Scaffolding Participation

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Joining the collaborative knowledge-building spaces of wikis and Wikipedia

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  • Article tab: what most Wikipedia users read for information
  • Discussion tab: Discussions of Moby-Dick fans/scholars/readers about what’s in the article (and should or should not be and their rationale for why)
  • Take a look at this discussion, for instance, about whether or not Moby-Dick should be hyphenated
  • The “History” tab is another level, where users can see the changes that have been made to the Moby-Dick article.
  • Students were reading through all this information—but reading it consequentially—reading it through a framework of thinking about what they might contribute to the article. So they were checking facts, looking for gaps, and evaluating the validity of their knowledge—would the contributions they were considering be useful? Redundant? Would they be deleted?
  • Becoming a member of the Wikipedia community
  • Using the tools: Mark, a proficient Wikipedia user, taught everyone how to use the Sandbox feature to practice editing.
  • It should be noted that the Moby-Dick Wikipedia community is an active one; the article was a nominee for a Language and Literature good article award. Facts from the article have been featured on Wikipedia’s main page 7 times, over a 4-year span. The editing talk page is 76 kilobytes long. In other words, this is an active, established community who seem to care deeply about the content.
  • Scaffolding Participation

    1. 1. Joining the Collaborative knowledge-building space of wikis<br />Scaffolding participation in increasingly public spheres<br />
    2. 2. Scaffolding participation across activities<br />Position Paper:<br />Wikipedia in the classroom<br />
    3. 3. Reading the Moby-Dick article<br />
    4. 4. Learning the norms<br />
    5. 5. Following the talk<br />
    6. 6. Tracking the history<br />
    7. 7. Analyzing information<br />Checking facts<br />Judging credibility <br />Reading & comparing information from other sources<br />Looking for gaps<br />Probing the information for what it doesn’t say<br />Conducting research (e.g., between what years did Melville write the book?)<br />Evaluating validity of their knowledge (e.g., Wrath of Khan as an appropriation)<br />Considering the value of potential contributions to the Moby-Dick community<br />
    8. 8. Joining the community<br />
    9. 9. Using the tools<br />
    10. 10. Adding information<br />Noted that Moby-Dick was selected as the state book for MA<br />Added Wrath of Khan as an example of appropriating themes of Moby-Dick<br /> Added Moby Dick: Then and Now as an example of a contemporary remix <br />

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