Why Wikipedia is “Communication at Play”

This week, Wiki Education staff will be attending the 104th Annual Convention of the National Communication Association. While we’ve been working with NCA members to improve Wikipedia since our organization was founded in 2014, it wasn’t until 2017 that we finalized our partnership. Through this agreement, NCA encourages its members to participate in Wiki Education’s programs, helping increase the availability of information about communication studies on Wikipedia. We’re excited to be at NCA’s Annual Convention again this year!

This year’s theme is Communication at Play and it couldn’t be a more fitting descriptor for students and scholars’ work on Wikipedia. When you update or create articles on Wikipedia, you become an active contributor in a practice that involves honing one’s digital literacy and communication skills. You’re also making important paywalled academic information available to the public via the world’s largest free information resource. Here at Wiki Education, we support instructors who assign their students to improve Wikipedia, and scholars who want to take it upon themselves to be drivers of change.

Since the launch of our partnership, we’ve supported 36 courses where students have been asked to update course-related content on Wikipedia. Just this year, students worked to improve articles about social presence theory, visual rhetoricmodels of communication, and work family conflict. Students have also created new articles where content might be missing, such as hyperpersonal theory or tie signs.

We are also currently supporting a group of NCA members in our professional development courses. These members are learning how to bring their knowledge to Wikipedia, gaining new digital literacy skills and pedagogical strategies in the process!

Next steps

If you’re interested in learning more about how best to integrate a Wikipedia assignment in your next syllabus, or how you can get involved in our professional development courses, find us in the exhibit hall at booth 402! Hours are:

  • Thursday, November 8, 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Friday, November 9, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 10, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

You can also read about the work of instructors and scholars using our tools in many of our blog posts. A few favorites include:

And if you can’t make it to NCA this year, but would like to learn more about our teaching resources visit teach.wikiedu.org to get started.


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