Start Planning for the Next Term Tools for Using Wikipedia in the Classroom
Tools for Using Wikipedia Writing Assignments Next Term
In Fall 2011, hundreds of psychology students joined the APS Wikipedia Initiative (APSWI) through class projects that used Wikipedia articles for course writing assignments.
This experience has been encouraging for students, faculty, and the Wikipedia community. As one educator put it:
"Students found it enjoyable as they proceeded with the project. They felt their work was meaningful because their contributions are shared with the entire world. Some students even noted with pride that their contributions might have a wider audience than some articles published in academic journals."
To support teachers and students, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, in collaboration with APS, have developed tools and resources to make it easy to use the Wikipedia writing assignments in the classroom. Faculty found them very helpful in tracking students' activities and coordinating group work and peer-review tasks. Students found the tools helpful in allowing them to see what others in class are contributing; in identifying classmates who can help them with editing difficulties; and in completing peer reviews. All of this resulted in a strong sense of community within the classroom.
Start planning now to include Wikipedia writing assignments in the next term. Explore the APSWI portal to get familiar with the features, tools, and resources available. If you have questions, you can connect with other faculty who use Wikipedia through the portal or contact Rosta Farzan, one of the researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.
Tools for Using Wikipedia in the Classroom
- Find relevant articles: You can easily find relevant Wikipedia articles that require work. You can browse articles by area of interest such as "social psychology" or search by keyword and get a list of relevant articles along with information about the quality, and importance. While browsing the articles, you can assign a particular article for your students in any of your classes to work on. [Sample Page]
- Help pages: Simple tutorials are available to help you and your students become more familiar with the Wikipedia interface, understand how Wikipedia works, and learn how to contribute to Wikipedia. [Sample Page]
- Wikipedia assignment wizard: This tool provides step-by-step procedures to build a custom course page for your class to incorporate a Wikipedia assignment into the syllabus. [Sample Page]
- Feedback tool: An easy way to review the work of your students and provide them with feedback. This tool will enable you to view a list of your students and see the work they have done (e.g. total number of words edited and time spent editing). Additionally, you can see all the changes made to an article and have easy ways to comment on their work, either privately or on the article's discussion page. [Sample 1 l Sample 2 l Sample 3]
- Access to discussions and feedback from other faculty who are using Wikipedia in their classes: The application provides a discussion forum in which you can post your questions and concerns and view stories about experiences of others. Wikipedia experts will monitor the discussion forum and respond to your questions as quickly as possible. [Sample Page]
- Support for students' peer review process: This tool provides rubrics for the peer-review process and an easy way for you to assign peer reviews to your students in the class. You can also view reviews submitted and provide a forum for students to comment on each others' work. [Sample Page]
- Support for students' group work: This tool allows students to choose a group mate among their classmates and provides information about groups working together to the instructor. [Sample Page]
- Suggested timeline: The application provides a suggested timeline of how to organize Wikipedia assignments in the classroom based on experience of previous instructors. [Sample Page]
- Student activity: Students will be able to see what others are doing. [Sample Page]
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