Submissions/Designing a Lecture Course on Wikipedia and Wiki Technologies

From Wikimania 2011 • Haifa, Israel

Presentation Media

Review no.


Title of the submission
Designing a Lecture Course on Wikipedia and Wiki Technologies
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Vassia Atanassova (bg:user:Spiritia), Maya Marinova (bg:user:Maymay)
E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
  • Vassia Atanassova is a PhD student in the Institute of Information and Communication Technologies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • Maya Marinova is a PhD student in the Faculty of Education, Sofia University
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)
In the last months I am promoting and trying to arrange a university lecture course on Wikipedia and wiki technologies in a large state university in Bulgaria, tentatively falling in Fall 2010/Spring 2011. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first such attempt in Bulgaria, and there are very few dedicated courses of this kind globally, so discussing the syllabus, exercises and examination with other representatives of the Wikimedian community would be of great help to me as a lecturer. Hence, the aim of the presentation is to propose my vision of such a lecture course and gather other useful ideas from the audience on Wikimania.
Two are the goals of the lecture course itself, as I see it:
  1. The first goal would be raising the students' culture as Wikipedia content users and reusers, which comprises:
    1. training them as careful and critical content readers, and
    2. informing them of the licensing policy of the Wikimedia projects and free licenses in general.
  2. The second goal of the course would be promoting the idea of editing Wikipedia and its sister projects among the students and inspiring them to share their own works freely. By ensuring community comfort, guidance and support, I do hope that at least a part of the students would be successfully recruited for long-term editorial activity. In a way, such a course can be considered a reply to the recent findings of the low retention rate of new Wikipedians.
In my communication with the students, I intend to reinforce some of the most inherent characteristics of the Wikimedia projects, namely interactivity and transparency. The intensive dialogue with students, the debates on controversial topics (e.g., Wikipedia's reliability, NPV, BLP, dealing with vandals and trolls, etc.) and the onwiki task assignments would help them better understand the specifics of the encyclopedic writing, the wiki environment (software and community) and the concomitant hardships which the Wikimedian community faces. That would aim at raising the students' awareness and the sense of personal responsibility, as well as building a positive and constructive attitude towards the Wikimedia projects and other forms of open community collaboration.
In the end of the lecture course, I would collect the syllabus, the exercises, the topics for discussions and the best welcoming and teaching practices in a handbook, available to other Wikipedians who are interested to give similar lecture courses elsewhere.
Update, 06:55, 26 May 2011 (UTC): The lecture course titled "Wikipedia and Wiki Technologies" has been approved for reading in the three trimesters of the 2011/2012 Academic Year in the Plovdiv University "Paisij Hilendarski", Plovdiv. Bulgaria. As of 26 May 2011, up to 30 students per trimester are invited to subscribe.
Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
Knowledge and Collaboration
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Slides or further information (optional)
Media:Wikimania 2011- Designing a Lecture Course on Wikipedia and Wiki Technologies - Atanassova, Marinova.pdf

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