Wikipedia/syllabi

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Sciences humaines.svg Educational level: this is a tertiary (university) resource.

This page shows suggestions for syllabi for university level courses on Wikipedia.

Syllabus suggestion 1: Wikis and Wikipedia - publishing, reliability and technology[edit]

This syllabus suggestion is based on a translation of the syllabus for the Swedish university level course Wikipedia - publishing, reliability and technology, adjusted for Wikiversity.

Extent: 7.5 ECTS credits (corresponding to 5 weeks of full-time studies)

Subject: Informatics

Educational level: Introductory Tertiary (university or college)

Course aim[edit]

The course aims at answering questions such as:

  • What is a wiki?
  • How is Wikipedia edited and administrated?
  • How can students, teachers, librarians and journalists use and relate to Wikipedia?
  • What are the main criticisms of Wikipedia?
  • What research exists related to Wikipedia as phenomenon?

The course aims at providing knowledge that all Wikipedia or Mediawiki users, editors and administrators should have.

Learning outcomes[edit]

After the course, the course participant should be able to:

  • Create and edit wiki-type (particularly MediaWiki, including Wikipedia) articles of good quality, with references, tables, illustrations and templates.
  • Discuss what is a reasonable source critical approach to using Wikipedia as a reference
  • Outline the common criticism of Wikipedia's reliability and discuss how the reliability problems can be tackled
  • Be an administrator of Wikipedia as well as other MediaWiki servers

Contents[edit]

  1. INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS WIKIPEDIA?
    1. The history of online encyclopedias, wikis, and Wikipedia
    2. Wiki as part of Web 2.0 - the social and interactive web
    3. Relation between wikis, web content management systems (CMS), blogs, social networks, and other online encyclopedias
    4. Basic wiki terminology
  2. HOW TO EDIT AND PUBLISH ARTICLES
    1. How to edit an article
    2. Wikification: Intra-wiki links, headings, categorization and disposition
    3. Policies and guidelines
    4. Legal Aspects
    5. Tackling vandalism
    6. Common templates
    7. To add tables, references, photos and illustrations
    8. Tools for producing illustrations
  3. RELIABILITY AND SOCIAL SIGNIFICANCE
    1. Wikipedia statistics
    2. Understanding Wikipedia as phenomenon
    3. Criticism
    4. When and how can we use Wikipedia as a source, and quote Wikipedia?
    5. How can students, teachers, librarians and journalists use and relate to Wikipedia?
    6. How to measure and improve Wikipedia quality
    7. Wikipedia as a social community
    8. Censorship, decision-making and voting procedures
    9. Is knowledge produced at Wikipedia?
    10. Is Wikipedia a democratic project?
    11. Wikipedia ethics
    12. History critical analysis of the Wikipedia policies
    13. Examples of social science and behavioural science research related to Wikipedia
    14. Other uses for a Wiki engine - by teachers, project leaders, communities, etc
  4. TECHNOLOGY AND ADMINISTRATION
    1. Orientation on the underlying web technology
    2. Comparison of wiki software
    3. To what extent can the Google ranking formula explain the success of Wikipedia - and the failure of other wikis and online encyclopedias?
    4. Development of parameter controlled wiki templates
    5. To install, configure and administrate an own Mediawiki server
    6. Wikipedia administrator roles and tools
    7. Applications, extensions and robots for wiki engines
    8. Current web technology trends
    9. Examples of ongoing development projects and IT research related to Wikipedia (semantic wikis, etc)
  5. PROJECT PART

The student can choose between a technical project or writing a social science essay.

Assignments and assessments[edit]

(In the Wikiversity version of the course, these are exercises)

  • Quiz 1: What is Wikipedia?
  • Quiz 2: Editing
  • Publication of articles on the course wiki as well as Wikipedia
  • Quiz 3: Reliability and social significance
  • Discussion assignments
  • Quiz 4: Technology and administration
  • Lab: Administration of a wiki engine
  • Exam (Not in the Wikiversity version of the course)
  • Project or essay assignment

Literature[edit]

Required literature:

  • Wikipedia and MediaWiki documentation (available online)

Recommended reference literature:

  • John Broughton, Wikipedia – the missing manual, 2008
  • Phoebe Ayers, Charles Matthews, and Ben Yates, How Wikipedia Works: And How You Can Be a Part of It, 2008

Required literature for the Swedish university version of the course, but not the Wikiversity version:

  • Research article collection
  • Lennart Guldbrandsson, Så fungerar Wikipedia, September 2008.