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Submissions/Wikipedia as Learning Management Software

From Wikimania 2011 • Haifa, Israel

This is an open submission for Wikimania 2011.

Review no.


Title of the submission

Wikipedia as Learning Management Software: An Inverse Trojan Horse

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)


Author of the submission

Maximilian Klein

E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)

maxklein at berkeley dot edu

Country of origin

UK, USA, and Israel

Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)

Wikipedia Ambassador Program, University of California Berkeley

Personal homepage or blog

Twitter Account

Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

Over the course of the most recent semester of the Wikipedia Public Policy Initiative, Politics of Piracy, a student-lead class pioneered a novel use for Wikipedia--Learning Management Software. Having recognised typical problems of students in the inaugural semester of the Public Policy Initiative it was clear that serious problems existed in training students in Wikipedia culture. Thematically, the problems for students were: technical difficulties in a proprietary mark-up language, bureaucratic protocols, and abstruse philosophic pillars. Other courses suffered less from these issues as students were motivated by pressures of earning grades, however our student-lead course did not have that luxury. Using only Wikipedia for any non-physical coursework, including homework, an experiment was conducted to determine how to overcome common boundaries for students of Public Policy Initiative courses. For instance reading and response assignments took place on our course page. In using Wikipedia as LMS Politics of Piracy increased the Wiki-literacy of the students, leading to greater output and more dedicated Wikipedians. The contributing elements to this success were that students received far greater practice with using the software, feeling more comfortable and spending more time on the site. With the overall top-contributor of the Public Policy Initiative as its trophy, this presentation shows how and why to use Wikipedia as LMS. Yet there were some hardships encountered in the experiment such as difficulty tracking student progress, and lack of private communication. In considering the shortcomings of Wikipedia as a LMS it is seen that some effort would be required to code solutions for features desired by students and instructors. While viewing a less obvious, but major upshot of this technique, of increased editor diversity, it is finally argued that Wikipedia should be further developed as LMS. Doing so will take steps in the right direction to counter systemic bias, as students from different backgrounds have new inroads to the community.

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)

Knowledge and Collaboration

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Slides or further information (optional)

The entire presentation using Wikipedia as Presentation software is in projectspace the first slide starts here.

Interested attendees

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  1. Sadads 15:08, 28 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
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