APS Wikipedia Initiative: Lessons Learned from APS Members
By Paula Marentette, University of Alberta, Canada
In a senior seminar on language acquisition, a group of seven students successfully edited two Wikipedia articles and achieved Good Article status. A Good Article meets a basic set of criteria that indicate the material is well written, neutral, and appropriately sourced. It is not a particularly high bar, but is an external assessment of quality. More>>
By Lori Hoetger, University of Nebraska, Lincoln and Brian H. Bornstein, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
In past semesters, the students were responsible for three short papers: an analysis of a personal flashbulb memory, a review of a scholarly research article, and a critique of movies dealing with memory (e.g., Finding Nemo, Memento). We replaced the second paper, the research-article review, with an assignment as part of the APS Wikipedia Initiative (APSWI).
By Mona Ibrahim, Concordia College
Learning in today’s internet-dependent world requires new pedagogies. There is a real need to design assignments that better appeal to today’s students and allow them to engage more meaningfully and responsibly in the world we currently live in. I joined the APS Wikipedia initiative for the first time this semester and decided to replace a traditional research paper assignment with a Wikipedia assignment in which students either created or significantly expanded a Wikipedia article. More>>
By Rebecca Silton, Loyola University Chicago
After reading Mahzarin Banaji’s (2011) article in the Observer calling APS members to action, I was sold on using the APS Wikipedia Initiative (APSWI) as a classroom tool. It was just a matter of waiting until the right course came along. When I was scheduled to teach a graduate class in clinical neuropsychology this past fall semester, I decided it was the perfect course to try out APSWI because I always strive to include a community outreach component in the courses that I teach. More>>
By Benjamin Karney, University of California, Los Angeles
I have been teaching graduate seminars in social psychology for 15 years, and in every one the final project was the same: write a 15-page paper on whatever you are working on right now. At the end of the course, I would read it. Eventually, the student’s advisor saw it. And then, unless the paper gets published, that was the end of it. The term paper for all of those years was either a private matter between the student and myself, or a step on a road to publication that the student would have travelled with or without my course. More>>
By Greta Munger, Davidson College
Most students don’t like writing papers. Honestly, how many of us like grading papers? But to learn how to think critically they need to learn how to ask questions, find good sources using the library’s abundant resources, read and understand journal articles, and write about those journal articles intelligently. In upper-level courses we can add the task of developing a new research question, but I’ve found getting new psychology students to write excellent summaries is a good assignment. Good summaries are hard because they require excellent search and reading skills in addition to being able to communicate about complicated material with style and grace.
By Michael Reynolds, Trent University, Canada
At Trent University in Ontario, Canada, I teach The History of Psychology, a fourth year undergraduate course. I view this course as a capstone for students’ undergraduate education — one in which they can use their research and communication skills to contextualize what they have learned during their undergraduate degree. More>>