Granting Scholarship to same persons every year

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Re: Granting Scholarship to same persons every year

Stuart Prior
Hi,

For my part I chaired Wikimania Scholarships for 2015. 

As Adrian points out, it's very competitive. But the idea that it is driven by personal preferences and politics is an unfair accusation to make to the volunteers that put in days of work as committee members. 

Personally, I found some decisions determining who was "more deserving" between some applicants near impossible. If I could've allocated more scholarships I would have.

I am strongly in favour of giving very new people scholarships though, as has been pointed out to me by recipients, who so galvanised by the welcome received and their experience of the international community face to fact, have gone on to become leaders in our movement.
I think our current system does a good job of avoiding too many repeat scholarships though, as Mike has pointed out with the figures.

Good? Yes.
Perfect? No.
Like Wikipedia...

S


On 22 May 2017 at 13:08, Isaac Olatunde <[hidden email]> wrote:
Greetings,

I want to agree with Gnangara that the OP has no intention to attack the user who was cited as an example. Saying User:XYZ received a scholarship consecutively is not an attack but a statement of fact (if their claim was actually correct). To be honest, interpreting OP's concern as an attack, jealousy etc. is far close to assuming good faith. However, I don't think I'll be interested in a discussion that focus on  "Why was  User:XYZ awarded a scholarship and not me?" but would be interested in a discussion that focus on how to improve the selection process".

Regards,

Isaac (who has never received a scholarship or apply for one this year)



On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 6:12 AM, Peter Southwood <[hidden email]> wrote:

Fair comment, and actionable suggestions.

P

 

From: Wikimania-l [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Kerry Raymond
Sent: Monday, 22 May 2017 4:57 AM
To: 'Wikimania general list (open subscription)'
Subject: Re: [Wikimania-l] Granting Scholarship to same persons every year

 

This observation has been made by a few people (some of them involved in the scholarship decision-making process) is that past recipients often continue to out-perform others in terms of the criteria in subsequent years. What hasn’t been commented on is why this is so?

 

If we believe that an attendee to Wikimania benefits in terms of learning new skills, hearing new ideas, making new contacts, then we should hardly be surprised if an attendee is then in a position to “grow” as a Wikimedian and hence be more able to “out-compete” others who didn’t have the benefit of attending. (And If we don’t believe that attendees benefit or grow from Wikimania attendance, then we should stop running Wikimania). Also the scholarship recipient has an expectation to share with their community what they have learned, even that process of sharing adds to their list of activities that they can use as evidence as subsequent scholarship applications.

 

Aside. If you have read the book Freakonomics or followed their blog, you will be aware

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freakonomics

 

of their study of how professional footballers tend to have their birthdays clustered in a few months of the year and how this phenomenon has its roots in spotting football talent in very young players and then training them. Because junior sport is usually based around age limits with a specific cut-off day, the children who just exceed the age limit by a month or two will usually be less physically developed than those who exceed the age limit by 10 or 11 months. Thus, the older children in the cohort are more likely to be selected for the team and receive coaching. Next year (still with a relative age developmental advantage AND with one year of extra coaching) these older children in the cohort are again appear the most able and again selected for the team (giving them yet another year of coaching benefit over those not selected). This cycle repeats throughout their childhood ensuring the older ones within the “age year” are disproportionate represented in both junior sport and then into college and professional sport, giving rise to the observed clustering of birthdays in professional footballers.

 

This is exactly the same phenomenon as we are seeing with Wikimania scholarships.

 

How can the playing field of Wikimania scholarships be made a little fairer? I don’t think the answer lies in deducting some points from those who have had a scholarship before. I think the solution lies in having two streams of scholarships, one for the first timers who compete among themselves on criteria that assesses their *potential* to “grow” through the Wikimania experience and a second set of scholarships for those who are applying to come for a second/third/… time with criteria more appropriate  to that group, how much did they “grow” and how much did they “share” relative to the number of Wikimania opportunities they have had (note one might also want to include attendance at Wikimedia Conference and other similar movement events in this regard)?

 

Note in both streams it is still possible to include factors like the Global North/South issue, minority groups, etc in the criteria as consistent with the movement’s strategic goals. The key difference is whether you are assessing only potential for growth from attending for the first-timers as opposed to observed growth from past attending and likely potential for further growth from additional attendance for the repeaters.

 

If that approach is taken, then the only question that remains is the relative number of scholarships (or amount of funds) available in each of the two streams. Obviously there’s a range of possibilities, but I would be tempted to operate on a simple pro-rata principle at least in the first year of operation. After the weeding out of the ineligible or people who show poorly against the criteria (however many phases there are to do that), look at the size of the two remaining groups and go pro-rata. That is, if after the preliminary cull(s), there are 200 potential first-timers and 100 potential repeaters, then allocated twice as many scholarship (or twice as much funding) to the first-time group as to the repeater group. If that does not seem to produce a good mix of attendees, then tweak it whichever way seems appropriate the next year.

 

My key point is to stop comparing a basket of mixed apples and oranges and start comparing apples with apples and oranges with oranges. That should give you mix of  the best apples and the best oranges.

 

Kerry

 


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Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



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https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




--
Stuart Prior
Project Coordinator
Wikimedia UK
+44 20 7065 0990

Wikimedia UK is a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and Wales, Registered No. 6741827. Registered Charity No.1144513. Registered Office 4th Floor, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT. United Kingdom. Wikimedia UK is the UK chapter of a global Wikimedia movement. The Wikimedia projects are run by the Wikimedia Foundation (who operate Wikipedia, amongst other projects).

Wikimedia UK is an independent non-profit charity with no legal control over Wikipedia nor responsibility for its contents.


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Re: Granting Scholarship to same persons every year

praveenp
In reply to this post by Isaac Olatunde

Thank you Kerry for perfect analysis. I had almost lost hope here. :-)

On Monday 22 May 2017 05:38 PM, Isaac Olatunde wrote:
Greetings,

I want to agree with Gnangara that the OP has no intention to attack the user who was cited as an example. Saying User:XYZ received a scholarship consecutively is not an attack but a statement of fact (if their claim was actually correct). To be honest, interpreting OP's concern as an attack, jealousy etc. is far close to assuming good faith. However, I don't think I'll be interested in a discussion that focus on  "Why was  User:XYZ awarded a scholarship and not me?" but would be interested in a discussion that focus on how to improve the selection process".

As you can see, it is not easy to convince the problem even with an example. Please don't misinterpret this. Attending Wikimania on scholarship is not my final intention. Unlike most other users, I am pretty anonymous, it gives me more freedom than them.

Some years back,  there was a huge rift between Wikimedia and Malayalam Language community. A large part of community stopped active participation after that. In my own case, last year after someone told me that some of my contributions were not that important, I didn't want to do that. We really wish to avoid such situations. As a small community, every user is important.

I really didn't intend to be rude or bully. English is just not my native language.



Regards,

Isaac (who has never received a scholarship or apply for one this year)



On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 6:12 AM, Peter Southwood <[hidden email]> wrote:

Fair comment, and actionable suggestions.

P

 

From: Wikimania-l [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Kerry Raymond
Sent: Monday, 22 May 2017 4:57 AM
To: 'Wikimania general list (open subscription)'
Subject: Re: [Wikimania-l] Granting Scholarship to same persons every year

 

This observation has been made by a few people (some of them involved in the scholarship decision-making process) is that past recipients often continue to out-perform others in terms of the criteria in subsequent years. What hasn’t been commented on is why this is so?

 

If we believe that an attendee to Wikimania benefits in terms of learning new skills, hearing new ideas, making new contacts, then we should hardly be surprised if an attendee is then in a position to “grow” as a Wikimedian and hence be more able to “out-compete” others who didn’t have the benefit of attending. (And If we don’t believe that attendees benefit or grow from Wikimania attendance, then we should stop running Wikimania). Also the scholarship recipient has an expectation to share with their community what they have learned, even that process of sharing adds to their list of activities that they can use as evidence as subsequent scholarship applications.

 

Aside. If you have read the book Freakonomics or followed their blog, you will be aware

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freakonomics

 

of their study of how professional footballers tend to have their birthdays clustered in a few months of the year and how this phenomenon has its roots in spotting football talent in very young players and then training them. Because junior sport is usually based around age limits with a specific cut-off day, the children who just exceed the age limit by a month or two will usually be less physically developed than those who exceed the age limit by 10 or 11 months. Thus, the older children in the cohort are more likely to be selected for the team and receive coaching. Next year (still with a relative age developmental advantage AND with one year of extra coaching) these older children in the cohort are again appear the most able and again selected for the team (giving them yet another year of coaching benefit over those not selected). This cycle repeats throughout their childhood ensuring the older ones within the “age year” are disproportionate represented in both junior sport and then into college and professional sport, giving rise to the observed clustering of birthdays in professional footballers.

 

This is exactly the same phenomenon as we are seeing with Wikimania scholarships.

 

How can the playing field of Wikimania scholarships be made a little fairer? I don’t think the answer lies in deducting some points from those who have had a scholarship before. I think the solution lies in having two streams of scholarships, one for the first timers who compete among themselves on criteria that assesses their *potential* to “grow” through the Wikimania experience and a second set of scholarships for those who are applying to come for a second/third/… time with criteria more appropriate  to that group, how much did they “grow” and how much did they “share” relative to the number of Wikimania opportunities they have had (note one might also want to include attendance at Wikimedia Conference and other similar movement events in this regard)?

 

Note in both streams it is still possible to include factors like the Global North/South issue, minority groups, etc in the criteria as consistent with the movement’s strategic goals. The key difference is whether you are assessing only potential for growth from attending for the first-timers as opposed to observed growth from past attending and likely potential for further growth from additional attendance for the repeaters.

 

If that approach is taken, then the only question that remains is the relative number of scholarships (or amount of funds) available in each of the two streams. Obviously there’s a range of possibilities, but I would be tempted to operate on a simple pro-rata principle at least in the first year of operation. After the weeding out of the ineligible or people who show poorly against the criteria (however many phases there are to do that), look at the size of the two remaining groups and go pro-rata. That is, if after the preliminary cull(s), there are 200 potential first-timers and 100 potential repeaters, then allocated twice as many scholarship (or twice as much funding) to the first-time group as to the repeater group. If that does not seem to produce a good mix of attendees, then tweak it whichever way seems appropriate the next year.

 

My key point is to stop comparing a basket of mixed apples and oranges and start comparing apples with apples and oranges with oranges. That should give you mix of  the best apples and the best oranges.

 

Kerry

 


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




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[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


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Re: Granting Scholarship to same persons every year

ViswaPrabha (വിശ്വപ്രഭ)-2
Dear all,

Since this thread has gone so long, let me take a bit more freedom to intervene yet another time:

I said I am sad for my name was (perhaps) unnecessarily dragged into the list. But I have not felt a bit, even for a moment, that Praveen intended any real harm or hurt for me. His original intention could have been just that he wanted everyone into looking at a genuine generic issue and get it discussed and resolved on the long term.

As I have mentioned earlier, I have great respect to Praveen's contribution towards our rather small but a very active and well-knit community. If someone asked me to name the most significant users who influenced the positive growth of our community, he would be included in the top three or four in the list without a doubt. That he was not considered for the scholarship even for once is a matter that I too feel sad about, even though he is one among the few whom I have never known as a real world person. He has kept his anonymity so very well that also makes him continue as a true unbiased warrior of our community. I am not sure, but perhaps his self-chosen anonymity could have limited  his abilities to participate in off-wiki activities and thus reducing his scores counted for a scholarship.

In any case, I feel that this thread has grown way beyond its true original intended purpose.

May I request all of you to call it a break and stop this thread here and start a fresh one just focusing on how to reduce any imperfections if at all, in our methodologies to select scholarship winners in even better ways?

Love and smiles to all and hail Wikipedia!

User:Viswaprabha




On 23 May 2017 at 09:18, praveenp <[hidden email]> wrote:

Thank you Kerry for perfect analysis. I had almost lost hope here. :-)

On Monday 22 May 2017 05:38 PM, Isaac Olatunde wrote:
Greetings,

I want to agree with Gnangara that the OP has no intention to attack the user who was cited as an example. Saying User:XYZ received a scholarship consecutively is not an attack but a statement of fact (if their claim was actually correct). To be honest, interpreting OP's concern as an attack, jealousy etc. is far close to assuming good faith. However, I don't think I'll be interested in a discussion that focus on  "Why was  User:XYZ awarded a scholarship and not me?" but would be interested in a discussion that focus on how to improve the selection process".

As you can see, it is not easy to convince the problem even with an example. Please don't misinterpret this. Attending Wikimania on scholarship is not my final intention. Unlike most other users, I am pretty anonymous, it gives me more freedom than them.

Some years back,  there was a huge rift between Wikimedia and Malayalam Language community. A large part of community stopped active participation after that. In my own case, last year after someone told me that some of my contributions were not that important, I didn't want to do that. We really wish to avoid such situations. As a small community, every user is important.

I really didn't intend to be rude or bully. English is just not my native language.




Regards,

Isaac (who has never received a scholarship or apply for one this year)



On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 6:12 AM, Peter Southwood <[hidden email]> wrote:

Fair comment, and actionable suggestions.

P

 

From: Wikimania-l [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Kerry Raymond
Sent: Monday, 22 May 2017 4:57 AM
To: 'Wikimania general list (open subscription)'
Subject: Re: [Wikimania-l] Granting Scholarship to same persons every year

 

This observation has been made by a few people (some of them involved in the scholarship decision-making process) is that past recipients often continue to out-perform others in terms of the criteria in subsequent years. What hasn’t been commented on is why this is so?

 

If we believe that an attendee to Wikimania benefits in terms of learning new skills, hearing new ideas, making new contacts, then we should hardly be surprised if an attendee is then in a position to “grow” as a Wikimedian and hence be more able to “out-compete” others who didn’t have the benefit of attending. (And If we don’t believe that attendees benefit or grow from Wikimania attendance, then we should stop running Wikimania). Also the scholarship recipient has an expectation to share with their community what they have learned, even that process of sharing adds to their list of activities that they can use as evidence as subsequent scholarship applications.

 

Aside. If you have read the book Freakonomics or followed their blog, you will be aware

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freakonomics

 

of their study of how professional footballers tend to have their birthdays clustered in a few months of the year and how this phenomenon has its roots in spotting football talent in very young players and then training them. Because junior sport is usually based around age limits with a specific cut-off day, the children who just exceed the age limit by a month or two will usually be less physically developed than those who exceed the age limit by 10 or 11 months. Thus, the older children in the cohort are more likely to be selected for the team and receive coaching. Next year (still with a relative age developmental advantage AND with one year of extra coaching) these older children in the cohort are again appear the most able and again selected for the team (giving them yet another year of coaching benefit over those not selected). This cycle repeats throughout their childhood ensuring the older ones within the “age year” are disproportionate represented in both junior sport and then into college and professional sport, giving rise to the observed clustering of birthdays in professional footballers.

 

This is exactly the same phenomenon as we are seeing with Wikimania scholarships.

 

How can the playing field of Wikimania scholarships be made a little fairer? I don’t think the answer lies in deducting some points from those who have had a scholarship before. I think the solution lies in having two streams of scholarships, one for the first timers who compete among themselves on criteria that assesses their *potential* to “grow” through the Wikimania experience and a second set of scholarships for those who are applying to come for a second/third/… time with criteria more appropriate  to that group, how much did they “grow” and how much did they “share” relative to the number of Wikimania opportunities they have had (note one might also want to include attendance at Wikimedia Conference and other similar movement events in this regard)?

 

Note in both streams it is still possible to include factors like the Global North/South issue, minority groups, etc in the criteria as consistent with the movement’s strategic goals. The key difference is whether you are assessing only potential for growth from attending for the first-timers as opposed to observed growth from past attending and likely potential for further growth from additional attendance for the repeaters.

 

If that approach is taken, then the only question that remains is the relative number of scholarships (or amount of funds) available in each of the two streams. Obviously there’s a range of possibilities, but I would be tempted to operate on a simple pro-rata principle at least in the first year of operation. After the weeding out of the ineligible or people who show poorly against the criteria (however many phases there are to do that), look at the size of the two remaining groups and go pro-rata. That is, if after the preliminary cull(s), there are 200 potential first-timers and 100 potential repeaters, then allocated twice as many scholarship (or twice as much funding) to the first-time group as to the repeater group. If that does not seem to produce a good mix of attendees, then tweak it whichever way seems appropriate the next year.

 

My key point is to stop comparing a basket of mixed apples and oranges and start comparing apples with apples and oranges with oranges. That should give you mix of  the best apples and the best oranges.

 

Kerry

 


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



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[hidden email]
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Re: Granting Scholarship to same persons every year

Isaac Olatunde
Greetings,

Thanks for that thoughtful comment, User:Viswaprabha. However, while it's a good idea to discontinue this thread, I don't think  new thread on Wikimania scholarship is necessary at this time.

Regards,

Isaac.

On Tue, May 23, 2017 at 12:16 AM, ViswaPrabha (വിശ്വപ്രഭ) <[hidden email]> wrote:
Dear all,

Since this thread has gone so long, let me take a bit more freedom to intervene yet another time:

I said I am sad for my name was (perhaps) unnecessarily dragged into the list. But I have not felt a bit, even for a moment, that Praveen intended any real harm or hurt for me. His original intention could have been just that he wanted everyone into looking at a genuine generic issue and get it discussed and resolved on the long term.

As I have mentioned earlier, I have great respect to Praveen's contribution towards our rather small but a very active and well-knit community. If someone asked me to name the most significant users who influenced the positive growth of our community, he would be included in the top three or four in the list without a doubt. That he was not considered for the scholarship even for once is a matter that I too feel sad about, even though he is one among the few whom I have never known as a real world person. He has kept his anonymity so very well that also makes him continue as a true unbiased warrior of our community. I am not sure, but perhaps his self-chosen anonymity could have limited  his abilities to participate in off-wiki activities and thus reducing his scores counted for a scholarship.

In any case, I feel that this thread has grown way beyond its true original intended purpose.

May I request all of you to call it a break and stop this thread here and start a fresh one just focusing on how to reduce any imperfections if at all, in our methodologies to select scholarship winners in even better ways?

Love and smiles to all and hail Wikipedia!

User:Viswaprabha




On 23 May 2017 at 09:18, praveenp <[hidden email]> wrote:

Thank you Kerry for perfect analysis. I had almost lost hope here. :-)

On Monday 22 May 2017 05:38 PM, Isaac Olatunde wrote:
Greetings,

I want to agree with Gnangara that the OP has no intention to attack the user who was cited as an example. Saying User:XYZ received a scholarship consecutively is not an attack but a statement of fact (if their claim was actually correct). To be honest, interpreting OP's concern as an attack, jealousy etc. is far close to assuming good faith. However, I don't think I'll be interested in a discussion that focus on  "Why was  User:XYZ awarded a scholarship and not me?" but would be interested in a discussion that focus on how to improve the selection process".

As you can see, it is not easy to convince the problem even with an example. Please don't misinterpret this. Attending Wikimania on scholarship is not my final intention. Unlike most other users, I am pretty anonymous, it gives me more freedom than them.

Some years back,  there was a huge rift between Wikimedia and Malayalam Language community. A large part of community stopped active participation after that. In my own case, last year after someone told me that some of my contributions were not that important, I didn't want to do that. We really wish to avoid such situations. As a small community, every user is important.

I really didn't intend to be rude or bully. English is just not my native language.




Regards,

Isaac (who has never received a scholarship or apply for one this year)



On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 6:12 AM, Peter Southwood <[hidden email]> wrote:

Fair comment, and actionable suggestions.

P

 

From: Wikimania-l [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Kerry Raymond
Sent: Monday, 22 May 2017 4:57 AM
To: 'Wikimania general list (open subscription)'
Subject: Re: [Wikimania-l] Granting Scholarship to same persons every year

 

This observation has been made by a few people (some of them involved in the scholarship decision-making process) is that past recipients often continue to out-perform others in terms of the criteria in subsequent years. What hasn’t been commented on is why this is so?

 

If we believe that an attendee to Wikimania benefits in terms of learning new skills, hearing new ideas, making new contacts, then we should hardly be surprised if an attendee is then in a position to “grow” as a Wikimedian and hence be more able to “out-compete” others who didn’t have the benefit of attending. (And If we don’t believe that attendees benefit or grow from Wikimania attendance, then we should stop running Wikimania). Also the scholarship recipient has an expectation to share with their community what they have learned, even that process of sharing adds to their list of activities that they can use as evidence as subsequent scholarship applications.

 

Aside. If you have read the book Freakonomics or followed their blog, you will be aware

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freakonomics

 

of their study of how professional footballers tend to have their birthdays clustered in a few months of the year and how this phenomenon has its roots in spotting football talent in very young players and then training them. Because junior sport is usually based around age limits with a specific cut-off day, the children who just exceed the age limit by a month or two will usually be less physically developed than those who exceed the age limit by 10 or 11 months. Thus, the older children in the cohort are more likely to be selected for the team and receive coaching. Next year (still with a relative age developmental advantage AND with one year of extra coaching) these older children in the cohort are again appear the most able and again selected for the team (giving them yet another year of coaching benefit over those not selected). This cycle repeats throughout their childhood ensuring the older ones within the “age year” are disproportionate represented in both junior sport and then into college and professional sport, giving rise to the observed clustering of birthdays in professional footballers.

 

This is exactly the same phenomenon as we are seeing with Wikimania scholarships.

 

How can the playing field of Wikimania scholarships be made a little fairer? I don’t think the answer lies in deducting some points from those who have had a scholarship before. I think the solution lies in having two streams of scholarships, one for the first timers who compete among themselves on criteria that assesses their *potential* to “grow” through the Wikimania experience and a second set of scholarships for those who are applying to come for a second/third/… time with criteria more appropriate  to that group, how much did they “grow” and how much did they “share” relative to the number of Wikimania opportunities they have had (note one might also want to include attendance at Wikimedia Conference and other similar movement events in this regard)?

 

Note in both streams it is still possible to include factors like the Global North/South issue, minority groups, etc in the criteria as consistent with the movement’s strategic goals. The key difference is whether you are assessing only potential for growth from attending for the first-timers as opposed to observed growth from past attending and likely potential for further growth from additional attendance for the repeaters.

 

If that approach is taken, then the only question that remains is the relative number of scholarships (or amount of funds) available in each of the two streams. Obviously there’s a range of possibilities, but I would be tempted to operate on a simple pro-rata principle at least in the first year of operation. After the weeding out of the ineligible or people who show poorly against the criteria (however many phases there are to do that), look at the size of the two remaining groups and go pro-rata. That is, if after the preliminary cull(s), there are 200 potential first-timers and 100 potential repeaters, then allocated twice as many scholarship (or twice as much funding) to the first-time group as to the repeater group. If that does not seem to produce a good mix of attendees, then tweak it whichever way seems appropriate the next year.

 

My key point is to stop comparing a basket of mixed apples and oranges and start comparing apples with apples and oranges with oranges. That should give you mix of  the best apples and the best oranges.

 

Kerry

 


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l




_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l


_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



_______________________________________________
Wikimania-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimania-l



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[hidden email]
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Re: Granting Scholarship to same persons every year

Peter Southwood

At what time would you consider a new thread to be necessary? This seems as good a time as any to me. We appear to have a problem, We should try to find out it this is really the case, and if so, do something constructive. Wikimania is going to happen again, and it would be nice to get it right some time, if we are not getting it right already. Maybe this should go off-list, but I think it should not be dropped altogether.

Cheers,

Peter

 

From: Wikimania-l [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Isaac Olatunde
Sent: Tuesday, 23 May 2017 10:37 AM
To: Wikimania general list (open subscription)
Subject: Re: [Wikimania-l] Granting Scholarship to same persons every year

 

Greetings,


Thanks for that thoughtful comment, User:Viswaprabha. However, while it's a good idea to discontinue this thread, I don't think  new thread on Wikimania scholarship is necessary at this time.

Regards,

Isaac.

 

On Tue, May 23, 2017 at 12:16 AM, ViswaPrabha (വിശ്വപ്രഭ) <[hidden email]> wrote:

Dear all,

Since this thread has gone so long, let me take a bit more freedom to intervene yet another time:

I said I am sad for my name was (perhaps) unnecessarily dragged into the list. But I have not felt a bit, even for a moment, that Praveen intended any real harm or hurt for me. His original intention could have been just that he wanted everyone into looking at a genuine generic issue and get it discussed and resolved on the long term.

As I have mentioned earlier, I have great respect to Praveen's contribution towards our rather small but a very active and well-knit community. If someone asked me to name the most significant users who influenced the positive growth of our community, he would be included in the top three or four in the list without a doubt. That he was not considered for the scholarship even for once is a matter that I too feel sad about, even though he is one among the few whom I have never known as a real world person. He has kept his anonymity so very well that also makes him continue as a true unbiased warrior of our community. I am not sure, but perhaps his self-chosen anonymity could have limited  his abilities to participate in off-wiki activities and thus reducing his scores counted for a scholarship.

 

In any case, I feel that this thread has grown way beyond its true original intended purpose.

May I request all of you to call it a break and stop this thread here and start a fresh one just focusing on how to reduce any imperfections if at all, in our methodologies to select scholarship winners in even better ways?

Love and smiles to all and hail Wikipedia!

User:Viswaprabha

 

 

On 23 May 2017 at 09:18, praveenp <[hidden email]> wrote:

Thank you Kerry for perfect analysis. I had almost lost hope here. :-)

On Monday 22 May 2017 05:38 PM, Isaac Olatunde wrote:

Greetings,


I want to agree with Gnangara that the OP has no intention to attack the user who was cited as an example. Saying User:XYZ received a scholarship consecutively is not an attack but a statement of fact (if their claim was actually correct). To be honest, interpreting OP's concern as an attack, jealousy etc. is far close to assuming good faith. However, I don't think I'll be interested in a discussion that focus on  "Why was  User:XYZ awarded a scholarship and not me?" but would be interested in a discussion that focus on how to improve the selection process".


As you can see, it is not easy to convince the problem even with an example. Please don't misinterpret this. Attending Wikimania on scholarship is not my final intention. Unlike most other users, I am pretty anonymous, it gives me more freedom than them.

Some years back,  there was a huge rift between Wikimedia and Malayalam Language community. A large part of community stopped active participation after that. In my own case, last year after someone told me that some of my contributions were not that important, I didn't want to do that. We really wish to avoid such situations. As a small community, every user is important.

I really didn't intend to be rude or bully. English is just not my native language.






Regards,

Isaac (who has never received a scholarship or apply for one this year)

 

 

On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 6:12 AM, Peter Southwood <[hidden email]> wrote:

Fair comment, and actionable suggestions.

P

 

From: Wikimania-l [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Kerry Raymond
Sent: Monday, 22 May 2017 4:57 AM
To: 'Wikimania general list (open subscription)'
Subject: Re: [Wikimania-l] Granting Scholarship to same persons every year

 

This observation has been made by a few people (some of them involved in the scholarship decision-making process) is that past recipients often continue to out-perform others in terms of the criteria in subsequent years. What hasn’t been commented on is why this is so?

 

If we believe that an attendee to Wikimania benefits in terms of learning new skills, hearing new ideas, making new contacts, then we should hardly be surprised if an attendee is then in a position to “grow” as a Wikimedian and hence be more able to “out-compete” others who didn’t have the benefit of attending. (And If we don’t believe that attendees benefit or grow from Wikimania attendance, then we should stop running Wikimania). Also the scholarship recipient has an expectation to share with their community what they have learned, even that process of sharing adds to their list of activities that they can use as evidence as subsequent scholarship applications.

 

Aside. If you have read the book Freakonomics or followed their blog, you will be aware

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freakonomics

 

of their study of how professional footballers tend to have their birthdays clustered in a few months of the year and how this phenomenon has its roots in spotting football talent in very young players and then training them. Because junior sport is usually based around age limits with a specific cut-off day, the children who just exceed the age limit by a month or two will usually be less physically developed than those who exceed the age limit by 10 or 11 months. Thus, the older children in the cohort are more likely to be selected for the team and receive coaching. Next year (still with a relative age developmental advantage AND with one year of extra coaching) these older children in the cohort are again appear the most able and again selected for the team (giving them yet another year of coaching benefit over those not selected). This cycle repeats throughout their childhood ensuring the older ones within the “age year” are disproportionate represented in both junior sport and then into college and professional sport, giving rise to the observed clustering of birthdays in professional footballers.

 

This is exactly the same phenomenon as we are seeing with Wikimania scholarships.

 

How can the playing field of Wikimania scholarships be made a little fairer? I don’t think the answer lies in deducting some points from those who have had a scholarship before. I think the solution lies in having two streams of scholarships, one for the first timers who compete among themselves on criteria that assesses their *potential* to “grow” through the Wikimania experience and a second set of scholarships for those who are applying to come for a second/third/… time with criteria more appropriate  to that group, how much did they “grow” and how much did they “share” relative to the number of Wikimania opportunities they have had (note one might also want to include attendance at Wikimedia Conference and other similar movement events in this regard)?

 

Note in both streams it is still possible to include factors like the Global North/South issue, minority groups, etc in the criteria as consistent with the movement’s strategic goals. The key difference is whether you are assessing only potential for growth from attending for the first-timers as opposed to observed growth from past attending and likely potential for further growth from additional attendance for the repeaters.

 

If that approach is taken, then the only question that remains is the relative number of scholarships (or amount of funds) available in each of the two streams. Obviously there’s a range of possibilities, but I would be tempted to operate on a simple pro-rata principle at least in the first year of operation. After the weeding out of the ineligible or people who show poorly against the criteria (however many phases there are to do that), look at the size of the two remaining groups and go pro-rata. That is, if after the preliminary cull(s), there are 200 potential first-timers and 100 potential repeaters, then allocated twice as many scholarship (or twice as much funding) to the first-time group as to the repeater group. If that does not seem to produce a good mix of attendees, then tweak it whichever way seems appropriate the next year.

 

My key point is to stop comparing a basket of mixed apples and oranges and start comparing apples with apples and oranges with oranges. That should give you mix of  the best apples and the best oranges.

 

Kerry

 


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