The senior managers in your institution will be well aware of the recent HEPI report and numerous other reports which urge universities to pay attention to digital skills. It is widely recognised that digital capabilities are a key component of graduate employability. To stay competitive globally, ‘the UK must ensure it has the necessary pool of (highly) digitally skilled graduates to support and drive research and innovation throughout the economy.’(Davies, Mullan and Feldman, 2017)
Technology can make it easier to develop authentic learning experiences that are relevant to the labour market and help students demonstrate their skills to employers. The skills used in wikimedia projects go beyond editing skills. It’s about open data, replicability, re-use, understanding sources, spotting fake news, understanding analytics, understanding copyright, writing in different styles and being part of global communities on line. Understanding how robot editors and human editors work together- all that new ‘digital labour’.(Ford and Wajcman, 2017)
With HE students and staff wikipedia leads to empowering discussions about privilege, transparency, geographies of knowledge, gender bias, publication bias and if there is ever a ‘neutral’ point of view. Our Wikimedia projects in higher education bring students as co-creators, authors, actors, partners and agents for change to the fore. When our staff and students choose to participate in developing new content and tools, they are developing as part of a world-wide open-source software, OER development project, which is a significant authentic opportunity.
Students come to classes and staff come to staff development sessions to learn in groups and that group work activity requires time, effort and resources before during and after. Editing as an individual is a different activity than editing as a group or class. Classroom activities – learning and teaching activities- need to be carefully designed and structured and although this can be done successfully it takes a bit of work and that is where our WiR partnership helps us. We are creating and sharing re-usable lesson plans and models for classroom activities. This session will showcase real outputs and impact from a WiR project in a large UK HEI and make clear recommendations of how this can be of use to the sector.(Outreach.wikimedia.org, 2017)
Some people say they can’t afford to host a Wikimedian, in this session we will argue that you can’t afford not to. You will leave this session with ideas and strategies to persuade your instutional colleagues that you need a Wikimedian in Residence as soon as possible.
Readings and Refs:
Davies, S., Mullan, J. and Feldman, P. (2017). Rebooting learning for the digital age: What next for technology- enhanced higher education? – HEPI. [online] HEPI. Available at:http://www.hepi.ac.uk/2017/02/02/rebooting-learning-digital-age-next-technology-enhanced-higher-education/ [Accessed 31 May 2017].
Ford, H. and Wajcman, J. (2017). ‘Anyone can edit’, not everyone does: Wikipedia’s infrastructure and the gender gap. Social Studies of Science, [online] p.030631271769217. Available at: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0306312717692172 [Accessed 31 May 2017].
Outreach.wikimedia.org. (2017). Wikipedian in Residence – Outreach Wiki. [online] Available at: https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence [Accessed 31 May 2017].
Martin Hawksey posted an update in the session Host a Wikimedian in Residence: you can’t afford not to  8 months, 3 weeks ago
Unfortunately this talk will no longer be presented as the speaker has had to withdraw