Submissions:2021/Information Has Value: Engaging Students as Wikipedia Editors

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2021.


Information Has Value: Engaging Students as Wikipedia Editors


Depth & Breadth for Newer Editors

Type of session:



Although college students, like all of us, interact with and use information constantly, they don't tend to think of it as an entity unto itself. When they are introduced to the information literacy frame "Information Has Value," they become much more aware of the nuances of its value, "as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world" ( Introducing them to the notion that they have the power to contribute to information that is freely available to others intrigues them, while causing mild panic amongst some. They rarely see themselves as information producers other than as the writers of term papers. Even the thought of social media posts as information production is new to many of them.

The Wiki Education program provides excellent training for novice Wikipedia editors, but a conceptual understanding of the value of information, as well as scaffolding to recognize themselves as information producers, can provide a rich underpinning for this new set of skills, a background that will help them to see the value of their contributions, and encourage them to continue as Wikipedia editors.

This presentation will explore the metaliteracy learning model, which emphasizes active roles for learners: producer, author, communicator, and collaborator, amongst others. It also highlights four learning domains—not just the cognitive and the behavioral, but also the metacognitive and the affective. This holistic set of domains and roles helps new Wikipedia editors recognize that learning is a process that requires reflection, and involves emotions. This scaffolding, along with an exploration of the powerful Information Has Value concept, particularly as it applies in the Wikimedia environment, provides an educational experience that enhances the Wiki Education classroom program. A tangible example is a Wiki Edu blog post written by one of my students last spring, entitled “Overcoming Imposter Syndrome by Editing Wikipedia" I believe I will be able to include a student, Jackson Gray, from my course as a co-presenter, to contribute their thoughts on the topic.

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

Trudi E. Jacobson

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:


Affiliated organization(s):

University at Albany, SUNY

Estimated time:

15-30 minutes

Special requests:

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:

I have presented on teaching with the Wiki Education program at Wikiconference NA 2019

If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)