WikiEdu, a project of the Wiki Education Foundation, is designed to increase public access to quality information by publishing work generated by people in the higher education field.
By pairing up with university educators, WikiEd allows some of the 600 Wikipedia articles published each day to be enhanced by the addition of field-specific sources by those who have access to current, reliable data. Students who engage in WikiEd projects learn through content creation by participating in this project.
Dr. Nadine Changfoot, an Associate Professor in Political Studies at Trent University and a BIT co-applicant, started using WikiEd for the first time in September 2017 with five students. Dr. Changfoot was drawn to the program because she understood WikiEd wanted to refine their content and was motivated to improve articles related to disability culture. She notes that in order to have a successful WikiEd project, there is a fairly high demand on the instructor to think through the process and provide guidance to students. She reflected that students are very excited about the refreshing opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the Wikipedia site and make a relatively quick contribution to public knowledge.
By engaging in a WikiEd project, students can strengthen their research and writing skills, improve their citation skills, and increase their knowledge of scholarship. Dr. Changfoot recommends working on this program with a small group of upper-year undergraduate or graduate students. She also cautions instructors to consider the time investment required as using WikiEd can be a complex process including that all interactions on Wikipedia public-facing. Despite this, WikiEd uniquely allows faculty and students to present information that is not otherwise well represented in Wikipedia’s current articles, and improve a wide-reaching information system.
In alignment with BIT, WikiEd surfaces knowledge that may not be well known in the mainstream, strives to revise understandings, and aims to expand access to who contributes and what information is shared.
The information on Wikipedia still needs improvement and will benefit from a wider scope of knowledge. BIT invites other team members, along with their students, to participate in future semesters.
If you are interested and would like to learn more, please contact Tracy Tidgwell (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.