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Course coordinator currently involved in an ArbCom case relating to a course they are teaching[edit]

There will likely be an ArbCom case (Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case#Holocaust in Poland) relating to User:Chapmansh. To rehash the drama, Chapmansh/Shira Klein recently published an article in an academic journal [1] accusing several Wikipedia editors of coordinating offsite to distort facts relating to the Holocaust. This has prompted ArbCom to propose a case in which Chapmansh may be made a party. Needless to say, this is going to be a big case especially given that it involves Icewhiz.

The reason why I'm posting this to the education notice board is because User:Chapmansh is teaching the course Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/Chapman University/Jewish Life from Napoleon to Hitler (Spring 2023). In past iterations of this course,[2] students have edited in the Holocaust topic area.

I would say that if Chapmansh coordinates editing offsite in the Holocaust topic area during this ArbCom case it will probably not be an enjoyable experience for the student editors. Regardless of whether there is a conflict of interest, the students will probably be under a microscope the entire time given how many people are involved in this case. Chess (talk) (please use ((reply to|Chess)) on reply) 16:58, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oy. Well, at least given that the class clearly includes a lot of historical scope prior to the Holocaust, we could presumably direct Klein and her students to stick to the non-Holocaust stuff, at least for this semester? signed, Rosguill talk 17:07, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Rosguill: That's what I would imagine is the best choice here onwiki (as well as to avoid Poland). I'll ping User:Brianda (Wiki Ed) who is the Wiki Ed expert assigned to that course. Chess (talk) (please use ((reply to|Chess)) on reply) 17:21, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Pardon me for butting in, I saw this mentioned at WP:ARC and thought I could help by clarifying a few things. The topic area of the Arbcom case, and the journal article, is not "Holocaust", but "Holocaust in Poland". In Wikispeak, that's part of WP:APL. WP:APL has, since May 2020, been covered by (what we now call) WP:ARBECR, which means that non-extended-confirmed editors can't edit in that topic area. If you look at the "past iterations of this course" link by Chess above, none of the students listed are extended-confirmed, and none of them edited in the WP:APL topic area--all those articles are outside of WP:APL. In sum: apparently WikiEd students already stay out of the topic area, and have for a couple years. Levivich (talk) 17:58, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Levivich: That's true, though keep in mind offwiki coordination by Klein has come up during the ArbCom case. There's nothing wrong with student editors contributing to our coverage of the Holocaust, but the perception that Klein is trying to influence Wikipedia's coverage of certain topics by using her position is something that could be discussed during the case.
Regardless of whether or not this is true, student editors could very easily wander into a minefield they aren't remotely prepared for. Your claim that none of them edited in the WP:APL topic area isn't actually true. ZyerAbdullah123 appears to have removed someone else's talk page comment on Polish death camps during the 2021 course. [3]
While I doubt that was intentional and is very minor (not even worthy of anything beyond a gentle reminder), people have a habit of assuming bad faith during very controversial ArbCom cases. Chess (talk) (please use ((reply to|Chess)) on reply) 19:16, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
An unsupported claim of offwiki coordination was made by an involved party, it should not be repeated and has no bearing here. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:22, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Accidentally removing a talk page comment does not constitute editing in the topic area. And you say "trying to influence Wikipedia's coverage" as if it's a bad thing. I welcome scholars trying to "influence Wikipedia's coverage" by pointing out problems in that coverage. I welcome teachers trying to "influence Wikipedia's coverage" by teaching students how to edit. Levivich (talk) 19:35, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Although an accidental removal is not topic area editing, I think the point is that these things attract excessive attention during controversial ArbCom cases, and it does no service to students, or to the students' educational experience, to unwittingly find themselves in the middle of that. It's not about whether or not the students do anything wrong, but rather, about trying to keep the students from getting needlessly caught up in wiki-drama. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:38, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think Levivich makes a valid point that due to not being e-confirmed, the students can't edit this area much even if they wanted to. On the other hand, there are still many minor articles related to this topic area which don't have the right protection level slapped in, I believe, so as Chess' correctly notes with their example, they may occasionally stumble into the "minefield". To add another example: in the companion piece that the authors published in a Polish newspaper a few days ago [4], they actually mentioned that Klein became interested in the Wiki-side of the narrative after one of her students editing the History_of_the_Jews_in_Poland article (which is now e-c portended but wasn't back in 2018) got into a dispute with an editor who told him not to cite historian Jan T. Gross (the authors erroneously claimed that editor was myself, while in fact that editor who criticized Gross was Xx236; meanwhile I defended Gross and helped the student, for which Klein thanked me - see Talk:History_of_the_Jews_in_Poland/Archive_4#Postwar_Antisemitism; that misattribution error confusing me with Xx236 already got fixed in the Polish news article which now sports a small correction note - one error down, dozens more to go, sigh). Anyway, the point I am making is that it is possible the students will occasionally run into issues, but I wouldn't worry to much about it, those have been and likely will be isolated incidents. Teaching experience on all sides, really. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 04:04, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To be clear, nobody should be going around to stalk/hound these students' edits in the absence of clear evidence of (a) bad faith, or (b) significant policy violations. Their professor writing an article about a topic shouldn't affect the status of their students. The reality, however, is that students in this class will simply be more likely to run into this kind of problematic behavior, and should be aware of what they're getting into. For what it's worth, anyone following these students around and/or undoing their work will themselves be subject to heightened scrutiny, too. A good practice would be to encourage anyone who's wary of jumping in to just edit in userspace rather than article space, moving good content into articles after some review (a good practice with controversial subject areas regardless). But Chapmansh has run many Wikipedia assignments in the past, and likely knows a thing or two about editing controversial topics from both teaching and research, so I don't anticipate anything in this thread coming as a surprise. At the end of the day, if there's something the article and the arbcom case make clear, it's that there's room for improvement in Holocaust-related articles, and it would be great to have additional editors making policy-based improvements. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 23:07, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll confirm here that User:Chapmansh's students will not be working on topics related to Poland. We at Wiki Education understand the sensitivity around this topic, and are working closely with Champansh to ensure students are adequately supported for any edits they make. --LiAnna (Wiki Ed) (talk) 01:33, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Off the rails" school project resuming[edit]

Flagging that Wikipedia:Education_noticeboard/Archive_23#Possible_school_project_off_the_rails has started up again this month, with students being asked to create American artist biographies without much regard for copyright, and no course page.

It seems to be a project that's run every May and December for the last few years, and I've tried putting a custom notice on Draft:Kim Abeles and other relevant pages this time around. I did get one brief confirmation from a student last week that it's a class project (I looked up my artist on the site, and no results came up) and they said they'd tell their tutor to create a course page, but these articles are still being created today.

Given the apparently small number of articles, it may just be one tutor using an inappropriate lesson plan for a few dozen students. Not sure if there's anything else that can be done at this point, but I thought I'd keep the noticeboard updated in case anybody else was encountering it. Belbury (talk) 19:52, 7 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Belbury: Any other potential members of the class. I am wondering if CU can be helpful here to figure out the school -- Guerillero Parlez Moi 21:22, 7 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A search for the names of artists whose drafts get recreated every six months will show you some of the student accounts who've created those drafts, or edited the actual biographies directly where they exist. These are the named recurring artists that I've noticed so far:
Talk:Rafa Esparza has a couple of educational assignment templates on it, but this is likely to just be a coincidence. These draft articles are still being created as of today, so the class is still active for now. There are also a lot of photos uploaded earlier in 2023 and even back in 2022 which are violating copyright on Commons, I've been flagging the ones that I've found. --Belbury (talk) 12:43, 8 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Guerillero: I don't know what Wikipedia's best practice is for publicly identifying and contacting people in this kind of situation, but student Eebee Beebee is still being active and helpful on their talk page if it'd be appropriate to ask more about their school or their professor's contact details. Belbury (talk) 10:10, 12 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Looks like the discussion with Eebee Beebee is going well so far (other than the teacher not yet reading their emails).
I had been wondering before reading that conversation if, for these pages, we might need to try having these identified repeats bumped up to extended confirmed edit access to curtail this 'redraft of an existing article' pattern and whether EC was the next logical step or something else might be better (AC would be too low). And what (if any) unintended consequences that might have for the Wikipedia community. Hopefully that conversation connects and this rogue assignment gets fixed without needing to consider any further steps. Zinnober9 (talk) 03:00, 14 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Even without page protection we've already had Draft:Rafa Esparaza, Draft:Rafa Esparza, Draft:RAFA ESPARZA, Draft:Rafa Esparza - his Impactful Work, Draft:Rafa Esparza (ART-2100) where multiple students have used a different title when their first attempt was taken. Some users will also make a user sandbox instead (there are already dozens of these about Esparza) which still might be submitted as drafts that get patiently reviewed and rejected.
I'd go for a clear "problem project" warning template at the top of relevant drafts: telling the students that their teacher is clearly running a class project that goes against Wikipedia guidelines, highlighting the big problems with it (that students are using copyrighted text and images from the web, and that submitting twenty different versions of the same biography doesn't help Wikipedia much) and saying that they need to tell their teacher to set up a course page.
Maybe it should even go as far as giving the students explicit instruction/permission in Wikipedia's voice to stop working on the project. Belbury (talk) 09:50, 14 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've created a userspace template for this project alone at User:Belbury/Template:Abeles and put it onto the articles, as well as updating the context (and adding a fuller list of target biographies) at Draft talk:Kim Abeles. --Belbury (talk) 10:37, 14 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have put two parameters in the template to tell students that an article already exists. The first parameter specifies the article's title if it already exists, and the second parameter is when Wikipedia had that article. Example: ((User:Belbury/Template:Abeles|Wikipedia|2001)) ~~2NumForIce (speak|edits) 16:18, 14 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Would it make any sense to create a placeholder project page for this, rather than a discussion that restarts every six months, and drafts that expire as abandoned? I've been linking to Draft talk:Kim Abeles as a unified reference point, but that draft will probably get deleted again at some point. --Belbury (talk) 11:11, 8 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Should we start deleting the abandonded userspace drafts? They clutter up search-results, making it that much harder to try to track each new semester and potentially elicit a response from an active students. But they also demonstrate the depth and breadth of this ongoing disruption. Or should we replace them with the template (great job, Belbury!)? DMacks (talk) 16:24, 14 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks! Search results aren't too badly affected because you can sort by edit/creation date, but there are undoubtedly some outright copyright violations in there where a student has just copied text from the artist's web page (Draft:Bryan Ida had some redactions of copyrighted text today). Belbury (talk) 16:36, 14 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's also BLP. While we sometimes let bare bio facts remain uncited for a while during GF article development (and just tag/remove them at the point of AFC triage and moving to mainspace), that's not the ultimate endpoint of them. My main goal is to stop the time-sink of everyone who cleans up here for what demonstratably does not lead to a WP benefit. DMacks (talk) 16:41, 14 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
... and there are also copyvio image issues which I'm still finding today where a student doesn't name the artist (or spells their name wrong) when uploading a photo they found online to Commons, meaning that the file doesn't turn up in a cross-wiki search for the artist name. We will have to check all of these drafts by hand for copyrighted images, whether or not we delete them. Belbury (talk) 15:56, 15 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Could also start with the centralauth of the accounts. c:COM:PCP and "cross-wiki disruption" are valid rationales and there are some tools that can handle "all uploads of an account" in a single pass. DMacks (talk) 20:10, 15 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
...which I now see you are well-versed in using. Thanks! DMacks (talk) 19:28, 16 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is ((uw-create3)) a reasonable starting-point? While the student themself might be making a good-faith edit because they're getting bad advice, that student's behavior is part of a long-term disruption from a CIR advisor, so there's MEAT here. I feel bad not AGF for each student, but seems like patience is wearing thin for the situation as a whole. DMacks (talk) 16:38, 14 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Creating a draft/sandbox article is very consistently the last thing that these students do, it's presumably the final task in the Wikipedia section of their course. They only create one draft each; the entire contribution of 99% of these students is to edit three or four fashion articles in one week, and to create a single draft article in a later week. Then they abandon their Wikipedia account forever. Warning them against article creation isn't going to change anything that's happening here. Belbury (talk) 17:06, 14 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As in past years, this project seems to have ended before Christmas, with students abandoning their drafts and leaving Wikipedia. I'm assuming we never heard anything from the teacher, so we'll see if the next class is asked to write the same drafts again in May. --Belbury (talk) 14:08, 3 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Academic studies of Wikipedia in education[edit]

Hi All,

I created a new page listing the academic studies available about the use of Wikipedia in education. I hope this can be useful for anyone considering using Wiki in education. It is still missing a lot of papers so feel free to expand.

Best wishes,

Adam Harangozó (talk) 14:42, 19 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Awesome, thank you! Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 18:37, 5 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Student editor needs help[edit]

Faizæ self-describes as a student in a course a year ago, and another course currently, but doesn't indicate the institution. He keeps getting into trouble over copyright violations and the like, and could definitely use some guidance. It's possible that the school is outside of North America. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:35, 2 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just found this: [5], so he's in Turkey, and thus outside of WikiEd. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:41, 2 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's a classmate at Talk:Autism spectrum#Suggestions from Gizempsy. Rotideypoc41352 (talk · contribs) 01:30, 11 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since they're in Türkiye, pinging @HakanIST, Zafer, and Basak: in case they can help! --LiAnna (Wiki Ed) (talk) 21:15, 11 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, LiAnna. My concerns are:
  • I have not checked that Gizempsy's talk page section for copyvio
  • I'm uncertain if they have learned the guidelines on biomedical information.
Hopefully, we can make the students' experiences less frustrating and more fruitful. Thanks again! Rotideypoc41352 (talk · contribs) 23:08, 11 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also: Scientific Pen, per [6]. Student has problems visible on their user talk page. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:53, 16 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Continues at #Student assignment at Uskudar University editing medical articles, below. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:38, 25 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New Wiki Education Dashboard feature: preventing assignment of specific articles[edit]

I have a new feature ready to deploy soon (thanks to volunteer developer Abishek). It will let us prevent student editors from choosing specific articles for their assignments, based on an on-wiki category. The idea is that we can add a hidden category (or talk page category) to an article like Bubble tea that perennially attracts student editors but isn't actually a fruitful article to work on, and the Dashboard will prevent anyone from being assigned that article.

I can configure it to point to any single category; I was thinking something like Category:Wiki Education assignment blocklist, but I'm open to suggestions. Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 18:39, 5 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, Sage. Great new feature; this should help. The block in Blocklist seems too close to WP:BLOCK, which can't apply to an article, of course, but might make me think that it goes on the User talk page of blocked students, so that doesn't seem like the right idea. Also, a category name usually suggests some attribute of the articles or pages that are members of the category, and the only type of articles that should belong to a category that is a "something-something-list" is an article whose title has "list" in it, or that amounts to a list without the word list. I'm thinking something like, Category:Articles restricted from Wiki Ed assignment. (Other possibilities: excluded, unsuitable, discouraged, inappropriate, etc.) But I'm not a category-gnome, and I think you might get better feedback if you cross-posted or linked this section from Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Categories; they'll have good advice for you, I'm sure. Mathglot (talk) 08:59, 11 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I like the feature! But I dislike the implementation. Using a category seems too decentralized, and therefore difficult to audit/control (and therefore prevent abuse and disruption/confusion). And this really is only about WikiEd's inner workings, not about the page. How about instead a page that lists all the restricted pages? That way it's a single location to monitor and control. This new feature would therefore be parallel to MediaWiki:Bad image list, another single-page centralized list of other pages that have restricted use. DMacks (talk) 09:00, 11 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
They would be centrally listed at Category:Wiki Educational assignment blocklist, no? And you could watchlist it to monitor things being added and removed. I like the idea of using a category because it makes the status visible to editors of the page, not just watchers of the central list, and means we can include it in templates like ((Pp)) or ((ArbCom Arab-Israeli enforcement)), that define classes of articles that students really ought to steer clear of. – Joe (talk) 11:38, 11 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do any editors except WikiEd actually care (or even know what it means)? It seems like you're ceding control of limiting the students to anyone and everyone (WikiEd can watch the cat, but any editor at all can add/remove the cat tag on any article).
Having it automatically applied by Contentious Topics tag is nice though. But isn't that tag placed on the talkpage rather than the article? Thinking in that direction, so are all the other WikiEd messages. So if this is a cat feature, maybe it should be cat of the talk pages of the articles for consistency. The talk-page is the place for everything about development of the article, which this is, rather than the actual article-topic prose. DMacks (talk) 11:56, 11 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do any editors except WikiEd actually care? It started with requests from community members if we could find a way to give certain articles a break from student editing (it started with the bubble tea article).
The idea of having it apply to pages rather than a centralised list is something that I think is important. In my mind, the decision that an article is getting too much unwanted student attention is something that an editor interested in the article should decide.
Student editing in no big deal for people who know this noticeboard exists, but I come across a lot of editors who seem to feel powerless against what feels to them like a tsunami of student editing. My advocacy for this change came from an editing perspective, not from a staff perspective. Ian (Wiki Ed) (talk) 14:36, 11 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My concern would be nearly the opposite. There are a lot of editors with strong feelings about student editors and their pet topic/articles. If there's a simple technical intervention (adding a category/template to a talk page) which would prevent it, it will not just be used but abused. What guidelines are in place to prevent someone from just adding it by default to every article they work on to avoid having to interact with student editors, or an especially protective wikiproject from, say, incorporating it into their wikiproject tag? — Rhododendrites talk \\ 14:52, 11 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Exactly. Maybe the system could use a central page-list entry of a category as being 'exclude every page in this category' (and again, using the article associated with a categorized talkpage) rather than 'exclude this Category:... page'? Like cascading-protection. Then the idea of excluding CTOP is easy, and likewise any other swath of pages that has consensus to do so, but again "not just anyone" can block any random page from students. DMacks (talk) 19:06, 11 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I can imagine a system where we have a subpage under ENB called Wikipedia:Education noticeboard/Requests for page restriction that would operate somewhat like Wikipedia:Requests for page protection. So, rather than any editor adding a category that would automatically block a page, we'd have a forum where such requests could be made, just like requests for page protection. Probably we'd create a handy template to make it easier to do, along with accompanying template doc explaining what is expected of a requester, including the justification for the request, and so on. Wiki Ed folks would play the same role that admins at WP:RPP play, i.e., examining requests and make the call whether to add the page (or category, or whatever) to the restricted list, or not. Mathglot (talk) 09:18, 12 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think that we could just use an edit filter to enforce the ability to place such a category on a page. We could limit it to a group of users that are trusted to make these sorts of decisions (for example, admins and WikiEd staff). This is the sort of thing that Commons does for controlling file overwrites, and I don't see a problem with it here per se. The question would be more about having a board where we can obtain consensus for these sorts of listings; that could either be this one, or a subpage of this one, but I think it's feasible to implement in some form. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 21:04, 21 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ambiguous Wiki Ed course name[edit]

Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/Madison College/English 2 (Spring). Madison College is a disambiguation page listing several schools. It should presumably be renamed to Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/Madison Area Technical College/English 2 (Spring). * Pppery * it has begun... 21:10, 15 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"a project to create a Wikipedia Page for my student club"[edit]

BizRes Honors claims that they have an assignment from school though that seems unlikely. Chris Troutman (talk) 02:12, 25 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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. [7]
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. [8] --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.

—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]