The goals of PAAS 302 include training students to learn strategies for interpreting and analyzing a variety of cultural materials; identifying key discourses of globalization as they relate to the category of world literature, especially in the Asian context; applying theoretical materials to students’ own research with primary sources; and developing writing, critical thinking, discussion, presentation, and digital literacy skills.
Students were assessed on their ability to think critically about literature and new media forms, to write and edit according to the Wikipedia criteria, to collaborate effectively with classmates, and to present their work in a coherent way to the rest of the class.
From the PAAS 302 course, students expressed a preference for the Wikipedia editing assignment over a traditional academic paper. They appreciated the less stringent academic requirements, the freedom to choose topics and use diverse sources including non-academic sources, collaborate with peers, and learn-by-doing in the Wiki sandbox. Additionally, the assignment allows them to reflect on everyday-life issues such as political censorship, open access, the use of Wikipedia or other online information sources such as Baidu Baike (a major Chinese search engine). They also value learning how to maintain a neutral position in online communication.