This is the event report for the first WikiAcademy Mumbai 1 held in Mumbai.
We held our first WikiAcademy in Mumbai on October 1, 2011 at the Center for Education and Documentation, Colaba. The session was attended by 24 attendees. Roughly, the sessions were:
- Creating accounts on Wikipedia
- Introduction to the interface
- Rules related to Wikipedia (5 Pillars, AGF etc.)
- Go out and edit
This was our first experience with such an Academy and hence this note is a bit detailed.
Many of the folks who came had used Wikipedia but had hardly ever edited Wikipedia. There was a lot of questioning around the reliability of Wikipedia as a resource. We had the services of Vickram Crishna to answer these questions. After the round of introductions, we got them acquainted with accessing Wikipedia, familiarising them with the English Wikipedia main page.
The attendees were very interested in learning how to edit Wikipedia and wanted to learn right from the creating accounts on Wikipedia stage. This we did, only to realise the limitation existed on creation of not more than 6 accounts per IP address. We got around this limitation by allowing people to register with dongles that a few people carried with them. Next time, perhaps making an upfront request to allow more account creations from a single IP address before the Academy might be a wise thing to do. Any other suggestions?
Even after logging in the attendees appreciated a "Get to know your Screen" session.
Pranav then shed some light on the rules of the Wikipedia (frankly, I have never read this until a few days before the Academy!). Kundan Amitabh also pitched in to help with a few that Pranav didn't know about. Kundan also urged them to not give up on Wikipedia if their articles or sections of articles were deleted. Keep trying! was the call!
In the last go out and edit session, we allowed participants to edit what they liked. We moved among the audience helping where help was needed. We encouraged the users to use the various icons on the WYSIWIG editor rather than learn the Wikisyntax. We think that working on this for a few days will help them learn things on their own.
There was a diverse audience with requests for specific follow up sessions. We think that we could have concluded more properly than we did.