Wikipedia assignment

Wikipedia Special:MyCourses

List of student names & WP usernames

[Legency: Class Wikipedia Portal}

Identify the page you are editing and your partner on the speadsheet here.

Here are some helpful Wikipedia links, including about structure of good articles.

In the Wikipedia writing assign you will try to improve an existing Wikipedia article page relevant to course topics, or create a new article, aiming for good article quality. There were three goals for the Wikipedia assignment. 

  1. develop expertise about a topic relevant to the course while writing the project
  2. improve the world's knowledge about an important topic by adding your expertise to the the relevant page
  3. learn how working in an online community operates

Here are some details of the Wikipedia assignment, with a timeline for major milestones.

Date Milestone
Week 2
due: 9/7

Create a Wikipedia account & user page, and then enroll in Communication in Groups & Organizations on the Wikipedia educational portal.  Start the process by using this link. Then start the training.

Week 3

due: 9/14

(a) Look through Wikipedia for a good and a bad article relevant to the course.  Use these examples, formal criterial for the Wikipedia "good article" grade, descriptive statistics about charactieristics of good articles and your own sense of what would be a helpful encylopeida article on a social science topic to develop criteria for what standards students in this class should strive for in developing your articles. Have this discussion in the criterion forum.

(b) Look through articles from Current Directions in Psychological Science or a similar reference source for interesting articles relevant to the course published in the last 5-7 years. Add one idea or fact from this research to a relevant article in Wikipedia.  Be sure to include an inline citation to the original source.  One way to find a Wikipedia article to edit with this new information is to identify some keywords from the title or abstract of the Current Directions' article and conduct an advanced Google search of the form keywords, , which will restrict the search to the domain. For example, a Google search on "person perception thin slices" returns articles on "interpersonal perception", "Blink (book)" "Nalini Ambady" and "Thin-slicing", all of which are relevant to this topic.

Week 4
due: 9/21 

Find at least five Wikipedia articles relevant to the course (using the 'Find Articles"  tab on the APS Wikipedia Initiative).  You should be trying to identify articles you'll want to work on.  You will need to balance (a) your personal interest and knowledge about the topics, (b) lack of prior good Wikipedia coverage of the topic and the (c) the availability of sources in the social science literature. Carefully read one of these articles and leave at least one suggestion for improving it on the article's discussion page.  

Optional: Wait a day or two and then implement your suggest on the article page, if the improvement is small.

Alternatively, you can identify a topic relevant to the course that needs to be represented by a Wikipedia page, for which a page does not yet exist.

Week 5
due: by 9/28 select your partner and article. 

Select an article to work on and a partner to work on it with. You can find a partner by posting on the Find a Wikipedia Partner forum. Post the educational assignment template on the article talk page. This can be the article on which you suggested an improvement last week or you can choose a different article to work on. Create an article sandbox as a subpage from one of your user pages.   Copy the content of the original article to the sand box.  You can start working on improvement of the article in the sand box.

Post the membership of your Wikipedia group using the APS Wikipedia interface.  Instructions for doing this are here. Basically you will do the following:

1.Sign in to the APS interface.
2.Click on “Your Courses”
3.Click on “Group”
4.Select the student you want to work with

5.Send invitation to them by clicking on “Invite selected student to your group” button

6.Also, add your group members to this spreadsheet on the course website.

Start creating a plan for what your selected article needs and what you will do to improve it. You can add your evolving plan to the talk page on your sandbox article or the sandbox article itself. Start compiling a bibliography for your article & begin reading sources, and include this information in your planning document.

Week 6
set up a meeting with the instructor for the week of Oct 6th. 

This week, continue to do background research on the  topic of your article.  Identify credible sources you can use to improve the article.  Should have identified at least 15 new credible sources you can add to the article. Think about new sections of content to include in the article, if appropriate. 

Schedule an appointment with the course instructor, to discuss the article you will work on and your plans for improving the article. You and your partner should post some plans for improving your article on the article's talk page.  This will potentially get you some feedback from the community about whether your plans are sensible.  You can update these plans as you learn more about your topic.  Feel free to introduce some of these changes to the published article itself.  
Week 8
Oct 19 

Post a draft revision of the article on your sandbox or other public source (e.g., a public google doc) and ask other class members and the instructor for feedback.  You can ask for instructor feedback at any time, but wait to ask for classmate feedback until you have a reasonable draft available for review. 

Week 9
Oct 26 

Submit feedback on at least two draft articles from the class

Week 10
Nov 2 

Move your changes from your sandbox to the article's Wikipedia page & let the instructor and TA know you have published your work. 

If you are creating a new article or substantially improving an existing stub, compare a one-sentence "hook," nominate it for the Did You Know (DYK) status to appear on the Wikipedia homepage and monitor the nomination for problems reviewers might identify.  

Week 11
Nov 9 

Respond to the instructors' feedback about your article. (You should be able to see feedback by looking at your article in "My queue".)  If it is ready, you can nominate your article for good article status

Weeks 12-14
Nov 9-Nov 26 

Respond to any feedback you get from the reviewers or instructors.  If  you have nominated your article for Good Article status, make sure you directly respond to reviewers as well as incorporating their suggested improvements, if appropriate.


Send the instructors an announcement that you finished working on your article and the URL showing the revision when you last made changes.  Save a copy of this version of the article to your sandbox and as a Word or pdf document, so that it will be easy for you to find its state, in case other Wikipedians reverted or otherwise changed your version.  Upload the Word or pdf to the course homework forum, to preserve a record of your work.

Turn in your team's reflection on your Wikipedia writing experience.  The essay (5-10 pages) should have two components.  The first should describe and document what you actually did for the assignment and provide a rationale for your changes. Here you should include a URL to the article you worked on and provide an overview of the work you did.  What were your improvement goals. Why these goals?. What types of contributions did you make?  How did you reorganize the page, if you did.  What areas in the article did you expand?  What new material did you add?  What is your assessment of the extent of the improvements you made -- e.g., small updates or corrections ,  adding new section, major reorganization, etc.

The second componenet should describe what you learned about how an online community operates by participating in the assignment.  What kind of interaction did you have with the Wikipedia infrastructure (e.g., policies and guidelines) or with members of the community? What does Wikipedia do to make it easy or hard for newcomers to participate?  How could Wikipedia more effectively take advantage of motivated volunteers like you?

This is a team assignment.