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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 .

Writing Styles

The research shows that students need to be aware of Wikipedia (reference) writing style and how it differs from traditional essay writing. Several students mentioned the difficulty of "giving succinct explanations of complex topics," having to "convey large amounts of information or translation methodology in a small paragraph," while remaining neutral in tone. With this in mind, it is recommended that the instructor links the issue of writing styles to the course topics and organize a class discussion or assignment with a focus on the writing style of Wikipedia entries. In the weekly plan (Appendix 2) we created for PAAS 302, there is an assignment idea in “Week 3” that aims to address this issue.

Topic Selection and Scope

In PAAS 302, students expressed a need for clearer guidance from the instructor on how to select topics for their Wikipedia editing assignment. Some groups chose topics that were deemed irrelevant to the course content, leading to confusion about how their work would be evaluated. To address this issue, it is recommended that instructors of 100- or 200-level courses provide broad areas for students to select Wikipedia articles from, based on the course topics. Additionally, the instructor may want to require all student groups to discuss their potential topics with the instructor for approval. This will ensure that the selected topics are relevant to the course and that students understand how their work will be assessed.

Connecting Wikipedia Content with Course Topics

In PAAS 302, students were assigned a weekly reading log that included discussion questions connecting the week's readings to the use of Wikipedia. The online discussion forum encouraged students to reflect on the relationship between course content and digital literacy. Each week, students in small groups were responsible for presenting 2-3 Wikipedia articles related to the weekly course readings. In their presentations, they evaluated the existing Wikipedia articles, in contrast with examples of academic articles on the same topics. For more details, please refer to the Weekly Plan document in Appendix 2.

Resources for choosing topics

An advice that can be given to students about choosing a topic for research is to think about what arouse their interest or curiosity in the class readings and discussions. 

Below you can find some useful resources for choosing topics:

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