More than 3,300 psychological scientists and their students have joined the APS Wikipedia Initiative (APSWI) by editing and rating article quality and students, under the supervision of their professors, are using Wikipedia entries as course writing assignments.
The goal of APSWI is simply to make information available about psychology on Wikipedia as complete and accurate as possible. In order to accomplish this, APS is calling on psychological scientists to support the Association’s mission to deploy the power of Wikipedia to represent scientific psychology as fully and as accurately as possible and thereby to promote the free teaching of psychology worldwide.
Ready to get started?
Check out the Resources for Instructors organized by the Wiki Education Foundation for a full list of resources available to help you craft your assignment, select articles, and run it successfully (more information about teaching with Wikipedia is available below). To start, you’ll need to create a Wikipedia course page and Wiki Ed can help. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wiki Ed can also help you with resources and other support throughout the term.
To help orient your students to editing in Wikipedia, give them the Editing Wikipedia Articles on Psychology guide. Tip: Students have found that they use this kind of resource more when they have a printed copy and are less likely to use it online.
If you decide not to use Wiki Ed resources for your class, please let us know you are using Wikipedia in your coursework: Contact APS.
When the general public searches for information about psychology, the top search results are Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia is the fifth most visited site on the Internet, making it the go-to resource for information on every topic, and all the content has been written by volunteers like you. As psychological scientists, it’s your responsibility to ensure the psychology information available on Wikipedia is accurate and complete.
Teaching with Wikipedia
The easiest way to improve psychology on Wikipedia is to participate in the APS Wikipedia Initiative, an effort in which students contribute content to Wikipedia in place of a traditional research paper as an individual or small group. To support classroom activities, APS has partnered with The Wikipedia Education Program run by the Wiki Education Foundation.
Here’s how it works. A Wiki Education Foundation staff member or volunteer will help you craft an assignment that enables your students to improve Wikipedia articles on psychology (you can find psychology articles in need of help here). Wiki Ed has online training materials for you and your students, volunteers to help you when you have questions, and brochures and handouts for you to distribute to students in class.
Using Wikipedia articles as an alternative to the traditional course paper teaches students:
- that even the simplest ideas are hard to communicate to general audiences.
- the importance of logic, strength of argument, flow and clarity of writing, and citations of the appropriate literature.
- the significance of accuracy in scientific writing.
More about the APS Wikipedia Initiative:
- The call to action by APS Past President Mahzarin R. Banaji
- Harnessing the Power of Wikipedia for Scientific Psychology
- Wikipedia is the Encyclopedia that Anybody Can Edit. But Have You?
- Lessons Learned from APS Members
Note: APS recommends that you work with the Wiki Education Foundation to develop your course writing assignments. Contact Wiki Ed to get started. If you have used the APS Wikipedia portal in the past or have questions about the APS Initiative, please contact APS.