Wikipedia assignments can be valuable tools to help students develop information and digital literacies, composition and editorial skills, reference skills, and critical thinking ability. They can range from single close reading exercises to semester-long editing assignments with the goal of producing new pages, and can be integrated into courses from any discipline.
For faculty and Graduate Student Instructors interested in teaching with Wikipedia, you'll find numerous resources to help you here at the University of Michigan Library and through our partners are CRLT and LSA Instructional Support Services.
The U-M library also works closely with the Wiki Education, which supports the Wikipedia Education Program. We have supported Wikipedia editing assignments in numerous departments including Chemistry, History, Afroamerican and African Studies, Psychology, Economics, and others.
"Wikipedia is an opportunity to teach students essential 21st century skills that most will use in their careers and personal lives. Wikipedia is a valuable public resource, and in a classroom environment students learn how to contribute and use it properly. Curricula can and should include Wikipedia!" Read more Reasons to use Wikipedia in teaching.
Visit the Portal for Educators for more information, including:
Helpful materials also inlcude the downloadable brochures “Instructor Basics” and “Case Studies” which describe best practices, learning objectives for assignments, and how to grade a Wikipedia assignment.
We strongly suggest you to review these materials before you design the assignment with Wikipedia editing component. One important thing to note is that the style of students' writings needs to fit the encyclopedia style so that the articles would not get easily deleted by the community.
The experience of using Wikipedia for multiple class assignments is described in the article Improving Science Education and Understanding through Editing Wikipedia. by C. L. Moy, J. R. Locke, B. P. Coppola and A. J. McNeil in Journal of Chemical Education, 2010, 87 (11), 1159-1162.
See list of past and current courses in the U.S. under Wikipedia Education Program.