Writing for Wikipedia as an assignment

Image via Wikipedia

Wow!  Jane Shuyska put me on to a great post by Jeremy Boggs (from the CHNM) about the assignment he gives to his (university) students in which they are expected to research and write a wikipedia history article.

Go read it, then come back and tell me what you think!

Several things spring to my mind about this.  The more I think about learning and teaching, the more the ‘meta’ stuff, (the stuff that is as much about how and why we do something as it is about the stuff we actually produce, or indeed the ‘content’ that is learned) seems to be the most inspiring, engaging and purposeful.

It also makes me think that the walled VLE gardens that we’re trying to build and work in might not cut it in some areas – this is exciting stuff because it’s in the real world – there’s a real world out there, and Bogg’s students have to work well in it to get their grades.

Now – how about the reasons I don’t do this in my own classroom?  Well, I think I might start…  We could do it at the end of each year, and the students could choose something connected with the syllabus that year.  I’m not sure that wikipedia doesn’t currently ban our LEA’s IP address from editing, but I think we can get around this with user names.  Alternatively perhaps there’s a student wiki out there that we can get going with – anyone know of one?

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One thought on “Writing for Wikipedia as an assignment

  1. Hey Ed,

    We met briefly while I was doing my PGCE at Oxford when I gave a session on creating websites using HTML from my very limited knowledge. I’m now qualified and teaching and trying to gee up the implementation of a VLE at my school. As part of this I have agreement from the powers that be to set up a Wiki for teachers to contribute to with a long term view of it becoming a full copyright free resource for schools to gain textual content for their own VLEs. The costs of hosting will be covered by my school as part of their public benefit contribution. This seems to chime with some of the stuff you have in this post so if you’re interested in being involved please give me a shout.


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