Since fall 2015, I am a scientific collaborator at SUPSI University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland in the joint research project Wikipedia Primary School SSAJRP programme.
Wikipedia Primary School
Wikipedia Primary School is a project providing on Wikipedia the information necessary to complete the cycle of primary education in the languages used by the different education systems. It allows students, families and teachers to find on Wikipedia the documentation necessary to obtain the primary school qualification in their country.
The project aims at:
- Bridging Wikipedia and primary education. This objective implies to move the Wikipedia community towards a focus on primary education, and at the same time to strengthen the capacity of the education ecosystem to contribute to Wikipedia, and in general to open collaborative knowledge.
- Enriching Wikipedia with new content relevant to primary education. This objective implies an assessment of the articles produced.
- Fostering the development of translations and new content in different Wikipedia linguistic editions. This objective implies the release of existing educational resources (OER in cc by or cc by-sa), the production of datasets and the involvement of the Wikimedia movement.
- Verifying and evaluating the use of Wikipedia as a source of information for primary education. This objective implies the involvement of stakeholders and data analysis.
Wikipedia Primary School contributes to universal primary education and to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG2: Achieve Universal Primary Education). Even if it is scalable and international, the project is conceived primarily to address African countries and languages.
Wikipedia Primary School SSAJRP programme
The joint research project, developed within a Swiss and South African collaboration, specifically focuses on the theoretical frame of the project Wikipedia Primary School and in developing and evaluating a system to assess Wikipedia articles for primary education and to involve a wide network of scholars and contributors in their production. The project is an applied research involving a team lead by SUPSI University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland and the University of Cape Town, and benefitting from the partnership with Wikimedia Switzerland, and the Africa Centre based in Cape Town.
The research moves from the current state of research in the field, and it contributes to fill the existing gap between Wikipedia and primary education. More specifically, thanks to the Swiss and South African collaboration the research project developed within the frame of the SSAJRP satisfies the need for:
- Producing the necessary frame to address and involve users (the Wikipedia community, partners, volunteers, scholars and experts in the field of education).
- Defining and selecting relevant articles which respond to curriculum-based questions.
- Facilitating the production of high quality and assessed articles on Wikipedia linked to primary education.
The Swiss and South African joint research, implemented within the frame of the SSAJRP, focuses on the Wikipedia Primary School scalability and in developing the necessary network and tools to establish, promote and evaluate the project.Milestones
- Improvement of 100 articles related to the South African primary school curriculum
- Involvement of 5 scientific journals in the process of review
- Establishment and implementation of a Wikipedia Scientific Journal
Iolanda Pensa (principal investigator), Marta Pucciarelli, Florence Devouard, Erica Litrenta, Tobias Schonwetter, Isla Haddow-Flood, Theresa Hume, Douglas Ian Scott.