Q: How can students decide on an appropriate Wikipedia topic or article for the editing assignment?
A: The instructor can provide a list of possible key terms or concepts related to the course topic and themes for students to select from, or students can propose a relevant topic and seek instructor approval. In granting approval for topic selection, the instructor and student should consider its scope (is the topic too broad or too specific), the state of the existing article (if there is already an existing article, is there space or need to edit?), and the availability of reliable sources (what language are the available sources, are they peer-reviewed or otherwise verifiable, do they comply with Wikipedia criteria?).
Q: What is the best way for an instructor to integrate the Wikipedia assignment with existing course content?
A: In designing the course syllabus, the instructor should identify the most important key terms or thematic concepts, and determine how these concepts are related to the learning objective of increasing students’ digital literacy skills. These connections should then be correspondingly highlighted in the instructor’s presentation of course readings and assignments. Students should also be encouraged to seek and identify additional connections between course content and aspects of the Wikipedia editing project, such as how a neutral writing tone or the practice of peer review can be used by authors in a range of different communicative modes.
Q: How can the instructor track and assess student progress before final submission of the Wikipedia assignment?
A: With the Wiki Course Dashboard, students who have a Wikipedia account can login to the appropriate course so that they and their instructor can keep track of completed online assignments. Instructors must first request the creation of a course dashboard before the start of the school term, and once the request has been approved, the link to the dashboard can be shared with enrolled students.
Q: How can students receive constructive feedback on their Wikipedia editing?
A: On the Wiki Course Dashboard, the instructor can assign each user to peer edit articles. The Wiki education site also provides useful questions to consider during the peer editing process, which is one of the online assignments and learning modules.
Q: What should students do if their editing work is not approved or suddenly deleted by other Wikipedians?
A: Students should be reminded at the beginning of the course, and repeatedly throughout the term, that whether their editing work is approved or not will not impact their final Wikipedia assignment grade. While they should seriously consider the feedback they receive from peers during the review process--either from their classmates or from other members of the Wikipedia community--many factors out of their immediate control will determine if all of their edits will be incorporated into the Wikipedia article. Since the main learning objective is to learn about the editing process, of which deletion and/or rejection are a key part, no matter how frustrating it can be, students should remember that their work is not evaluated on whether the edits are approved for publication or not.