Ever wondered if you could implement a Wikipedia assignment into your next course but just weren’t sure how? Don’t have the time to try the project yourself at the moment but want to help others on your campus learn about Wiki Education’s tools and resources? If so, hosting an online workshop might be an option to consider.
Just this month I hosted two such events, one for Butte College here in California, and another for the University of Maryland. At each event I virtually joined a group of instructors on campus to present about Wiki Education and answer questions. For these events, we used Zoom and Skype respectively, but Google Hangouts or another online video conferencing software would work just as well.
Workshops hosted online are a great opportunity to learn about Wiki Education, but also to ask questions about Wikipedia in general. One librarian at the Unviersity of Maryland wanted to learn more about Wikipedia’s policies for original research and primary sources, while another instructor wanted to know more about how Wiki Education works with instructors to make sure students are working on the right kind of articles for the assignment. The interesting thing for me was that these two questions were actually intricately related. When working on Wikipedia, a students’ ability to select a topic correlates heavily with the kinds of sources they can find. If a student can only find primary sources, then that topic won’t be a good candidate for a Wikipedia article. If the student can find 3-5 secondary sources to substantiate their work, but also has one or two primary sources they can provide for further reading, then that topic is much more likely to survive on Wikipedia. In both cases, however, Wiki Education has created resources for students and instructors to help them learn these valuable sourcing and selection skills.
If you’re interested in running an online workshop at your institution, please let us know at email@example.com! Here’s what we’ll need:
- Someone on campus to organize and promote the event via listserves and emails to faculty
- A room on campus or online space for everyone to meet
- A date and time confirmed
- An interested group of instructors, no minimum attendance necessary (although more than 1 is probably a good idea!)
Thanks again to Butte College for hosting me for one of their Introduction to Open Pedagogy online workshops, and to the University of Maryland for bringing me in this month. Hope to talk with more of you soon!