Last week, I called into an online meeting with faculty from Santa Clara University’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. The workshop was organized by Department Chair and Associate Professor Jill Pellettieri with the hope of encouraging her colleagues to expand their pedagogical practice around language and translation assignments to include Wikipedia. With over 5 million articles, the English Wikipedia is the largest language Wikipedia, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. And with 287 other active Wikipedia’s, there is plenty of room for students to find articles about their course content to improve.
In a typical Wikipedia assignment, students research course content and update related articles on Wikipedia. One instructor from Santa Clara who joined us, Alberto Ribas-Casasayas, is trying this Wikipedia research assignment for the first time this spring in his SPAN 137 Introduction to Latin American Culture course. Students in Alberto’s class will be allowed to select their own topics (related to Latin American Culture), research that topic, and improve an existing Wikipedia article or create a new one from scratch if needed.
But for courses focused more on language practice than culture, we also provide assignment templates for translation projects. These ask students to identify content missing in their native language on Wikipedia, find an article in the language they are studying, and translate relevant text from one to the other. To read more about the work done by students in translation projects, check out our recent roundup.
While Wiki Education has only supported a few courses in translation projects, we would love to grow our work in this area and are excited about new instructors and students taking on this challenge.
To learn more, visit teach.wikiedu.org or contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.