Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals/archives/2013/September

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Install education extension on English Wikinews


I would to propose to install the education extension on English Wikinews to facilitate our handling of university course management on the project. This would enable easier identification of student, make tracking their success easier, and eventually make scaling university course participation better. It would also make it easier for us to better plug into and participate in global education projects by using a similar toolset, and potential set it up so we can have reviewers who more specifically work on student submitted material. How this looks from the public side can be seen at English Wikipedia Special:Institutions, Special:Students, and through other headings at the top of those pages. Further information can be found at Mediawiki's Extention:EducationProgram.

Before this can be enabled, we need to develop consensus or agree on it as a project. Then some one needs to post a request on bugzilla.


    • Question Could you please provide a link to the extension's page on mw:, where one can read about the extension? Without that, we're being asked to buy a pig in a poke. --Pi zero (talk) 12:38, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
mw:Extension:EducationProgram. --LauraHale (talk) 13:04, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I see the extension description page is riddled with references specifically to Wikipedia, which is just... typical. --Pi zero (talk) 13:16, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
It was designed specifically for it, but it has metrics data tools being utilized by other programs/chapters/outreach efforts. I do not think anyone ever thought to develop a tool like this for a sister and it isn't like we've been jumping up and down asking for one. --LauraHale (talk) 15:19, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Might as-well give it a go. I've never noticed it when editing In The Other Place, so it can't be that obtrusive. --Brian McNeil / talk 16:01, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
  • The person it might be most useful for is David. We could probably give him a customized student page where his students can register from there, have specialized student tutorials, etc. --LauraHale (talk) 13:08, 11 September 2013 (UTC)


  • Support As nominator and because it would be really helpful for The Wikinewsie Group metric tracking. --LauraHale (talk) 03:49, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Support I'm filled with foreboding that this is another extension that addresses a specific concern by making things generally more complicated; I aim, of course, for things that minimize additional complication while maximizing generality, which admittedly is easier said than done. In theory, adding a new complication doesn't hurt if one doesn't use it, though experience has taught me this isn't so in practice. Anyway, I'm willing for us to give it a try. --Pi zero (talk) 13:22, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Tentative support; I would prefer to see this put in on a test wiki instance to play with — or, if assurances can be made that this will not adversely interact with our existing extensions — that we treat all active Accredited Reporters as 'students' and try running it like that. I will, additionally, set up as a domain which we can give students email addresses from. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:39, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Support The worse that can happen is we abandon it. It can't be any poorer than the current (lack of) support. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 14:34, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Some notes about the Education Program extension

Hi folks! I hope the extension turns out to be useful for you, and I'm happy to take questions, triage bugs, and help keep the needs of Wikinews on the radar during future development. A few notes:

  • The extension is not very mature at this point, and you'll probably be frustrated in particular by the ways that course pages work differently from normal wiki pages. Changes, for example, show up as log entries rather than normal contribs. On en-wiki, we work around some of this using w:template:course page wizard. (You could adapt that if you wanted, but it's probably overkill until you have a better idea of whether and how the extension will be useful here.)
  • You may want to think about changing the default user rights setup, as the default will mean that only users who have been granted the relevant user rights by an admin will be able to create course pages. If so, take a look at mw:Extension:Education Program/Preferences and decide what changes you would like, and add that to the bugzilla request.
  • The analytics features are extremely limited at the moment, because some of the ones that were initially part of the extension had to be disabled for performance reasons. We are hoping to get these back when development on the extension resumes. But for the main use case of organizing and monitoring a discrete set of classes of student editors, it's definitely useful... especially the activity feed for each course.

--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 14:11, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

@Sage Ross (WMF) , Thank you for the comment. :) We only have one course active at the moment so we will probably take some time to experiment with how things work. Once we get to that point, we will probably be very happy to give you feedback. Even limited data would probably be very useful at this point because otherwise, it requires a major time commitment to do some research to understand exactly what students are doing. --LauraHale (talk) 13:06, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Created Template:Course page wizard. Put a comment on the ticket that the defaults are fine. No desire for the Did You Know feature. (Unless you have a specific desire to have this tested on a project, in which case we can test it though our next course likely to use it would be next year.) --LauraHale (talk) 13:57, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
  • From discussion with David Blackall, the value Wikinews provides in an educational setting is just how-critical we are.
The folks here who've been around a while, or thrown a lot of effort into getting over the first few steep climbs on the the project's learning curve, know we need to work on feedback/marking against improvement — even where several contributory attempts do not lead to publication — there has to be a sense, for contributing students, that they have been seen to improve their submission quality.
Beyond that, we're still looking for the way to retain students — not just a semester here and there, but — right through their tertiary education. Sub-, copy-editing, and fact-checking, have practically been abandoned by half the mainstream media; they're merrily locking up their archives for a variety of reasons, and I remain to be convinced that's solely down to profiting off them.
Wikinews has, in the time I've been involved, gone from perhaps one article with a little Original Reporting every week or two (and a mass of rehashed/synthesis pieces) to less content, of a higher quality, which frequently involves Original Reporting. So much so, that the 'exclusive' templates on leads need toned down. That is what makes us a place to point students at. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:08, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

The community logo.

There is an ongoing discussion here at Meta about reclaiming the community logo, registered as a trademark by the WMF, into public domain. Gryllida 22:45, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

User:Abuse filter

Please see Wikinews:Admin_action_alerts#Auto_spambot_detection_with_User:Abuse_filter. -- Cirt (talk) 14:27, 29 September 2013 (UTC)