Awesome Wikipedia assignment for students

02 Sep

Are you a teacher?

Do you want to teach your students “first hand” about plagiarism?

If so, try this:

Have your students try to create a Wikipedia entry.  Tell them they need to create a page from the ground up.  It sounds easy enough to them at first, but then the turmoil[fun] begins.  Following your instructions about creating new content, rather than copy and pasting information from an online source, many students will likely do exactly what you asked them not to do.

However, you don’t have to be the monster.  The fine folks down at Wikipedia start to rip apart the new entry.  They will look for bias, for plagiarism, for new knowledge, along with perusing to edit the spelling and grammar.

As a teacher you will probably hear a lot of groans in the class with comments like,

“Wikipedia deleted my entry!”
“Wikipedia says I have a couple days to fix my entry or it will be deleted!”
“I hate Wikipedia!”

After some time and a lot of persistence, the students will start to follow the rules.  At completion a teacher will also probably hear a lot of,

“It worked!”
“I finally got my entry to stay on Wikipedia!”

Then you need to pull out the next stop and ask them to create an image to add to a Wikipedia entry.



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