Assignment

Create an entry in a LocalWiki

Submitted by Lani Smith on February 17th, 2016
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Short Description: 

Students create an entry in the Fremont Wiki - http://localwiki.net/fremont. Students incorporate information literacy concepts, have hands-on experience conducting research, and create actual content on the Internet [while also learning how easy it is for anyone to change that content]. It could also be a great chance to get students into local museums and archives.

Attachments: 
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Additional Instructor Resources (e.g. in-class activities, worksheets, scaffolding applications, supplemental modules, further readings, etc.): 

If there isn't one in your town, a LocalWiki is easy to set up. You can also contact the folks who run it who graciously supply their wonderful support. https://localwiki.org One of the exciting things this does is to get some of this history out of the archives into to a wider audience. See Oakland Wiki http://oaklandwiki.org/ for an incredibly dynamic example.

Learning Outcomes: 

coming soon

Course Context (e.g. how it was implemented or integrated): 

This would be greatly strengthened taught in a learning community. Could work well with English, History, Journalism, LGBT History, and more.

Suggested Citation: 
Smith, Lani. "Create an entry in a LocalWiki." CORA (Community of Online Research Assignments), 2016. https://www.projectcora.org/assignment/create-entry-localwiki.

Comments

I really like the idea of adding information to local or subject specific wiki, because Wikipedia can be very intimidating and time-consuming. I understand that Wikipedia has its coalition of very active editors that will revert or delete your content if it doesn't comply to the Wikipedia standards, which can teach students (in a very real way) that citations and authoritative information is important. But the flip side of that is the wiki-speak and jargon, the fighting among editors, the technology learning curve (which I think is higher than other wikis), and the lack of support from current editors. Save for an in-person Wikipedia edit-a-thon surrounding a particular topic with a friendly group, Wikipedia may present cognitive distractions that inhibit learning. Using a local wiki not only connects students to their local communities, but, I imagine, presents less distractions and more opportunity to learn.

This is a great idea. Students adding to a public forum, such as a local wiki, might be more likely to extend themselves to do a credible job. And, it could be both exciting and rewarding for them to see how they can participate directly in the creation of knowledge. I see this project having a particular impact in the area of journalism, or in the use and promotion of a local archive. The project also allows each person to focus on an area or subject of particular interest to themselves, thereby increasing a connection to their contribution.