Wikipedia U.S. Education Program

    The Wikipedia Education Program at Georgetown

    Professors participating in the Wikipedia Education Program ask their students to improve the quality of Wikipedia articles as part of their coursework. They receive support from CNDLS staff in developing their Wikipedia assignment, orienting the students to Wikipedia, and helping the students navigate the assignment throughout the semester.

    Georgetown students and professor Rochelle Davis (SFS) discuss how contributing to Wikipedia articles as part of their coursework expanded their understanding of writing collaboratively and what it means to contribute to a global conversation.

    In the fall of 2010, Rochelle Davis (SFS) integrated Wikipedia into two of her classes, one for undergraduates (Theorizing Culture and Politics) and one for graduate students (Introduction to the Study of the Arab World). With the help of campus ambassadors and online Wikipedia ambassadors, students either created new articles or improved existing articles on topics ranging from Arabic hip-hop to Georgetown’s Nomadic Theatre to the Monastery of Saint Anthony.

    “Turning in a paper and getting it back with a letter on it is far less rewarding than submitting an article onto one of the world’s most renowned knowledge bases for all to see. It makes putting all those hours of work into a project seem far more relevant and practical.”

    Adrien Bien, student

    Since then, the Wikipedia Program’s reach at Georgetown has grown. Participating classes have included undergraduate and graduate courses spanning such topics as sport sociology, art and ethics, film theory, and communications frameworks. Students have edited over 150 articles on Wikipedia through the program thus far, serving the global community by contributing to an international body of knowledge.

    In the News

    NPR's All Things Considered aired a story on the project in the fall of 2010. Three of the students—Nicole Anderson, Abbie Taylor and Adrian Bien—were recently profiled on the Wikimedia Foundation blog.

    Georgetown student Patrick Friedel speaks as part of a student panel at the Wikipedia in Higher Education Summit.

    Patrick Friedel

    Patrick Friedel, a master's student in Arab Studies, improved the Wikipedia article on the National Democratic Party of Egypt during the fall of 2010. That article was later featured on the front page of Wikipedia on April 18, 2011.

    Professor Davis and students Friedel and Adrieh Abou Shehadeh were interviewed for an October 2011 Christian Science Monitor article, "International relations curriculum is not 'chalk and blackboard' anymore."

    "Wikipedia goes to class," a May 3, 2011 Washington Post article, quoted professors Rochelle Davis and Adel Iskandar along with a Georgetown student.

    Communication, Culture and Technology (CCT) professor/Wikipedia Program faculty participant Adel Iskandar co-presented with campus ambassador/CNDLS graduate associate Kelsey Brannan on transnational collaboration at Wikipedia's annual conference, Wikimania, in July 2012.