Wiki education

Teach with Wikipedia

Since 2007, students in Diana Strassmann’s Poverty, Justice and Human Capabilities (PJHC) classes [at Rice University] have worked in an area that may seem unusual for academia: They’ve learned to write – and edit – articles for the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. The innovative assignment for several PJHC courses has led to students producing objective, carefully sourced articles on subjects ranging from child poverty to microcredit for what Strassmann calls “increasingly the first resource many Internet users consult whenever they encounter an unfamiliar topic.

Rice News

Wiki Education’s Wikipedia Student Program works with professors who want to assign their students to write or edit Wikipedia articles for class. The Foundation provides extensive training materials for students and for educators, as well as a human point of contact to assist. Research on a pilot program found that 72% of students preferred Wikipedia editing to a traditional assignment. “Students are forced out of the academic bubble; rather than writing for just their professor, they have opportunity to have their coursework reach an international audience. They’re able to share their work easily with their parents and friends.” [1]

As just one example of how Wikipedia editing can be incorporated productively into an economics class, check out the Poverty, Justice, and Human Capabilities course designed and taught by Diana Strassmann, Carolyn and Fred McManis Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Humanities at Rice University, founding editor of Feminist Economics, and chair of the board of the Wiki Education Foundation. The articles created for this course have received over 46.3 million views.

Wiki Education envisions a broader and more diverse Wikipedia that welcomes public and academic participation, in which students, scholars, and institutions of higher learning are actively engaged in investigating and representing knowledge.