicks on links, Wiki creators, Contributors, Groups, Ownership)
Understanding the wiki use: Completed tasks organising information, evaluate group work, credit personal work use as a source of reference, attribute
Who gives and what type of contribution?: Copyedit, Cocreate, Commenting, Responding, Scheduling, Planning
Types of content: Formatting, Links, Hyperlinks, Images, Uploads, Multimedia

30 mn duration - “Workshop”[edit | edit source]

Presentation and set up of Wikimetrics (measuring the productivity of groups of users on wiki pages) : Wikimetrics Training Overview

Session analysis - 7th session[edit | edit source]

Overview: the purpose of the session will be to provide a checklist of does and don’t when setting up a wiki and to review potential cave pits when setting up a wiki alike website

With individual laptops

Intro to the Gardeners (Trainer)(slides)[edit | edit source]

Discuss previous homework results
Consider doing a Belbin test to further discuss team building in the collaborative project.
Present success stories and worst case stories of wiki-alike websites

Small, everyday, things that need to happen (Wiki content activities) : 10’ duration (slides as support doc & wiki with feedback)[edit | edit source]

You want to make sure that the following things will happen

  1. enable cross-linking of pages. Many contributors, however, don't recognize all the opportunities to create links from the words in their entries. Where we see a word that could be a link but isn't, we turn it into a live link. If we find that a new a page needs to be created, then we create the new page, or find another page to redirect the link to. At a later stage It can be useful to create indexes of relevant pages to help others navigate.
  2. merge pages. Contributors will create highly similar pages with slightly different titles. We need to merge those pages, without limiting the variety of opinions, and redirect all the links to the merged page.
  3. turn long pages into meaningful sub-pages. Link to them from an opening page, it's easier to link to a page than a section.
  4. tag, especially where others have not, but establish a common vocabulary
  5. watch for accidental changes and clear, obsolete or sensitive material. Remove confidential material that shouldn't be on the wiki in the first place. Archive, but still useful, (tag it as "Archived" or move it to a separate Archive area).
  6. contribute to policy and governance. Document your wiki experience and foster, particularly, the collective knowledge and the community expression.

BUT, remember

  • anyone can garden. Pick a corner of the wiki that you really care about and take care of it. Inspire others to garden
  • do a little at a time. When you see an opportunity to seed, just take a minute and do it.
  • don't expect to finish. Wiki content and discussion are here to stay.
  • talk to users, explain, motivate, be inclusive. Report to the community

To reach your goal: create a wiki group of 4 - 8 people. Look for wordsmiths, linkers, ...
One thing that is worth mentioning is that there's a lot of niche areas in Wikipedia... Oftentimes it comes down to what do the people who are interested in that particular niche, what is the standard way of doing it will come down to what do those 4 or 8 people agree on.

Discussion and Collaborative note taking, with the “feedback” wiki now on the screen.

During the discussion, ask also: What will be your barriers (optional)?

  • Lack of wiki, collaborative skills
  • Time administration
  • Lack of clear authorship
  • Divergence of opinions
  • Institutional politics, resistance to change and over-protectiveness of resources produced by the institution's staff

Annex - Partners training material and tools[edit | edit source]