During the COVID-19 lockdown, the media noted that one place people could turn to for reliable information, free from “fake news”, spin, and rumours, was Wikipedia.
People rely on Wikipedia, and its sister projects offer much more than health information. Whether it’s students wanting background on new subjects, fans wanting to read about their favourite bands, actors or teams, or people interested in the history of where they live, Wikipedia is the go-to site. And if more depth is required, readers can always follow links from Wikipedia to the sources that it cites.
Wikimedia at Coventry University
Coventry University is nearly one year into its Wikimedian in Residence programme (Wikimedia is the umbrella name for Wikipedia and its various sister projects, such as Wikidata or Wikimedia Commons) led by our Wiki expert Andy Mabbett (you can read more about his work here)
The Wikimedia Add+Vantage Module
From September, and again in January the Disruptive Media Learning Lab will be teaching an Add+Vantage module about Wikipedia. Students will be taught how to edit Wikipedia, how to select reliable sources, how to follow Wikipedia policies, and much more. Assessment will be based around writing a full Wikipedia article.
If you’re a Coventry University student, this is a fantastic opportunity to expand your opportunities, develop your skills in information literacy and start your journey of becoming a global knowledge activist.
Other Ways to Get involved
If you can’t enrol in the Add+Vantage module, you can always become a Wikipedia editor in your own time. It doesn’t have to be writing a whole article (though of course you can do that) – you could fix some typos, update stale information, add citations, or upload and add photographs to illustrate articles. See Wikipedia’s guide to getting started.
Andy is helping staff to use Wikipedia for authentic assessment as well as decolonising the curriculum (a key goal of Curriculum 2025).
Get in touch with him if this is something you’d like to learn more about.
He’s also going to be running some public events later in the year. If you have experience editing/contributing to Wikipedia or one of its sister projects, he’d love to hear from you.
To contact Andy about any of the above or to get some other help with Wikipedia, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with him on Twitter.