Part 1: Spring 2015 Labs

6 Wikipedia Editing with Tom Dubois — 03.20.2015

Tom DuboisIn the Active Teaching Lab on March 20th, 2015, Tom Dubois shared how he had students share content with the world through Wikipedia editing. We dug into the assignment, addressed challenges, and even took a walk through the editing process.

Key Takeaways

  • Start very small and specialized — instead of trying to make major edits in a major page in Wikipedia (where the current page editors will probably reject your changes), start by addressing something very specialized and somewhat obscure. That will be less likely to get changed immediately.
  • Have the students take a screen shot immediately after their change becomes live. There’s a good chance their changes won’t stick around, so their documentation of it is their assignment deliverable.
  • Wikipedia is edited/maintained mostly by men, but they’re looking for female Wikipedians — get your female students involved in controlling the discourse there!
  • Liam Lair, an instructor at Louisiana State University, shares his experience of teaching with Wikipedia in a Women’s and Gender Studies course. 

If you’re interested in getting up and running with Wikipedia editing, watch the videos below and try using the Wikipedia activity worksheet we used in this session!

The Active Teaching Lab, a Faculty Engagement program, provides a safe space for structured explorations of cool teaching tools and techniques that your colleagues are using to engage students and teach more effectively. During the academic year, labs are held weekly and will be listed on the Active Teaching Lab page.

Tom’s Wikipedia Editing Story

Interested in going deeper? Check out a webinar about using Wikipedia editing in a Psychology class at Carnegie Mellon (audio starts a bit late — be patient) or checkout the webinar below on teaching with Wikipedia.

Wikimedia’s YouTube Playlist on Editing in Wikipedia


Active Teaching Lab eJournal Copyright © 2016 by DoIT Academic Technology and the UW-Madison Teaching Academy; Jennifer Hornbaker; John Martin; Julie Johnson; Karin Spader; Margaret Merrill; Margaret Murphy; and Jeffrey Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

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