Centre for Internet & Society
A Wikipedia Workshop at SRM University, Chennai

Participants doing Wiki editing at SRM, Chennai

The Centre for Internet & Society, Delhi in association with Metawings Institute organized a one-day workshop on contributing to Wikipedia at SRM University on December 17, 2012. About 40 students from different engineering colleges in Chennai participated in the workshop. Metawings coordinated for the logistics and for spreading the word among the students.

The three-hour workshop was mostly interactive. Since most students had a fair idea of what Wikipedia is and who writes articles on Wikipedia, they had many queries on who the 'editors' were, who selects them, how one can become an editor, how to determine reliability and authenticity of Wikipedia articles and so on. This was a pattern that I observed in many workshops that we conduct where people who have a level of ease and familiarity with using Wikipedia to get information, have often wondered if the information they are using is reliable or not. This also gives us a chance to explain how their contributions can make the encyclopedia more inclusive, informative and reliable.

One student was called upon to create a user account and instead of answering his query on patrolling edits, I encouraged him to vandalize a popular article just to see how quickly it is reverted and the correct version is restored. Some students were also interested in knowing about Indian language Wikipedias. So, I invited a student to create his account in Tamil Wikipedia and create his user page subsequently.

After the workshop the students wanted to stay in touch and receive more information on Wikipedia projects they could contribute to and filled up contact forms.

Special thanks to Metawings for helping us out with the logistics and to the student coordinators at SRM University for their cooperation!

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