Take a look at Murder, Madness, Mayhem (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Murder_Madness_and_Mayhem as well as the associated essay (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jbmurray/Madness) written by the instructor who facilitated it.
What piece from the instructor’s essay was most interesting or most helpful to you and why?
Respond by Wednesday, 8/3
Reply to another person’s post by Friday, 8/5
The article is not only insightful but also resourceful as it provided links to various resources, best practices, set of training modules for running Wikipedia assignments. I learned about Wikipedia’s high standards and rigorous process. I do agree with the author that writing Wikipedia does instill critical thinking but the downside is that students might end up in unconstructive ‘edit wars’. Wikipedia assignments can be time-consuming for students as well as educators if it is not the course’s sole assignment or method of evaluation. I liked the notion that the grade can be determined by collective, public, peer review. If I think of using a Wikipedia assignment in my course, I will make the grading to be peer-reviewed.
I know that grading is an issue that has been raised by a number of people in the course, and I’m glad you had some innovative thoughts on it. That’s a good point about “edit wars.” I wonder if doing some modeling of good behaviors/practices at the beginning of the project would help.
Kannaki – You raise some interesting points – in particular, the peer review grading element. Most academics are familiar with the pitfalls of the peer review process – it would be interesting to see how students respond. Also – the editing wars factor is also interesting – I think I would be concerned some students may end up spending far too much time on the assignment in an attempt for their assignment to be perfect.
The concept of having students update and create Wikipedia pages with the intent of becoming featured articles is quite interesting to me. I think there is some merit to it and enjoyed reading about the instructors “process,” but I feel like this is perhaps a more appropriate assignment for graduate students or for a specialty writing course or writing intensive course, since it seems one of the main objectives is to try to encourage students to do a fair amount of revising and editing. I would agree that this is an important skill, but I suspect many instructors are very concerned with ensuring that students fully comprehend the material, rather than feel the need to bolster their editing skills. But once again, I think the benefit of the editing element may vary based on discipline, as well as experience level.
Creating new pages obviously has a fair amount of merit in that you are contributing to an area that did not previously exist and based on this blog and in class discussion, it does seem like there are a fair amount of Wikipedia experts that will likely research and double check the students work and edit as needed. I think the area I may be concerned most with is with students editing existing pages – are the students who are just editing an existing page as their project contributing as much as the students who created Wikipedia pages from scratch. Also, since it is open to the public – what if the student created subpar work, but others significantly edited and improved the page. If the non-student editors did a great job, it may significantly increase traffic to the page, and lead to favorable grade results for the student.