Teaching with Wikipedia

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Brief introduction to Wikimedia, and overview of classroom Wikipedia assignments -- benefits, best practices, pitfalls and gains. (Updated May 2014). Thanks to LiAnna Davis and Jami Mathewson at WMF for their help and content (quotes, education project slides).

Text of Teaching with Wikipedia

  • 1.Teaching with Wikipedia Phoebe Ayers UC Davis Libraries May 8, 2014

2. Overview Introductions How Wikipedia works Types of assignments Learning outcomes Best practices and caveats Making it happen Discussion/Questions? 3. Introductions Who I am Who you are: Area of teaching Wikipedia experience? Planning a Wikipedia assignment? 4. Taipei, Wikimania 2007 How Wikipedia Works 5. Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. - Wikimedias vision statement 6. Wikimedia is global Wikimedia chapters, 2013 (dark blue = founded) 7. Wikimania, Haifa 2011 8. What is Wikimedia? 12 projects 280 languages 31 million Wikipedia articles 21 million media files 80,000 active editors 100s of local meetup groups 40 local/national level chapters 200 employees at the Wikimedia Foundation, San Francisco 1,130,000 individual financial donors (in 2011-12) 500,000,000 readers/month 9. Free [to use and reuse] Volunteer-written Supported by readers Everyone can participate No top down editorial control: Community curated work Overview 10. Neutrality (NPOV) Verifiability (references!) Notability Encyclopedic treatment and many, many style guidelines Core editorial policies 11. Wikipedia editors 12. Wikipedia and education 13. At present, Wikipedia hovers at the fringes of academia, like an uninvited guest, [yet] Wikipedia's aims are eminently academic Still, everybody uses it, in one way or another, even if they might want not to admit to the fact. Above all, our students use it, openly or otherwise (as they are often explicitly told not to cite Wikipedia articles in term papers), but without necessarily knowing how it works. They are told that Wikipedia is bad, but they are not often told why; and of course, they find it an incredibly useful resource. -- Jon Beasley-Murray, University of British Columbia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jbmurray/Madness Inviting the uninvited guest 14. I liked the idea that students would be engaging in a real world project Here they would be writing for a public audience, also one that almost uniquely was in a position to write back, to re-write and comment upon what they were writing. -- Jon Beasley-Murray, University of British Columbia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jbmurray/Madness Why teach with Wikipedia? 15. "Id rather spend 30 hours putting work into a project that will be available for public consumption upon its completion than putting 10 hours into a project which gets graded, returned, and then either thrown out or forsaken and forgotten. Turning in a paper and getting it back with a letter on it is far less rewarding than submitting an article onto one of the worlds most renowned knowledge bases for all to see. Student in the Wikimedia Education program Why teach with Wikipedia? 16. Sample assignments Research referencing articles Writing Copyediting articles Critical thinking analyzing articles, reflecting on their own Wikipedia usage, comparing to other sources 17. Sample assignments, cont. Graphical communication creating technical illustrations or videos Language classes translating articles Explanatory writing in other contexts Contributing to Wikibooks, Wikiversity, Wikivoyage: textbooks, travel guides 18. Writing skills Expository and encyclopedic writing Editing other peoples work Research skills Critical thinking Media and information literacy Learning outcomes 19. Know Wikipedia Dont over-scope or tackle controversies Leave adequate time Plan evaluation strategies Involve Wikipedians & be transparent Best practices 20. Wikipedia is a working environment Do your students skills match the task? Do you have time to manage this assignment? Pitfalls 21. Student contributions may be removed Grade worries Is your project adequately documented on Wikipedia? More pitfalls 22. Students work impacts tens of thousands Real-world writing, editing, collaboration and technology skills Lifetime impact of understanding Wikipedia and being a critical reader But many gains 23. "If I had to pick one main advantage of a Wikipedia assignment, it would be the peer editing between Wikipedians that often doesnt take place with traditional assignments. The feedback from other users and students in my class really helped me improve my articles." Student in the Wikimedia Education program Gains, continued 24. Making it happen Wiki Ed Foundation and Wikimedia Education program resources http://education.wikimedia.org Past classes & assignments Wikipedians! (local and remote) Campus ambassador program 25. Wikipedia Education Program 26. On-Wikipedia course pages 27. Learning to edit Online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WP:HELP In-person: May 16 and May 23, 1-3pm, Shields Library 28. Thoughts? 29. What kind of assignment would work in your course? Benefits/challenges? What support would you need? Discussion 30. Phoebe Ayers, psayers@ucdavis.edu Jami Mathewson jami@wikiedfoundation.org US Education Program coordinator at the Wiki Ed Foundation http://education.wikimedia.org http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WP:SUP http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Courses Contacts