April 2, 2012
From: Richard Jensen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The folks at Wikipedia are promoting the idea of university classes incorporating Wikipedia projects. That is the students would made additions to Wikipedia articles, for class credit. The professor would monitor the quality, and the folks at Wikipedia would provide all sorts of technical help.
I'm one of those helpers--and I've been editing a lot of Wikipedia articles, including some on India and Japan. Looking at hundreds of history articles, my take is that the average Wiki contributor is a male undergraduate who is mostly interested in military or political history, and is generally not familiar with social or cultural history, nor with historiography, nor with the scholarly literature. The articles need help. Since they are the #1 source used by students any upgrading would be a public service. But it also may teach the students to write and cite--and get instant feedback, with their work actually published for the world to see.
The program is in startup mode and is operating mostly in the USA right now. The project covers all academic disciplines, and has been endorsed by the Sociology and Psychology associations, which have
There will be an online training program for teachers this summer, plus a help desk and maybe even on-campus help. I edit a private discussion list you can join. Anyone interested in giving it a try
for next year should contact me at email@example.com
There is some information on the Wikipedia program at
on the sociologists see