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Wyeth Wasserman's contribution to E-Strategy session "Academic Adventures in Wikipedia"

Wyeth Wasserman's contribution to E-Strategy session "Academic Adventures in Wikipedia"



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    WikipediaInEd1 WikipediaInEd1 Presentation Transcript

    • Wiki-based Gene Reports in Medical Genetics 421 Documenting the cancer genes…
    • Medical Genetics 421
      • 35 advanced undergraduate students
        • Most destined for graduate school in life sciences or medical school
          • High demand for long awaited return of course led to student population with history of high performance
            • Essentially an honours class
        • Students were uniformly aware of Wikipedia, but very few (~2) had previously contributed to an entry
    • Course Format
      • Lecture-based
          • Classical – sit, listen and ask questions
          • 50% of lectures by “guest” specialists
      • Marks
          • 50% non-comprehensive exams (2)
          • 25% paper summaries (10)
              • 1 page summaries of primary scientific literature
          • 25% cancer gene report developed in MediaWiki
              • Extra credit for top reports if posted to Wikipedia
              • 6 of 35 reports were posted for credit; +1 voluntary
    • MediaWiki Training
      • Critical to introduce the MediaWiki software to the students
        • Sample for key formats given
          • http://burgundy.cmmt.ubc.ca/medg421/wiki/index.php/User:Jlim
        • Dedicated 45 minute tutorial early in the term
          • Walked the students through creation of a page
          • http://burgundy.cmmt.ubc.ca/medg421/wiki/index.php/Medg421:Protected_page
    • Medg421 Wikipedia Gene Reports
      • Course wiki
          • http://burgundy.cmmt.ubc.ca/medg421/wiki/index.php/Category:Genes
      • Wikipedia Postings (extra credit)
          • Deleted in Colorectal Cancer (DCC)
            • http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Deleted_in_Colorectal_CancerGENE
          • Deleted in Liver Cancer 1 (DLC1)
            • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DLC1
          • Survivin
            • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivin
          • Ecotropic viral integration site 1 (EVI1)
            • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EVI1
          • H19
            • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H19_%28gene%29
          • Secreted frizzled-related protein (SFRP)
            • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secreted_frizzled-related_protein_1
      Image from the Cancer Genome Anatomy Project. http://cgap.nci.nih.gov/Pathways/BioCarta/h_egfPathway
    • Unexpected Connection
      • Creator of the “gene” pages watches all changes on all human gene entries
          • Contacted me and made suggestions for next year
          • Taught me about existing user groups interested in gene pages
          • Pointed me to Jon Beasley-Murray as an active proponent of using Wikipedia in the classroom
          • Suggested that I consider using Citizendium as an alternative to Wikipedia
    • Observations
      • Students expressed surprising enthusiasm for the project
      • Many students put in far greater effort than required for a good mark
      • Provided continuity with the wide range of cancer processes addressed in class
          • The relationship of ‘their gene’ to the theme of the week kept the students engaged
    • Observations (2)
      • Difficult to grade
          • Long entries
          • Content vs utility
      • Exposes lack of understanding
      • Suggest limiting such an assignment to classes of <30 students
    • Next Year
      • Word Limits!
          • The student really got into it, but they did not revise text for clarity
      • Plagiarism tutorial
          • Some students seemed to think that the wiki-format was open license to copy text without attribution
      • More explicit requirements
          • Incorporating more hyperlinks
          • Create a summary figure
      • Gene selection undetermined
          • Make students work on genes not covered previously? Allow them to improve existing entries?