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The Wikipedia Adventure: Evaluating an Interactive Tutorial for Newcomers

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posted on 23.08.2017, 23:35 by Sneha Narayan
Integrating new users into a community with complex norms presents a challenge for peer production projects like Wikipedia. We present The Wikipedia Adventure (TWA): an interactive tutorial that offers a structured and gamified introduction to Wikipedia. In addition to describing the design of the system, we present two empirical evaluations. First, we report on a survey of users, who responded very positively to the tutorial. Second, we report results from a large-scale invitation-based field experiment that tests whether using TWA increased newcomers' subsequent contributions to Wikipedia. We find no effect of either using the tutorial or of being invited to do so over a period of 180 days. We conclude that TWA produces a positive socialization experience for those who choose to use it, but that it does not alter patterns of newcomer activity. We reflect on the implications of these mixed results for the evaluation of similar social computing systems.

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