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Teaching to Impact: A Toolkit for Embedding Wikipedia Editing in Asian Studies Curriculum

This toolkit provides practical guidelines on embedding Wikipedia editing in Asian Studies curriculum .

Preparation for the course (2 or 3 weeks before the course)

  • Contact your librarian at least two or three weeks before the course begins.

  • To reduce student workload, the instructor and librarian can work together to decide which Dashboard training content is essential to the course objectives and assignments, and which is less important. For example, a subject guide was created to list the key training materials, and can be easily adopted and customized for another course.

  • The faculty and librarian will determine the learning objectives of the Wikipedia embedded course and decide how much class time and which in-class exercises should be devoted to Wikipedia training. Details based on the PAAS 302 course are listed below.

  • Decide if a Wiki course Dashboard is needed for your course and apply to create a course with Wiki Education. Please see the Toolkit for the pros and cons of using a Wiki Education dashboard for your course.

  • Share general information about the course with the TA and explain how Wiki editing is embedded. Make sure that the TA goes through the key Wikipedia training content on the course dashboard in advance so that the TA is equipped with the necessary information to provide support to students.

Week 1

  • On the first day of class, introduce the course’s Wikipedia elements to students, discuss why Wiki editing is included into the course, and explain the relevant learning objectives.

  • Ask about students’ experiences with Wikipedia, complete the survey (See Appendix 3) and lead a class discussion on the assigned readings.

  • If the Wiki course dashboard is already set up, introduce it to students and invite them to set up an account for the assignment.

  • The course syllabus/ outline should list the selected Wikipedia Dashboard training content along with other assigned readings so that students will consider Wikipedia training content alongside other required readings.

Week 2

  • Introduce Wikipedia-related assignments and timeline to students.
  • Discuss learning outcomes and the assessment criteria, and emphasize that whether students’ edits are accepted or not will not affect their grades.
  • It is especially important to decide how to use the Wiki Education Dashboard for peer-review. If students prefer not to sign up for individual accounts, the class could sign up for one class account, or each small group could sign up for a group account, but since Wikipedia accounts are linked to one email address this could potentially require group members to have access to a shared email account. The sandbox for editing and peer-review is linked to each user’s account and the instructor can assign specific articles to each user during the peer-review process.

Week 3

  • The instructor will discuss the process of selecting Wikipedia topics and determining the appropriate scope for the project. For 100- or 200-level courses, it is recommended that instructors provide a list of broad topics or scopes related to the course content from which students can choose their Wikipedia articles. The instructor may require that all student groups consult with them early on in the process to receive approval for their chosen topics.
  • The librarian will give the first workshop on the writing style of reference sources and how it is different from writing academic articles. Additional topics could include Wikipedia edit-a-thon activities, the Wikipedia editing and review processes, and how to choose project topics, find and evaluate sources. See Appendix 4.

Week 4

  • If you use the small group presentation assignment that mentioned above, the students start evaluating Wikipedia articles and talk with you about their potential group topics. Group presentations are continuing.
  • Remind the students to either sign up for the Wiki Education dashboard if you use it for your course or create a Wikipedia account directly if you did not use the Wiki Education dashboard. Your librarian may prepare the materials to prepare the students for the second workshop on Wikipedia editing. Sample activity plan can be found in Appendix 6.  

Week 5

  • The librarian and the teaching assistant will teach a second workshop on the Wikipedia editing process. We recommend considering the flipped classroom approach to replace the structured demonstration by designing an in-class assignment [See the presentation slides as the Appendix 5 and the sample working sheet in Appendix 6] for students to lead their own learning. Remind students that they must click the "Publish" button to save their edits in the Wikipedia sandbox.

Week 6-9

  • The student groups decide on their topics.
  • Students submit take-home midterms and use class time to check-in with the instructor and group members about final Wikipedia article topics. Potential group topics must get approved by the instructor.
  • Instructor presents a detailed outline on how each component of the final project will be evaluated.
  • It is recommended to limit students to edit articles in English Wikipedia. However, they may use sources in other languages as references. This is consistent with the general requirements of other Asian Studies courses with essay assignments. It is important to emphasize that external review of the students' edits will not impact their grades, as their in-class peer-review and assessment will be the primary means of evaluation.
  • In Week 8, the instructor may find it useful to present a suggested timeline for the final project (See Appendix 7) to help students schedule their group work.
  • Students are encouraged to contact the librarian or TA with specific questions.

Week 10-12

  • Students should be encouraged to reflect on any rejections they may have received during the review process, and to consider how this process contributed to maintaining the quality of Wikipedia entries in general. Through the online review process, students gained valuable experience with the online editing and review process, which aligns with the intended learning outcome.
  • Librarians may provide guidance on evaluating online sources, fake news, and the contextual nature of authority when discussing reliable sources with students. This expands beyond traditional academic sources and provides students with a broader understanding of information evaluation.
  • Encourage reflection on issues such as censorship, open-access, online review, anti-racism, and online publication.

Week 11

  • Presentations are held at a library classroom with the librarian and TA attending. Notes are taken to provide support for the next Wikipedia-embedded course.

Week 12-13

  • Group presentations.

  • Individual reflection paper indicating what was done by this particular student.

A full weekly plan document with assignment ideas and resources can be downloaded in the formats of word doc and pdf. 

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This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.