Education/News/May 2020/Turkish professors are giving Wikipedia assignments during Covid-19 days

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Turkish professors are giving Wikipedia assignments during Covid-19 days

Author: Basak (WMTR)

Summary: During Covid-19 pandemic, Turkish universities had to rapidly adapt themselves to distant education. Wikimedia Community User Group Turkey members helped some universtiy professors engaging their students with a very useful online activity: Editing Wikipedia.

Wikimedia Community User Group Turkey has resumed work with universities for Wikipedia assignments after the removal of the Wikipedia block in Turkey on January 2020. There were presentations and training at several universities at Istanbul and Ankara after one and another until the pandemic has started. In March, like almost everywhere else in the world, intercity transportations was restricted, schools were closed, life slowed down... However surprisingly, demand for Wikipedia editing trainings have grown bigger! The professors who have to adopt to distance education is now looking for online activities they could suggest to their students and editing Wikipedia comes as a good solution.

The first Wikipedia training during pandemy was for a small group of Baskent University graduate students who are taking Gender Equity course and will be contributing to Women In Red project as a course requirement. The students took Wikipedia training by connecting to a video-conference session from their homes. Secondly, a very large group of students from Geography department of Sakarya University started to work on Geomorphology articles. User group members did not have a chance to have synchrone online training with such large group but did work closely with the professor to prepare the lists and Wikipedia education materials specific to this course, also determining the grading rules. Still more than 100 students are working on Turkish geomorphology articles and providing a great contribution to Turkish Wikipedia with their work.

Similarly, a group of 90 International Relations students from Cankiri Karatekin University are working on international relations and economy politics articles. This time, experienced wikipedians gave them online training in two video-conference sessions. Contribution to social psychology articles on Wikipedia came from the assignments of another small group of doctorate students at Uludag University. We have been using outreach dashboard for following the works of the participants.

Our user group have started to realize that it's possible and might be even more effective to give Wikipedia trainings online where participants could use their screen to ask their questions. We are happy to be able to help university professors this way in their struggle to continue education and keep communication with their students under such unexpected situation.

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