Teaching with Wikipedia
One of the world’s most widely read websites, with approximately 550 million unique visitors per month, Wikipedia articles are often the number one hit when using a search browser. Its broad public presence, open for editing to anyone, offers a unique opportunity to participate in an on-line community of practice. So why teach with Wikipedia?
As an educational tool, the development of Wikipedia articles allows students to create collaborative work with a visible impact on a global audience. Whether adding new sources to existing Wikipedia pages or creating new pages on notable topics, students gain deeper insight into their course material and learn to evaluate critically the reliability of sources. With faculty and students reporting enthusiasm and high levels of motivation for the Wikipedia assignment over the more traditional, Wikipedia assignments have the potential to deliver education that goes beyond a semester. As one UC Berkeley faculty stated “I’m not interested in students writing term papers that only I and the graduate-student instructor read. That’s not utilizing students’ potential to the fullest.”
About the Wiki Education Foundation
The rapid expansion of fake news sites made real news headlines last year, and the public is more aware than ever that they're exposed to propaganda and misinformation. Even college students are at risk of believing false information intended to sway elections or generate ad revenue. That’s why the work Wiki Education does to help students develop media literacy skills is more important than ever.
In our program, we ask instructors to assign students to write Wikipedia articles about course-related topics. In the process of researching a topic and writing about it, students in our program must follow Wikipedia’s rules for what sources they cite. When we ask students to become Wikipedians for a term, we teach them about source evaluation. We explain Wikipedia’s reliable source guideline, and we provide them information on how to determine what sources count as reliable in their disciplines.
We are actively teaching thousands of college students each term how to be media literate citizens and navigate an increasingly complex and often contentious media landscape. At this workshop, we'll share findings from a recent research study about student learning outcomes during Wikipedia assignments, like media and digital literacy. We'll talk about how Berkeley students can channel the hard work they're already doing to combat fake news and share reliable, well-sourced academic information with the world. We'll share how you can join our program and how we will support you along the way.