Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Your Students = Wikipedia Editors


Anyone ever edited or contributed to a Wikipedia page? I've been fascinated with Wikipedia's group editing process since I first heard about the idea, and I've always wanted to get students involved. I tried to get this rolling in my psychology club this year, but we ran into too many snags with our district's firewall. So I thought I'd share the idea with y'all and hope that some enterprising psych teacher can actually get this done.

Here was my plan: ask students to poke around in psychology topics on Wikipedia until they find a page for a psych topic (term, concept, experiment, psychologist, etc.) that seems "thin" - one that needs more information, better information, better references, etc. (My choice would have been http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Kirke_Wolfe - Wolfe deserves more than that entry!). Then your students research to fill in the gaps, write up potential revisions to the page, and submit the changes to Wikipedia. Hopefully there are other "editors" out there in Wiki-space who are monitoring that page and the students will get the experience of discussing the potential changes and going through a revision process. In the end, your students may see their work represented permanently on Wikipedia and they will be much more experienced not only in their chosen topic, but in the process of "Web 2.0" knowledge "creation" and writing.

4 comments:

talesofacrazypsychmajor said...

This is a really neat idea; usually teachers are too busy bashing wikipedia to realize that it can have value.

Rob Mc said...

Yep, I agree. I heard an immediate "fear" reaction from my teacher (and media specialist) friends when it first became popular. That is softening now, a bit. People are starting to see it like other encyclopedias - a good place (great place, usually) to start researching b/c it will lead you to great primary sources.

yoga said...

hi

JB said...

has anyone actually done this with their class? any rubrics or marking schemes?