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Course Description

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5 Words

Dive deep into Wikimedia's ecosystem.

10 Words

Dive deep into Wikimedia's ecosystem: collaborate, contribute knowledge and critique.

100 Words 

"Introduction to Wikimedia" unveils the power of collaborative knowledge-building, grounded in the philosophy and ethos of the Wikimedia movement. Over eight weeks, students gain proficiency with Mediawiki, the engine driving Wikimedia projects, and engage deeply with platforms like Wikipedia, Wikisource, and Wikiversity. Participants tailor projects to their interests, aligning them with the mission of a chosen platform, ensuring they resonate with and contribute positively to the larger community. The course culminates with a critique, where students assess Wikimedia's relevance and contributions to the 21st-century information landscape.

Course Offerings

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COM 490 / IDT 590 SUNY Poly Summer 2024 (Proposed)

The Wikimedia movement, including but not limited to Wikipedia, stands as a testament to the power of collaborative knowledge-building with an ethos of open, community-driven information sharing.

The Introduction to Wikimedia course introduces the range of Wikimedia initiatives and places them in the context of the philosophy of the Wikimedia movement . Students will explore the Wikimedia communities through engagement with its members, and exploration of introductory materials. In addition, students will develop technical skills using Mediawiki, the underlying platform powering Wikimedia initiatives.

Participants will develop one or two projects that aligns their interests with those of the mission of a selected Wikipedia platform. For example, students might choose to update a Wikivoyage destination, enrich content on Wikisource, integrate data into the Wikidata database, refine or begin an article on Wikipedia, or submit images to Wikimedia Commons. Others examples include adding definitions to Wiktionary, creating learning resources on Wikibooks, contributing news articles to Wikinews, documenting biodiversity on Wikispecies, and participating in academic collaborations through Wikiversity.

Additionally, students critically evaluate Wikimedia's impact and standing in the expansive digital information domain of the 21st century.

The tentative course outline, as presented below, will be offered on an 8-week schedule during the 2024 Summer Session on SUNY Online, via the SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

Undergraduate students who choose to complete one project should register for COM490-03 (3 credits). Undergraduate students who choose to complete two projects should register for COM490-04 (4 credits). All undergraduate students will be required to complete the Introductory Module, and the Critique Module, as well as the required number of Project Modules.

Graduate students will complete the Introductory Module, one Project Module, and the Enhanced Critique Module the emergence of the Wikimedia movement, and comment on contemporary critiques of its impact and practices.

Learning Resources

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Active communities that use MediaWiki such as Wikipedia and Wikiversity often use MediaWiki's variables, parser functions and other tools to add dynamic features to pages like portals and current events. MediaWiki has several ways to deal with the passage of time and displaying dynamic content. This learning resource will explore how this is done and hopefully develop or improve some actual dynamic content for use here at Wikiversity.

teaching - learning - discussing - creating - thinking

Welcome to Introduction to Wikiversity, a learning project for first time visitors to Wikiversity. Newcomers should also visit Wikiversity:Introduction.

Semantic MediaWiki (SMW) is a MediaWiki extension that allows for managing structured data in your wiki and for querying that data to create dynamic representations: tables, timelines, maps, lists, etc.[3]

Illustrative Resource Materials

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Wiki: Web Collaboration by Anja Ebersbach, Markus Glaser, and Richard Heigl 

A comprehensive introduction to wikis, detailing their history, social implications, and functionality. Emphasizes collaborative web technologies across domains like business, education, and personal projects.

The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia by Andrew Lih 

Lih's insightful chronicle traces the evolution of Wikipedia, from its origins to its transformative role in digital knowledge dissemination.

Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia by Dariusz Jemielniak

An ethnographic delve into Wikipedia, unveiling its organizational culture, challenges, and the collaborative ethos driving this digital encyclopedia.

Various Articles and Publications from Wikimedia Foundation's Official Site 

These official resources provide a myriad of information, from best practices and guidelines to news about the ongoing projects within the Wikimedia universe.

The Wikimedia Universe

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The most recognized project of Wikimedia, Wikipedia is an open-content online encyclopedia, with millions of collaboratively created articles spanning numerous languages.


A comprehensive web-based project offering a free content dictionary in multiple languages, augmented by a thesaurus and phrase book.


An online collection of sourced quotations from notable figures and creative works in various languages, curated by a global community.


An open-content platform dedicated to the creation and dissemination of textbooks across a wide range of subjects, inviting global collaboration.


An online repository for free content publications, Wikisource provides access to source texts in various languages that are free to read and use.


A platform where users from around the world can write, edit, and publish news stories about current events, operating under principles of neutrality and verifiability.


Focused on the creation and distribution of free learning materials and activities, Wikiversity is a hub for academic collaboration and knowledge sharing.


A free directory detailing all forms of life on Earth, Wikispecies offers a collaborative space for biologists and enthusiasts to document biodiversity.


A collaborative travel guide, Wikivoyage provides insights, tips, and itineraries curated by a community of global travelers.


A structured data project, Wikidata aims to provide a foundational source of data that powers other Wikimedia projects, ensuring information consistency and verifiability.


The backbone software of Wikimedia's offerings, MediaWiki is an open-source wiki software facilitating the creation and management of diverse content types.

Wikimedia Commons 

A centralized media repository maintained by volunteers, Wikimedia Commons houses freely licensed photographs, diagrams, animations, music, spoken text, video clips, and other media.

Course Modules

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Module 1: Understanding Wikimedia

This module delves into the comprehensive scope of Wikimedia initiatives, contextualizing them within the broader philosophy driving the Wikimedia movement. Key components of this module include:

  • Exploration of Wikimedia Projects: A survey of the diverse range of Wikimedia initiatives.
  • Community Engagement: Interaction and engagement with active members of the Wikimedia communities.
  • Study of Foundational Materials: Review of primary documents and materials that introduce and define the Wikimedia platforms.
  • Technical Proficiency: Acquiring skills in MediaWiki, the foundational software that powers the Wikimedia projects.

By the module's conclusion, students will have gained a foundational understanding of the Wikimedia universe, both in terms of its ideals and its practical functionalities.

Module 2A: Wikimedia Project A 

This module guides students through the process of selecting and executing a project within a specific Wikimedia platform. The sequential steps of the module are:

  • Platform Selection: Choose a Wikimedia platform suited to your interests and objectives.
  • Project Identification: Define a project consistent with the chosen platform.
  • Project Overview: Detail the primary steps, milestones, and end-goals of your project.
  • Community Engagement Study: Explore introductory resources about interacting with the platform's community.
  • Engagement Plan Creation: Draft a plan outlining the project and seeking community input.
  • Peer Review: Share the project and engagement plan within the class for feedback.
  • Plan Implementation: Revise and execute the project based on feedback and community suggestions.
  • Project Completion and Evaluation: Conclude the project and compare the outcomes with the initial plan.
  • Presentation: Showcase the project and its outcomes to the class.
Module 2B: Wikimedia Project B (only for undergraduates pursuing 4 credits)

Similar to Module 2A, this module involves selecting another Wikimedia platform and following the same structured process:

  • Platform Selection: Opt for a different Wikimedia platform that aligns with your interests and objectives.
  • Project Identification: Determine a distinct project that fits within the scope of the chosen platform.
  • Project Overview: Outline the core steps, checkpoints, and final objectives for your project.
  • Community Engagement Study: Familiarize yourself with materials guiding interactions with the new platform's community.
  • Engagement Plan Creation: Draft a comprehensive plan, highlighting the project's intentions and inviting community feedback.
  • Peer Review: Circulate the engagement and project plans among peers for review and suggestions.
  • Plan Implementation: Modify and execute the project, incorporating received feedback and community insights.
  • Project Completion and Evaluation: Finish the project and evaluate its results against the initial projections.
  • Presentation: Display the project's journey and results to the class.
Module 3: Critique of Wikimedia Project 

In this module, students will critically examine their experiences within the Wikimedia platform(s) they worked with, placing their experiences within the larger context of the Wikimedia movement's objectives and existing criticisms.


  • Understand the mission of the selected Wikimedia platform.
  • Reflect on personal experiences, especially interactions with the platform's community.
  • Analyze the alignment between personal achievements and the Wikimedia movement's overarching goals.
  • Offer recommendations for refining the platform's practices to further align with beneficial objectives.


  • Platform Evaluation: Revisit the mission of the Wikimedia platform you selected and evaluate its accomplishments.
  • Personal Reflection: Document your personal experience, with a specific focus on community interactions.
  • Literature Review: Explore the goals of the Wikimedia movement cite source here and existing critiques of its achievements cite resources here.
  • Assessment: Analyze your own experience and accomplishments in relation to the broader goals and critiques of the Wikimedia movement.
  • Recommendations: Suggest potential adaptations or improvements for the platform to better achieve goals you deem beneficial.
  • Writing the Critique: Using the Wikiversity platform for this class, draft a thorough critique, spanning approximately 1250-1500 words (2.5-3 pages). Ensure your argumentation is supported by proper citations.
  • Peer Review and Feedback: Share your critique for peer review, refine based on feedback, and finalize your document.

Sample Projects

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A Variety of Project Ideas

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Pages in this category should be project ideas from WikimediaCourse

Ideas from collaboration with ChatGPT

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Wikispecies: Complete a Selection of Articles from Wikispecies' List of Requested Articles 

15 Words: Research and author articles for pre-2019 requests on Wikispecies, ensuring thoroughness in detail and accuracy.

75 Words: Dive into the realm of Wikispecies by addressing article requests from before 2019. Select several species or taxa, prioritizing those that have been pending for the longest. Dedicate ample time for comprehensive research, referencing scientific papers, reputable databases, and expert-authored books. Craft detailed and informative articles that shed light on the chosen species or taxa, their taxonomy, distribution, ecology, and significance. Complete at least two cycles to refine and enhance the content based on feedback.

200 Words: The vast database of Wikispecies awaits the addition of articles that have been requested for years. By choosing to tackle entries requested before 2019, you not only help fulfill long-standing requests but also add to the richness of the platform's content. Begin by selecting several species or taxa from the list, ensuring a mix that encompasses both well-known and lesser-studied organisms. Dedicate the initial hours to deep research, utilizing reputable sources like scientific journals, taxonomic databases, and authoritative books. Each article should not merely be a bland listing but should capture the essence of the species: its taxonomy (including any debated classifications), its natural distribution, ecological role, and, if applicable, its relationship with humans. Once the initial draft for each article is complete, seek feedback from peers and Wikispecies veterans. Use their insights to refine and perfect the articles in a second cycle, ensuring that the content aligns with Wikispecies' standards of accuracy, neutrality, and thoroughness. With an estimated 20 hours invested, this project offers a chance to make a lasting contribution to Wikispecies and the broader Wikimedia community.

[Link to Requested Articles](

Wikipedia: Revise a Cluster of Articles on Game-playing, Sports, and/or Gambling Platforms 

15 Words: Refine Wikipedia articles related to gaming, emphasizing the impact of AI on their future development.

75 Words: On Wikipedia, take a deep dive into articles concerning game-playing, sports, or gambling platforms. Pay particular attention to areas highlighting the role of artificial intelligence. Over the next 5-10 years, AI is poised to dramatically influence these platforms' evolution. Using reliable sources, enhance these articles to reflect recent advancements and predictions. Make iterative improvements to ensure content accuracy and depth.

200 Words: Gaming, in all its facets from video games to sports platforms and even gambling, is undergoing significant transformation, chiefly due to advancements in artificial intelligence. As part of this project on Wikipedia, you will zero in on a specific cluster of articles within these realms. Your primary task will be to emphasize how AI is set to shape these platforms over the upcoming decade. Embark on a thorough research phase, identifying recent studies, expert predictions, and industry analyses from credible sources. As you infuse these insights into the articles, be mindful of Wikipedia's guidelines on neutrality and citation. Beyond merely updating factual content, aim to weave a narrative that captures the broader implications of AI's role – how it might revolutionize gameplay, introduce new ethical considerations, or reshape the very nature of sports and gambling. After your initial revision, gather feedback and undergo a second round of refinements, ensuring the information's accuracy and relevance. By the end of this project, these Wikipedia articles should stand as comprehensive resources, reflecting the cutting-edge intersections of gaming and AI technology.

[Link to Category or Article List](

Wiktionary: Define Words from the List of Requested Definitions 

15 Words: Research and define words from Wiktionary's list of requested definitions, emphasizing linguistic accuracy.

75 Words: Dive into the world of lexicography with Wiktionary by selecting words from the "Requests for definitions in English entries" category. Invest time in comprehensive research to ensure each word is defined accurately and comprehensively. Use reliable linguistic sources, consider etymology, and provide usage examples. After initial entries, revisit and refine based on feedback, ensuring alignment with Wiktionary standards.

200 Words: Language is ever-evolving, and Wiktionary stands as a testament to this dynamism, capturing words and their nuances. Tapping into this spirit, this project centers on addressing the "Requests for definitions in English entries" – words that currently lack a comprehensive definition on the platform. Start by choosing a selection from this list. Dive into rigorous research, utilizing dictionaries, linguistic papers, and reputable online sources to craft precise and insightful definitions. Each word's entry should encapsulate not just its meaning but also its etymology, phonetic representation, and illustrative examples. Given the collaborative nature of Wiktionary, once your initial definitions are up, the community's feedback will be invaluable. Take this onboard, refining and enriching your entries in a second cycle of edits. Through this iterative process, not only will you contribute to Wiktionary's expansive database, but you'll also immerse yourself in the fascinating intricacies of language, understanding the depth and breadth of words and their evolution.

[Link to Requested Definitions](

Wikisource: Participate in the Monthly Challenge 

15 Words: Contribute to Wikisource's Monthly Challenge by proofreading and validating selected texts, enhancing the platform's collection.

75 Words: Join the Wikisource community by diving into the Monthly Challenge. This initiative is focused on proofreading and validating specific texts each month, allowing new users to familiarize themselves with the platform's workings. By participating, you contribute to building Wikisource's core collection, making scan-backed ebooks freely available to the public. Engage in at least two monthly challenges to grasp the breadth of content and community collaboration.

200 Words: Wikisource, the vast repository of free content publications, has an ongoing initiative called the Monthly Challenge, which serves as a beacon for community collaboration. By participating in this challenge, you get the chance to delve deep into the heart of what makes Wikisource tick: proofreading and validating texts. Each month, a curated list of texts is put forth, which community members, both veterans and newcomers, rally around to proofread and validate. These texts range across genres, time periods, and languages, making every month a unique exploratory journey. As a participant, you'll ensure that the texts are accurate, adhering to the source scans, and free from errors. Engaging in this project not only helps to enhance and expand Wikisource's core collection but also offers a first-hand experience of the platform's collaborative spirit. By undertaking at least two of these monthly challenges, you will witness the cycle of text selection, community deliberation, meticulous proofreading, and the joy of making yet another scan-backed ebook freely accessible to the world.

[Link to Monthly Challenge](

Wikinews: Initiate an Article Covering the Opening of Wynn Hospital in Utica, NY 

15 Words: Write a Wikinews article on Wynn Hospital's opening in Utica, NY, ensuring neutrality and verifiability.

75 Words: Initiate an in-depth Wikinews article about the recent opening of Wynn Hospital in Utica, NY. Utilize the provided sources to gather comprehensive information, ensuring all claims are well-backed and presented neutrally. Highlight the significance of this hospital's inauguration, its facilities, and its expected impact on the community. Ensure alignment with Wikinews' standards of reporting, particularly neutrality and verifiability, while crafting an informative piece.

200 Words: The medical landscape of Utica, NY, has seen a monumental addition with the opening of Wynn Hospital. As a contributor to Wikinews, this project entails creating a detailed and balanced article on this significant event. Start by diving into the provided sources – both the official hospital site and news aggregates – to gather a holistic understanding. While the hospital's facilities, specialties, and infrastructural details will form the core of the article, also consider the broader context: What does the opening signify for Utica's healthcare? How does it align with New York's medical advancements? As you pen down the article, be consistently mindful of Wikinews' commitment to neutrality. Avoid any language that seems promotional or biased, and instead, aim for a tone that is factual, clear, and objective. Every claim made should be verifiable, so meticulous referencing is essential. Beyond just the facts, seek to capture the essence of the story – the anticipation, the challenges faced, and the hopes tied to Wynn Hospital's inauguration. Once the initial draft is complete, iterate based on feedback, ensuring alignment with Wikinews standards and ethos.

[Link to Wynn Hospital Source]( [Link to Google News Search](

ChatGPT Conversations

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Conversation 0: i am considering teaching a course...

...for junior, seniors and graduate students in communications. the theory of the course is all focused on participatory or community media using wikipedia, wikinews, wikidata and wikimedia as a publishing or sharing platform. 8 weeks. students will first study a bit about the history and philosophy of wiki*, using some guest speakers from the wikifoundation perhaps, and learn the basics of using mediawiki software in all platforms, guides by wikiedu exercises (2 weeks). during these first two weeks, students will also identify and scope a project, which could be wikipedia (create or revise an article or series of articles that focuses on a person, group, geography, cause, etc. that is of interest to you, identify a platform(s) to contribute to, etc. in the last six weeks, students will follow a structured project plan, involving bibliography, drafts, peer reviews and publication. in the final week, students will present their work via video stream to each other and to guests from the wiki world, and offer a critique of participating in this commnications experience. could you give me an overview of this course in more refined language; identify learning goals consistent with this description, emphasizing an academic perspective, info tech, and critique; identify learning objectives (my goals?), and student learning outcomes (the expected products by students?).[4]


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  1. Steven M. Schneider and ChatGPT 4.0. "A College Course on, in and about Wiki*". ChatGPT. Retrieved 2023-11-01.
  2. Jaffe, Rory. Machine-written articles: a new challenge for Wikipedia. Wikipedia Signpost 2023-02-20 Essay.
  3. mw:Extension:Semantic MediaWiki
  4. Steven M. Schneider and ChatGPT 4.0. "A College Course on, in and about Wiki*". ChatGPT. Retrieved 2023-11-01.