Wikipedia Collaboration

Due: Anytime between Tuesday, June  16 – Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wiki technology is increasingly being used in teacher education programs and in teaching to support and improve knowledge construction, collaborative practices and literacy skills (Bravo & Young, 2011).

This assignment provides you with an opportunity to contribute knowledge to a public wiki (Wikipedia) and to reflect on that experience.

This assignment can be done in French or English.


Find a topic on Wikipedia that is related to a pedagogical or curricular area of interest in your teaching practice. Select a page that is already in progress and individually add content to that page and edit it in order to improve it.  Monitor your contributions at least once a week and reflect on your perceptions and experience in a paper.


Week of May 25th:

  • sign up for a Wikipedia account
  • become familiar with how to use Wikipedia. Some of the links I have found helpful are listed in the Resources section. They include*:
  • select a page to which you will contribute
  • email me by Sunday, May 31 (midnight) and let me know the page you are contributing to, including the url (this is only so I can know whether more than one of you is working on the same page; I will not be monitoring your edits/pages!)

June 1-June 15

  • Make several edits to your Wikipedia page on a few different days.
    • Reflection questions: What changes did you make and why did you feel these were good changes?
  • Monitor responses.
    • Reflection questions: Did you receive feedback on your edits? How did this feedback make you feel? What did you do/think as a result of the feedback/comments?
  • Participate in the Talk Pages, as appropriate.
    • Reflection questions: Did you participate or visit the Talk Pages? Why or Why not? What was that like?

Between June 16, 2015-June 23, 2015

Submit a blog post (600-800 words) that includes Parts 1 and 2 below. Deadline for submitting the post: June 23, 2015 or earlier.

Your audience for this post is other secondary school teachers who may be considering making edits to Wikipedia and/or using Wikipedia in their classroom. What can you tell them that would help them make decisions about (1) getting involved (or not) with Wikipedia and (2) integrating a Wikipedia assignment into their classroom teaching?

In your post, please meaningfully reference ideas from at least 1 scholarly journal article (either something from our reading list or other).  That is, I want you to explicitly link your ideas on knowledge/Wikipedia to the published literature (i.e., at least 1 peer reviewed journal article).

PART 1 – Your Experience with editing Wikipedia

Describe what you added or changed and why, and reflect on your Wikipedia experience by addressing some of these questions:

  • What changes did you make and why did you feel these were good changes?
  • How comfortable/uncomfortable did you feel about the editing process?
  • Did you receive feedback from other Wikipedians on your edits?
  • What were your reactions to the feedback?
  • What did you do/think as a result of the feedback/comments from other Wikipedians?
  • Did you participate or visit the Talk Pages? Why or why not? What was that like?

You may also wish to comment on any of these issues, based on your experience:

  • Credibility of Wikipedia
  • Wikipedia as a reference for academic/school work
  • Accuracy of Wikipedia as compared to other sources

You may, of course, include other relevant reflections about your experience.

PART 2 – Using Wikipedia in your classroom

In Part 2 of this assignment, please provide a response to the following questions:

  • Would you consider viewing, editing, and/or creating pages in Wikipedia with your class?  Explain your answer.
  • Describe one or more ways you could use Wikipedia in your class. (please be as specific as possible and feel free to include links to other webpages and resources).

You may add any other details about using Wikipedia in your classroom.

Tips for a successful assignment:

In addition to making sure you include Parts 1 and 2, remember your audience!  Include the link of the page you made changes to and, don’t forget to meaningfully reference at least one peer reviewed journal article (and to properly cite any references you use).

If you are not too familiar with the “blog entry” as a genre, you may wish to visit Edutopia or Education World for sample blog posts.

If you feel proud of your work, I encourage you to share it! You may wish to post it to your own teaching portfolio and/or to submit it to other sites or Tweet it or ???

*Note: If you find tutorial links that you think Novice Wikipedians might appreciate having (in future courses, or otherwise), please email them to me so I may add them to the Resource section of the site.

Instructions for submitting the assignment:

Submit your assignment  via the course site between June 16-23, 2015 (view screencast below for detailed instructions on how to do this).

For this assignment, you may type the text directly into the post or upload a file. If you are uploading a file, please name it [Your last name]_wiki_2015. doc. 

Remember to toggle the Category “Wikipedia” otherwise your assignment will get lost among the numerous posts on the site and I will think you have not submitted it.

View screencast on how to upload a file and submit your Wiki assignment.

As with other assignments, you can choose to make the visibility of this assignment public or  private (private means only you and me can see it).

Please note: If you are feeling challenged by how to use the WordPress technology, please contact UBC Blog Support ( or drop-in to a  Scarfe Digital Sandbox Session.  You can also come to my office and I can show you how to do this.