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Wikipedia: Teaching with Wikipedia

A Community Guide, adopted by the Brooklyn College OER Project

Video: Teaching with Wikipedia

Teach with Wikipedia

The basic premise of teaching with Wikipedia is rather than having students do assignments that only you see, they edit or create articles in Wikipedia around topics that you select to support the learning objectives of your class.

  An assignment could be: 

  • Creating or expanding articles in Wikipedia
  • Translating existing articles in other languages (or into English)
  • Creating media materials to supplement existing articles and posting them to Wikimedia Commons
Why is this better than traditional research paper assignments?
  • When students select Wikipedia articles to author or edit, they are identifying areas where their research can have real-world impact
  • Students also learn to distill complex academic research for a general audience
  • In order for their edits to stick, students are required by Wikipedia’s rigorous citation standards to provide reliable sources that support their research
  • Working with Wikipedia also improves digital literacy skills; including finding and evaluating quality online content, structuring information for a wide audience on a digital platform, and offering an introduction to the concept of coding language
How do you manage a Wikipedia Classroom?

Wikipedia Education Foundation offers a lot of high quality, and freely available resources to support teachers who are using Wikipedia in their classrooms. These resources include:

  • Customizable  assignment templates and printable resources
  • Training modules that you can assign to students to teach them how to edit
  • Training modules to guide educators in their teaching with Wikipedia
  • Wikipedia Dashboard, which helps you structure the assignment and track classroom progress
  • Wikipedia staff support
For more information, contact Miriam Deutch, or head to Wikimedia Education Foundation 

Orientation for Instructors

We recommend Wiki Education resources and their WikiEdu Dashboard tool.

Wiki Education offers orientation for instructors new to incorporating Wikipedia assignments in the classroom.

The orientation provides guidance on what has worked in the past courses, how to use the suite of tools and student resources. Instructors will learn how to create a course page on the Wiki Education Dashboard, help students navigate Wikipedia, and edit articles.

If you don't have specific articles in mind for students to edit, it is recommended that they start with editing stubs. These are articles that have been created but are lacking sufficient content. These articles benefit from the addition of new sourced content and are easier to monitor than full articles that may be regularly reviewed by bots an experienced Wikipedia editors. 

Teaching With Wikipedia: Useful Links