Submissions/Student Learning Outcomes using Wikipedia based assignments/notes

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Student Learning Outcomes using Wikipedia based assignments
Day & time
2:30PM Friday August 11th
Session link
Zachary McDowell


Students know how to use new technologies but they do not have deep critical information skills. Abstinence-only Wikipedia education doesn't work. In some schools it is forbidden to use Wikipedia.

Ran a Wikipedia editing project with WikiEd. In case studies. Surveys with more than 1600 students and 90 instructors. All data is open, it is possible to connect back to the students that answered.

Students were at least as satisfied or more satisfied with their work on the project. Overwhelmingly proud of their work. Freshman year students were more happy with wikipedia than usual writing classes.

When students know someone (besides the instructor) will read it, they care more. Approval from others and not just the teacher felt good. Having the result of the assignment lasting more than just the time of grading was a positive thing. Students spent more time on the project, too. After, students were convinced Wikipedia is reliable and informative. there was a shift in how students perceived WIkipedia: from "unreliable" to "reliable". "I trust it because I can check the sources"

Instructors value Wikipedia assignments more for learning transfer, compared to traditional assignments. Every instructor but one felt it was better for digital literacy, overwhelmingly positive feedback overall. Students saw the broader impact of their work on Wikipedia, as well as the impact of content gaps. "If information is missing, then people don't have it, because that's where they go." Needing to dig deeper into literature about less covered topics was strongly motivated by passion about the subject. Bringing more diverse editors helps in filling gaps in topics covered. WikiEd courses produced articles on less represented topics, especially women's studies.

Wikipedia writing skills were put by students into resume as selling points, and someone got hired thanks to that.

Retention is low, but they are aware of the inner workings and they may spread the information.