Insights from Wikimedia Ukraine’s first online course for Wikipedia trainers

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In December and January Wikimedia Ukraine held our first-ever online course for Wikipedia trainers. 21 people joined and 15 successfully graduated. Here’s how we approached building the course and what we learned in the process.

The idea

Wikimedia Ukraine supports hundreds of Wikipedia workshops and presentations every year, and there’s strong demand for experienced volunteers who can lead them. It was especially important before Wikimarathon 2024, our annual campaign that uses Ukrainian Wikipedia’s birthday to recruit as many new volunteers as possible with dozens of offline events across Ukraine and abroad. 

Previously we had organized offline training sessions for trainers, but during the full-scale war gathering people for offline events is more difficult, so this time we decided to go with another model – a series of online events.

Workshop on the topic of online webinars within the course for trainers (screenshot: Olena Vinsent, public domain)


The course consisted of five modules:

  1. Presenting Wikipedia to newcomers
  2. Organizing offline workshops
  3. Holding online webinars and making them engaging 
  4. Teaching how to edit Wikipedia
  5. Overview of key Wikipedia rules to teach (notability criteria, copyright, “no original research”)

Every module was led by its own trainer, it included an online workshop organized via Zoom and an exercise that had to be completed asynchronously after the online meeting. The course ran for 1.5 months, from early December to late January. 

Results, findings and next steps 

29 people signed up to take the course. Out of them 21 actually started it and 15 successfully graduated. (To graduate, the participant had to complete at least four modules).

Course graduates received certificates and a branded sweatshirt as a special souvenir. They went on to lead local events about Wikipedia, including during Wikimarathon. In an evaluation survey 94% participants graded the course as highly useful (5 out of 5) for their work in the Wikimedia movement.

Wikimedia Ukraine’s events manager Oleksandr Kotliar wearing a branded sweatshirt for course participants (photo: Anton Protsiuk, public domain)

This was the first installment of the course, and we plan to keep organizing new editions for people who haven’t had a chance to pass this one. For now the course’s materials, including recordings of the meetings, remain available to everyone. 

Among the course’s strengths, participants noted the fact that it was led by different trainers with diverse experiences, a clear structure, and lots of practical examples and exercises. When asked about room for growth, people suggested shortening the time of online meetings (a typical meeting lasted for around 1.5 hours) and spending more time on explanations of the intricacies of Wikipedia editing.

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