How do I track student work?
There are several ways to use your Dashboard course page to see what your students have done on Wikipedia. Which one to use depends on what exactly you're trying to do:
How do I monitor recent activity by my students?
To see their latest edits, use the Activity tab. This shows a list of the most recent edits made by the students. You can click the timestamp of an edit to view it on Wikipedia, or click the "+/-" icon to see the "diff" of what was added and removed in that edit.
How can I see the articles my students edited?
To see the live Wikipedia articles your students have edited, and how each one changed, use the Articles tab of your course page. This lists each article edited, along with approximately how much content your students added. Click the page icon for an article to use the Article Viewer, which will load authorship highlighting information to indicate which text in the latest version of the article was contributed by which student.
How can I see all of what a student has done?
To see what an individual student has done, use the Students tab and click on a student. The student details view (Assignments & Exercises) shows which article(s) a student is assigned, which articles they are peer reviewing, which additional articles they've edited, which training modules they've completed, and more. For assigned articles and peer reviews, this includes links to the sandbox pages where they should be compiling bibliographies, drafting content, and submitting reviews.
What research has been done about teaching with Wikipedia?
Here are some of the peer reviewed studies on the pedagogical value of teaching with Wikipedia, Wikipedia writing assignments, and related topics.
Perceptions in academia
- Konieczny, Piotr (2016-04-01). Teaching with Wikipedia in a 21st-century classroom: Perceptions of Wikipedia and its educational benefits. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. doi:10.1002/asi.23616. ISSN 2330-1643
- Meseguer Artola, A., Aibar Puentes, E., et al., Factors that influence the teaching use of Wikipedia in Higher Education. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. doi: 10.1002/asi.23488
- Soules, Aline. (2015) Faculty perception of Wikipedia in the California State University System. New Library World Vol. 116 Iss 3/4 pp. 213 - 226
- Xiao, Lu. (2014). "Academic opinions of Wikipedia and open access will improve with more active involvement" (Summary of research paper for London School of Economics' Impact blog).
Science writing for undergrads
- Figuerola, Carlos G.; Groves, Tamar; Quintanilla, Miguel Angel (2015). The Implications of Wikipedia for Contemporary Science Education: Using Social Network Analysis Techniques for Automatic Organisation of Knowledge. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality. TEEM '15. New York, NY, USA: ACM. pp. 403--410. doi:10.1145/2808580.2808641. ISBN 978-1-4503-3442-6.
- Otfinowski, Rafael and Silva-Opps, Marina. (2015). Writing Toward a Scientific Identity: Shifting From Prescriptive to Reflective Writing in Undergraduate Biology The Journal of College Science Teaching, Vol. 45, No. 2.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Brox, Hilde (2016-04-05). Troublesome tools: How can Wikipedia editing enhance student teachers' digital skills?. Acta Didactica Norge 10 (2): 329--346. ISSN 1504-9922.
Teaching with Wikipedia
- Al-Shehari, Khaled (2017) "Collaborative learning: trainee translators tasked to translate Wikipedia entries from English into Arabic, The Interpreter and Translator Trainer", 11:4, 357-372, DOI: 10.1080/1750399X.2017.1359755
- Barnhisel, G., and Rapchak, M., (2014) Wikipedia and the Wisdom of Crowds. Communications in Information Literacy, Vol. 8 Issue 1.
- Bilansky, Alan. "Using Wikipedia to Teach Audience, Genre and Collaboration." Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture 16.2 (2016). Preprint.
- Blumenthal, Helaine, Delia Steverson, Helen Choi, Heather J. Sharkey and Janetta Waterhouse (Column Editors) Serials Spoken Here, Serials Review. 2022.
- Brailas et al. (2015) Wikipedia in Education: Acculturation and learning in virtual communities, in: Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, doi:10.1016/j.lcsi.2015.07.002
- Callis et al. (2009). Improving Wikipedia: educational opportunity and professional responsibility. Trends in Ecology and Evolution Volume 24, Issue 4, p177--179
- Carver, B., Davis, R., Kelley, R. T., Obar, J. A., & Davis, L. L. (2012). Assigning Students to Edit Wikipedia: four case studies. E-Learning and Digital Media, 9(3), 273--283
- Ceballos, Diana M., Robert F. Herrick, Tania Carreón, Vy T. Nguyen, MyDzung T. Chu, John P. Sadowski, Helaine Blumenthal, Thais C. Morata Expanding Reach of Occupational Health Knowledge: Contributing Subject-Matter Expertise to Wikipedia as a Class Assignment, INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing. January 2021. doi:10.1177/00469580211035735
- Chen / Reber (2011), Writing Wikipedia articles as course assignment. Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Computers in Education. Chiang Mai, Thailand: Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education
- Christensen, Tyler Booth. (2015) "Wikipedia as a Tool for 21st Century Teaching and Learning." International Journal for Digital Society, 6 (2), pp. 1055--1060.
- Cummings (2009), Are We Ready to Use Wikipedia to Teach Writing? Inside Higher Ed
- Foster-Kaufman, Amanda. 2019. Wikipedia-Based Assignments and Critical Information Literacy: A Case Study in: Pashia, A., & Critten, J. Critical Approaches to Credit-bearing Information Literacy Courses. Association of College and Research Libraries.
- Freire / Li (2014), "Using Wikipedia to enhance student learning: A case study in economics". Education and and Information Technologies, December 2014.
- Head, A. J., & Eisenberg, M. B. (2010). How today's college students use Wikipedia for course-related research. First Monday, 15(3), 1-1. doi: 10.5210/fm.v15i3.2830
- Infeld / Adams (2013), Wikipedia as a Tool for Teaching Policy Analysis and Improving Public Policy Content Online. Journal of Public Affairs Education 19(3), 445--459
- Kennedy et. al. (2015), Turning Introductory Comparative Politics and Elections Courses into Social Science Research Communities Using Wikipedia. PS: Political Science and Politics, 48(2): 378-384
- Jacobson, Trudi and Thomas Mackey. Metaliteracy in a Connected World: Developing Learners as Producers. ALA Neal-Schuman. 2022.
- Konieczny (2012), Wikis and Wikipedia as a Teaching Tool: Five Years Later. First Monday
- Konieczny, Piotr. (2016) Teaching with Wikipedia in a 21st-century classroom: Perceptions of Wikipedia and its educational benefits. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology.
- Lampe, C., Zube, P., Velasquez, A., Ozkaya, E., & Obar, J. (2012). Classroom Wikipedia participation effects on future intentions to contribute. Proceedings of the ACM 2012 conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work - CSCW '12 (p. 403). New York, New York, USA: ACM Press.
- Roth, A., Davis, R., & Carver, B. (2013). Assigning Wikipedia editing: Triangulation toward understanding university student engagement. First Monday, 18(6). doi:10.5210/fm.v18i6.4340
- Smith Stvan, Laurel. Collaborative group work and increased diversity through Wikipedia editing. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America. Vol 6. No. 2. 2021.
- Van Volkenburgh, Elizabeth, et. al. Understanding PlantBehavior: A Student Perspective. Trends in Plant Science. May 2021. Vol. 26. No. 5 425.
- Vetter, Matthew A. Teaching Wikipedia: The Pedagogy and Politics of an Open Access Writing Community. Thesis, 2015, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Ohio University, English (Arts and Sciences).
- Vetter, Matthew A. "Teaching Wikipedia: Appalachian Rhetoric and the Encyclopedic Politics of Representation." College English, vol. 80, no. 5, 2018, pp. 397-422.
- Wadewitz et al. (2010), Wiki-hacking: Opening up the academy with Wikipedia
- Wannemacher / Schulenburg (2009), Wikipedia in Academic Studies: Corrupting or Improving the Quality of Teaching and Learning?. In: Looking Toward the Future of Technology-Enhanced Education: Ubiquitous Learning and the Digital Native. Martin Ebner and Mandy Schiefner (eds.)
- Wright (2012), Writing Wikipedia Articles as a Classroom Assignment.
How do I change my username?
If you would like to switch to a different username — for example, because you used your real name and you want your account to be less identifiable — You can make a straightforward username request at Special:GlobalRenameRequest.
Users can change their username as long as the prospective username is available and doesn’t violate username guidelines. You cannot give yourself a username that is misleading, disruptive, confusing, or that gives off the impression that multiple people are using the account. It’s generally recommended that you avoid using your real name, especially if you edit in controversial areas. Examples of usernames you cannot choose are things like “IamChrisPratt”, “EnglishClassFall”, or “WikipediaEmployee”.
If your account is brand new, you can abandon this account and create a new one. The requirement for this is that the old account must be completely abandoned – you cannot sign into it again to edit or otherwise participate on Wikipedia.
Updating your username on dashboard.wikiedu.org
After your username has been changed on Wikipedia, you can log out of dashboard.wikiedu.org and then log in again; this will update your username for any courses you are participating in.
What do I need to know now that my course page is live?
Now that your course page is up and running on dashboard.wikiedu.org, you may find these resources helpful in running your Wikipedia assignment.
Tracking student work
The Dashboard will be your main way to see what your students are doing on Wikipedia. Here are more details on how you can use the Dashboard to keep track of student work at different stages of the assignment.
Using your Timeline:
Your timeline is where your students will find the outline for your Wikipedia assignment. There they will find links to relevant handouts and training materials. You can make adjustments to your course timeline at any point throughout the term. Here's how.
Asking for help
On your course page, you'll find a purple "Get Help" button in the upper right corner of the page. Both you and your students can click on this to search our FAQ pages, find relevant resources, or reach out to the appropriate member of the Wiki Education team to assist you.
Wiki Education staff
Your course is being supported by Wiki Education's Classroom Program Manager as well as one of our Wikipedia Experts. You can reach them by email — you'll find it in the Details section of your course page — or via the Get Help button.
Other useful links
My students are having trouble with the enrollment link
If students are having trouble joining your course — for example, reporting that they need a passcode or that the enrollment link you distributed isn't working — the most common issue is that the link you distributed got modified and doesn't include the "enroll" parameter. (This can happen when sending email through some learning mangement systems; the linked text may still show the
?enroll=abcdefg portion of the link, but it isn't part of it.)
On the Students tab of your course page, you can click "Add/Remove Students" to get the enrollment URL (which will change if you modify the course passcode.) Double-check that the link you distributed matches this URL.
If that's not the problem, get in touch with Wiki Education staff via the Get Help button.
How should I grade my Wikipedia assignment?
How do I clone a course?
If you want to re-use the content of one of your courses from a previous course — in particular, the Description and any custumizations you made to the Timeline content — then you can use the Clone feature instead of starting from scratch.
The Clone This Course button is available in the Actions section of the Home tab.
Some courses, including most from 2018 or earlier, have Timeline content that is incompatible with changes we've made to the training module system. The Clone This Course will not appear for these courses.
What is Wiki Education?
Wiki Education — wikiedu.org — is a small nonprofit that runs programs to bring together the worlds of academia and Wikipedia.
Wiki Education runs the Wiki Education Dashboard (this site) as well as a global version called Programs & Events Dashboard: https://outreachdashboard.wmflabs.org/
For more, see https://wikiedu.org/about-us/
How do my students create accounts when their IP address is blocked?
If your students are having trouble getting started because Wikipedia says they are using a blocked IP address, there are several possibilities.
The IP range for the campus may be blocked due to persistent Wikipedia vandalism. In this case, the easiest option is usually to create accounts off-campus; once a student has an account and is logged in, they can edit normally. If students can't easily do this, you can create accounts for them while logged in with your own account, via the Create Account form. You ask for their preferred username, and then select the option to email them a temporary random password.
If your students are editing from a place where Wikipedia is only accessible via VPN (such as mainland China), you can create accounts for them, but they may still be unable to edit; Wikipedia places more stringent restrictions on the shared IP addresses used by public VPNs because of potential abuse by fake accounts. If your students face this problem, contact Wiki Education staff and provide the usernames of the students who need to edit through VPNs and the reason it's necessary. In most cases, we can flag those accounts to permit VPN editing. If your institution runs its own VPN, students may be able to use that VPN without requiring any special permission from Wikipedia; such private VPNs are usually not blocked.
For other situations related to IP blocks, please contact Wiki Education staff. Include the usernames of affected students and the text and/or screenshots of any error messages encountered, if possible.
How does the student view differ from the instructor view?
Most of the Dashboard's user interface is the same for instructors, students, and visitors who are not part of a course. The following key features are present only for specific roles.
- Real names of students are visible on the Students tab
- Editing of Course Details, Description, and Timeline
- Adding Available Articles; the link to the Available Articles view is not shown to students at all if the list is empty.
- Adding and removing students
- The Home tab includes Upcoming Exercises, which links to the next assigned Exercise module that has not yet been marked complete. (This is only present if the student has at least one incomplete exercise.)
- The Home tab include My Articles, which allows them to manage the articles they will write or peer review, and provides guidance on the key stages of the assignment for each article.
See the Keeping track of your work on the Dashboard training module for a walkthrough of these features.
How do I apply for support from Wiki Education to run a Wikipedia assignment?
To receive Wiki Education support for your Wikipedia assignment, you must apply for a spot in our program each term. We will notify applicants whether we have a spot by the date noted when you apply. If you're on the quarter system, please let us know if you need to know before the date.
Who does this apply to?
Any instructor who wishes to teach with Wikipedia through Wiki Education’s Student Program must apply to participate. This application process applies to both returning instructors who have taught with our program in the past, and those new to the program.
What do I need to do to apply?
- Returning instructors: Log on to dashboard.wikiedu.org, and either create a new course page or clone one of your previous course pages. Be sure to submit it by the deadline. Your submitted course page serves as your completed application.
- New instructors: Visit dashboard.wikiedu.org, go through the new instructor orientation, and then follow the prompts to enter our assignment design wizard, which will guide you through the creation of a course page. Your submitted course page serves as your completed application.
What is the timeline?
All course pages must be submitted by the deadline for the term in which you'd like to participate in our program. Your submitted course page is considered your application. We will evaluate all applications and let applicants know if they’ve been accepted or not before the start of the term.
What if I need to know sooner?
If you need to know whether or not we have space for your course before the given announcement date, let us know, and we can accommodate your request.
What if I'm on the quarter system?
For schools on the quarter system, please adhere to the deadline for the Fall term. If you are teaching a Winter Quarter course and need to know before the acceptance announcement, please let us know. Spring Quarter courses will have to apply by the end of February for the term in which they are seeking support. Refer to a specific term for more accurate dates and deadlines.
What if I am submitting a course page for a different term?
If you are submitting a course page for a different term, you may do so. It is preferable, however, that you submit your course page during the application period.
How does Wiki Education decide which courses receive a spot in their program?
We expect to support the vast majority of courses that apply, and our intent is to turn away as few courses as possible. Our application process is designed to ensure that we can meet the high demand for our support and be sure that all the courses we support have a positive Wikipedia experience. Factors we will consider when reviewing course submissions include: number of students in the course, course subject, and expected outcomes to Wikipedia. Our application process enables us to better evaluate and assess our capacity so we can provide the support necessary to ensure all of our students can make meaningful contributions to Wikipedia.
Does submitting a course page by the deadline mean that I will receive a spot in the program?
No. Submitting your course page by the deadline ensures that we will review your application, but will not guarantee you a spot for the term in which you are seeking support. We will make every effort to accommodate all interested courses.
If I do not receive a spot, can I still run a Wikipedia assignment without Wiki Education's support?
If we are unable to offer you a spot in our program, you will not be able to use Wiki Education’s Course Dashboard to keep track of your Wikipedia assignment. You will also not receive any staff support from Wiki Education. While we cannot prevent you from running the assignment, we strongly recommend that you find an alternative project. Running the assignment without our support will be challenging for you and your students, and we want your students to have a meaningful and productive experience when editing Wikipedia.
If I do not receive a spot for the term in which I am applying for support, does that mean I will not receive support in future terms?
No. If we are unable to offer you a spot for the term in which you are applying for support, this will not preclude you from future Wiki Education support.
How do I manage my students' peer reviews
There are several ways to manage which articles your students are assigned to peer review.
Randomly assign peer reviews
On the Students tab Overview, you (as the instructor) have the option to assign peer reviews randomly. This feature will use the number of peer reviews per student that you selected in the Assignment Wizard when you set up your course. It will attempt to assign peer reviews so that every assigned article has nearly the same number of reviewers, and each student has the designated number of articles to review.
Assign peer reviews manually
When you select an individual student fro the Students tab, you'll have the option to manage their assignments and peer reviews. Click 'Assign a peer review' to select a classmate's article to review, remove a previously selected review, or enter the title of another article to review.
Students choose peer reviews
Your students can manage their own peer reviews similarly to you. For students, this is done via the My Articles section of the Home tab.
The 'Peer Review' link for each assigned peer review is a "preload" link that will load a set of guiding questions if the review hasn't been started yet. (This preload feature only works for users who are logged in on Wikipedia; if a student follows the link and reaches an empty page, they will need to sign in and try it again.)
Finding completed peer reviews
Once a student has completed a peer review in the designated Wikipedia sandbox and saved it using the Publish button, you can view it via the 'Peer Review' link in the Students tab, Assignments & Exercises view.
How do I create a new course?
To create a new course, you must first complete the New Instructor Orientation. Once you've completed it, you should find the Create Course button on the dashboard.wikiedu.org home page.
If the Create Course button does not appear for you (and you are logged in), it means you need to update your registration to let the Dashboard know you are an instructor. To do so, visit dashboard.wikiedu.org/onboarding and choose Instructor. (This is typically required if your first time using the Dashboard was as a course participant, or if someone else set up your first course for you.)
How can I edit my timeline?
You can customize your timeline in a number of ways:
Arranging the timeline
The timeline is composed of a number of blocks of text. You can move these blocks around by clicking on the "Arrange timeline" button found at the bottom of your timeline. Once you've clicked this button, you can drag blocks from one week to another. Be sure to click save when you're done.
You may wish to use this feature if you'd like to change the order of assignments from our recommended template. For example, you might wish your students to copyedit an article before choosing their topic. You could change the order of these activities by clicking on the "Arrange timeline" button.
You can edit the text on any block on the timeline. Simply click on the edit button on the individual block in order to do so. You may change the block's title, the training modules assigned for that block, and the main text. Be sure to click "save" when you're done.
Adding blocks of text
You may add additional blocks to your course timeline. To do so, locate the week where you'd like to include the new block and simply click on "Add block." Be sure to fill out the title, indicate what type of assignment it is, and fill out the main area of text. Be sure to click "save" when you're done.
You may change the dates on your timeline by clicking on the "edit course dates" link. Simply enter in the new dates and click done. You can also change the days of the week on which your course meets or indicate any school holidays or vacations. You can also add additional weeks to your timeline by clicking on the "Add week" button. You can only add an additional week if your specified dates permit.
Editing due dates
By default, training modules and exercises are due one week after the dates for the timeline block where they are assigned. Edit the block and add a due date to replace the default with a due date of your choosing.
How do I add an additional instructor/TA to my course page?
To add an additional instructor or a teaching assistant to your course page, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the home tab of your course page.
- Click on the "Edit Details" button.
- Click on the plus button next to the instructor row.
- Enter in the Wikipedia username, name, and title of the person you'd like to add.
- Click the add button and then ok.
- Click "save" when you're done.
We recommend that anyone involved in supporting your students for their Wikipedia assignment go through our Orientation for New Instructors.
What are the privacy considerations for Wikipedia assignments? What about FERPA?
This site stores relatively little private information, and does not store any grades or instructor evaluations. For more details about what data is stored, see https://dashboard.wikiedu.org/private_information.
The following information is public via this site and/or Wikipedia:
- the usernames (but not real names) of the students in the class
- the instructor's username and real name
- the course description and timeline
- all the edits made on Wikipedia
We recommend the following best practices:
- Let your students know at the outset of the course that they will be working in public on Wikipedia
- Provide an alternative option for students who are uncomfortable working in public
- Encourage your students to choose usernames that are anonymous
- Teaching with the Internet; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Google In My Classroom - Adeline Koh's overview of considerations for assignments done on the public internet, with a section on Wikipedia specifically
- Guidelines for Public, Student Class Blogs: Ethics, Legalities, FERPA and More - HASTAC's advice on how FERPA applies to working in public
How can I view student work that has been reverted/removed?
If students work isn't showing up in the Article Viewer, you can use Wikipedia's built-in diff viewer.
You can use the radio buttons on the History tab of a Wikipedia article to compare any pair of edits (so if your student made several, just select the before and after versions of the page) and use the "Compare selected revisions" button.
Unfortunately, the default version is less than user-friendly, so to get a slightly easier-to-interpret view, go to this link (which is the Beta features tab under your Wikipedia preferences), scroll down to "Visual differences" and enable it. Then click "Save" at the bottom of the page.
Now, when you click on the "Compare selected revisions" button, you should have a pair of buttons to the top right which let you toggle between Visual or Wikitext versions of the diff. The Visual version is much easier to make sense of.