Trailblazing With Wikipedia

2014 TIP Winning Innovation, Trailblazing With Wikipedia: Improving Student Learning and Easing Implementation.




Editing Wikipedia allows students to transmit the knowledge they are gaining to real-world audiences beyond U-M. However, crafting assignments that promote effective student learning and meaningful collaboration, while also respecting Wikipedia’s rules and style conventions, can present a daunting challenge.
Fortunately, instructors no longer have to “go it alone” or “reinvent the wheel,” thanks to the pioneering efforts of Prof. McNeil and her GSIs, who began creating Wikipedia class projects in two graduate level-courses (CHEM 538 and 540) in 2008. After further course iterations, their body of experience was parlayed into national and local structures that facilitate other instructors’ effective use of this teaching strategy.
At the national level, the Wikipedia Education Program is home to a vigorous online community eager to help instructors incorporate Wikipedia assignments into their teaching. The website also serves as a storehouse of instructional videos and sample syllabi, including materials from McNeil.
Locally, a support network of trained Wikipedia Ambassadors at U-M can minimize instructors’ start-up costs and ease implementation of Wikipedia class projects. For example, students can be trained to edit Wikipedia by either the Michigan Wikipedians student organization or Ye Li, a university science librarian.