10 years of student editing

Over the last several weeks, Wiki Education has published a series of blog posts loosely themed around the 10 year anniversary of our Wikipedia Student Program, where we support higher education instructors who assign their students to write Wikipedia articles as part of the course curriculum.

It’s been amazing to watch this program evolve and see higher education embrace Wikipedia as the powerful teaching tool we always knew it was. Here’s what our program looks like in numbers, through the spring 2020 term:

  • We’ve supported 4,088 courses
  • … with 83,996 students completing Wikipedia assignments!
  • We’ve worked with 1,852 instructors
  • …at 754 universities in the U.S. and Canada!
  • Students in our program have created 9,958 new articles
  • …and have edited 95,749 articles total!
  • 71.5 million words citing academic scholarship are on Wikipedia thanks to our program, hard-working students, and innovative instructors. If we printed that out, it’s nearly 500 reams of paper!

But it’s more than just numbers. It’s changes to the information available on Wikipedia, on the internet, and at billions of people’s fingertips, making it more accurate, representative, and complete. It’s changes to the lives of thousands of students, who have gained key skills and become more media literate. In the blog post series, our staff has reflected on these changes:

We didn’t just want to reflect on our perspectives of the last 10 years, however. We also wanted to showcase those who helped make it happen:

  • Max Klein and PJ Tabit joined Wikipedia to support student editors; both are still active today.
  • Jonathan Obar started teaching with Wikipedia in the pilot program; he’s still teaching in our program today!
  • Amanda Levndowski was a student in the pilot program; now, she’s proud Wikipedian and a law professor who assigns her own students to edit Wikipedia.
  • Tighe Flanagan took three classes in the pilot program, and then worked for the Wikimedia Foundation helping to expand the program globally.
  • Kasey Baker learned to edit as a student in the pilot program, and has gone on to bring hundreds of others to Wikipedia.

As we mark this milestone, we reflect on this experience for everyone involved in making our program a success for a decade. We owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who’s participated in our programs, worked for our organization, or supported our students on Wikipedia. And we owe a special debt of gratitude to our funders who have enabled this program’s success along the way, including the Stanton Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Wikimedia Foundation, Mary Graham, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Simons Foundation, Google, Pineapple Fund, and more.

To support our work for the next 10 years, visit wikiedu.org/donate.


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