As part of a research collaboration, we are enriching the Dashboard training modules with Intertwine†, an online video discussion platform that researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh have developed to let students from different universities connect with each other to discuss and do Wikipedia-related activities. For the classes that opt in to this experiment, we’ll add three very small training modules to the timeline at places that make sense for each of the three Intertwine sessions. These modules will introduce the students to the opportunity to participate. Students who do participate will join others from different universities at specific times, via video and text chat, to go through Wikipedia activities together. These activities are designed to reinforce or extend the Wikipedia tasks they’ve been assigned for class:
- a basic ‘getting started’ exercise, where students practice Wikipedia editing basics by setting up personal user pages
- an ‘understanding Wikipedia policies’ session, where students discuss the Wikipedia definition of “reliable sources” and its “neutral point of view” policy
- a peer-review session, where students discuss peer review best-practices and put them into action
To participate, students will follow a link from the Dashboard’s training modules to the Intertwine website, where they can select a timeslot for an upcoming session. They will use their same Wikipedia account to log in to Intertwine, as they do on the Wiki Education Dashboard.
Based on the small number of Intertwine sessions from Fall 2017, we believe these sessions offer a beneficial learning experience for students who participate (regardless of whether they end up more or less likely to keep editing after the end of the assignment). If your class opts in to this project, no further action is necessary on your part, but the research team encourages you to offer extra credit to students who participate.
† — The Intertwine project is a research collaboration with a team of human-computer interaction researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh, to explore ideas about what might make new editors more likely to continue editing Wikipedia after a Wikipedia classroom assignment. We’re continuing this project in 2018, and plan to invite 2/3rds of the spring 2018 courses to participate. (The other 1/3rd is a control group.) You can read the research team’s documentation of the project here. If you have questions, feel free to get in touch with them.