Documentation:Wikipedia Assignment Resources

From UBC Wiki

Wikipedia-based assignments can engage students in an authentic learning experience that involves open collaboration, critical thinking, and knowledge building for a global audience. When students write or edit in Wikipedia, they are not using the same format or skills that they would in writing a research paper or persuasive essay – they are applying new strategies to produce knowledge that people will use in the real world and they are building digital literacies. This page contains resources for engaging, either as a student or instructor, in Wikipedia based assignments.

Wikipedia Overview

Basic overview of Wikipedia

Wikipedia in Academia

  • Wadewitz, A., Geller, A., & Beasley-Murray, J. (2010). Wiki-hacking: Opening up the academy with Wikipedia. In Wikisource . Retrieved from h

Wikipeda on itself

Bias in Wikipedia

Wikipedia Guidelines and Policy

Editing Support

Printable Guides

Video Resources

The following resources were created for the Art & Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thons and published on their YouTube Channel. They provide some great information for new editors related to the specifics of Wikipedia editing:

Drafts and Publishing




For Instructors

Resources for group work

Using Wikipedia in the classroom requires a lot of collaboration from students' side and it is group-work based. Being able to understand your role as a group work facilitator is a key to the success. Below are tips on how to facilitate group work:

For Students

Resources for group work

In Wikipedia, you will be collaborating with your classmates. Group work can be rewarding but sometimes you may encounter into conflicts. Below are the resources that can help you with group work:

Assignments: Considerations for Effective Practice

Why are you using Wikipedia?

  • Rationale: What is the value for students in writing for Wikipedia? How does it relate to your course goals?
  • Support: What support will you require? Consider both assignment design consultation (CTLT) and classroom support (CTLT, Writing Centre, Library): wiki editing orientation for students; research support; technical support. etc.
  • Rubric: How will you evaluate the contributions students make to Wikipedia? Criteria?
  • Digital literacy: Is it important to move students along a continuum from consumers to creators of knowledge?

Assignment Considerations

  • Core content guidelines: Does your assignment fit with Wikipedia's Core Content?
  • Time: Assignments typically need scaffolding over time in the course - however this depends on the assignment type.
  • Community/Culture: Wikipedia can be viewed as community engagement. Wikipedia has a highly engaged community of editors with their own culture.
  • Instructor Engagement: Helpful if instructor is engaging with the Wikipedia community.
  • Learning Environment: It expands the learning environment beyond the UBC community. Community editors support student learning and may challenge current biases on Wikipedia (gender-related, notability guidelines, etc)
  • Purpose: Wikipedia is a encyclopedia. It requires encyclopedic type of writing.
  • High Visibility: Wikipedia is highly publicly visible and editable.
  • Copyright: All work has to be CC(Creative Commons) licensed and needs attention to copyright.
  • Affordance: Instructor understands the structure and benefit of Wiki.
  • Iterative: There is no final draft in Wikipedia. The articles are always in development
  • Preparedness: Course that has well-defined goals and intention can integrate well with Wikipedia.
  • Generalist Orientation Students do not have to be expert in the subject matter. They are summarizing existing knowledge on Wikipedia.

Consultation and Support

Working as a team, the following people offer an array of planning and in-class supports. We are knowledgeable in a variety of areas for wiki and Wikipedia projects and would be happy to work with you on developing your course or event.

UBC Library

Erin Fields

  • Research support for resource selection, including: unearthing print collections for Wikipedia (a priority for Wikipedia); finding biographical resources; analyzing resources for writing encyclopedic entries
  • Supports for finding and using open access images for use in Wikipedia and instruction on understanding of copyright and authoring in open environments
  • Supports in framing the concept of quality in a wiki environment, including discussions about citation practices, cross-linking and authority
  • Supports in planning, facilitating, and delivering edit-athons
  • In-class wiki editing supports


Will Engle

  • Project and pedagogical support and consultation for designing and delivering Wikipedia activities that align with your course learning outcomes.
  • Orientation to Wikipedia (in general), wiki editing (specific to your activity), and teaching and learning in open contexts
  • In-class Wikipedia presentations and support
  • Supports for understanding Creative Commons licenses and working with openly licensed media
  • Facilitation of connections with the Wiki Educational Foundation and UBC faculty members with Wikipedia experience.
  • Opportunities for educational leadership related to open scholarly practice (including the sharing of outcomes and reflections with other instructors)