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Case Studies:
  How professors
  are teaching
  with Wikipedia

Wikimedia Foundation
Since Wikipedia began in 2001,
    professors around the world have
    integrated the free encyclopedia that
    anyone can edit into their curriculum.
    In 2010, the Wikimedia Foundation
    started the Wikipedia Education
    Program to provide more support for
    professors who are interested in using
    Wikipedia as a teaching tool.

    In this brochure, professors around
    the world will explain Wikipedia
    assignments they’ve used to meet
    learning objectives for their courses.
    They will also explain how they graded
    these assignments. These case studies
    can help you form a plan for how you
    can use Wikipedia as a teaching tool in
    your class.

    This brochure is just the beginning,
    however. For each case study, you can
    go online to get the assignment details.
    And if you’ve created an assignment
    that you’d like to share with other
    professors, just go online and add
    yourself!

    http://education.wikimedia.org/casestudies




2   Case Studies: Assignments
Writing Skills Development
                                                          Students learn how to write for a diverse and interested
                                                          readership that represents a significant percentage of
                                                          the worldwide online population. During the process of



Learning
                                                          contributing information to the encyclopedia, students must
                                                          learn to write with others and to accept revisions of their work.
                                                          Furthermore, with Wikipedia’s emphasis on verifiability and
                                                          “no original research,” students gain a greater understanding of



Objectives
                                                          the difference between fact-based and persuasive writing style.


                                                          9
                                                          Media and Information Literacy
                                                          Wikipedia’s transparent and collaborative content development
                                                          process allows students to gain a deeper understanding of how
                                                          information is both produced and consumed. This provides an
                                                          excellent opportunity for students to reflect on available sources
                                                          and their appropriate usage.


                                                          ¿
                                                          Critical Thinking and Research Skills
                                                          Students learn to critically analyze Wikipedia articles to
                                                          determine how well the article covers the topic, to assess
(CC-O) by Derrick Coetzee                                 what information is missing, and to evaluate to what extent
                                                          the article is documented with reliable sources. In the larger
                                                          context, the evaluation of Wikipedia articles helps your students
                                                          learn how to evaluate different sources, not only Wikipedia.
                                                          The process of assessing an existing article and deciding what
                                                          information is missing is very similar to the literature review
                                                          process that is crucial in scholarly research.


                                                          ï
                                                          Collaboration
                                                          Students learn first-hand how to collaborate with a community
                                                          of active volunteer editors (including their fellow students) in
                                                          the development of encyclopedic content. They often receive
                                                          feedback on their work and learn to negotiate with other editors
                                                          in building consensus on content.


                                                          $
                                                          Working on Wiki: Technical and
                                                          Communication Skills
                                                          Wiki software use is growing in both educational and corporate
                                                          settings. Wikipedia assignments teach students how to use
                            (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Sage Ross   the popular MediaWiki software. Students communicate on
                                                          article and user talk pages, developing skills and techniques
                                                          appropriate for getting their message across to their intended
                                                          audience.

                                                                                                                               3
Case Studies:
    Assignments

                                                      (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Sage Ross




    (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Annie Lin
                                                                                    Wikipedia Ambassadors are available in
                                                                                    many countries to assist you and your
                                                                                    students in learning the basics of editing
                                                                                    Wikipedia. Ambassadors will help you work
                                                                                    out the details of your Wikipedia assignment
                                                                                    and provide support for students as they
                                                                                    contribute to Wikipedia for the first time.




                                  (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Annie Lin




4   Case Studies: Assignments
Copyediting
Adrianne Wadewitz                                            Assignment
Visiting Assistant Professor
Indiana University-Purdue University                        I asked students to copyedit Wikipedia
Indianapolis                                                articles, engaging editors in conversation
USA
                                                            about their writing and improving the
                                                            clarity of the language of the material.
Course name                                                 In doing so, they had to consider the global audience
Argumentative Writing                                       of Wikipedia and the challenge of communicating with
                                                            anonymous Wikipedia editors. Hopefully, by the end students
                                                            realized that copyediting is a painstaking, necessary, and
Course level (undergraduate/graduate)
                                                            sometimes politically fraught process.
Advanced undergraduates

                                                            In Argumentative Writing, students learned to write in different
Learning objectives                                         voices for different audiences. In learning about the specific
Writing Skills Development                              voice on Wikipedia, they learned about the “authoritative”
Media and Information Literacy                           voice and how its tone can convince, even if the content is
Critical Thinking and Research Skills                    questionable. The ways in which tone and content reinforce
Collaboration                                              and/or undermine each other is a crucial media fluency for
Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills      students to learn.

Discipline of course
Many

Class size
20

Individual or group assignment
Individual

Duration of assignment
1 week

http://education.wikimedia.org/copyediting



                                                            (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Joseph C. Jones




                                                                                                    Case Studies: Assignments   5
Definitions
    James M. Lipuma                                          Assignment
    Teacher Education Programs Director
    Davida Scharf                                           We asked students to identify articles
    Director of Reference & Instruction                     needing revision and improve them by
    New Jersey Institute of Technology                      editing definitions, adding content, and
    USA                                                     adding reliable and appropriate sources as
    Course name
                                                            references.
    Technical Communication
                                                            Students prepared a written response to a request for a proposal
                                                            in which they made a case for why the changes were needed,
    Course level
                                                            why they were qualified to make them, and why their sources
    Advanced undergraduates
                                                            would provide adequate support. After revising the article, the
                                                            students reflected on their work by persuading Dr. Lipuma in a
    Learning objectives
                                                            formal letter that they actually accomplished the work they had
    Writing Skills Development    
                                                            proposed.
    Media and Information Literacy   
    Critical Thinking and Research Skills   
    Collaboration 
    Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills 

    Discipline of course
    English in a Humanities Department

    Class size
    100–150

    Individual or group assignment
    Individual

    Duration of assignment
    8 weeks

    http://education.wikimedia.org/definitions
                                                            (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Jay Walsh




6   Case Studies: Assignments
Write an article
Juliana Bastos Marques                                         Assignment
Professor
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro State                    For the first four weeks, I asked my
(UNIRIO)                                                      students to write a 3-page report where
Brazil                                                        they analyze the current state of the
                                                              articles chosen for future revision, with
                                                              critical reading of both content and form.
Course name
Special Topics in Ancient History — Roman History             I gave them seven weeks after this to edit their chosen articles
in Wikipedia                                                  in sandboxes with feedback from me and the Ambassadors.
                                                              Finally, I asked them to complete a 3-page individual
Course level                                                  assessment and feedback for the course.
Advanced undergraduates
                                                              By far, learning how to interpret texts and write clearly and
Learning objectives                                           concisely in their own words, with references, was the most
Writing Skills Development                                positive aspect of the activity. This is difficult, necessary, and
Media and Information Literacy                            comes with practice. Students were very apathetic at first,
Critical Thinking and Research Skills                     perhaps showing resistance to a very new activity proposed by
Collaboration                                                the professor. Only close to the deadline did they understand
Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills       the implications of what they were doing. The assignments
                                                              were thus a paradigm shift for the students as well.
Discipline of course
History

Class size
20

Individual or group assignment
Individual

Duration of assignment
13 weeks

http://education.wikimedia.org/writearticle




                                                              (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Matthew Roth




                                                                                                        Case Studies: Assignments   7
Write a Featured Article
    Jon Beasley-Murray                                             Assignment
    Associate Professor of Latin American
    Studies                                                       In each of these courses, students were
    University of British Columbia                                asked to work in groups to create or to
    Canada                                                        improve Wikipedia articles related to the
                                                                  course topic.
    Course names
                                                                  These articles were usually devoted to the books and/or authors
    Murder, Madness, and Mayhem — Latin American Literature in
                                   ­
                                                                  that we were studying in what was in each case essentially a
     Translation
                                                                  literature class. In many cases, but not all, the articles already
    North of the Río Grande — Latin American Civilization and
                                                                  existed in some form or another, of variable quality. Students
     Culture
                                                                  were particularly encouraged to submit their articles to
    Magical Realism Reconsidered — Survey of Spanish-American
                                                                  Wikipedia peer review and quality processes, such as “Did You
     Literature since the 1820s
                                                                  Know,” “Good Article,” and “Featured Article” nominations.

    Course level
                                                                  It exceeded expectations in just about every area. I was perhaps
    Advanced undergraduates
                                                                  most surprised by how much this also became an assignment
                                                                  about writing (and revising).
    Learning objectives
    Writing Skills Development    
    Media and Information Literacy    
    Critical Thinking and Research Skills    
    Collaboration    
    Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills    

    Discipline of course
    Spanish/Latin American Studies

    Class size
    15–30

    Individual or group assignment
    Group

    Duration of assignment
    12 weeks
                                                                  (CC-BY 3.0) by Ofelia Ros

    http://education.wikimedia.org/featuredarticle




8   Case Studies: Assignments
Translation
Leigh Thelmadatter                                             Assignment
Professor of English/Language Laboratory
Coordinator                                                   I asked my students to integrate into
Instituto Tecnológico y Estudios                              the Spanish Wikipedia community by
Superiores de Monterrey                                       translating articles from the English
México                                                        Wikipedia to the Spanish Wikipedia.
Course name
                                                              This assignment provided students an authentic immersion
Sello A
                                                              situation in which to use their English for communication and
                                                              projects. The best part of the project was seeing Wikipedia as
Course level
                                                              motivational, with real communication and with assignments
First year undergraduates
                                                              that have consequences outside the classroom. While it was
                                                              frustrating for them, students did experience a certain amount
Learning objectives
                                                              of culture shock as they interacted with Wikipedians from other
Writing Skills Development 
                                                              countries.
Media and Information Literacy 
Critical Thinking and Research Skills   
Collaboration    
Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills    

Discipline of course
Languages

Class size
4

Individual or group assignment
Both

Duration of assignment
16 weeks

http://education.wikimedia.org/translationspanish
                                                              (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Alejandro Linares Garcia




                                                                                                           Case Studies: Assignments   9
Translation
     Dalia Mohamed El Toukhy                                        Assignment
     Assistant Professor of the Faculty of
     Al Alsun                                                      This project allowed students to master
     Ain Shams University                                          terminology in order to produce qualified
     Egypt                                                         translators who fulfill the needs of the job
                                                                   market.
     Course name                                                   Students deepened their skills around translation of political,
     Specialist translations from French to Arabic                 legal, and economic texts. My students were very motivated
                                                                   when it came to translating texts on Wikipedia.
     Course level
     Undergraduate                                                 The students learned to master specialist translations and know
                                                                   the theoretical and practical aspects of it. They understood the
     Learning objectives                                           necessity of developing their skills and engaging in the ongoing
     Writing Skills Development                                   practice of working in groups and working with technological
     Media and Information Literacy                               tools like the internet in order to gather information.
     Critical Thinking and Research Skills    
     Collaboration    
     Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills    

     Discipline of course
     Translation

     Class size
     6

     Individual or group assignment
     Group

     Duration of assignment
     10 weeks

     http://education.wikimedia.org/translationarabic

                                                                   (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Faris El-Gwely




10   Case Studies: Assignments
Photos
Jirí Reif
  ˇ                                                            Assignment
Assistant Professor
Charles University in Prague                                  Students chose a protected area in
Czech Republic                                                the Czech Republic and improved the
                                                              Wikipedia article on that area,
                                                              including taking photographs of the area.
Course name                                                   A personal visit to the area, its photographic documentation,
Nature Conservation                                           citing from existing literature, and a talk in front of the class
                                                              were all required to successfully complete the assignment.
Course level
Advanced undergraduates                                       Generally, I have a very positive feeling about the assignment.
                                                              Students were really pushed into the game in most cases
Learning objectives                                           and worked more enthusiastically than during other kinds of
Writing Skills Development                                 courses. I am very glad that they realize the value of publishing
Media and Information Literacy                            their written work on Wikipedia — their schoolwork did not
Critical Thinking and Research Skills                     end up in the teacher’s drawer. Last but not least, the complete
Collaboration                                                availability of the article on the Internet and its critical
Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills       assessment by independent Wikipedians made the students
                                                              learn to work with sources — a skill that will be useful for them
Discipline of course                                          during further studies.
Environmental Studies

Class size
30

Individual or group assignment
Individual

Duration of assignment
8 weeks

http://education.wikimedia.org/photos                         (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Adam von Weisberg




                                                              (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by CalaLoh

                                                                                                        Case Studies: Assignments   11
Illustrations
     Bruce Sharky                                                   Assignment
     Professor
     Louisiana State University                                    I asked my students to go on Wikipedia
     USA                                                           and find an article that could use an
                                                                   illustration that would explain graphically
                                                                   what was written in words.
     Course name                                                   The topics had to do with natural processes in coastal
     Regional Planning and Design                                  Louisiana, such as wetland loss, hurricanes, etc. The larger
                                                                   assignment included a paper and an in-class presentation.
     Course level
     Master’s students                                             Students were very excited about the assignment because they
                                                                   were able to be published, they were treated as grown-ups, they
     Learning objectives                                           were making a contribution to Wikipedia, and people all over
     Writing Skills Development                                   the world were critiquing their work. I found that the quality of
     Media and Information Literacy                            their other work was some of the best I’ve seen of my students,
     Critical Thinking and Research Skills                     and I think it was because of the Wikipedia assignment. It made
     Collaboration                                              students think critically about the kind of graphic illustrations
     Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills       they do with all of their assignments. As landscape architects,
                                                                   we have to communicate to the public, and this assignment
     Discipline of course                                          helped them gain those skills.
     Landscape Architecture

     Class size
     11

     Individual or group assignment
     Individual

     Duration of assignment
     12 weeks (part of a larger off-wiki assignment)               (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Yue Guan


     http://education.wikimedia.org/illustrations




                                                                   (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Dboutte

12   Case Studies: Assignments
Videos
Jennifer Geigel Mikulay                                         Assignment
Assistant Professor of Professional
Communication                                                  Students created an original informational
Alverno College, Milwaukee                                     video to illustrate a Wikipedia article
USA                                                            dealing with a subject related to
                                                               architecture, dance, heritage, landscape,
                                                               machines, music, parks, or sports.
Course name
Advanced Media Studies                                         The project was designed to facilitate the expansion and
                                                               integration of media knowledge. Students experimented,
Course level                                                   problem solved, engaged aesthetic abilities, and applied insights
Advanced undergraduates, many of whom are returning students   from course readings and independent research. All images and
                                                               music had to be original, out of copyright, or available with a
Learning objectives                                            Creative Commons Share-Alike license.
Writing Skills Development 
Media and Information Literacy                             The assignment was designed to increase media literacy,
Critical Thinking and Research Skills                        provide experience with digital video, and encourage web
Collaboration                                               content development. Students learned about Wikipedia as a
Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills        digital project and as a collaborative community with a specific
                                                               culture. They learned about the uneven gender dynamic in
Discipline of course                                           Wikipedia and tech fields generally. They also learned the value
Communication                                                  of sharing their work in a highly accessible venue. The feedback
                                                               student got meant a lot to them. When Wikipedians left notes
Class size                                                     on their talk pages or otherwise commented on the videos, the
20                                                             students really learned from the engagement.

Individual or group assignment
Individual

Duration of assignment
4 weeks

http://education.wikimedia.org/videos




                                                               (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Katy Lederer


                                                                                                       Case Studies: Assignments   13
Case Studies:
     Grading

     Grading Wikipedia assignments is challenging
     because students are often working
     collaboratively, and it’s hard to tell just what
     each student has contributed to the article.
     Professors use a variety of approaches to assess
     the work their students have done on Wikipedia.




     (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Faris El-Gwely                                   (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Annie Lin




                                          (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Annie Lin




14   Case Studies: Assignments
Content added
to Wikipedia
Anne J. McNeil                                                 Grading
Seyhan N. Ege Assistant Professor of
             ˘
Chemistry                                                     The students worked in small groups to
University of Michigan                                        edit a Wikipedia article that is related
USA                                                           to the course material and not already
                                                              adequately described in Wikipedia.
Course names                                                  I gave the students a set of minimum expectations: at least
Organic Chemistry of Macromolecules                           3 sections, 3 figures, and 8 references must be added to the
Physical Organic Chemistry                                    article. Then, during the two-stage peer review process, I
                                                              gave the students a list of questions meant to provide more
Course level                                                  specific guidelines about what is expected. For example, “is
Ph.D. courses, though advanced undergraduates also took the   the article suitable for first-time/general users as well as those
course and participated in the projects                       looking to understand the topic in more detail?” I also used
                                                              these questions when determining their final grade. I had the
Learning objectives                                           students present their individual contribution to the article,
Writing Skills Development                                which allowed me to give students different grades within each
Media and Information Literacy                               group based on their individual efforts.
Critical Thinking and Research Skills    
Collaboration                                             Breaking down the grading into sections (content, figures,
Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills        references, presentation, peer reviews, etc) gave me a simple yet
                                                              fair structure with which to evaluate the article. Each student
Discipline of course                                          received a unique grade, which is variable based on his or her
Chemistry                                                     individual contribution to the article and their peer reviews.
                                                              This alleviates any concern by the students when someone does
Class size                                                    not pull their weight.
10–36

Individual or group assignment
Groups of 2–3

http://education.wikimedia.org/content




                                                              (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Matthew B. Soellner



                                                                                                            Case Studies: Grading   15
Milestones
     Robert Cummings                                              Grading
     Director, Center for Writing and Rhetoric
     Associate Professor of English                              The purpose of the assignment was to
     University of Mississippi                                   further student progress toward the
     USA                                                         composition course outcomes of learning
                                                                 a writing process, building skills in
                                                                 intellectual exploration and argumentation,
     Course name
     Writing 101
                                                                 understanding rhetorical purposes and
                                                                 diverse audiences, engaging in effective
     Course level                                                research practices, and producing
     First-year undergraduates                                   prose with acceptable conventions and
     Learning objectives
                                                                 mechanics.
     Writing Skills Development    
     Media and Information Literacy                          Student work was evaluated both in terms of participation in
     Critical Thinking and Research Skills                   each stage of the assignment process, and also in terms of a
     Collaboration                                            reflective essay. At each of the seven assignment stages students
     Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills      were asked to conduct some type of research and then to
                                                                 prepare a brief report for that day’s assignment. And within
     Discipline of course                                        the reflective essay students were asked to evaluate the project
     Composition                                                 in terms of its usefulness of helping them reach the course
                                                                 outcomes. This strategy of creating small, incremental writing
     Class size                                                  to learn assignments each day provided manageable tasks on a
     23                                                          daily basis which did not detract from the research process.

     Individual or group assignment
     Both

     http://education.wikimedia.org/milestones




                                                                 (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Kevin Bain




16   Case Studies: Grading
Reflective papers
Michael Mandiberg                                            Grading
Associate Professor
College of Staten Island/CUNY                               I asked my students to write a short (2–5
USA                                                         page) reflective essay on their experiences
                                                            using Wikipedia. The reflective paper was
                                                            graded based on the thoroughness and
                                                            depth with which they reflected on their
Course name
History of Design and Digital Media
                                                            experience, but the paper was also used
                                                            as a lens to evaluate their final project.
Course level
2nd and 3rd year undergraduates                             Their final project was to add 1,200 to 2,000 words to a stub
                                                            article related to the course. The were expected to create
Learning objectives                                         an info box, add images, and add at least 20 relevant and
Writing Skills Development                              authoritative citations. While I was able to use the article
Media and Information Literacy                          history to evaluate the objective quality of each student’s
Critical Thinking and Research Skills                   contributions, it was very useful to see the shifts in subjective
Collaboration                                              self-awareness and perception that is a large part of why I had
Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills      my students write on Wikipedia. I was able to confirm from
                                                            the student’s own voice the transformations I had witnessed (or
Discipline of course                                        believed I had witnessed) via the text they added: it empowered
Media Studies/Art History                                   them, it transformed their research skills, it was rewarding
                                                            for them to do something that was for the greater good, and
Class size                                                  most importantly, it made their writing better and kept them
22                                                          academically honest.

Individual or group assignment
Individual

http://education.wikimedia.org/reflectivepapers




                                                            (CC-BY-SA 2.0) by Anna M Campbell Photography




                                                                                                            Case Studies: Grading   17
Five criteria
     Rochelle Davis                                               Grading
     Assistant Professor of Anthropology
     Georgetown University                                       Students chose a topic for the semester,
     USA                                                         researched it, contributed an entry to
                                                                 Wikipedia, and then wrote a research
                                                                 paper on the same subject.
     Course name
                                                                 They also wrote five blog entries about their experiences over
     Introduction to the Study of the Arab World
                                                                 the course of the term.
     Theorizing Culture and Politics

                                                                 I graded the assignment based on five criteria:
     Course level
                                                                 1. Vision for the entry content: Did you divide up the material
     M.A. and 2nd/3rd year undergraduates
                                                                    in a way that reflects both the literature and neutral point of
                                                                    view? Did you make the appropriate headings?
     Learning objectives
                                                                 2. Your research in thinking-beyond-Google to find relevant
     Writing Skills Development    
                                                                    and diverse sources.
     Media and Information Literacy  
                                                                 3. Your organization of the entry and the content: Did you
     Critical Thinking and Research Skills    
                                                                    organize the material or are there things in one section that
     Collaboration 
                                                                    belong elsewhere? Did you provide relevant material? Are
     Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills   
                                                                    there things missing?
                                                                 4. Your writing of a well-supported, well-researched entry:
     Discipline of course
                                                                    Neutral point of view? Sources/footnotes? Grammatically
     Multidisciplinary
                                                                    correct? Paragraphs well-constructed?
                                                                 5. How you address the comments you were given by me and
     Class size
                                                                    others.
     20

     Individual or group assignment
     Individual

     http://education.wikimedia.org/fivecriteria




                                                                 (CC-0) by Justin Secor




18   Case Studies: Grading
Peer reviews
Shamira Gelbman                                              Grading
Assistant Professor
Illinois State University                                   As part of a larger project that involved
USA                                                         both Wikipedia and other components,
                                                            students were required to evaluate and
                                                            improve existing Wikipedia articles about
Course name                                                 state-level political party organizations in
U.S. Political Parties                                      the United States.
Course level                                                The students’ improvements to their assigned state-party
Advanced undergraduates                                     articles were evaluated twice: a month into their work, and
                                                            again at the end of the semester. The one-month evaluation
Learning objectives                                         involved three kinds of evaluation: Each student self-evaluated
Writing Skills Development                              his or her own progress; each student was assigned to peer-
Media and Information Literacy                          review one other classmate’s work; and I provided an evaluation
Critical Thinking and Research Skills                   and suggestions for further improvement for each student
Collaboration                                            based on his or her self-evaluations, peer-review report, and his
Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills      or her article itself. The peer review component of this one-
                                                            month evaluation was guided; that is, students received forms
Discipline of course                                        with pointed, open-ended questions to help structure their
Political Science                                           assessment of classmates’ work.

Class size                                                  I’ve found that self-evaluation and peer-review make
70                                                          assessment more meaningful; they become active participants
                                                            in the process rather than passive recipients of a grade. Peer
Individual or group assignment                              review has the added benefit of facilitating students learning
Individual                                                  from each other — both in terms of the content and the quality
                                                            of their work.
http://education.wikimedia.org/peerreviews




                                                            (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Cheryl Ball
                                                                                                         Case Studies: Grading   19
Using Wikipedia as a teaching tool in your           All images from the Wikimedia
                                                     Commons are under a CC-BY-SA
university class increases student motivation.       or public domain license unless
                                                     otherwise stated. The content
Independent research from the pilot of the           contained within is available
                                                     under the Creative Commons
Wikipedia Education Program showed 72%               Attribution-ShareAlike License
                                                     v.3.0 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
of students preferred a Wikipedia assignment         Wikipedia:CC-BY-SA) or any later

to a traditional one. Students found that they       version.


were excited to do a useful assignment, rather
than a throwaway assignment that nobody but          The trademarks and logos of the
their professor would ever read. Wikipedia           Wikimedia Foundation and any
                                                     other organization are not included
assignments provide an authentic learning            under the terms of this Creative
                                                     Commons license. Wikimedia
experience for students. They are able to share      Foundation, Wikipedia, Commons,
                                                     MediaWiki, Wiktionary, Wikibooks,
their work easily with their parents and friends.    Wikisource, Wikinews, Wikiquote,
                                                     Wikiversity, Wikispecies, and
And many find working on Wikipedia is fun!           Meta-Wiki are pending trademark
                                                     registration or are registered
                                                     trademarks of Wikimedia
Ready to join the Wikipedia Education Program?       Foundation.

Education programs already exist in many             For more information, please see
                                                     our Trademark Policy page,
countries, and Wikimedia volunteers are              http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/
                                                     Trademark_Policy.
creating new programs every term. In countries
                                                     For other questions about our
where the Wikipedia Education Program is in          licensing terms or trademark policy,

operation, volunteer Wikipedia Ambassadors           please email legal@wikimedia.org


are available to offer you and your students
assistance in learning the best ways to contribute
to Wikipedia for class.

Join us! For more details, visit
http://education.wikimedia.org




                                                              10% post-consumer recycled fiber,
                                                              elemental chlorine-free process,
                                                              produced using renewable power

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Wikipedia education program_case_studies

  • 1. Case Studies: How professors are teaching with Wikipedia Wikimedia Foundation
  • 2. Since Wikipedia began in 2001, professors around the world have integrated the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit into their curriculum. In 2010, the Wikimedia Foundation started the Wikipedia Education Program to provide more support for professors who are interested in using Wikipedia as a teaching tool. In this brochure, professors around the world will explain Wikipedia assignments they’ve used to meet learning objectives for their courses. They will also explain how they graded these assignments. These case studies can help you form a plan for how you can use Wikipedia as a teaching tool in your class. This brochure is just the beginning, however. For each case study, you can go online to get the assignment details. And if you’ve created an assignment that you’d like to share with other professors, just go online and add yourself! http://education.wikimedia.org/casestudies 2 Case Studies: Assignments
  • 3. Writing Skills Development Students learn how to write for a diverse and interested readership that represents a significant percentage of the worldwide online population. During the process of Learning contributing information to the encyclopedia, students must learn to write with others and to accept revisions of their work. Furthermore, with Wikipedia’s emphasis on verifiability and “no original research,” students gain a greater understanding of Objectives the difference between fact-based and persuasive writing style. 9 Media and Information Literacy Wikipedia’s transparent and collaborative content development process allows students to gain a deeper understanding of how information is both produced and consumed. This provides an excellent opportunity for students to reflect on available sources and their appropriate usage. ¿ Critical Thinking and Research Skills Students learn to critically analyze Wikipedia articles to determine how well the article covers the topic, to assess (CC-O) by Derrick Coetzee what information is missing, and to evaluate to what extent the article is documented with reliable sources. In the larger context, the evaluation of Wikipedia articles helps your students learn how to evaluate different sources, not only Wikipedia. The process of assessing an existing article and deciding what information is missing is very similar to the literature review process that is crucial in scholarly research. ï Collaboration Students learn first-hand how to collaborate with a community of active volunteer editors (including their fellow students) in the development of encyclopedic content. They often receive feedback on their work and learn to negotiate with other editors in building consensus on content. $ Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills Wiki software use is growing in both educational and corporate settings. Wikipedia assignments teach students how to use (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Sage Ross the popular MediaWiki software. Students communicate on article and user talk pages, developing skills and techniques appropriate for getting their message across to their intended audience. 3
  • 4. Case Studies: Assignments (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Sage Ross (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Annie Lin Wikipedia Ambassadors are available in many countries to assist you and your students in learning the basics of editing Wikipedia. Ambassadors will help you work out the details of your Wikipedia assignment and provide support for students as they contribute to Wikipedia for the first time. (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Annie Lin 4 Case Studies: Assignments
  • 5. Copyediting Adrianne Wadewitz Assignment Visiting Assistant Professor Indiana University-Purdue University I asked students to copyedit Wikipedia Indianapolis articles, engaging editors in conversation USA about their writing and improving the clarity of the language of the material. Course name In doing so, they had to consider the global audience Argumentative Writing of Wikipedia and the challenge of communicating with anonymous Wikipedia editors. Hopefully, by the end students realized that copyediting is a painstaking, necessary, and Course level (undergraduate/graduate) sometimes politically fraught process. Advanced undergraduates In Argumentative Writing, students learned to write in different Learning objectives voices for different audiences. In learning about the specific Writing Skills Development     voice on Wikipedia, they learned about the “authoritative” Media and Information Literacy    voice and how its tone can convince, even if the content is Critical Thinking and Research Skills    questionable. The ways in which tone and content reinforce Collaboration  and/or undermine each other is a crucial media fluency for Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills    students to learn. Discipline of course Many Class size 20 Individual or group assignment Individual Duration of assignment 1 week http://education.wikimedia.org/copyediting (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Joseph C. Jones Case Studies: Assignments 5
  • 6. Definitions James M. Lipuma Assignment Teacher Education Programs Director Davida Scharf We asked students to identify articles Director of Reference & Instruction needing revision and improve them by New Jersey Institute of Technology editing definitions, adding content, and USA adding reliable and appropriate sources as Course name references. Technical Communication Students prepared a written response to a request for a proposal in which they made a case for why the changes were needed, Course level why they were qualified to make them, and why their sources Advanced undergraduates would provide adequate support. After revising the article, the students reflected on their work by persuading Dr. Lipuma in a Learning objectives formal letter that they actually accomplished the work they had Writing Skills Development     proposed. Media and Information Literacy    Critical Thinking and Research Skills    Collaboration  Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills  Discipline of course English in a Humanities Department Class size 100–150 Individual or group assignment Individual Duration of assignment 8 weeks http://education.wikimedia.org/definitions (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Jay Walsh 6 Case Studies: Assignments
  • 7. Write an article Juliana Bastos Marques Assignment Professor Federal University of Rio de Janeiro State For the first four weeks, I asked my (UNIRIO) students to write a 3-page report where Brazil they analyze the current state of the articles chosen for future revision, with critical reading of both content and form. Course name Special Topics in Ancient History — Roman History I gave them seven weeks after this to edit their chosen articles in Wikipedia in sandboxes with feedback from me and the Ambassadors. Finally, I asked them to complete a 3-page individual Course level assessment and feedback for the course. Advanced undergraduates By far, learning how to interpret texts and write clearly and Learning objectives concisely in their own words, with references, was the most Writing Skills Development     positive aspect of the activity. This is difficult, necessary, and Media and Information Literacy     comes with practice. Students were very apathetic at first, Critical Thinking and Research Skills     perhaps showing resistance to a very new activity proposed by Collaboration  the professor. Only close to the deadline did they understand Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills     the implications of what they were doing. The assignments were thus a paradigm shift for the students as well. Discipline of course History Class size 20 Individual or group assignment Individual Duration of assignment 13 weeks http://education.wikimedia.org/writearticle (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Matthew Roth Case Studies: Assignments 7
  • 8. Write a Featured Article Jon Beasley-Murray Assignment Associate Professor of Latin American Studies In each of these courses, students were University of British Columbia asked to work in groups to create or to Canada improve Wikipedia articles related to the course topic. Course names These articles were usually devoted to the books and/or authors Murder, Madness, and Mayhem — Latin American Literature in ­ that we were studying in what was in each case essentially a Translation literature class. In many cases, but not all, the articles already North of the Río Grande — Latin American Civilization and existed in some form or another, of variable quality. Students Culture were particularly encouraged to submit their articles to Magical Realism Reconsidered — Survey of Spanish-American Wikipedia peer review and quality processes, such as “Did You Literature since the 1820s Know,” “Good Article,” and “Featured Article” nominations. Course level It exceeded expectations in just about every area. I was perhaps Advanced undergraduates most surprised by how much this also became an assignment about writing (and revising). Learning objectives Writing Skills Development     Media and Information Literacy     Critical Thinking and Research Skills     Collaboration     Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills     Discipline of course Spanish/Latin American Studies Class size 15–30 Individual or group assignment Group Duration of assignment 12 weeks (CC-BY 3.0) by Ofelia Ros http://education.wikimedia.org/featuredarticle 8 Case Studies: Assignments
  • 9. Translation Leigh Thelmadatter Assignment Professor of English/Language Laboratory Coordinator I asked my students to integrate into Instituto Tecnológico y Estudios the Spanish Wikipedia community by Superiores de Monterrey translating articles from the English México Wikipedia to the Spanish Wikipedia. Course name This assignment provided students an authentic immersion Sello A situation in which to use their English for communication and projects. The best part of the project was seeing Wikipedia as Course level motivational, with real communication and with assignments First year undergraduates that have consequences outside the classroom. While it was frustrating for them, students did experience a certain amount Learning objectives of culture shock as they interacted with Wikipedians from other Writing Skills Development  countries. Media and Information Literacy  Critical Thinking and Research Skills    Collaboration     Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills     Discipline of course Languages Class size 4 Individual or group assignment Both Duration of assignment 16 weeks http://education.wikimedia.org/translationspanish (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Alejandro Linares Garcia Case Studies: Assignments 9
  • 10. Translation Dalia Mohamed El Toukhy Assignment Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Al Alsun This project allowed students to master Ain Shams University terminology in order to produce qualified Egypt translators who fulfill the needs of the job market. Course name Students deepened their skills around translation of political, Specialist translations from French to Arabic legal, and economic texts. My students were very motivated when it came to translating texts on Wikipedia. Course level Undergraduate The students learned to master specialist translations and know the theoretical and practical aspects of it. They understood the Learning objectives necessity of developing their skills and engaging in the ongoing Writing Skills Development  practice of working in groups and working with technological Media and Information Literacy  tools like the internet in order to gather information. Critical Thinking and Research Skills     Collaboration     Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills     Discipline of course Translation Class size 6 Individual or group assignment Group Duration of assignment 10 weeks http://education.wikimedia.org/translationarabic (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Faris El-Gwely 10 Case Studies: Assignments
  • 11. Photos Jirí Reif ˇ Assignment Assistant Professor Charles University in Prague Students chose a protected area in Czech Republic the Czech Republic and improved the Wikipedia article on that area, including taking photographs of the area. Course name A personal visit to the area, its photographic documentation, Nature Conservation citing from existing literature, and a talk in front of the class were all required to successfully complete the assignment. Course level Advanced undergraduates Generally, I have a very positive feeling about the assignment. Students were really pushed into the game in most cases Learning objectives and worked more enthusiastically than during other kinds of Writing Skills Development    courses. I am very glad that they realize the value of publishing Media and Information Literacy     their written work on Wikipedia — their schoolwork did not Critical Thinking and Research Skills     end up in the teacher’s drawer. Last but not least, the complete Collaboration  availability of the article on the Internet and its critical Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills     assessment by independent Wikipedians made the students learn to work with sources — a skill that will be useful for them Discipline of course during further studies. Environmental Studies Class size 30 Individual or group assignment Individual Duration of assignment 8 weeks http://education.wikimedia.org/photos (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Adam von Weisberg (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by CalaLoh Case Studies: Assignments 11
  • 12. Illustrations Bruce Sharky Assignment Professor Louisiana State University I asked my students to go on Wikipedia USA and find an article that could use an illustration that would explain graphically what was written in words. Course name The topics had to do with natural processes in coastal Regional Planning and Design Louisiana, such as wetland loss, hurricanes, etc. The larger assignment included a paper and an in-class presentation. Course level Master’s students Students were very excited about the assignment because they were able to be published, they were treated as grown-ups, they Learning objectives were making a contribution to Wikipedia, and people all over Writing Skills Development  the world were critiquing their work. I found that the quality of Media and Information Literacy     their other work was some of the best I’ve seen of my students, Critical Thinking and Research Skills     and I think it was because of the Wikipedia assignment. It made Collaboration    students think critically about the kind of graphic illustrations Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills     they do with all of their assignments. As landscape architects, we have to communicate to the public, and this assignment Discipline of course helped them gain those skills. Landscape Architecture Class size 11 Individual or group assignment Individual Duration of assignment 12 weeks (part of a larger off-wiki assignment) (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Yue Guan http://education.wikimedia.org/illustrations (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Dboutte 12 Case Studies: Assignments
  • 13. Videos Jennifer Geigel Mikulay Assignment Assistant Professor of Professional Communication Students created an original informational Alverno College, Milwaukee video to illustrate a Wikipedia article USA dealing with a subject related to architecture, dance, heritage, landscape, machines, music, parks, or sports. Course name Advanced Media Studies The project was designed to facilitate the expansion and integration of media knowledge. Students experimented, Course level problem solved, engaged aesthetic abilities, and applied insights Advanced undergraduates, many of whom are returning students from course readings and independent research. All images and music had to be original, out of copyright, or available with a Learning objectives Creative Commons Share-Alike license. Writing Skills Development  Media and Information Literacy     The assignment was designed to increase media literacy, Critical Thinking and Research Skills   provide experience with digital video, and encourage web Collaboration    content development. Students learned about Wikipedia as a Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills     digital project and as a collaborative community with a specific culture. They learned about the uneven gender dynamic in Discipline of course Wikipedia and tech fields generally. They also learned the value Communication of sharing their work in a highly accessible venue. The feedback student got meant a lot to them. When Wikipedians left notes Class size on their talk pages or otherwise commented on the videos, the 20 students really learned from the engagement. Individual or group assignment Individual Duration of assignment 4 weeks http://education.wikimedia.org/videos (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Katy Lederer Case Studies: Assignments 13
  • 14. Case Studies: Grading Grading Wikipedia assignments is challenging because students are often working collaboratively, and it’s hard to tell just what each student has contributed to the article. Professors use a variety of approaches to assess the work their students have done on Wikipedia. (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Faris El-Gwely (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Annie Lin (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Annie Lin 14 Case Studies: Assignments
  • 15. Content added to Wikipedia Anne J. McNeil Grading Seyhan N. Ege Assistant Professor of ˘ Chemistry The students worked in small groups to University of Michigan edit a Wikipedia article that is related USA to the course material and not already adequately described in Wikipedia. Course names I gave the students a set of minimum expectations: at least Organic Chemistry of Macromolecules 3 sections, 3 figures, and 8 references must be added to the Physical Organic Chemistry article. Then, during the two-stage peer review process, I gave the students a list of questions meant to provide more Course level specific guidelines about what is expected. For example, “is Ph.D. courses, though advanced undergraduates also took the the article suitable for first-time/general users as well as those course and participated in the projects looking to understand the topic in more detail?” I also used these questions when determining their final grade. I had the Learning objectives students present their individual contribution to the article, Writing Skills Development     which allowed me to give students different grades within each Media and Information Literacy  group based on their individual efforts. Critical Thinking and Research Skills     Collaboration     Breaking down the grading into sections (content, figures, Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills    references, presentation, peer reviews, etc) gave me a simple yet fair structure with which to evaluate the article. Each student Discipline of course received a unique grade, which is variable based on his or her Chemistry individual contribution to the article and their peer reviews. This alleviates any concern by the students when someone does Class size not pull their weight. 10–36 Individual or group assignment Groups of 2–3 http://education.wikimedia.org/content (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Matthew B. Soellner Case Studies: Grading 15
  • 16. Milestones Robert Cummings Grading Director, Center for Writing and Rhetoric Associate Professor of English The purpose of the assignment was to University of Mississippi further student progress toward the USA composition course outcomes of learning a writing process, building skills in intellectual exploration and argumentation, Course name Writing 101 understanding rhetorical purposes and diverse audiences, engaging in effective Course level research practices, and producing First-year undergraduates prose with acceptable conventions and Learning objectives mechanics. Writing Skills Development     Media and Information Literacy     Student work was evaluated both in terms of participation in Critical Thinking and Research Skills     each stage of the assignment process, and also in terms of a Collaboration    reflective essay. At each of the seven assignment stages students Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills    were asked to conduct some type of research and then to prepare a brief report for that day’s assignment. And within Discipline of course the reflective essay students were asked to evaluate the project Composition in terms of its usefulness of helping them reach the course outcomes. This strategy of creating small, incremental writing Class size to learn assignments each day provided manageable tasks on a 23 daily basis which did not detract from the research process. Individual or group assignment Both http://education.wikimedia.org/milestones (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Kevin Bain 16 Case Studies: Grading
  • 17. Reflective papers Michael Mandiberg Grading Associate Professor College of Staten Island/CUNY I asked my students to write a short (2–5 USA page) reflective essay on their experiences using Wikipedia. The reflective paper was graded based on the thoroughness and depth with which they reflected on their Course name History of Design and Digital Media experience, but the paper was also used as a lens to evaluate their final project. Course level 2nd and 3rd year undergraduates Their final project was to add 1,200 to 2,000 words to a stub article related to the course. The were expected to create Learning objectives an info box, add images, and add at least 20 relevant and Writing Skills Development     authoritative citations. While I was able to use the article Media and Information Literacy     history to evaluate the objective quality of each student’s Critical Thinking and Research Skills     contributions, it was very useful to see the shifts in subjective Collaboration  self-awareness and perception that is a large part of why I had Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills    my students write on Wikipedia. I was able to confirm from the student’s own voice the transformations I had witnessed (or Discipline of course believed I had witnessed) via the text they added: it empowered Media Studies/Art History them, it transformed their research skills, it was rewarding for them to do something that was for the greater good, and Class size most importantly, it made their writing better and kept them 22 academically honest. Individual or group assignment Individual http://education.wikimedia.org/reflectivepapers (CC-BY-SA 2.0) by Anna M Campbell Photography Case Studies: Grading 17
  • 18. Five criteria Rochelle Davis Grading Assistant Professor of Anthropology Georgetown University Students chose a topic for the semester, USA researched it, contributed an entry to Wikipedia, and then wrote a research paper on the same subject. Course name They also wrote five blog entries about their experiences over Introduction to the Study of the Arab World the course of the term. Theorizing Culture and Politics I graded the assignment based on five criteria: Course level 1. Vision for the entry content: Did you divide up the material M.A. and 2nd/3rd year undergraduates in a way that reflects both the literature and neutral point of view? Did you make the appropriate headings? Learning objectives 2. Your research in thinking-beyond-Google to find relevant Writing Skills Development     and diverse sources. Media and Information Literacy   3. Your organization of the entry and the content: Did you Critical Thinking and Research Skills     organize the material or are there things in one section that Collaboration  belong elsewhere? Did you provide relevant material? Are Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills    there things missing? 4. Your writing of a well-supported, well-researched entry: Discipline of course Neutral point of view? Sources/footnotes? Grammatically Multidisciplinary correct? Paragraphs well-constructed? 5. How you address the comments you were given by me and Class size others. 20 Individual or group assignment Individual http://education.wikimedia.org/fivecriteria (CC-0) by Justin Secor 18 Case Studies: Grading
  • 19. Peer reviews Shamira Gelbman Grading Assistant Professor Illinois State University As part of a larger project that involved USA both Wikipedia and other components, students were required to evaluate and improve existing Wikipedia articles about Course name state-level political party organizations in U.S. Political Parties the United States. Course level The students’ improvements to their assigned state-party Advanced undergraduates articles were evaluated twice: a month into their work, and again at the end of the semester. The one-month evaluation Learning objectives involved three kinds of evaluation: Each student self-evaluated Writing Skills Development     his or her own progress; each student was assigned to peer- Media and Information Literacy     review one other classmate’s work; and I provided an evaluation Critical Thinking and Research Skills     and suggestions for further improvement for each student Collaboration    based on his or her self-evaluations, peer-review report, and his Working on Wiki: Technical and Communication Skills    or her article itself. The peer review component of this one- month evaluation was guided; that is, students received forms Discipline of course with pointed, open-ended questions to help structure their Political Science assessment of classmates’ work. Class size I’ve found that self-evaluation and peer-review make 70 assessment more meaningful; they become active participants in the process rather than passive recipients of a grade. Peer Individual or group assignment review has the added benefit of facilitating students learning Individual from each other — both in terms of the content and the quality of their work. http://education.wikimedia.org/peerreviews (CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Cheryl Ball Case Studies: Grading 19
  • 20. Using Wikipedia as a teaching tool in your All images from the Wikimedia Commons are under a CC-BY-SA university class increases student motivation. or public domain license unless otherwise stated. The content Independent research from the pilot of the contained within is available under the Creative Commons Wikipedia Education Program showed 72% Attribution-ShareAlike License v.3.0 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ of students preferred a Wikipedia assignment Wikipedia:CC-BY-SA) or any later to a traditional one. Students found that they version. were excited to do a useful assignment, rather than a throwaway assignment that nobody but The trademarks and logos of the their professor would ever read. Wikipedia Wikimedia Foundation and any other organization are not included assignments provide an authentic learning under the terms of this Creative Commons license. Wikimedia experience for students. They are able to share Foundation, Wikipedia, Commons, MediaWiki, Wiktionary, Wikibooks, their work easily with their parents and friends. Wikisource, Wikinews, Wikiquote, Wikiversity, Wikispecies, and And many find working on Wikipedia is fun! Meta-Wiki are pending trademark registration or are registered trademarks of Wikimedia Ready to join the Wikipedia Education Program? Foundation. Education programs already exist in many For more information, please see our Trademark Policy page, countries, and Wikimedia volunteers are http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/ Trademark_Policy. creating new programs every term. In countries For other questions about our where the Wikipedia Education Program is in licensing terms or trademark policy, operation, volunteer Wikipedia Ambassadors please email legal@wikimedia.org are available to offer you and your students assistance in learning the best ways to contribute to Wikipedia for class. Join us! For more details, visit http://education.wikimedia.org 10% post-consumer recycled fiber, elemental chlorine-free process, produced using renewable power