Ideas for Reorganizing Materials

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Based on previous communication over email, here are some ideas on reorganizing the support materials for using Wikipedia in education (basically in place of this page):


Welcome Assignment Design The Syllabus Materials for Teaching Existing Projects Get Support


Welcome! Whether you are an instructor interested in using Wikipedia in your teaching or a volunteer looking for resources to teach people how to use and contribute to Wikipedia, this is a great place to start.

Are you:

  • an instructor interested in using Wikipedia in your teaching?
    • Our Assignment Design (link) resources, including the Wikipedia as a Teaching Tool (link) brochure, can help you decide what sort of assignments are right for you. Our Example Syllabi (link) can give you a concrete starting point for running major Wikipedia assignments, with appropriate milestones and links to introductory resources; we also have a collection of syllabi used by other instructors for a range of assignment types. Our Materials for Teaching (link) include sample exercises, instructional handouts, brochures and videos, and slideshows for giving presentations about Wikipedia. You can find out about other Wikipedia educational projects in the Existing Projects section (link), including course pages for ongoing and recent Wikipedia assignments. If you'd like to do a major Wikipedia assignment, you may be able to work with Wikipedia Ambassador Program and Get Support (link) in-person from Campus Ambassadors and/or on Wikipedia from Online Ambassadors.
    • Still not convinced? Read about the benefits & drawbacks (pro & con) of using Wikipedia in the classroom. There are many reasons/benefits to use Wikipedia in the classsroom (create page)

Are you:

  • an Ambassador or other volunteer interested in helping in helping newcomers? The Materials for Teaching (link) include a wide variety of resources you can use to help newcomers. If you're working with newcomers in person, the handouts and brochures are generally well-received. For online help, you'll find instructional videos that newcomers can watch, as well as links to key online resources. And if you're looking for more ways to help newcomers, consider applying to the Wikipedia Ambassador Program (link) or contacting an ambassador to learn more (link to contacts page).

Are you:

  • a Campus Ambassador supporting a class? The Assignment Design (link) resources and Example Syllabi (link) represent the best practices for how to structure and run assignments; you can use them to advise instructors you are supporting. The Materials for Teaching include both slideshows you can use or modify for in-class presentations, as well as handouts for common assignment tasks and introductory exercises.

Are you:

  • a GLAM Ambassador or other volunteer interested in in-person outreach or public presentations about Wikipedia? The Materials for Teaching (link) include handouts, brochures and links to online tools for 'wowing' an audience of newcomers, as well as slideshows you can use as the basis of outreach presentations and workshops. For more, check out the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Musuems portal (link).
  • a volunteer interested in helping us to develop materials and resources? Check out the Bookshelf Project (link), or pitch your ideas (link to bookshelf talk page)


On this page, we have gathered practical advice about using Wikipedia as an assignment in the classroom.

  • Assignment types - very briefly (these is the most popular assignments)
  • Should students work individually or in groups: pro's & con's (and advice from other professors)
  • Should the students or the professors pick the topics that students will work on: pro's & con's (and advice from other professors)
  • Best practices for picking topics (what are good topics to pick, what are topics to avoid)
  • GRADING OPTIONS! (and examples of how other professors have graded students' Wikipedia contributions)

ON ALL PAGES: Give feedback on this page here (link to talk page).


This page includes a full-term sample syllabus that incorporates many of the best practices for running major Wikipedia assignments. You can use it as a starting point for your own Wikipedia assignments, or take bits and pieces to adapt to your course. This page also links to actual course pages and syllabi from a range of past Wikipedia assignments of various types.

  • Link to sample syllabi & course pages for professors interested in assigning in-depth Wikipedia assignments that span at least half the semester
  • Link to sample syllabi & course pages for professors who just want students to interact with Wikipedia for a couple of weeks
  • (these syllabi will link at the appropriate spots to the materials in the "Materials for Teaching" tab)

For instructors who have already used Wikipedia assignments in their class before: please send us your syllabus here (link)!

ON ALL PAGES: Give feedback on this page here (link to talk page).


Please refer to "The Syllabus" tab for tips on when and how to teach these various topics during the semester.

Mark each material/resource as "Beginner," "Intermediate," or "Advanced.


  • How Wikipedia works (background) - alternative theme: Introducing Wikipedia - could include more 'feel-good', excitement-generating stuff that doesn't actually explain how Wikipedia works, like Steven Walling's video and the Jelly Helm ones (Apple looking videos), as well as 'excitement' resources like the visuals about edits.
    • Core policies
  • Getting started: mechanics of editing Wikipedia
    • creating accounts, user pages
    • sandboxes
    • anatomy & development of article
    • formatting (bold/italics, links, references)
  • Building quality articles - after you've learned the basics of writing, improving an article
    • Anatomy of an article
    • Article rating / Evaluating Wikipedia: how to move an article up the rating scale
    • DYK
  • Interacting with the community
    • Getting feedback
  • Images (free licenses)

What types of materials go under each topic:

  • Slide decks (modules)
  • Instructional videos
  • Sample assignments
  • Handouts & brochures
  • Help pages/tools on Wikipedia

ON ALL PAGES: Give feedback on this page here (link to talk page).


(Introductory statement about what is on this page.)

Current projects

  • Categorized by regions
  • Just for current projects

Link to past projects (separate page)

  • By chronological order (e.g. 2010, 2009, 2008...)
  • OPEN QUESTION: whether to create separate page of our own, or just link to the projects' pages

Examples of projects that would be listed here

  • Public Policy Initiative courses
  • Other courses formerly or currently supported by the Wikipedia Ambassador program
  • Courses listed in the Schools & Universities Project (plus archive pages)
  • Other relevant projects
    • GLAM
    • Professional / academic Wikipedia initiatives


OPEN QUESTION: Steps for getting support (do they go through staff? Steering Committee? Leave their name on a list? Directly contact a Regional Ambassador? Any Ambassador? etc.)

  • You (professors) don't have to become a Wikipedia expert yourself to use Wikipedia as a teaching tool!
  • Find & contact a Campus Ambassador and Online Ambassador!
  • PPI staff, SUP contact persons, GLAM organizers, etc.

Additional support for instructors

  • IRC help channel
  • Wikipedia Help Desk
  • Adopt-a-User

Additional support for Ambassadors

  • IRC ambassadors channel
  • Wikipedia:Ambassadors talk page
  • Contact a member of the steering committee or a regional ambassador


There will be a banner or box on every tab, with a message that is something like "Have questions? Want help? Confused? Click here to get support." Maybe it can include a relevant image too (Lennart likes this one...). Clicking on the banner/box will then take them to this separate help page.

  • If you're an instructor or Ambassador with questions about teaching with Wikipedia, then go here (link to "Get Support" tab)
  • If you are from the media and want to interview a professor or something else, contact LiAnna
  • If you want to become an Ambassador, go to this page (link)
  • If you have other questions, go onto the #wikimedia-outreach IRC channel

Encouraging Community Participation



  • Create a "Did You Know" section that highlights well-developed or recently-improved resources
  • The portal itself needs to be easy to edit and we need to write good instructions for how to edit it, so that community members can easily contribute/improve the resources
  • Create a "Resources that Need Help" section that highlights which resources need to be created or improved


  • Where should the translated versions of the materials go, such that they are easy to find but do not make the pages in this portal look overly long/crowded?
  • Additional ideas for encouraging the community to contribute to this portal?

Other Questions

  • Where should we put resources that are targeted for other groups of interest to the Bookshelf Project, such as senior citizens and journalists? Or should this only be a portal for educators, in which case we won't include those other resources in this portal?

To-Do List for 2/16!

  • (DONE) Decide what the tabs will be and what kinds of content will be under each tab
  • (DONE) Figure out the name for each tab - the name needs to be short but still effectively communicate the tab's purpose
  • Make T-shirts for the Resource Reorganization Team (Team R-Squared)... =)