Submissions:2016/Composition at a Crossroads: Teaching College Writing with Wikipedia

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Composition at a Crossroads: Teaching College Writing with Wikipedia
Academic Peer Review option
Type of submission
Timothy A. Henningsen
E-mail address
College of DuPage
Students arrive in my writing and research classes with the deep-rooted stigma that Wikipedia is academically unacceptable. The narrative is all too familiar: students are led to believe that the site is unreliable, erratic, written by anonymous amateurs, compromised by devious vandals, all of which lead to the belief that the site's content is simply unsuitable for educational contexts. After all, Wikipedia has been the center of seemingly countless controversy, the perennial play toy of Stephen Colbert, and the bane of many higher ed faculty, as some have even gone so far as to bar students from using it. And despite incurring such wrath from educators, it remains one of the most commonly frequented sites on the web, and has the distinction of being the largest collective writing project in the world (Broughton 1).
Meanwhile, composition pedagogy finds itself at a crossroads. Institutional debates involving word count and page quotas, the questioned eminence of the research paper, multimodal writing versus more traditional forms, and many other debates dominate college writing programs.
This presentation suggests a reexamination of Wikipedia's role in the composition classroom, and ultimately argues that teaching writing with Wikipedia offers students a more effective, transformative, and consequential paradigm than traditional pedagogies.
Length of presentation
20 minutes
Special schedule requests
Preferred room size
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  1. LiAnna (Wiki Ed) (talk) 18:43, 31 August 2016 (EDT)
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