* The Indian Express : "Wikipedia Campus Ambassadors Pilot Project to begin
in Pune"*

*The Wikipedia Campus Ambassadors Project, which involves volunteers
providing face-to-face support to university students on how to edit
Wikipedia and work with professors to incorporate Wikipedia assignments into
classrooms, will see its pilot project in the country take off from Pune.*
*The project that will start in tandem with the academic year has been
implemented successfully in the US. Hisham Mundol, consultant, India
Programs, said, “Pune was chosen because of the large number of colleges and
universities and the student population. The programme in the US has been
successful in terms of both the amount of information added to the English
Wikipedia (1.4M characters - 900 pages - in March alone) as well as quality
of information (an estimated 60 per cent increase in quality on edited
*While the execution and format of the programme might differ, similar
success in India is the objective, said Mundol. “Given the strength of the
education system and the drive of students and faculty alike, we are
confident of thoughtful, quality contributions,” he said. The project will
cover a wide range of subjects and train volunteers to work on them. Mundol
cites the vast opportunity for volunteers to contribute to Wikipedia. He
says, “This way, as the programme grows, professors from any subject area
will have the opportunity to enhance their curriculum with a tool to teach
their students to contribute information.” The initial Campus Ambassador
training programme will take two days, but ongoing training is provided if
the ambassadors stay involved from semester to semester. As of now, there is
no set number of Campus Ambassadors for the programme.*
Mundol said this will be determined both by the quality of applicants as
well as the number of classrooms that will pilot the programme.

The project will not be going beyond Pune till September. “The campus
programme has great potential, but we also want to make sure to start the
effort in a manageable way in order to ensure proof-of-principle and to iron
out details. A more controlled programme at the outset will help ensure that
supports are properly established and will also help provide opportunities
for programme evaluation,” he added.

Tinu Cherian
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