Submissions:2016/Teaching Wikipedia One Edit-a-thon at a time

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Teaching Wikipedia One Edit-a-thon at a time
Academic Peer Review option
Type of submission
Chanitra Bishop
E-mail address
Hunter College

Wikipedia has becoming an increasingly popular tool to integrate into college courses. Faculty that have published on their use of Wikipedia in the classroom have noted that it provides an excellent way to teach students to be producers of information while simultaneously teaching students critical thinking and research skills. Through the process of editing a Wikipedia article, students can begin to see themselves as capable of contributing quality information to a widely used online website and thereby learn to become information producers instead of primarily information consumers. At the same time, they also realize that the information they are learning is class is relevant outside of the traditional classroom and has a real-world application. Wikipedia also provides the opportunity for students to begin to understand the peer-review process by writing an encyclopedia article, a more basic form of academic writing. Writing a Wikipedia article requires students to learn to write based on guidelines and community standards. Through the editing process students often find the content added to Wikipedia may be removed if it does not fit within the guidelines and must revise the content added for it be accepted and remain on the encyclopedia. Similarly, peer reviewed journals have submission guidelines that authors must follow and an editorial process.

However, for faculty new to Wikipedia, adding another component to the class can be challenging. How can instructors provide students with the experience of editing Wikipedia without developing a class assignment? How can librarians and other Wikipedians help instructors learn about Wikipedia and become more comfortable using Wikipedia as a pedagogical tool? This presentation will discuss using edit-a-thons to introduce students and faculty to Wikipedia. Through the edit-a-thon, students have an opportunity to learn to edit Wikipedia without the pressures of a regular class assignment and faculty can learn about Wikipedia without the need to also decide on how to integrate it into their course. The presentation will provide examples of how edit-a-thons can be integrated into classroom.

Length of presentation
20 minutes
Special schedule requests
Preferred room size
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