Creative Teaching Methods Using Wikipedia

For the majority of high school and college students, little thought besides an expected grade is put in to papers that they write. Because of this, they often put in a limited amount of effort to them, which reduces the learning experience that they could be having. So, to change this, teachers in Sydney have come up with a unique teaching method, and it involves Wikipedia.

Wikipedia has very high standards as to what articles that they are willing to accept. Any that are poorly written, not based on facts, or include poor grammar and misspellings are rejected automatically. Teachers are using this to their advantage by challenging their students to create a Wiki page for acceptance on the site. Those that fit the qualifications allow a constant source of feedback on the student’s work because of the comments and Wikipedia edits that are done to pages from outside viewers. This helps encourage students to spend more time in collaboration over the work they put in to their articles because they do not want negative feedback. Teachers have also said that encouraging their students to write for a public source this way teaches them about online ethics. Besides doing their own Wikipedia business page creation for submission, they are being asked to make Wikipedia revisions and leave comments on those articles that are already written by others on Wikipedia.

This interesting use of Wikipedia’s site is similar to the way that companies are getting more involved with making it work for them as well. A site called Get Your Wiki hosts several professional Wikipedia editors for hire that do the same writing, editing, and monitoring of pages to help businesses with their online reputations. By participating in this teaching method, students are learning about marketing and public relations, which might later help them to get jobs in some of the same companies that they are reading and editing articles about.