Submissions:2019/Supporting 8,000 new editors a term? Just doing our jobs

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This submission has been noted and is pending review for WikiConference North America 2019.


Supporting 8,000 new editors a term? Just doing our jobs


Editor Recruitment & Retention

Type of session:



Term after term, Wiki Education brings thousands of new editors to Wikipedia. Over the past three terms, we’ve averaged over 8,000 participants in courses we support through our Student Program. While student editors have the ability to make substantial contributions to the encyclopaedia, just telling students to go and make edits to Wikipedia is rarely going to be a successful approach. Over the past decade, we have learned much about what student editors need to in order to succeed – training materials (both for students and instructors), tools to track their progress (and keep them on track, so they aren’t rushing to get the whole assignment done the day before it’s due) and in-person support.

That’s where the three of us come in. We are experienced Wikipedians who provide support for students who are editing Wikipedia as part of a Wiki Education-supported class. Ian Ramjohn, who has been editing Wikipedia since 2004, has been working as a Wikipedia Expert since 2014. Shalor Toncray, who started editing in 2006, has been with Wiki Education since 2017. Elysia Webb is the newest member of the team; she discovered that she was meant to be a Wikipedian when she took a class supported by Wiki Education in 2017 and has worked as a Wikipedia Expert since 2018.

In this panel, we will discuss how we manage to support over 8000 student editors each term, demonstrating the tools that are crucial to our success. We will also discuss some of our favorite student success stories and articles they have created, as well as answer any questions you may have.

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

Ian Ramjohn, Shalor Toncray, Elysia Webb

E-mail address:,

Wikimedia username:

Ian (Wiki Ed)/Guettarda, Shalor (Wiki Ed)/ReaderofthePack, Elysia (Wiki Ed)/Enwebb

Affiliated organization(s):

Wiki Education Foundation

Estimated time:

30 minutes

Preferred room size:

Whatever the organizing committee thinks is appropriate

Special requests:


Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:


If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)