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Spike: How should a course be promoted from draft to approval?
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Description

Currently, a course must be submitted, then an admin can approve by adding to a "cohort" (see also T126504). Courses are not visible until they're approved.

Should we allow people to self-publish a course without admin review? That is the wiki way...

Event Timeline

awight created this task.Feb 17 2016, 9:10 AM
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awight raised the priority of this task from to Needs Triage.
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awight added subscribers: FloNight, FloorKoudijs, Base and 5 others.
Abit added a comment.Feb 17 2016, 6:31 PM

My preference is yes, both because it is the wiki way, and because that seems like the best solution if a crazy large number of people want to use it.

The only blocker I can think of is malicious posting, but I think the maliciousness lies mostly in inappropriate course content or descriptions, not the creation of the course itself. Inappropriateness could be added after, so I'm not sure how much easier the approval process makes patrolling. @Ragesoss?

Well, the approval process makes for a nice checkpoint: less 'prevent malicious use' (which hasn't happened at all yet for Wiki Ed's dashboard, although it certainly will at some point), and more 'make sure somebody who has a clue takes a look at what this course is planning to do'.

As long as wiki editing is not enabled, I could see it going either way for the WMF dashboard. If wiki editing becomes enabled at some point, I think at least it will need approval before a course is allowed to make edits (especially, for example, to article talk pages, which happens when a user signs up to work on or review a given article, as well as mass-messaging of enrolled users). But in the early stages, it probably makes sense to keep approval in place just as a touchpoint, so that you can understand how people are wanting to use it and what issues come up.

A big part of Wiki Ed's programmatic use of the dashboard — both what it does now and what it will do in the future — is to make it easy for people to get started and organize newcomer editing activity — but *without* unleashing a firehose of problematic content. It's about scaling up newcomer activity *without* scaling up the burdern that puts on experienced editors. Currently, that happens with most global programs just through the old-fashioned filter of 'only people who are already deep into wikis can manage to organize an editing program'. In the long term — especially if the WMF dashboard is successful and a lot of people start using it to organize things that would just not have happened at all otherwise — then vetting and some expectation-setting / rules / onboarding are likely to become things that the editing community demands.

That said, for the early phases it probably doesn't make much difference one way or the other; we'll learn a lot about things we're just guessing at now, once people start trying to use it for real.

I also feel that approval shouldn't be necessary. Who would approve it? We don't have a worldwide equivalent for Wiki Ed, where people can judge the quality of the proposed course because they have that deep expertise. It's not the kind of expertise any admin necessarily haves. I'd suggest making it doable without approvals. If this were to lead to big issues, we can tackle that and think about how to improve the process there.

@Abit
What should the workflow look like? Maybe,

  • User creates a course
  • Course author reviews their description, dates and other settings.
  • Author clicks "submit" and that makes the course go live, and become visible to others.

Or should courses be visible immediately, with no "submit" status change?

Question, for these purposes is an administrator the same as an administrator status on wiki?

I largely agree with @Ragesoss's comment.

But the best way for us to control quality is to enlarge the number of people who are knowledgeable AND have capacity to help. So I would like to be able to share the responsibility with an event planner or program leader who is regularly creating events and projects for an affiliate or external partner.

@FloNight
Program Dashboard admins will be a separate group of people, at least to start with. There's no particular reason for this, other than not having very tight integration with MediaWiki. See also T103620.

awight reassigned this task from awight to Abit.Feb 17 2016, 7:42 PM
awight moved this task from Next Up to In Progress on the Program Dashboard Sprint 1 board.
awight closed this task as Resolved.Feb 27 2016, 6:27 AM

Resolution: courses are public upon creation. They are added to the "All programs" cohort, which is a kludge to cause them to appear immediately in the main index.