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Wiki literacy: using Wikipedia as a teaching toolWikipedia has traditionally been viewed with scepticism in higher education, and many academics discourage students from using it at all – a position borne out by our own internal sample of Derby academics. However, statistics show that Wikipedia is still one of the top five most heavily used websites in the world. With this in mind therefore, subject librarians at the University of Derby decided to try a different approach by using Wikipedia as a teaching and learning tool rather than just a source of information. Working with the undergraduate Publishing programme, librarians and academic staff redeveloped an existing module on Content Development to be structured entirely around the use of Wikipedia. Students were set tasks to create new articles, copy edit existing ones, peer review each other’s articles, and research for articles missing citations, thereby developing their academic writing, information literacy and digital skills. An added benefit for Publishing students especially was the opportunity to create content for a worldwide audience, with a potential impact long beyond the usual assignment timeline. In this short presentation we will present on the evolution of this project, our collaborative work with Wikimedia UK and academic staff, and outcomes from the project, including feedback from students and future plans for wider use across the University.
WikiLiteracy: enhancing students' digital literacy with WikipediaIn January 2019 the University of Derby delivered its first module entirely dedicated to and structured around editing and writing articles for Wikipedia. The course focused on using Wikipedia as a means to improve students’ skills in writing for public consumption, in addition to enhancing their digital and collaborative skills. Students contributed to 118 articles across a range of topics, which were viewed over 11.2 million times, providing them with a public platform no university assignment could match, and introduced them to the challenges of interaction and engagement in a global editing community. Students’ confidence in their digital capabilities was assessed at the start and end of the module and showed a clear increase in confidence across all categories.