Education/Newsletter/February 2017/The Wikipedia Education Program kicks off in Finland
The Wikipedia Education Program kicks off in Finland
Summary: Universities are getting ready to join the Education program in Finland during 2017.
Article: Although there has been university Wikipedia assignments in Finland before, 2017 will be the first time that assignments in University courses are carried out in cooperation with the community with the goal of providing a scalable Wikipedia Education program to benefit the editing community of Finnish Wikipedia. The planned courses will use the new Programs & Events Dashboard to manage and track progress and impact. The program leader in Finland is volunteer Teemu Perhiö, who has been editing Wikipedia since 2006. He is also in charge of the Finnish Wikipedia Library branch and is a board member of Wikimedia Suomi.
The first two universities to enroll are Helsinki University and University of Jyväskylä. The Helsinki University course will cover global history and is supported by a Wikipedia ambassador, who will assist with everything Wikipedia related throughout the course. For the teacher, the Wikipedia assignment was a problem solver for a particularly difficult reading material that was hard to integrate with more traditional assignments. The students are divided into groups, which have to co-write encyclopedia articles that are easy to understand and meet Wikipedia guidelines. The teacher also valued the fact that the work is produced in online environment and that the students get a better understanding of how Wikipedia works. One motivation was also to contribute to a lacking topics in Finnish Wikipedia.
The course at Jyväskylä university is on economics in Finland and instructed by the teacher who is also experinced Wikipedian. The course will involve students writing Wikipedia articles as assignments and substitute assignments for absence from the course.
The Swedish speaking university Åbo Akademi University in Finland hosted an Education conference in January about digital technologies and learning in the digital age. Sara Mörtsell from Wikimedia Sverige was invited to introduce the Education program to participating teachers and teacher students. A short interview in Swedish was made between sessions, available here.