Internal:Workshop planning

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This is a draft of a one day Wikipedia training workshop for new editors which people can adapt to their own schedules, the interest of their trainees, etc. Those who have been through a workshop should feel free to leave comments and suggestions on this workshop outline's Discussion page. Past workshops include: January 14, 2012.


  1. Schedule in sections: 10-11:30, 11:40 - 1:00, 1:45 - 3:00
  2. Tools: written and online workshop outline with links to all topics discussed which we will follow as proceed through the workshop and/or which can explore in detail later. Laptops and chalk board.
  3. Q & A: as needed, but have to keep to a time schedule

Introductions and agenda

  1. Trainer and members introductions: regarding any Wikipedia editing experience, goals, subject areas of interest.
  2. Review agenda and commit to sticking to it.

Principles and policies of Wikipedia

  1. Principles are The Five Pillars
  2. About Policy and Guidelines (and essays). Handy List of Policies and Guidelines (Plus using search - WP:____ or Category:_____ or WP:Wikiproject ____".)
  3. Review What Wikipedia is not and becoming a "Wikipedia first" editor in relation to advocacy on any subject.
  4. Overview of Wikimedia Foundation projects (Wikiquote, Wiktionary, WikiNews, WikiSource, Wikimedia Commons, etc.)
  5. Review Wikipedia outreach efforts to women, minorities, worldwide.

Core content policies

Core Content Policies (or standards) are:

  1. Neutral point of view
  2. Verifiability
  3. No original research.

There are special rules to study as these apply particularly to Biographies of living persons and Article titles.

Creating an account

  1. Wikipedia:Why create an account? versus editing as an "Anonymous IP." Review Navigation/options/functions on user pages. Making own cheatsheet.
  2. User Name Policy. Note: avoiding using real name, controversial or advocacy-sounding names.
  3. Understand the difference between a regular editor (we may call ourselves "Wikipedians"!) and more experienced editors who assume additional responsibilities as Administrators and "Bureaucrats". Self-taught experts on narrow subjects of Wikipedia technical or policy matters can be helpful.
  4. How to create sandboxes and personal "cheat sheets."

Editing basics

Follow various links for familiarity for self-teaching.

  1. Review Help:Contents, Help:Getting started.
  2. Review the Wikipedia Tutorial on html editing and formatting, linking, citing sources, using talk pages, etc. Also How to edit a page and the Manual of Style.
  3. Review Basic Navigation of article, talk, category and other pages.
  4. Review categories of templates

Getting help from others

  1. Continue above as necessary, go on to other ways to seek help like: seeking Mentorship through the "Adopt a user" program.
  2. Leave questions at the Reference Desk, Wikipedia Editor assistance, the appropriate "Village Pump" or the talk page of relevant policy or guideline pages if policy is not clear.

Collaboration with other editors

  1. Consensus and Wikipedia's BOLD, revert, discuss cycle as important strategies; learning to collaborate as a general principle, or working with others on specific articles. Never engage in Edit Warring.
  2. The Civility page reviews no personal attacks, harassment, legal threats, etc. And no vandalism for fun or out of frustration. Editors can be blocked from editing for short or long periods of time for bad behavior.
  3. Dispute resolution: discuss contents of the article and the need to refer to for guidance often, for help with both content and behavior related disputes.
  4. Using Noticeboards to seek advice about and resolve conflicts or deal with problematic behavior by other editors.
  5. Join one or more of the many Wikipedia Wikiprojects where you can meet individuals worldwide with common interests, seek advice and collaborate on articles. Or post to relevant Wikiprojects when you come across a question about or problem with an article. Avoid "Canvassing".

Easy editing exercises

Depending on the individual's experience and "boldness," try exercises from simple to more complicated:

  1. Explore various links above.
  2. Easy html training and exercise in a "sandbox."
  3. Clean up simple grammar, format, spelling, etc. problems in one article.
  4. Find and re-write a poorly written paragraph or section, using existing sources.
  5. Add a reference to existing material.
  6. Add a sentence or two of information to article, using existing or new references.
  7. Add a category to an article.
  8. Choose a user name and start a user page.
  9. Start an article.
  10. Get used to searching Wikipedia resources for information on how to do do any of the above.
  11. Share experiences at the end of the training

More training opportunities

  1. Learning by doing probably will be your primary method of self-training. There are additional options.
  2. Explore various other training modules as linked from the Wikimedia DC local outreach page.
  3. Explore various outreach projects which may have members who will be doing local trainings or help you online. The main ones are linked from the Wikimedia DC local outreach page.
  4. Join an active Wikipedia Wikiproject to work with others on articles of interest.
  5. Join a local Wikipedia chapter. Many have training and working events and social meetups.
  6. Encourage friends and colleagues - or local people interested in the same topics as you are - to edit Wikipedia. Organize your own "self-help" training events. As editors become more experienced, have "edit-a-thons" where people edit their own current articles or all decide to edit articles on a specific topic or even improve one article together. Later, turn it into a social event with a dinner or other activities afterward. If you do not live in the DC area, eventually you might start your own Wikipedia chapter.

Wrap up

  1. On why this could be a rewarding activity.
  2. On being confident, even if you are inexperienced.
  3. On overcoming the frustration and confusion of all the things you feel you need to learn.
  4. On dealing with conflicts that inevitably will arise even in the most non-controversial editing areas.