Neurobiology (BIOL3501) is a 3-credit lecture course at Marquette University designed to provide an introduction to the study of the nervous system. The course will consider the structure and function of the nervous system from the molecular and cellular levels to the systems level. The course will cover basic signaling mechanisms, sensory systems, and motor systems. The overall goal of the course is to provide students with an appreciation of the current state of knowledge in neurobiology and an adequate background for further study in the field. As part of the course students will participate in a Wikipedia assignment to improve and expand a neuroscience stub.
Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone. Our course is part of the Wikipedia Education Program consisting of professors using Wikipedia in their classrooms. The Society for Neuroscience has set a priority to expand and enhance neuroscience content on Wikipedia (Wikipedia:Wikiproject Neuroscience). The organization has identified a list of neuroscience stubs that are in need of improvement and expansion. For this assignment, groups of 3-4 students will work together on a single neuroscience stub with the goal to bring it up to the quality of a good article. The learning objectives of this assignment are:
- Increase scientific writing skills
- Improve critical thinking and research skills
- Foster the ability to work in a collaborative environment
- Gain in depth knowledge in a small area of neuroscience
There are many resources to get your started on Wikipedia:
You must create a username prior to beginning the assignment in order to receive any credit for the work that you do. The username does not need to be your real name if you prefer not to have it public but I will ask you to provide it to me for class. When creating an account, be sure to include an email address. This will not be visible to other users. It will be used in case you need to retrieve your password. It will also be possible for others to email you without knowing your email address and is necessary to receive notifications from Wikipedia. When working on any portion of the class, you must log into your account to receive credit. If you do any page editing or contributions to talk pages without logging in, I will not be to see it. You should also sign any contributions to talk pages.
Please use your sandbox or a private user subpage (Wikipedia:Subpages) to work on edits before making them live. Do not create another mainspace Wikipedia page separate from your user account to practice editing or to claim a topic.
There is an entire listing of neuroscience stubs , biophysics stubs , and disease stubs  that you can look through. Your topic should be classified as stub or start class on Wikipedia. Below is a list of topics that I have recently looked at that may be possibilities.
Acquired non-inflammatory myopathy
Langleys nicotine test
Stratum lucidum of hippocampus
T-type calcium channel
P-type calcium channel
Q-type calcium channel
PC12 cell line
GJB1 (connexin 32)
Ligand binding assay
Once you have identified a topic, do a literature search to ensure that you can find sufficient secondary sources for the topic. The topic must be submitted to the professor for approval.
As part of the assignment each student must act as a primary reviewer on one article and a secondary reviewer on two articles. The specific instructions for the reviews can be found at user:MMBiology/Review instructions.
- Friday 1/24/14 - Complete Wikipedia Training for students, create an account, enroll in the class, and leave a message for a classmate on their talk page. Submit your top three topic choices in class.
- Friday 1/31/14 - Write a paragraph on your userpage with links and an image.
- Friday 2/14/14 - One page proposal due
- Week of 2/17/14 - Group must meet with me to discuss work plan
- Week of 3/17/14 - Group must meet with me to discuss progress
- Monday 3/24/14 - Latest date to go live with article
- Monday 4/7/14 - Reviews on assigned articles complete
- Friday 4/24/14 - All responses to reviewers and final edit complete
The assignment will be graded on a 100 point scale according to the provided rubric (user:MMBiology/grading rubric).
Important points to remember
Please remember that this is a “public” assignment where you are representing Marquette University. It is imperative that you follow the Wikipedia guidelines.
Summary and students