Open Education at CUNY

Public Group active 16 hours, 26 minutes ago ago

Writing Wikipedia as coursework

This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of mandiberg mandiberg 2 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #14590
    Avatar of mandiberg
    mandiberg
    Member

    Apologies for the cross-posting!

    I gave an interesting assignment last semester that asked students to complete their research paper as an article on Wikipedia. My course was recently profiled on the Wikimedia Foundation blog.

    http://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/01/04/design-professor-gives-students-real-world-experiences-through-wikipedia-assignment/

    Of particular note, the article covers my reflections on the way working on Wikipedia changes students relationship to power, forces/inspires them to do real research, inspires them to work for the greater good, and curtails/moderates plagiarism.

    I will be trying a shorter version of the assignment with the Core 2 seminar in the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program at the Grad Center. More on that as it develops.

    Michael

    #22915
    Avatar of Christopher Stein
    Christopher Stein
    Participant

    This looks like some great work by you and your students. I’m interested to see how it works out in Core 2 as well; keep us posted.
    Chris

    #22916
    Avatar of mandiberg
    mandiberg
    Member

    Thanks Chris.

    In the Core 2 version i’m going to have them work in groups and take the blog posts from the Core 1 readings, and ask them to extract the factual summary from the opinion and provocations, and rework them into WP articles. e.g.:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_People_Learn:_Brain,_Mind,_Experience,_and_School_%28expanded_edition%29
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_of_Networks
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Culture_%28book%29

    I will be encouraging them to do as much of their communication via the WP talk pages, and not email or meatspace.

    A big part of the goal is to push collaboration, which is something I’m going to be pushing throughout the class, to the best of my abilities.

    Michael

    #22917
    Avatar of Christopher Stein
    Christopher Stein
    Participant

    That sounds like a good plan, especially building off of work they did before and pushing collaboration. There are already enough other pressures in academia towards solitary work.

    #22918

    Michael,

    How did you did assessment? I tried a Wikipedia assignment once a few years ago, and part of the problem I ran into was tracking what the students had done, considering I had them editing and expanding pre-existing (and usually anemic) articles on Wikipedia. And I also had to deal with some students edits getting reverted by other editors.

    –Lee

    #22919
    Avatar of Bob Kosovsky
    Bob Kosovsky
    Member

    Wikipedia always retains the history of who did what. By comparing the contents of the “history” tab, you can see each contributor’s contributions.

    #22920
    Avatar of mandiberg
    mandiberg
    Member

    Also useful, user contributions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:User_contributions

    #22921
    Avatar of Matthew K. Gold
    Matthew K. Gold
    Participant

    Michael — just wanted to chime in belatedly to agree with everyone else: congrats on this coverage of your work and thank you for setting out a great example for others to follow. I’m looking forward to using a wikipedia assignment with one of my classes this term, and I’ll be thinking through your use of the site as I do so.

    #22922
    Avatar of mandiberg
    mandiberg
    Member

    If you do a Wikipedia assignment, I encourage you to reach out to one of the education program folks to get a Wikipedia Campus Ambassadors to work with your class. It helps to have someone who can guide you in constructing your assignment, lead workshops for your students in WP basics, and be available to intervene if an edit war starts (which seems to happen frequently).

    The Regional Ambassador is Richard Knipel, AKA Pharos:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Pharos
    his email is pharosofalexandria at gmail

    m

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