Wikipedia gains academic acceptance
In “the old days” professors warned students about Wikipedia or flatly forbid its use. Still not recognized as an acceptable primary source, Wikipedia today is often suggested as a place to start exploring a topic. An article in Wired Campus, Academics Continue Flirting With a Former Foe: Wikipedia, includes the following quote:
“Wikipedia is the prime resource for free knowledge. If you’re not in Wikipedia, you’re not in the public consciousness.” (Dariusz Jemielniak)
College courses and student clubs – even academic departments – are systematically contributing to Wikipedia. The same can be said for professional societies in medicine, sociology, and psychology. According to Wikipedia: Too Large To Ignore Anymore, in CIO Today (June 2014),
In at least 150 courses at colleges in the U.S. and Canada, including UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco’s medical school, Boston College and Carnegie Mellon University, students were assigned to create or expand Wikipedia entries this year.
How Wikipedia is used
Award-winning author Robert Cummings is an English professor at Ole Miss and an advocate for use of Wikipedia in teaching. Below are slides he created for a February 2014 presentation at the University of Sydney’s “Wikipedia in Higher Education” symposium.
How to get started
Pete Forsyth of Wiki Strategies is a Senior Editor on the English language Wikipedia. He offers a six-week free online course called Writing Wikipedia Articles: The Basics and Beyond. The live course last ran in spring of 2014, but you can also complete it on your own. This video overview can help you get started.
The Wikipedia Education Program provides resources for educators who want their students to edit Wikipedia. It includes editing basics, tips for using Wikipedia in the classroom, how to set up a course page, and sample assignments. The excellent resources include: