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Students and faculty can jointly play a role in how Open Educational Resources are created and deployed by assigning students to expand Wikipedia pages. By producing re-usable OER materials, these assignments provide students with transferable research skills and collaborative learning opportunities, face-to-face or remotely. By taking part in the production of open-access materials, students practice sharing knowledge with a larger community and receive feedback from interested readers beyond their instructor and classmates. In addition, introducing more students to Wikipedia editing tools can increase the diversity of editors and topics in gender, language, ethnicity, and region. At the same time, learning about Wikipedia editing standards can provide instructors with evidence of Wikipedia’s validity for practising and vetting scholarly research. Seeing Wikipedia be revised, annotated, and expanded helps demonstrate content gaps in a discipline’s materials, highlighting choices about which topics are included and which count as notable. In supporting the OER curriculum, WikiEdu’s training provides instructors with a structure for helping students master Wikipedia rules and interfaces while still learning class content. In addition, for instructors who are more familiar with single-authored textbooks or science communication posts, Wikipedia editing can help address hesitations about the quality of multi-authored, crowdsourced OERs and provide another venue for increasing public awareness within instructors’ fields. Using instructor and student reflections on integrating Wikipedia editing assignments in five American linguistics classes, I show how these small OERs can allow groups and individuals to incrementally affect the coverage of a growing global reference work.


Linguistics | Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Linguistics Commons