Class assignment: Write an original Wikipedia article

I have yet to meet a teacher or professor who does not despise students who research using Wikipedia. That said, I want to meet University of Washington-Bothell professor Martha Groom, as she seems to have a completely different perspective on the online encyclopaedia. Instead of asking students in her environmental history course to turn in one big paper at the end of the semester, she requires them either to write an original Wikipedia article or to do a major edit on an existing one.

For her students, the Wikipedia experiment was "transformative," and students' writing online proved better than the average undergrad research paper. Knowing their work was headed for the Web, not just one harried professor's eyes, helped students reach higher -- as did the standards set by the volunteer "Wikipedians" who police entries for accuracy and neutral tone, Groom said. The exercise also gave students a taste of working in the real world of peer-reviewed research. Most of the articles were well received, but Groom still had to teach the students the difference between good secondary research and the average college paper.

News source: CNN Technology

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Quite a few of my lecturers suggest that Wikipedia is a good resource for studying - I'm doing Computer Science, and the Wikipedia content is far better than any other source in almost all categories... Of course, thats not true for many other subjects...

Haven't met a teacher yet eh. I don't really trust wikipedia and never paid it much attention until a college teacher required us to use it. Of course he was also a big Mac user but I didn't really like the requirement.

I have yet to meet a teacher or professor who does not despise students who research using Wikipedia.
Since I do Software Engineering it's not overly often that I do reports/essays, more coding, design docs and exams, but the ones I have done the staff so far haven't objected to us using Wikipedia at all as long as your cross checking any fact which you should do regardless of the source.

Maybe the fact I'm doing computer courses lends itself to having staff that are a bit less weary of things such as Wikipedia...I dunno. But yeah, if used right then why not.

Wikipedia is an interesting tool and quite useful if you know nothing on a subject. It's handy if the external links and sources are up to date and accurate.

The problem, and everyone knows it, is peer review. Nothing has to go through the rigors of being torn to shreds by your colleagues.

That said, I think this assignment is innovative and worthwhile. It introduces the kids to a wider world of editing and being edited by people you don't know.

Very smooth move by the teacher. After all, if people of many types consider Wikipedia to have such incorrect information, why not do something about it? That's what the Internet was created for - to share and exchange information between (groups of) people via computer! That's also a nice thing about Wikipedia - if something is incorrect, the ability to make it more correct exists.

This is great. I hate busy work with a passion. I'd much rather work for something that would benefit people other than just my grade.

Tell that to any of my teachers and they'll fail you.

Personally, I love the idea, and I've thought it for around a year and a half, but never knew it was in current implementation. Only if all teachers were so.