Make your students edit Wikipedia for extra credit

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Make your students edit Wikipedia for extra credit

David Gerard-2
http://social.mis.temple.edu/happyhourand20minutes/2008/11/25/extra-credit-2-wikipedia-contribution/

I like this.


- d.

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Re: Make your students edit Wikipedia for extra credit

Nathan Awrich
When professors and lecturers assign editing Wikipedia to a group of
students, our reaction is often not favorable. I've recently had a long
series of e-mails with lecturers at the University of Scotland and Macquarie
University in Australia about an assignment that was repeated at Macquarie
in three terms.

When the link between the student accounts was discovered recently, it
turned into a long thread at AN/I where a number of unfriendly things were
said about both the students and the lecturers - and the students' editing,
which wasn't (I think) below what we would expect from new editors, was
treated as a serious problem to be dealt with by blocks and rangeblocks if
necessary.

If our response to coordinated student editing is dismissive or punitive,
and it often is, then we should not be encouraging educators to assign it to
their students.

Nathan

On Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 10:34 AM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> http://social.mis.temple.edu/happyhourand20minutes/2008/11/25/extra-credit-2-wikipedia-contribution/
>
> I like this.
>
>
> - d.
>
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Re: Make your students edit Wikipedia for extra credit

David Gerard-2
2008/11/26 Nathan <[hidden email]>:

> If our response to coordinated student editing is dismissive or punitive,
> and it often is, then we should not be encouraging educators to assign it to
> their students.


It depends on the quality of the assignment they give. I liked this
one because it was "You have to make an actual good addition, no
foolin'." We've had other student editing projects that have resulted
in fantastically good new material. YMMV, but I certainly wouldn't
regard it as an intrinsically bad idea.


- d.

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Re: Make your students edit Wikipedia for extra credit

geni
2008/11/26 David Gerard <[hidden email]>:
> It depends on the quality of the assignment they give. I liked this
> one because it was "You have to make an actual good addition, no
> foolin'." We've had other student editing projects that have resulted
> in fantastically good new material. YMMV, but I certainly wouldn't
> regard it as an intrinsically bad idea.

The problem with that is that adding that King Charles II had a royal
yacht called Fubbs (entirely true) to the King Charles II article May
well be viewed as a good addition by a third party but less to by
wikipedia.

--
geni

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Re: Make your students edit Wikipedia for extra credit

Charlotte Webb
On 11/26/08, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:
> The problem with that is that adding that King Charles II had a royal
> yacht called Fubbs (entirely true) to the King Charles II article May
> well be viewed as a good addition by a third party but less to by
> wikipedia.

Mostly because he had 24 other yachts with equally silly names. I'd
argue that the biography article should at least link to that list.

—C.W.

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Re: Make your students edit Wikipedia for extra credit

WJhonson
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
In a message dated 11/26/2008 7:41:07 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,  
[hidden email] writes:

When the  link between the student accounts was discovered recently, it
turned into a  long thread at AN/I where a number of unfriendly things were
said about  both the students and the lecturers >>
 
It's helpful if you give a link since this is likely to be deeply buried by  
now in some archive.
I don't understand the problem with assigning editing Wikipedia to a  
classroom.
Why not?
 
 
 
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Re: Make your students edit Wikipedia for extra credit

phoebe ayers-3
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
On Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 7:40 AM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> When professors and lecturers assign editing Wikipedia to a group of
> students, our reaction is often not favorable. I've recently had a long
> series of e-mails with lecturers at the University of Scotland and Macquarie
> University in Australia about an assignment that was repeated at Macquarie
> in three terms.
>
> When the link between the student accounts was discovered recently, it
> turned into a long thread at AN/I where a number of unfriendly things were
> said about both the students and the lecturers - and the students' editing,
> which wasn't (I think) below what we would expect from new editors, was
> treated as a serious problem to be dealt with by blocks and rangeblocks if
> necessary.
>
> If our response to coordinated student editing is dismissive or punitive,
> and it often is, then we should not be encouraging educators to assign it to
> their students.
>
> Nathan

Yuck. It's hard enough to help professors do the right thing (I just
got back from giving a couple of classroom lectures about wikipedia)
when they are so often clueless about how wikipedia works anyway,
without extra complications from overzealous admins.

There's a group of people listed here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:School_and_university_projects
who are ready and willing to help with monitoring and cleaning up
after such assignments, and helping craft them as well.

-- phoebe

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Re: Make your students edit Wikipedia for extra credit

Jim-60
In reply to this post by geni
On Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 12:23 PM, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2008/11/26 David Gerard <[hidden email]>:
> > It depends on the quality of the assignment they give. I liked this
> > one because it was "You have to make an actual good addition, no
> > foolin'." We've had other student editing projects that have resulted
> > in fantastically good new material. YMMV, but I certainly wouldn't
> > regard it as an intrinsically bad idea.
>
> The problem with that is that adding that King Charles II had a royal
> yacht called Fubbs (entirely true) to the King Charles II article May
> well be viewed as a good addition by a third party but less to by
> wikipedia.


This I think depends on what is considered a good edit. I can imagine a
teacher giving an assignment that they need to produce a good edit with
proper references. And for a 2nd or 3rd assignment, that the edit remain in
the article in question for at least 2 weeks or some other time period. I
would hope that they would have the students read some standard policies
like Wikipedia:Verifiability<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Verifiability>
 and
WP:NPOV <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view> and
probably Wikipedia:Editing
policy<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Editing_policy>
.

Another part of the assignment I'd like to see is that they need to edit an
article related to something they are learning in class rather than a random
article.

I'd like to see teachers do more of this - it helps the students many ways
but there two skills that I think are essential that they learn:
1) It helps them understand how wikipedia is edited and how to evaluate the
status/current verifiability of a wikipedia article - thus they can better
evaluate the information they read in other wikipedia articles
2) It forces them to do research and figure out how to research information
(even if only starting with the wikipedia article itself)
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Re: Make your students edit Wikipedia for extra credit

Carcharoth
In reply to this post by WJhonson
On Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 7:01 PM,  <[hidden email]> wrote:
> In a message dated 11/26/2008 7:41:07 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,
> [hidden email] writes:
>
> When the  link between the student accounts was discovered recently, it
> turned into a  long thread at AN/I where a number of unfriendly things were
> said about  both the students and the lecturers >>
>
> It's helpful if you give a link since this is likely to be deeply buried by
> now in some archive.

I think he was referring to this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/IncidentArchive491#Disruptive_school_project.3F

> I don't understand the problem with assigning editing Wikipedia to a
> classroom.
> Why not?

See above link.

The counter example is the Madness and Mayhem project:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Murder_Madness_and_Mayhem

Carcharoth

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