Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/University at Buffalo/SSC199 Seminar (Summer 1)

This Course
Wikipedia Resources Connect
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Course name
SSC199 Seminar
University at Buffalo
Cindi Tysick
Wikipedia Expert
Shalor (Wiki Ed)
Digital Identity
Course dates
2017-05-30 00:00:00 UTC – 2017-07-14 23:59:59 UTC
Approximate number of student editors

This course introduces students to their digital identity and discusses ways to monitor and improve their online presence. Students will begin building their "brand" as researcher by completing a Wikipedia entry.

Student Assigned Reviewing
Ashwaq Alj
Zkor Behavior-based robotics Virtual sit-in, Biji (Chinese literature)
Jamesw57 Throwback Thursday Pokémon universe, Body language of dogs
Cailang753 Social issues in China Body language of dogs, Throwback Thursday
Aljanahias1 Adult learner Pokémon universe, 2014 Nuclear Security Summit
Sheikh10461 Cheese fries National Library of Bhutan, Armenian art
Yue Qiu
Erikjerez Virtual sit-in Biji (Chinese literature), Behavior-based robotics
Wenwen Liu Social issue
Nitwitgoober Open Prosthetics Project Behavior-based robotics
AlexiaChan Body language of dogs Social issues in China, Adult learner
Jessilia Armenian art
Deernine699 National Library of Bhutan
Minsi1769 2014 Nuclear Security Summit
Hoh5 Pokémon universe Social issues in China, Adult learner
Fahimala Biji (Chinese literature) Behavior-based robotics
Aaronlee234 Orofaciodigital syndrome 1
Yueyao guo Kakani Katija Young, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China Jin canrong


Week 1

Course meetings
Tuesday, 30 May 2017   |   Wednesday, 31 May 2017   |   Thursday, 1 June 2017   |   Friday, 2 June 2017
In class - Introduction to the Wikipedia project

Welcome to your Wikipedia project's course timeline. This page will guide you through the Wikipedia project for your course. Be sure to check with your instructor to see if there are other pages you should be following as well.

This page breaks down writing a Wikipedia article into a series of steps, or milestones. These steps include online trainings to help you get started on Wikipedia.

Your course has also been assigned a Wikipedia Content Expert. Check your Talk page for notes from them. You can also reach them through the "Get Help" button on this page.

To get started, please review the following handouts:

Assignment - Get started on Wikipedia
  • Create an account and join this course page, using the enrollment link your instructor sent you. (To avoid hitting Wikipedia's account creation limits, this is best done outside of class. Only 6 new accounts may be created per day from the same IP address.)
  • It's time to dive into Wikipedia. Below, you'll find the first set of online trainings you'll need to take. New modules will appear on this timeline as you get to new milestones. Be sure to check back and complete them! Incomplete trainings will be reflected in your grade.
  • When you finish the trainings, practice by introducing yourself to a classmate on that classmate’s Talk page.
Assignment - Wikipedia assignment blog

Begin a blog about your experiences. You can use discussion questions to frame your entries, or reflect on the research and writing process. Create at least one blog entry each week during the Wikipedia assignment.


This week, everyone should have a Wikipedia account.

Week 2

Course meetings
Monday, 5 June 2017   |   Tuesday, 6 June 2017   |   Wednesday, 7 June 2017   |   Thursday, 8 June 2017   |   Friday, 9 June 2017
Assignment - Evaluate Wikipedia

It's time to think critically about Wikipedia articles. You'll evaluate a Wikipedia article related to the course and leave suggestions for improving it on the article's Talk page.

  • Complete the "Evaluating Articles and Sources" training (linked below).
  • Create a section in your sandbox titled "Article evaluation" where you'll leave notes about your observations and learnings.
  • Choose an article on Wikipedia related to your course to read and evaluate. As you read, consider the following questions (but don't feel limited to these):
    • Is everything in the article relevant to the article topic? Is there anything that distracted you?
    • Is the article neutral? Are there any claims, or frames, that appear heavily biased toward a particular position?
    • Are there viewpoints that are overrepresented, or underrepresented?
    • Check a few citations. Do the links work? Does the source support the claims in the article?
    • Is each fact referenced with an appropriate, reliable reference? Where does the information come from? Are these neutral sources? If biased, is that bias noted?
    • Is any information out of date? Is anything missing that could be added?
    • Check out the Talk page of the article. What kinds of conversations, if any, are going on behind the scenes about how to represent this topic?
    • How is the article rated? Is it a part of any WikiProjects?
    • How does the way Wikipedia discusses this topic differ from the way we've talked about it in class?
  • Optional: Choose at least 1 question relevant to the article you're evaluating and leave your evaluation on the article's Talk page. Be sure to sign your feedback with four tildes — ~~~~.
In class - Discussion
What's a content gap?

Now that you're thinking about what makes a "good" Wikipedia article, consider some additional questions.

  • Wikipedians often talk about "content gaps." What do you think a content gap is, and what are some possible ways to identify them?
  • What are some reasons a content gap might arise? What are some ways to remedy them?
  • Does it matter who writes Wikipedia?
  • What does it mean to be "unbiased" on Wikipedia? How is that different, or similar, to your own definition of "bias"?
Assignment - Copyedit an article

Choose an article. Read through it, thinking about ways to improve the language, such as fixing grammatical mistakes. Then, make the appropriate changes. You don’t need to contribute new information to the article.

Week 3

Course meetings
Monday, 12 June 2017   |   Tuesday, 13 June 2017   |   Wednesday, 14 June 2017   |   Thursday, 15 June 2017   |   Friday, 16 June 2017
In class - Discussion
Thinking about sources and plagiarism
  • Blog posts and press releases are considered poor sources of reliable information. Why?
  • What are some reasons you might not want to use a company's website as the main source of information about that company?
  • What is the difference between a copyright violation and plagiarism?
  • What are some good techniques to avoid close paraphrasing and plagiarism?
Assignment - Choose your topic / Find your sources

It's time to choose an article and assign it to yourself.

  • Review page 6 of your Editing Wikipedia guidebook.
  • Find an article from the list of "Available Articles" on the Articles tab on this course page. When you find the one you want to work on, click Select to assign it to yourself.
  • In your sandbox, write a few sentences about what you plan to contribute to the selected article.
    • Think back to when you did an article critique. What can you add? Post some of your ideas to the article's talk page.
    • Compile a list of relevant, reliable books, journal articles, or other sources. Post that bibliography to the talk page of the article you'll be working on, and in your sandbox. Make sure to check in on the Talk page to see if anyone has advice on your bibliography.
Assignment - Draft your article

You've picked a topic and found your sources. Now it's time to start writing.

Creating a new article?

  • Write an outline of that topic in the form of a standard Wikipedia article's "lead section." Write it in your sandbox.
    • A "lead" section is not a traditional introduction. It should summarize, very briefly, what the rest of the article will say in detail. The first paragraph should include important, broad facts about the subject. A good example is Ada Lovelace. See Editing Wikipedia page 9 for more ideas.

Improving an existing article?

  • Identify what's missing from the current form of the article. Think back to the skills you learned while critiquing an article. Make notes for improvement in your sandbox.

Keep reading your sources, too, as you prepare to write the body of the article.

Resources: Editing Wikipedia pages 7–9


Everyone has begun writing their article drafts.

Week 4

Course meetings
Monday, 19 June 2017   |   Tuesday, 20 June 2017   |   Wednesday, 21 June 2017   |   Thursday, 22 June 2017   |   Friday, 23 June 2017
In class - Discussion
Thinking about Wikipedia
  • What do you think of Wikipedia's definition of "neutrality"?
  • What are the impacts and limits of Wikipedia as a source of information?
  • On Wikipedia, all material must be attributable to reliable, published sources. What kinds of sources does this exclude? Can you think of any problems that might create?
  • If Wikipedia was written 100 years ago, how might its content (and contributors) be different? What about 100 years from now?
Assignment - Expand your draft
  • Keep working on transforming your article into a complete first draft. Get draft ready for peer-review.
  • If you'd like a Content Expert to review your draft, now is the time! Click the "Get Help" button in your sandbox to request notes.
Assignment - Peer review and copy edit
  • First, take the "Peer Review" online training.
  • Select two classmates’ articles that you will peer review and copyedit. On the Articles tab, find the articles that you want to review. Then in the "My Articles" section of the Home tab, assign them to yourself to review.
  • Peer review your classmates' drafts. Leave suggestions on on the Talk page of the article, or sandbox, that your fellow student is working on. Other editors may be reviewing your work, so look for their comments! Be sure to acknowledge feedback from other Wikipedians.
  • As you review, make spelling, grammar, and other adjustments. Pay attention to the tone of the article. Is it encyclopedic?

Every student has finished reviewing their assigned articles, making sure that every article has been reviewed.

Assignment - Respond to your peer review

You probably have some feedback from other students and possibly other Wikipedians. It's time to work with that feedback to improve your article!

  • Read Editing Wikipedia pages 12 and 14.
  • Return to your draft or article and think about the suggestions. Decide which ones to start implementing. Reach out to your instructor or your Content Expert if you have any questions.

Week 5

Course meetings
Monday, 26 June 2017   |   Tuesday, 27 June 2017   |   Wednesday, 28 June 2017   |   Thursday, 29 June 2017   |   Friday, 30 June 2017
Assignment - Begin moving your work to Wikipedia

Once you've made improvements to your article based on peer review feedback, it's time to move your work to Wikipedia proper - the "mainspace."

Editing an existing article?

  • NEVER copy and paste your draft of an article over the entire article. Instead, edit small sections at a time.
  • Copy your edits into the article. Make many small edits, saving each time, and leaving an edit summary. Never replace more than one to two sentences without saving!
  • Be sure to copy text from your sandbox while the sandbox page is in 'Edit' or 'Edit source' mode. This ensures that the formatting is transferred correctly.

Creating a new article?

  • Read Editing Wikipedia page 13, and follow those steps to move your article from your Sandbox to Mainspace.
  • You can also review the [[../../../training/students/sandboxes|Sandboxes and Mainspace]] online training.
Assignment - Continue improving your article

Do additional research and writing to make further improvements to your article, based on suggestions and your own critique.

  • Read Editing Wikipedia page 12 to see how to create links from your article to others, and from other articles to your own. Try to link to 3–5 articles, and link to your article from 2–3 other articles.
Assignment - Polish your work

Continue to expand and improve your work, and format your article to match Wikipedia's tone and standards. Remember to contact your Content Expert at any time if you need further help!

Week 6

Course meetings
Monday, 3 July 2017   |   Wednesday, 5 July 2017   |   Thursday, 6 July 2017   |   Friday, 7 July 2017
Assignment - Final article

It's the final week to develop your article.

  • Read Editing Wikipedia page 15 to review a final check-list before completing your assignment.
  • Don't forget that you can ask for help from your Content Expert at any time!

Everyone should have finished all of the work they'll do on Wikipedia, and be ready for grading.