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Statement of Purpose
The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) is looking for a consultant to analyze the achievements and current status of university classroom-based Wikipedia projects in Brazil and to conduct a pilot with select educators to explore the opportunities for launching a Wikipedia Education Program in Brazil.
In 2010 and 2011, the Wikimedia Foundation successfully executed an experimental pilot project (the Public Policy Initiative) to engage students in Wikipedia-editing as part of the curriculum. Professors at universities in the United States participated by tasking their students with improving articles on the English-language Wikipedia. We (the Foundation) provided professors support in the form of instructional materials, such as sample lesson plans, and Wikipedia Ambassadors, who serve as mentors for the first-time Wikipedians.
Following the completion of the successful pilot, we have begun supporting Wikipedia-editing in university classrooms in institutions around the world. One of our priorities is to expand such an Education Program to Brazil, as it is a priority region for the Wikimedia Movement. Our goal is to increase the number of active Wikipedia contributors in Brazil and improve the quality of articles in Portuguese.
Already some courses have sprung up which have demonstrated the great potential for such a program, and we want to more actively support those existing courses while encouraging new courses to also help pilot the Brazil Education Program. A future expansion will be based on a thourough analysis of what worked in the past and what did not; this analysis will lay the groundwork for the start of a Brazil Education Program in mid-2012.
Duties include, but are not limited to the following:
Evaluate the ongoing successes and failures of class-based Wikipedia editing projects throughout all phases of development
Document best practices and lessons learned
Actively communicate lessons across the Wikipedia Education Program teams around the world
Develop and track measures of success and create progress reports
Develop a launch plan and lay groundwork for building a classroom-based education program in Brazil
Explore and document incentives for instructors, students and institutions in Higher Education to participate in the program within Brazil
Create guidelines and standards in order to achieve a shared understanding of the goals of the Wikimedia Education Program
Identify and provide connections with high potential schools and faculty
Initiate and oversee the translation of existing support materials into Portuguese, as needed
Conduct outreach events at universities around the country to raise awareness of and interest in Wikimedia and the Wikipedia Education Program
Recruit and train instructors who are eager to use Wikipedia as a teaching tool in their classes and are good fits with the mission. Provide the instructors with training on how to use Wikipedia effectively in the classroom and the prerequisites for success.
Recruit, select, train, and support volunteers who are willing and able to help newcomers with their first steps on Wikipedia by serving as Campus and/or Online Ambassadors. Organize and lead Ambassador training in partnership with experienced Wikipedians in Brazil and with material-support
Identify problems that arise during pilot stages and work with WMF staff, Campus Ambassadors and professors to develop effective solutions
Actively communicate the plans, progress and outcomes of the program with the Portuguese Wikimedia community, including WMF staff in San Francisco, Wikipedia Education Program staff and volunteers around the world, the Brazilian community, and the lusophone editing community
Outcome and Performance Standards
A successful consulting engagement would result in:
A document that analyses the current status of class-based initiatives and identifies best practices and lessons learned for a future launch of the Brazil Education Program
Informal pilots begun with at up to 5 new faculty that lead to the creation of high quality content in the Portuguese Wikipedia
Both instructors and students shall have a positive experience using Wikipedia in the classroom
Support documents and the Ambassador Program that help the participants in contributing to Wikipedia
Existing community of Portuguese editors is satisfied with the article additions in the program and are accepting of the new editing community
Term of Contract
The contract will be for a duration of six months beginning as soon as possible.
Payments, Incentives, and Penalties
The contractor will be paid USD $30 on an hourly basis. The contractor will need to cover all legally required deductions, taxes and benefits out of this amount. Approved out-of-pocket expenses may be invoiced for reimbursement, for example for work-related travel.
About 30 hours per week is expected. Any charged hours over this amount must be approved by the supervisor.
Required characteristics and qualifications
High drive and commitment to the Wikimedia mission: Deeply believes in the value of Wikimedia in the Brazilian context; exudes enthusiasm for the mission and can powerfully embody and communicate the mission
Strong analytical skills: Ability to measure and document the outcome of past and ongoing classroom-based experiments; ability to develop recommendations for a future strategy based on the outcome of the analysis
Open and transparent: High level of integrity and comfortable working in a highly transparent fashion; open to input and feedback; proactive, candid communicator who wants people to know what she/he is doing and isn't afraid to bring others in when things are off-track or when they need help; can handle criticism in a mature fashion
Strong written and oral communication skills: Must be a strong communicator in both Portuguese and English, who is able to do public speaking, communicate personally with academics and students, lead courses and events, and communicate via blogs, wikis, and email
Understand academic setting in Brazil: Thorough understanding of the university teaching and learning environment; must be confident, engaging and adept in communication with instructors and university administrators;
Program and time management skills: Ability to work effectively and meet deadlines even while traveling; ability manage him/herself and work alone; must follow a tight-timeline and meet goals and deadlines;
Flexible: Must be willing to travel within Brazil to engage Wikimedia communities and conduct outreach activities; must be willing and able to flex schedule to operate within a global team, by being available for limited number of conference calls or email exchange some evenings weekly.
Please submit the following documents:
CV that highlights your understanding of Wikipedia, the university teaching and learning environment in Brazil
A note (not exceeding 2 pages in length) that explains:
Why growing our editor community in Brazil is important for fulfilling the Wikimedia Foundation's mission
How you envision working with instructors, students and volunteers to achieve the goals of the project
The submitted documents will be evaluated against the following criteria (in no specific order):
Understanding of the mission and values of the Wikimedia Foundation;
Understanding of the Foundation's strategic goals for increasing our community of active editors in the Global South;
Demonstrated history of working with higher education and non-profits;
Ability to work with Wikipedia's existing community of volunteers;
Overall willingness and eagerness to undertake a highly complex challenge.
Points of contact for future correspondence
Please submit your documents electronically as PDF to Frank Schulenburg, Global Education Program Director, rfpwikimedia.org