Wikimedia training necessitates a collaborative approach involving community members worldwide. It is crucial to preserve and organize knowledge and experience related to Wikimedia outreach training in a structured and accessible manner. This ensures that individuals exploring this avenue can utilize and build upon this valuable resource. When designing training outlines, Wikimedia outreach trainers need to take into account numerous factors that influence their approach. The socio-cultural context of the target population must be considered significantly along with factors such as age, profession, availability, educational background, internet literacy, and familiarity with open knowledge. Understanding how to adapt the training approach based on these various factors is essential for Wikimedia outreach specialists in order to effectively implement their training programs.
Wikimedia Community User Group Turkey (WMTR) took the lead in developing a series of educational videos titled “Wikipedia 101“, which serves as a guide for beginners in the editing process on Wikimedia projects. The program involved Notre Dame English Club (NDEC) and Deoband Community Wikimedia (DCW), in partnership with WMTR. NDEC contributed their insights and experience gained from their specialized Wikimedia team’s outreach and training program, and the DCW provided support in creating the project outline and offered perspectives from a different cultural viewpoint. Istanbul Bilgi University played a crucial role by generously sharing its technical and organizational resources, contributing to the success of the entire program. This collaboration allowed the partners gain a deeper understanding of the specific cultural requirements involved in different Wikimedia outreach training initiatives, which could be beneficial to them in the design and implementation of their future training programs.
WMTR released the Turkish version of the educational set during the last week of May 2023. There are plans to translate the video set into English, Bangla, and Urdu, with the assistance of the project partners on their YouTube channel, with the playlist named Vikipedi 101. The description of the playlist reads in Turkish language:
“Vikipedi 101, yeni başlayan kullanıcılar için bir çevrim içi Vikipedi eğitim setidir. Wikimedia Topluluğu Kullanıcı Grubu Türkiye , Notre Dame İngilizce Kulübü ve Wikimedia Deoband Topluluğu iş birliğiyle gerçekleştirilmiştir.”
The primary audience for these videos comprises Turkish-speaking beginners who are enthusiastic about venturing into the world of Wikimedia. The playlist has been carefully designed to cater to the interests of a diverse range of viewers, aiming to serve as a comprehensive resource covering various beginner scenarios. The objective is to provide a one-stop solution through these videos, addressing the needs and queries of a wide audience.
Wikipedia 101 partners will closely monitor the outcomes and impacts of this initiative. The insights gained will be utilized to inform future endeavors involving larger cross-cultural Wikimedia outreach training initiatives. The aim is to adopt a more scientific approach and enhance the capacity for future initiatives. By analyzing the results and lessons learned from this project, the partners will be better equipped to design and implement effective cross-cultural Wikimedia outreach programs, ensuring greater impact and success.
The inception of this project holds an interesting story. Y. Caner Özyayıkçı, a participant of Let’s Connect, expressed their need for guidance in formulating a Wikipedia video tutorial idea for Turkish speakers. Equipped with technical proficiency, Y. Caner Özyayıkçı was connected with Mrb Rafi, who provided insights about the organizational aspect of the project. Rafi then introduced Aaqib Anjum Aafi, the founder of the DCW, to the team, who contributed insightful perspectives from an on-wiki standpoint. The three brought and led from their organizations in this initiative. This could of course be regarded among the best outcomes of the Let’s Connect program.
The insights gained from initiatives like this are immensely valuable. The broader Wikimedia movement relies on experiences and intuitions to inform decision-making, rather than relying on structured statistical approaches. However, it is important to recognize that statistical evaluation requires specialized capacity, which is often lacking in self-organized volunteer Wikimedia communities worldwide. Underrepresented volunteer communities, in particular, would greatly benefit from increased professional support and guidance, and capacity-building opportunities to ensure that valuable data and insights from similar experiences are not lost. It is our collective aspiration to create a shared space where data, stories, reports, and insights related to similar training activities can be openly shared, fostering inclusivity and accessibility for all.