Talk:Wikipedia as a Teaching Tool/Learning Objectives and Assignments Types

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Latest comment: 13 years ago by Sageross
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  • "Although your classroom learning objectives may differ, the following provides information on how Wikipedia assignments may play a role in addressing the three learning objectives." This isn't very clear. It it trying to say, 'you may have different learning objectives, but this is only good for these three'? If so, what's the point in mentioning the possibility of different objectives?
  • In the writing skills section, it seems like there should be a bullet for grammar, copyediting, and/or learning to follow a style guideline in a live publishing environment.
  • You take care to avoid repeating language in the writing skills bullets, but start every bullet with "gain" in the media skills section. Also, these bullets are imperative, where the first set are not.
  • That is not what I mean by "evaluate" - by "evaluate" I mean a more general sense, not the Wikipedia sense. Professors can have their students assess the articles using any criteria, not Wikipedia's. Awadewit 04:38, 15 December 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • That's what the brochure is about, as well, to some extent. It's not about rating articles, and only in a general sense about Wikipedia's criteria. I think it's relevant for evaluating articles in the general sense.--Sage Ross 20:51, 15 December 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • In "Copyediting": "Using one of the many poorly written articles on Wikipedia (and that would be most of them!)" Yes, but! I'd remove that bit of editorializing. Yes, it's true from our perspective, but the attractiveness of the assignment is that it's possible to find articles that even poor writers will recognize as badly written. And if an instructor is considering a copyediting assignment in the first place, that's probably necessary. For most articles, readers aren't struck by the bad writing.
  • This is my own lack of grammar knowledge, but why is "newly-created" hyphenated while "poorly written" is not?
  • In "Compare Wikipedia to other reference sources": it'd be good to have one example that is not another biographical dictionary; I almost changed the second one to "Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy", but then I realized that the point was to emphasize online resources that are restricted access and available through libraries. Any ideas?
  • In "Research a topic and write an article", it seems like the text is trying to scare them off. It's good to make clear the challenges and time commitments and prep necessary, but it could maybe be toned down a bit, with more explanation of what the process is like. If they are to be scared off, they should be scared off by the details, not the warnings. There are a lot of ways to do this one; at the least, the guide should (somewhere) lay out examples for short, medium and long article-writing assignments. The sample syllabus is a long version, but this one in particular I think needs more examples of different kinds of assignments. Even aside from the length of the assignment and the depth of assigned contributions, there are various possible ways of structuring a writing assignment. I would add media literacy as a learning objective for this assignment as well. Creating a Wikipedia article oneself is the best way to get students to understand how other articles are made, and to understand the relationship between different kinds of sources.
  • In "Translate an article": "Translating articles from one language to another is a full-time endeavor for some Wikipedians!" Are you saying full-time as in 40 hours per week, or all their volunteer time? Probably both or true, but the latter certainly is. "However, it is generally recognized that those editors doing translation work are not as familiar with community norms as those “native” to home projects." The significance of this (so it's okay not to be intimately familiar with the wiki your translating for? so people will go easy on you?) should be spelled out a little more clearly. It might also be worth spelling out some guidelines for translating for some of the more well-developed Wikipedias; I'm sure it's much different translating from English to Polish or German than, say, Latin or Swahili.
  • In "Chart the evolution of an article over a news cycle", it doesn't make clear how this is a writing skills assignment. It's implicit that one way to do such a charting would be by writing an essay about the article's evolution, but that's not the only possibility, and "chart" may suggest non-prose approaches.
  • The word "chart" is so obviously a synonym for "write an argument" to me that I laughed when I read your comment. :) However, if the assignment could be made into something quantitative, I think that is great. I don't want to get too prescriptive. I saw it as a writing assignment, but others may not. Awadewit 04:38, 15 December 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • In the "final thoughts" section, maybe add a bullet along the lines of "Do I want my class to make substantive improvements to Wikipedia?" Many of these assignments are mainly pedagogical, with only small benefit to Wikipedia. Of course, that's perfectly fine, but having students help build Wikipedia and be part of the broader project is one reason many instructors will be drawn to Wikipedia assignments in the first place. If that's important to them, this is a good place to remind them of that, in deciding what kind of assignments to run.
  • It'd be good to have more of a framework for organizing the different assignment possibilities. Good first assignments, good assignments for after 'intro to Wikipedia' ones, good wrap-up assignments, good one-off assignments... something along those lines.

Overall, excellent. --Sage Ross 19:54, 30 November 2010 (UTC)Reply

Agreed on Sage's points, especially about expanding the small/medium/large writing assignment parts -- especially in the context of the Public Policy Initiative, where one of our primary goals is improving content. My other piece of feedback is that you hint at giving students the ability to be able to evaluate Wikipedia article quality, too, but I think this is one of the key facets of Media Literacy. Maybe include a specific bullet point under Media Literacy suggesting that students will be able to identify the quality of articles on Wikipedia? --Ldavis 00:33, 3 December 2010 (UTC)Reply

As I said above, the point is not that students can evaluate Wikipedia articles using Wikipedia's system (that is a rather pointless learning objective since it is so narrow and only applies to Wikipedia) but rather that they can learn to evaluate the reliability of a source in general by learning to evaluate Wikipedia articles. Awadewit 04:38, 15 December 2010 (UTC)Reply