+1 Srikanth!

Hey Folks!

I'm Ram and I'm one of the CA's worked closely with CoEP and SSE. I would
like to share my views on this most discussed topic, coz the term "FAIL" is
quite thought provoking, and now everyone has an opinion and I respect

As a Campus Ambassador(CA) we faced the heat on ground and nobody can feel
the pain like us when we heard the discontinuation of IEP in CoEP coz we
gave our personal time physically and virtually in every possible way to
make this program a success, and I promise we'll keep doing that.

My views on IEP:

1. *Wikipedia India Education Program(IEP) for a CA* : The whole idea of
this program like everyone knows is to get more editors, but we have our
own set of challenges in the age of Facebook. What a bunch of CAs have done
in as short span of 5 months can't be done in a couple of months by
existing Community(local or global), coz we touched the students(1000+)
personally,  we had the experience of interactions with Faculty and

Our only aim was to tell them(students) that Wikipedia is "cool", and
indeed we did that! in the way we taught wikipedia to them. Few things
which we tell our students in our Wiki Sessions:

   - Writing on Wikipedia will give you global audience, 400 million unique
   - It will improve your Writing, Critical Thinking and Collaborative
   - It will add a bullet point to your resume and hence better placements
   - Lastly it will also give you marks if you follow the given deadlines

Yes, I agree that we have seen setback coz of the copyvios, but I totally
agree with Srikanth coz this was due to the scale and numbers.

2. *Faculty Involvement* : It is one of the weak link in IEP, though they
knew the importance of this program, but they have their own set of
obligations/mindset, and we always felt that not all the faculty members
are tracking the students and their articles. We have some exemplary Profs
who are so much involved that they reached every student's talk page and
wrote message on it, and on the other side few never opened the course page

Lesson for us is to enroll only those who are really interested and track
them as well, drop the course if they are not putting effort as required,
but this scenario was different 6 months back, coz no one knew about this
program, and yes we did enrolled a few inactive faculty coz they showed
interest but never lived up to the expectation.

3. *Online Ambassadors* : As Hisham already told that we got very late
engagement of our OAs in this program as well as the OA expectation issue,
we never got the support which was required from an OA. Honestly speaking
there was no interaction between OAs and CAs and without that coordination
chances of success are quite low.
My only point here is to all the OAs in this discussion is that if
Hisham/Nitika has not set the expectations right, why didn't you approached
them, then and there! Anybody can come and comment on this failure story
but even you were a part of this sinking ship.

4. *India Community* : We really missed you throughout this program, I
can't recall a single instance when an Indian Administrator came forward
and found a copyvio/poor editing, etc. We don't bifurcate among community
and we never taught our students that only Indian community will help, our
aim was to make their "collaborative" skill better instead of creating a
division among the community.
For my fellow Indian Wiki Community, folks we would love to hear from you
and surely need your help and support in future.

5. *Global Community* : Firstly I would say "Thank you" to them for
teaching the harsh lessons but we really liked the way you guys supported
us. Yes, I know few folks who always crib and do the mud throwing on this
program and it's implementation, but I know folks who have helped writing
great articles, reviewing them and event doing copy-editing and cleaning.
We need to surely communicate better with them in future.

6. *Campus Ambassadors*: The best thing that happen to me coz of IEP is I
found great friends who share the same philosophy of free knowledge. We
gave our personal time not only in taking session but also training new
bunch of CAs and helping students in every possible way.

We were the face of Wikipedia on campus and we love it!
Like Srikanth said yes we were overloaded coz of the number of students per
CA was very large still we did our bit to help every students by either
reaching out personally and virtually.
One point to note here that out of 40 selected CAs(Gen 1 & 2) only 30 are
active and out of those 30 only 20 track/follow and reach out students, so
in short we need more involvements for the dormant CAs.

7. *Students* : We found good and bad students, student I know has written
a GA and I also know a student who in-spite of several warnings by
phone/mail and personal visits they kept copy-paste! Between the two
extremes there are folks who failed few times but did learned from it and
had become great editors.

All in all the learning here is to, assess the level of students based on
their skill(writing especially) and their educational background(rural or
urban). Also we need to teach them the most important thing, NOT TO COPY
PASTE!!!, from the very first day of the wiki sessions.

*Summary*: We are challenging the status quo by bringing a new way of
learning and teaching things and have learned some essential lessons for
making this program a success in future. I would personally request my
fellow Wikipedians to keep a faith on us and support us in every possible
way coz *"helping hands are better than praying lips"*.

Let's make this world a better place!


On Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 9:00 PM, Srikanth Lakshmanan <srik....@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 20:15, Theo10011 <de10...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 4:16 PM, Nitika <ntan...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>  I would also like to share with you all some of the good articles that
>>> students have written.
> Nitika, please use right terms from next time, "Good articles" mean
> entirely different thing in Wikipedia. http://enwp.org/WP:GA
>> Robinson Crusoe Economy<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robinson_Crusoe_Economy>
>>                        -Another redirect, 'economy' is in lower-case.
> Theo,
> You got it wrong on that alone to best of my knowledge, probably you did
> it too fast.  Its probably the lone GA which got churned out of the program
> and we could call it a lone success among several other things. Wish that
> editor continues wiki editing.
> --
> Regards
> Srikanth.L
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