Last Tuesday, Director of Programs LiAnna Davis and I visited the University of California, San Diego. We spoke with librarians and faculty about how they can bring their work to Wikipedia.
When students contribute to Wikipedia as part of a class assignment, everybody benefits. Students bring the power of their libraries to Wikipedia by adding peer-reviewed, academic research to topics related to the course. Instructors bring the power of Wikipedia to their classrooms by taking students behind the scenes to understand the pieces that make it work.
At our UCSD workshop, we asked attendees whether they were inspired to collaborate on Wikipedia because of the opportunity to share knowledge with the world or because of the skills students develop through the process. Unsurprisingly, most people saw value in both outcomes. That’s what makes a Wikipedia assignment so special: students give knowledge to the world while gaining skills they need to thrive in it.
Librarians at UCSD see how Wikipedia enhances the work they do with students, which is why they continue organizing to improve Wikipedia. They have hosted Art + Feminism Edit-a-thons for the last two years to document the achievements of women in art. They have hosted edit-a-thons to add Asian and Asian American Pacific art to Wikipedia. And now, they’re serving as a gateway to bringing more faculty and students into the Classroom Program.
Thank you to hosts Gayatri Singh and Lia Friedman for hosting us in the beautiful Geisel Library. If you’re a faculty member interested in joining our initiative to bring quality information to Wikipedia and meaningful learning experiences to students, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org