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There are so many benefits for you and your students while engaging in a Wikipedia assignment. To learn more about student learning objectives, visit the Case Studies handbook. A few of these are listed below:

  • Writing for a live audience: students are creating work that doesn't just get graded by the instructor and then thrown away. Instead, their learnings are contributed to a worldwide resource with the potential to be read by Wikipedia's 500 million unique visitors each month!
  • Increased media literacy: students are asked to think critically about Wikipedia as a source. Is the information on the page verified? It is well-sourced? Is the topic covered in the news? Does the page reflect balanced viewpoints? These in-class discussions help students think not only about the accuracy of information on Wikipedia, but also of information they read all over the web.
  • Learning about knowledge creation: we hear again and again that students engage more critically in the creation of their Wikipedia content than they ever did for a class paper. The process of thinking about who might be reading the Wikipedia page, and what exactly that reader would need to get out of it, creates a great class discussion around the creation of knowledge and ways that we consume information off the internet. These learnings partner well with the media literacy discussions and get students to really think about biases in information representation.
  • Applied research (but no original research): students are often already undertaking literature reviews for their final papers. This assignment is an opportunity for students to make real use of those class readings and apply their content onto Wikipedia. This engages students in class readings more deeply and asks them to transfer that learning into an encyclopedic representation of the content.