Submissions:2023/Wikipedia in the Classroom: How It Started, How It’s Going

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WikiConference North America 2023 unfortunately could not accommodate this submission in its program this year.


Wikipedia in the Classroom: How It Started, How It’s Going


Recent Changes, Education, Equity / Inclusion / Community Health, Credibility / Mis and Disinformation (WikiCred)

Type of session:



For educators, an early technology battle focused on getting students to avoid using Wikipedia. Faculty themselves, however, quickly came to rely on its readily available resources. Then Covid occurred, encouraging a global re-evaluation of the benefits of participating in online and hybrid educational projects, including the editing of Wikipedia pages. Next, ChatGPT emerged, requiring a new re-evaluation of academia’s confidence in online sources. So, today, where should the use of Wikipedia be positioned? As a faculty member, where do I stand on how to incorporate the contextualizing, citing, creating, improving, and promoting of Wikipedia with my students?

Distilled from my experiences coordinating five rounds of Wikipedia editing in university classes, this talk presents current concerns for faculty who want to teach with Wikipedia in the time of Chat GPT and other large language models (LLM). What aspects should be highlighted about the policies of Wikipedia? How can transferable skills for students in writing and source evaluating best be honed to counter the further blurring of what counts as a vetted source, let alone an actual source. What shared concerns about built-in bias, both in Wikipedia and in the data used by LLMs, can be identified, and countered? Which of these fixes can be achieved at an individual and at an institutional level? And in making fixes--given current tools and ever-growing data--what instructor workload is manageable?

Author name:

Laurel Stvan

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:


Affiliated organization(s):

University of Texas at Arlington

Estimated time:

30 minutes

Special requests:


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

Some aspects, those on faculty labor involved in editing, were presented at Open Texas 2022, online in September 2022.

Okay to livestream?

Livestreaming is okay

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)