We also need to emphasize transparency on the talk pages, so we know
whom to contact. Some of the teachers involved have reported
considerable difficulty in finding encyclopedic topics, and anyone
with experience at WP could surely help them there. There's a tendency
to try for traditional term paper topics, which can often end up as
OR, when things like bios of people involved in whatever the course
topic is can be more suitable. And of course everyone involved must
realise there is no way of preventing others from editing during the
term. But if they pick out-of-the-way people, this shouldn't be a
It also appears to my continuing dismay --but certainly not surprise
---as a librarian, that many of the teachers involved haven't the
least idea of how to do references, or sometimes even the need for it.
I say "teachers"--for it is not the fault of their students.
On 10/30/07, Ray Saintonge <saintonge(a)telus.net> wrote:
David Gerard wrote:
On 30/10/2007, Sage Ross
From what I've seen surveying the various
classroom projects people
have tried, the most successful are ones where some effort is made to
screen topics for encyclopedicity and gaps in Wikipedia's coverage,
and/or the assignments are focused on interacting with the Wikipedia
community (i.e., content is posted early and students follow the fate
of their work over the semester).
Yes. Rather than just telling the students "go write something", send
them to a wikiproject's list of redlinks, or to the missing articles
With university research facilities onhand, writing some decent
articles with good references shouldn't be much work at all. We'll get
more good content and they'll get a good introductory experience to
Indeed, and this sort of thing should be encouraged, and we need to
accept that some contributions will be dogs. Nevertheless, the social
graces of some of the people who review these contributions leave much
to be desired. They do little to help these people to improve their
There was a time when the primary outside criticism of Wikipedia had to
do with the accuracy of contents. I seem to encounter more these days
about the social environment. It would be great if more Wikipedians
understood the implications of that.
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David Goodman, Ph.D, M.L.S.