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I'm teaching a course about feminism. I know about the online culture around these subjects—will I be exposing my students to a negative environment if they edit Wikipedia in the classroom?

asked 2015-10-02 18:09:13 -0500

I'm teaching a course about feminism. I know about the online culture around these subjects—will I be exposing my students to a negative environment if they edit Wikipedia in the classroom?

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answered 2015-10-02 18:13:20 -0500

One of the best things we can do to avoid backlash from the community is prepare new users to edit well. If students understand the community they're entering, they're more likely to avoid most confrontations. That's why we've made the online student training an integral part of any Wikipedia assignment.

Though very few students have faced resistance or backlash for their editing, there is always a chance of students encountering negativity online. Past instructors have used these experiences as a teaching opportunity. Starting a discussion among students about how and why they might have these experiences not only guards them against negative encounters, but helps them understand barriers for certain factions—especially underrepresented or marginalized ones—to participate in an established community.

Wiki Education Foundation staff will step in if we see communication that reaches beyond constructive criticism or if an instructor asks us for help with a discussion. If appropriate, we can always escalate it to the next level on Wikipedia, and we will know the best avenues for that.

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Asked: 2015-10-02 18:09:13 -0500

Seen: 254 times

Last updated: Oct 02 '15