User:Akash Agarwal/GSOCproposal

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Name and basic information

Akash Agarwal
WikiEducator user name
akashagarwal on freenode
GMT +5.5
Typical working hours
GMT 7:30 am - 7:30 pm,Local time 1pm - 1am (highly flexible according to needs)
Academic Background
I am a third year student at IIIT Hyderabad pursuing B.Tech + MS in Computer Science and Engineering. More details can be found in my resume


The project would be divided into 2 parts.

Peer evaluation

OERu needs a scalable way to grade students. This is where peer evaluation comes in. It will allow the learners and other people involved in the course to grade peers. A fixed number of activities(3-5 may turn out to be a good number) of a particular kind will be assigned to each learner which he/she will have to grade. Others for example, students who have completed the course, tutors,community volunteers can choose any blog which they would want to evaluate.

Course registration and flow improvements

Currently wikieducator relies heavily on widgets, including widgets for Course Registration, Schedule, Quiz, Poll, Mini blog feeds(WEnotes), etc. The wikimedia education program is an mediawiki extension which has some basic functionality,i.e, mainly a page for creating an institution, courses within it, feature to add and view students and a basic dashboard. The extension will be extended to include the features of existing wikieducator widgets and those from ideas.

Goals and Outputs


  1. Implements a Peer Evaluation system for WikiEducator and get it accepted by OERu educators.
  2. Make course creation, modification and registration in courses much more convenient.


  1. A basic Mediawiki extension for Peer Evaluation which interfaces with current widget based wikiEducator courses.
  2. Adoption and deployment of the Education Program Extension to WikiEducator.
  3. Addition of features of wikieducator widgets and some new features to the above Extension.
  4. Improved Extension for Peer Evaluation written in (1) based on feedback from OERu educators.
  5. Adapted version of the Peer Evaluation Extension that works with the Education Program Extension written in (2) and (3).


Timeline Task
April 22 - May 18 Community bonding period: Getting to know in detail about WikiEducator and OERu, learnig about Mediawiki extensions and through reading of its documentation. Interacting with mentors and improving on the development plans
May 19 - May 25 (1 week) Basic Mediawiki prototype extension for Peer Evaluation which interfaces with current widget based wikiEducator courses.
May 25 - June 1 (1 week) Adoption and deployment of the Education Program Extension to WikiEducator.Receive feedback for Peer evaluation.
June 1 - June 8 (1 week) Addition of features of wikieducator widgets and some new features to the above Extension. Continue to receive feedback for Peer evaluation.
June 8 - June 26 (2.5 weeks) Improved Extension for Peer Evaluation written in (1) based on feedback from OERu educators.Iterate on the extension, buffer time for unexpected errors, adding on some more features based on suggestions by mentors.
June 27 Midterm evaluation deadline.
June 28- July 4 (1 week) Wrap up the Course registration extension.
July 5 - July 20 (2 weeks) Modification of the Peer Evaluation Extension to work with the Course Registration Extension.
July 20 - July 27 (1 weeks) Wrap up peer evaluation.
July 28 - August 10 Buffer time for unexpected bugs that are found for the deliverances.
August 11 - August 17 Pencils down date - scrub code, test it and improve documentation.
August 18 Firm pencils down date.
August 22 Final evaluation deadline.

Previous Work

  • Distributed Systems (ongoing course) assignment : A RPC based client-server program - source
  • Distributed Systems assignment - Custom formats over a network - source
  • As part of the Database systems course implemented multiway merge sort, B+ tree for duplicate elimination, Hash join and Sort-merge join algorithms using C++.Source files
  • GlopssDeveloped during Yahoo India Hackathon 2013: A simple open source web application to search for nearby people on various social networks based on Yahoo Boss API.
  • b4uthinkDeveloped during Sequoia Capital Bangalore Hack 2013: A service to predict cuisine & tastes of people and then recommend places to spend time, eat or drink based on location using JustDial API and social networks
  • Room Allocation portal for IIIT Hyderabad based on Php (15 member team project) source
  • A game, developed as a part of Graphics assignment, based on the movement of a robot - implemented in OpenGl with simple collision detection, gravity simulation. Source

What Mediawiki experience do you have?

More on peer evaluation

For large scale courses with tens of thousands of learners it becomes impractical for moderators or instructors to grade. For such courses either machine grading or peer evaluations can be used. Peer evaluation, not only serves this purpose but also benefits learners in several other ways. Learners actively participate instead of just passive read only activities. It increases student responsibility and autonomy. Learners will have to strive for a better and more advanced understanding of subject matter, skills and processes. It involves them in critical reflection.

Reward system

  • There is a credit system in place where learners are given some form of credit for writing various kinds of posts.
  • Every learner will be assigned a fixed number of peers to evaluate. This evaluation will also have some weight-age towards the course grade and they will be given some credits for evaluating.


  • Peer evaluations may cause learners to highly rate their friends and give low grades to others. They may form small groups within themselves and try to grade only among themselves. Also, some learners may have the tendency to give the same grades to others. These can be significantly reduced by randomly assigning the learners which peers would have to grade. Also, more than 1 evaluation will be used and the final scores will be the mean of individual’s to avoid giving weight to unusually high or low assessments.
  • Peer evaluations would strictly require deadlines to be met, both for submitting the activities (so that they are available for assessments by others) as well as for the evaluation itself.
  • There may be cases where learners do not review the assigned posts. The reward system described may reduce this significantly.

Basic Prototype

It is basically to show how peer evaluation may look like for a learner.

  • It is based on the activities data from the course Open_content_licensing_for_educators
  • For each activity, the prototype assigns every learner two posts of peers to evaluate.
  • Thus, each post will be evaluated by two peers.
  • The assignment of activities to peers is automated.

How does your project benefit the OERu or WikiEducator?

  • Features from the education program extension will allow educators to create/edit courses without having the need to write wiki markup. In general it will make the flow much more easier for them.
  • Peer evaluation provides a scalable grading system in place which will allow courses to give some sort of credit for work done as a part of them. It will provide a system in place for OERu to give grades for courses without putting any limit whatsoever to the number of learners.

Motivation and long term plans

How does this GSoC project for WikiEducator /OERu fit into your long term goals and personal development?

I want to be actively associated with an open source organisation and consider GSOC a very good opportunity to start it. I am particularly very enthusiastic about OERu and making changes to conventional education systems,especially the ones found in current day India.It is something I can directly relate to. Here, we have a Engineering Entrance Exam which is taken by about 1.5 million people and only about the top 5000 students can get into top tier universities. Many Indians waste two complete years only on preparing for a single exam. This particular experience among many others have made me strongly feel the Education must be collaborative and open rather than competitive and only accessible by a few people. So, I would enjoy being an integral part of OERu and develop for WikiEducator, even after the GSOC time frame.

Other commitments for the summer

My summer vacations are from 1st May to 31st July. I have planned a 8-10 days vacation during first two weeks of May before the coding period begins. Other than it, I will be focused only on GSOC during this time. From August 1 to August 22, I would have about 8 hours of lectures per week. But the course work is very low in the first month of the semester and I can very easily devote 35-40 hours per week to GSOC.

Why are you the best person to work on this project?

I am very enthusiastic about technologies and have good experience with javascript and php. Also, I now understand the needs of OERu and I know how I can take the organisation forward with the codes that I write during the summer. Further, I am committed to make sure that the deliverables of the project are integrated to the core of WikiEducator and OERu educators use them and benefit from them.


Some of my education related blog posts written during first year at IIIT Hyderabad.