The group in Panama became interested in activities related to education and Wikipedia after attending Iberocoop 2012, where education experiences with Wikipedia from Brazil, Mexico and other countries were presented. After that, we investigated about the Wikipedia in Education Program and learned more from the activities other universities and schools were doing. The first activity was undertaken at Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá during the I semester of 2013.
First Semester 2013
- Course: Network Protocols
- Number of students: 15
- Assignment: improve existing articles for Wikipedia in Spanish about Network Protocols
- Objective: make students aware of how Wikipedia works and how they can use it as a source of information. Improve students' writing skills and their understanding of a subject by assigning them to edit and/or translate articles on Wikipedia related to their course.
- Description of the assignment: each group of 3 students was assigned one Network Protocol article to improve in Spanish Wikipedia. They could edit the existing articles with appropriate references or translate articles from other languages that were more complete than the article in Spanish. Most of the articles had a more complete English version, so we suggested them to first review it and compare with the Spanish version.
- Timespan: 3 weeks. First week: introductory talk and workshop. Second week: students had to show their revision of articles and proposed changes. Third week: presentation on the edits/translations they made to the articles.
- Resources: Students were given one introductory talk and one hands on workshop about editing Wikipedia, each of about half an hour.
- Articles edited:
- Evaluation: We ran a survey after the course to examine how students felt about this type of assignment. Only 5 out of 20 students responded the survey. While this number it is not enough to draw definitive conclusions, the responses showed us that overall they saw as very positive their participation on this assignment. It also showed us that they had problems with the reference format, therefore for future editing workshops we will dedicate more time to explain how to add references. Finally, although it was continuously emphasized during the assignment to not copy/paste, we detected plagiarism in some of the student's edits. For future assignments, we plan to address this issue showing specific examples of what is considered plagiarism, and how to avoid it.
First Semester 2014
We started using the Education Extension to administer the courses. The format was similar to the one above. Students from third year of Systems Engineering participated editing articles from the course Software Engineering You can find the details of this course here.