Wikipedia assignment

WikiEdu Timeline 

List of student names & WP usernamesIdentify the page you are editing and your partner on the speadsheet here.

Here are some helpful Wikipedia links, including about structure of good articles.

Link to a tool that shows the predicted quality of a WP article<version number>/
e.g., provides the predicted quality score for an old version of the WP article on Organizational Learning, after students last year improved it, and shows the quality prediction before they started workiing on it


(Note, the information below is designed to duplicate the information on the WikiEdu Timeline.  If they get out of synch, please let the instructor know. In the meantime,  follow the deadlines on the WikiEdi timeline.) 

In the Wikipedia writing assign you will try to improve an existing Wikipedia article page relevant to course topics, or create a new article, aiming for good article quality. There were three goals for the Wikipedia assignment. 

    1. Develop expertise about a topic relevant to the course while writing the project
    2. Improve the world's knowledge about an important topic by adding your expertise to the the relevant page
    3. Learn how working in an online community operates

Here are some details of the Wikipedia assignment, with a timeline for major milestones. The WikiEdu Timeline contains the details and pointers to tutorial materials. All graded assignments that are part of the Wikipedia project need to be turned in by the Sunday following the week they are assigned at 6pm to receive full credit.

Date Milestone
Week 2
due: 9/13

Create a Wikipedia account & user page, and then enroll in Communication in Groups & Organizations on the Wikipedia educational portal.  The passcode is bpowhali. You can enroll by clicking this linK.  Then start the training.

Week 3

due: 9/20

List 3 to 5 course-relevant Wikipedia articles that need work and that you might like to work on to the course Wikipedia discussion forum. Include each potential Wikipedia article as a new forum topic. For each article, provide a brief description of what you think is needed. Look through other students' suggestions to find other articles you might work on and to identify an editing partner.
Week 4
due: 9/27

Add 1–2 sentences of new information, backed up with a citation to an appropriate source, to a Wikipedia article related to the class. Look through articles from Current Directions in Psychological Science or a similar reference source for interesting articles relevant to the course published in the last 5-7 years. Add one idea or fact from this research to a relevant article in Wikipedia, preferably one of the articles on which you'd want to work. Be sure to include an inline citation to the original source. One way to find a Wikipedia article appropriate for this new information is to identify some keywords from the title or abstract of the Current Directions' article and conduct an advanced Google search of the form keywords, , which will restrict the search to the domain. For example, a Google search on "person perception thin slices" returns articles on "interpersonal perception", "Blink (book)" "Nalini Ambady" and "Thin-slicing", all of which are relevant to this topic. Alternatively, you could start with a Google scholar or Psych Info search for a topic from Wikipedia to find relevant scholarly articles. For example, to find relevant, recent scholarly articles on this topic, you could conduct a Google Scholar search, with the key words "person perception" and "thin slice" and a custom date range from 2008-2015.

Week 5
due: by 10/4
Select and article and partner, and start planning improvements.
    • Select an article to work on and a partner to work on it with. You can find a partner by posting on the course Wikipedia discussion forum. Create an article sandbox as a subpage from one of your user pages.   Copy the content of the original article to the sand box.  You can start working on improvement of the article in the sand box.
    • Compile a bibliography of relevant, reliable sources and post it to the talk page of the article you are working on. Begin reading the sources. Make sure to check in on the talk page (or watchlist) to see if anyone has advice on your bibliography.
    • If you are improving an existing article, create a detailed outline reflecting your proposed changes, and post this for community feedback, along with a brief description of your plans, on the article’s talk page. Make sure to check back on the talk page often and engage with any responses.
    • If you are starting a new article, write a 3–4 paragraph summary version of your article—with citations—in your Wikipedia sandbox.
    • Schedule an appointment with Professor Kraut to get your article approved and discuss your plans for improving it.

Week 6
Meet with the instructor 

This week, meet with the instructor and continue to do background research on the  topic of your article.  Identify credible sources you can use to improve the article.  Should have identified at least 15 new credible sources you can add to the article. Think about new sections of content to include in the article, if appropriate. 

Meet with the course instructor, to discuss the article you will work on and your plans for improving the article. You and your partner should post some plans for improving your article on the article's talk page.  This will potentially get you some feedback from the community about whether your plans are sensible.  You can update these plans as you learn more about your topic.  Feel free to introduce some of these changes to the published article itself.  
Week 7

Move portions of your sandbox articles and edits into real Wikipedia article 

Week 8

Choose articles to peer review. Select two classmates’ articles that you will peer review and copyedit. Add your names next to the articles you will peer review in this spreadsheet. (You don’t need to start reviewing yet.)

Week 9
Complete first draft. This is the version your peers will review.
  • If you are revising an existing article, continue to improve the article by rewriting and/or adding new material.
  • If you are creating a new article, expand your article into a complete first draft.
Week 10

Complete peer review and copy editing

  • Peer review two of your classmates’ articles. Leave suggestions on the articles' talk pages.
  • Copy-edit the two reviewed articles.
Week 11

Respond to the peer' feedback about your article. Make edits to your article based on peers’ feedback. If you disagree with a suggestion, use the artical talk pages to politely discuss and come to a consensus on your edit.

Week 12 

Continue to improve your article. 

Week 13


  • Finalize and submit the final article you want graded.  Send the instructor an announcement that you finished working on your article and the URL showing the revision when you last made changes,  in case other Wikipedians reverted or otherwise changed your version. Save a copy of this version of the article as a Word document (i.e., create a new Word document and cut and paste the Wikipedia article to this document).  Upload the Word or pdf to the course homework forum, to preserve a record of your work
  • Turn in your team's reflection on your Wikipedia writing experience.  
    • The essay (5-10 pages) should have two components. Each team will submit a single reflective essay.
    • The first should describe and document what you actually did for the assignment and provide a rationale for your changes. Here you should include a URL to the article you worked on and provide an overview of the work you did.  What were your improvement goals. Why these goals?. What types of contributions did you make?  How did you reorganize the page, if you did.  What areas in the article did you expand?  What new material did you add?  What is your assessment of the extent of the improvements you made -- e.g., small updates or corrections ,  adding new section, major reorganization, etc.
    • The second componenet should describe what you learned about how an online community operates by participating in the assignment.  What kind of interaction did you have with the Wikipedia infrastructure (e.g., policies and guidelines) or with members of the community? What does Wikipedia do to make it easy or hard for newcomers to participate?  How could Wikipedia more effectively take advantage of motivated volunteers like you?
  • Submit the article and the essay in the course Wikipedia homework forum.