When students are asked to edit Wikipedia articles, they become contributors to a shared knowledge resource to which previously they’d only been consumers. This very public writing assignment can inspire critical and reflective analysis as well engage students in issues of digital citizenship.
- Practice writing neutral, expository text
- Experience writing in a peer-reviewed setting
- Hone information and technology literacy skills
- Practice research skills: Wikipedia articles are evaluated by references to reliable sources.
- Identify content that needs contributors
- Practice and peer review. A private test wiki can help build confidence by providing a peer support group to review contributions before publishing at Wikipedia. If this is not possible, Wikipedia User pages work well as a sandbox.
- Student changes to public pages may be quickly removed or edited by existing page editors
- Students are working in a public forum, not a private site
Working within the Wikipedia environment will be a new experience for most students. They will need time to learn the rules of the road and adapt to Wikipedia’s environment and culture.
The Wikipedia community will pick up the reigns of your students’ contributions once your class has ended. The history of what each student did, however, will not be lost.
- 7 Things You Should Know About Wikipedia | EDUCAUSE.edu.” Accessed June 25, 2014. <http://www.educause.edu/library/resources/7-things-you-should-know-about-wikipedia>.
- “Wikipedia.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia>
- “Wikipedia:Student Assignments.”Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Student_assignments>
- “How to Edit a Wikipedia Article.” YouTube. <http://youtu.be/C7yXx3YbcNI>