This is a short report about works of PetrSU students in WikiProjects during 2016-2017 academic year.
Wikiversity and Wikidata
In 2016-2017 academic year, PetrSU was the first university in the world where students learn Wikidata. Students study to write SPARQL requests in order to extract data from Wikidata and to visualize results.
The published wiki manual for students and teachers was used as a basis for the course in Russian Wikiversity. This is the course Work on the wiki-like environment. At first, students select a chapter from this manual, then they copy-paste the text to Wikiversity, format text written by teacher with wiki-markup. And the most interesting part of this work ‒ students formulate questions in the form of quiz to the reader of this chapter. During lectures students play with quizzes prepared by other students.
Students of 3rd year of PetrSU, spring semester 2017, Wikiversity and Wikidata editors
In the course "Programming Wikidata" several dozen Wikidata objects were offered to students. They had a wide range of choices: from "natural disaster" and "protected area" to "subjects of Russia" and "programming language". There are 14 tasks on the course page (in Russian). The students had to complete all these 14 pieces of work. A completed study on the selected topic (section of the course) is the result of the work.
13 chapters were written. Some of these chapters are full-fledged research papers. Success can be explained by (1) indicating an exact deadline for each of assignments, (2) students who missed deadlines were awarded a penalty assignments. Early notification of deadlines helped responsible and hardworking students to organize their time better, it helped them to follow the course continuously during the semester, so everything is not all jammed up and submitted in the last week. Their less conscientious teammates do not take into account any deadlines (15 out of 25 students finished this course in the university).
Botanic Garden of Petrozavodsk State University. Photo by student Darya Sukhanova
During this research work students together with the teacher wrote almost the same text in several formats:
an article with wiki-markup in Russian Wikiversity;
a translation of this article in English Wikiversity;
There are good reasons to use Wikidata in education:
Specialty of our PetrSU students is "Information systems and technologies", therefore Wikidata programming is an interesting challenge for students.
Wikidata SPARQL service is a query language, a database, and a visual interface. It is a complex and mature system.
Wikidata is ready to use tool with zero installation effort.
Also Authorea was used by students. It is an online system for collaborative writing of research articles in Latex. And like Wikidata, Authorea do not requires installation and maintenance of software.
Therefore, two new courses Work on the wiki-like environment and Programming Wikidata were created in Russian Wikiversity in 2016-2017. PetrSU students contribute for the most part of edits in Russian Wikiversity during this academic year. Both these projects could be usefully exploited in education over many years.
During the fall semester 2016, there were three attempts to write an article in Wikinews related to science and technology. Teacher and editors of Wikinews did not understand these students texts and these attempts failed. However, the students had to submit some work, and the teacher proposed to prepare material with the music of their favorite group in the format WP:NFCC. Thus, wonderful musical fragments appeared in the articles of the English and Russian Wikipedia: Infected Mushroom and Machinae Supremacy.
Students of 4th and 5th year of PetrSU, fall semester 2016, Wikipedia and Wiktionary editors
From 2012 till 2015 PetrSU students translated featured articles related to computer science from English to Russian Wikipedia. One article for one student. And in 2016 it was an attempt to make a teamwork translation. But it was failed. Only two translation stubs were written.
Students proposed to make an audio article as an alternative work. Thus, the article of the year Russian language in Russian Wikipedia was selected. Five dictors recorded spoken version of this article. The total playing time is one and a half hours. Also, the student Denis Chechko recorded spoken version of the featured article Astrarium.
From 2014 PetrSU students write about our university in Wikipedia. During this academic year Darya Sukhanova wrote in the article Петрозаводский государственный университет the section about sports and recreation center PetrSU in Shotozero. Denis Chechko recorded spoken version of the section about Botanic Garden of PetrSU in the same article in Russian Wikipedia.
In English Wikipedia in the article Petrozavodsk State University the same duet Kirill and Ilya wrote two new sections "Foundation of the University" and "Founding and development of PetrSU during 1950s-1960s". These are translations from interwiki article in Russian Wikipedia.