In mid-April, 5500 people — including two Wiki Ed staffers — came to the Midwest Political Science Association conference in Chicago. Attendees from around the world shared political science research and emerging practices in teaching and learning.
Eryk Salvaggio and I held a 90-minute presentation on teaching with Wikipedia. Workshop participants shared their thoughts on the role of Wikipedia in higher education. We explained how Wikipedia works, while shedding light on the opportunities editing provides for students. The conference was a great chance to hear from instructors and students about how they might improve public access to political science information.
Wikipedia is often the first hit when people search for information about their government, public policy, politicians, and the legal system. Political science students are already studying these topics, and their knowledge gains greater value when they share it.
Our MPSA partnership stems from shared efforts to engage university students in improving publicly available political science information. This joint effort helps us reach instructors who can guide students to bring meaningful political science information to a wider audience through Wikipedia.
Instructors were particularly engaged with the idea of bringing local political science information at the state or municipal level to Wikipedia, and we’re excited to see how the student contributions play out in upcoming terms.