An easier way to share knowledge through learning patterns

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Austria - Schloss Leopoldskron Library - 2741.jpg
Sharing knowledge is a beautiful thing: a growing library of ‘learning patterns’ helps Wikimedians share what they learn about organizing activities like edit-a-thons. Max Reinhardt Library in Schloss Leopoldskron, by Jorge Royan, under CC-BY-SA 3.0.

The Wikimedia movement is increasingly using learning patterns to share what we learn when working on a Wikimedia program (such as an edit-a-thon) or what we learn on an organizational level. These simple documents, that describe solutions to a problem, have become harder to find, as the collection of learning patterns has grown in the past year.

The Wikimedia Foundation’s Learning and Evaluation team recently made its Learning Pattern Library easier to navigate. This special library is a shared resource for Wikimedia program leaders and organizations across the world, created to help them find learning patterns that are relevant to them.

How does the new system work?

A new categorization system will help people find related patterns by topic of interest. Let’s say the University of Washington is hosting a hackathon and local organizers want to learn more about how to host their event. They can now see which learning patterns are related to hackathons. There are currently 17 patterns in the hackathon category, including “Accommodations at meetups”, “Birds of a feather”, “Connectivity issues”, “Five tips for preparing a great conference”, and “Set up a GitHub profile for your hack-a-thons”.

Patterns are easier to search…

… and find!

Photo by María Cruz, CC-BY-SA 4.0

Get involved!
You can visit the library anytime to:

  • Search for learning patterns relevant to your work;
  • Share your experiences with Wikimedia activities and programs.

Suppose that a community member wants to use the learning pattern “Let the community know”. By looking at the bottom of the learning pattern page, they can see that this learning pattern belongs to many categories including: Event patterns, Programs learning patterns, Project management learning patterns, Organizational design patterns, Communications learning patterns… and more! When you click on the category links, you can see related learning patterns that provide additional information. With this new system, we are trying to make learning patterns more accessible. A great idea could lead to the next and a challenge can open the door to a range of possible solutions.

Moreover, this added reference supports more complex pattern search strategies. This lets you examine intersections across learning patterns. Check out the category intersection search tool, as outlined in Grants:Learning patterns/Searching the Learning Patterns Library. You can see the full list of Learning Patterns categories. Tables showing how subcategories are organized can be found here.

Help close the diversity gap

Let’s invite more diversity on Wikipedia! «Harmony Day», by DIAC Images, under a CC-BY 2.0 Generic license.

A good way to start contributing to the Learning Pattern Library is by joining the Diversity campaign! If you learned anything from past experiences, you can share what you know through a learning pattern, including: under-represented topics or voices in Wikimedia projects, programs or events. Your questions are welcome too!

The Learning and Evaluation team encourages you to help us:

  1. Generate a list of knowledge needs related to the gender and diversity.
  2. Help to rank the list of potential needed patterns by endorsing other’s suggestions.
  3. Help to create, expand, and apply learning patterns relevant to diversity in support of creative solutions in the upcoming Inspire campaign.

Happy editing,

Brett Gibbs, WMF Learning and Evaluation Intern
María Cruz, WMF Evaluation Community Coordinator

Archive notice: This is an archived post from, which operated under different editorial and content guidelines than Diff.

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