Learning patterns/Bringing your students to edit-a-thons
What problem does this solve?
You are a course instructor and you want to teach your students about editing Wikipedia, or about the community that edits Wikipedia. However, you may not be able to teach all of your students at once, or want additional support.
What is the solution?
Work with local Wikipedia editors to put on an edit-a-thon, attracting local Wikipedia editors as volunteers to help out your students. You could even work with a local cultural institution (gallery, library, archives, museum) to host the event, especially if they have an interest in learning about Wikipedia as well.
- Find out where your local Wikipedians are! Get in touch with the Wikimedia chapter where you live, if there is one. Or you could find your city on the Wikipedia Meetup page (or equivalent on other language versions).
- Coordinate with local Wikipedians on an event. Agreeing on a time may be difficult if your class is during the week, as volunteers may have obligations then.
- Where to host: Anywhere that is reasonably quiet and has Wi-Fi or access to the Internet. The best place is a library, or anywhere you have access to reliable sources. Or bring them in to your classroom!
- Have a volunteer give an introductory presentation on Wikipedia, and during the edit-a-thon, have volunteers work with your students.
When to use
This pattern applies if you are interested in incorporating Wikipedia instruction in your classroom, including if you are not that familiar with how Wikipedia works (or if you just want extra help). This is useful not just for teaching students how to edit Wikipedia, but to introduce them to the Wikipedia community.
Andrew Lih, professor of journalism at American University in Washington, DC, taught a class on Wikipedia and public knowledge, featuring edit-a-thons at local cultural institutions that were organized with the help of the local Wikimedia chapter. These edit-a-thons featured a mix of cultural professionals, university students, and local Wikipedians.
- Great idea! Look out for a learning pattern soon about how to use the education course extension to keep track of what / when / how much your students editing. KHarold (WMF) (talk) 19:57, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
- Getting students to think about using Wikipedia outside the context of classwork and assignments is great, and bringing them to edit-a-thons is a pretty solid way of doing that. Great idea. I JethroBT (talk) 15:40, 2 December 2014 (UTC)