Wikipedia US Education Program Begins for Spring 2012

As students begin settling into their chosen courses, those of us serving as Campus Ambassadors for the Wikipedia US Education Program gear up to present on Wikipedia in participating classes around campus.

The Wikipedia US Education Program is an initiative of the Wikimedia Foundation that seeks to engage college students around the US in the (course assignment-based) improvement of Wikipedia articles.  Professors who are interested in having their courses participate are given the support of on-campus and off-campus “ambassadors” who support the students through training and technical support in exchange for the professor’s commitment to make Wikipedia authoring/improvement a major (ca. 20-40%) component of the course.  A typical course sees each student make significant improvements to one article on Wikipedia.

Each course at Georgetown is supported by one or two Campus Ambassadors, volunteers (many of them CNDLS or Gelardin staff) who offer in-class Wikipedia orientation sessions and continue to give Wikipedia-related advice and support to the class throughout the semester.  Each course also has one Online Ambassador, an experienced Wikipedian who can give useful advice on navigating interactions with the Wikipedia community and dealing with Wikipedia conventions.

By participating in the program, students are introduced to a unique, practical, and timely course component that, whatever its particular shape,

  • brings their research into a heavily-accessed global space;
  • introduces them to content-related discussions with others outside the course;
  • and compels them to “switch gears” from analysis to reportage and to practice maintaining a neutral point-of-view.

This semester, 6 courses at Georgetown University are participating in the Wikipedia US Education Program:

  • Diane Apostolos-Cappadona’s LSHV course “Art and Ethics”
  • Adel Iskandar’s MAAS/CCT course “Media and Communication in the Arab World”
  • Adel Iskandar’s CCT course “Embattled Media: Conflict and War Journalism”
  • Shelly Habel’s SOCI course “Sport and Society”
  • Melissa Goldman’s CCT course “Film Theory in the Age of New Media”
  • Jeanine Turner’s CCT course “Communication Technology and Organizations”

We welcome new and returning professors to the Wikipedia program each semester.  If you are intrigued by the program and are interested in participating (or getting more information to decide if you’d like to), please email me (Anna Kruse at CNDLS), your regional Recruitment Ambassador for the program.