Kritharth is a student at IIT and has been actively involved in Wikipedia monthly meet-ups in Delhi. It was through him that we got in touch with the organisers at Tryst - annual tech fest organized by IIT-Delhi. I'd really like to thank him for helping us organise this session and a big thank you to Noopur, Rajesh and Piyush for all their help.
Two Wikipedia sessions
were conducted at IIT Delhi during their tech fest Tryst 2012. The underlying idea was to explain the basics of Wikipedia, 5 Pillars, few policies, anatomy of an article and provide some hands-on training on basic Wikipedia editing. Two sessions were conducted in a slight different manner since we wanted to test effectiveness of different methods. My mail will explain different approaches that were adopted for each of these sessions and outcomes of the same.
- First session on March 3rd, Saturday:
About 50 attendees participated in a 3 hour long session. There were IIT students, students from other engineering colleges in NCR and some working fellows amongst the participants. User:Hisham
started the session by introducing Wikipedia, who edits Wikipedia, 5 pillars, few Wikipedia policies. We then moved on to actual hands on editing and taught them basic Wikipedia editing. Some students raised really intelligent questions about referencing and NPOV. Though, we noticed that a lot of students lost interest and focus when we spoke about Wikipedia Policies in detail which took over half an hour. During the session we demonstrated by editing articles on Tryst - IIT Delhi
and IIT Delhi
Just the fact that the participants willingly sat through such a long session and had several questions shows their genuine interest in learning more about Wikipedia. About 6 students (12%) created their usernames after the session and 2 (4%) have attempted to make minor edits after the session. A big thank you to User:Piyush.Aggarwal
for all their help and support.
- Second session on March 5th, Monday:
There were about 40 participants. Once again, there was mix of IIT and non-IIT students. We organised the session a bit differently - after giving a brief introduction about Wikipedia and showing some basic editing we invited the uninterested participants to feel free to leave the session and requested only the interested lot to stay back for the remaining session. The participants were informed that in the second half of the session we'll be talking in greater detail about Wikipedia policies and do more hands-on editing training hence it made sense only for those students to stay back who'd like to get deeper knowledge about Wikipedia. Eventually we were left with 8 participants but in my opinion that's was the beginning point of a more interactive and interesting session. Each of these 8 participants were more involved when discussing about Wikipedia policies, they wanted to do more hands on editing and we were also able to provide them individual attention because of limited numbers. During the session we edited the article on Chacha Chowdhary
and one of the participants started an article on tunde ke kabab
11 participants (27.5%) created their usernames and 2 (5%) have made few edits post the session.
It's great that we're able to get more people involved in Wikipedia activities - participants who were students outside of IIT also want to conduct similar Wikipedia sessions in their campus, 4 of the participants also joined us for the Delhi 7 meet-up. However, I want to focus on few who have shown interest in Wikipedia editing - provide them editing support and keep them motivated. I'm also thinking of a "Buddy System" to keep these interested participants going and providing them support. If you haven't already guessed what I mean by the name "Buddy System" please stay tuned, I'll soon send another mail about it - I need your ideas and thoughts (needless to say your support too :-)