As I mentioned in my last blog post, this year, my undergraduate Theory of Translation students wrote 500-word Wikipedia articles on translation-related topics as one of their course assignments. About two thirds of the class opted to cover one of these topics instead of creating a game for us to play, so Wikipedia now has half a dozen new (or significantly expanded) articles profiling Canadian translators, professional translator associations, term bases and more.
Although I’ve incorporated Wikipedia translation projects into my courses before, I’d never assigned a Wikipedia writing project. However, I’ve been working with The Wiki Education Foundation for a few years now, and I’ve seen what other instructors have done with their Wikipedia assignments. I also have a good idea of what features a good Wikipedia article should include, so I gave my students the following goals to achieve:
Final Wikipedia articles should:
- Be consistent with Wikipedia’s core content policies. (They are written in a neutral point of view, present all sides of the issue, rely on verifiable sources, attribute all sources properly, and are factually accurate.)
- Be at least 500 words long.
- Cite at least three different sources, including books, journal articles and news articles.
- Include features like infoboxes, links to relevant Wikipedia articles, images, and section headings, as appropriate.
- Be consistent with the Wikipedia Manual of Style
- Include all suggested corrections and be posted to Wikipedia
Not every article that was written made it into Wikipedia, mainly due to the extensions I gave for the assignment: with many students submitting their articles close to the end of the term, I wasn’t able to mark everything until after the semester was over. Next year, I’ll have students submit their first drafts as mid-term assignments, and then have a follow-up assignment requiring students to revise their articles and post them to Wikipedia before the end of the term. This will make sure that the articles are revised and published to Wikipedia within the 12-week time frame of our course.
Interested in seeing some of the newly created or significantly expanded articles? Her are a few that are now available: