User:Dillbug/NMAC 5108 Journal

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Dillbug (talk) 15:26, 18 March 2019 (UTC)==March 6, 2019: Getting Started On Wikipedia==

What a surprise to learn the entire course was being taught using the Wikipedia website. Working in academia for the past ten years I encouraged students to steer clear of using Wikipedia, as the site was generally considered an unreliable source for research. However, students were able to peruse Wikipedia when searching for peer-reviewed research articles cited within a specific subject.  After reviewing this week’s readings, especially the article, Evaluating Wikipedia[1], I was surprised to learn the collaborative effort that went into every section and the commitment and integrity with which people who share similar interests strive to present quality subject material free of bias and self-interest. Encouraging understanding of how to identify the good or bad quality of articles written in Wikipedia form a foundation for writing and editing Wikipedia articles. Dillbug (talk) 19:59, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

@Dillbug: It's funny you mention your aversion to Wikipedia in an academic setting — justified in the same way not citing an encyclopedia is justified. However, while articles can be "unreliable," what's stopping us from fixing them? That's the magic of the wiki! Welcome. —Grlucas (talk) 21:50, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

March 7, 2019: 1st Steps to Writing in a Digital World[edit]

Even though the information presented this week is a basic introduction to writing and editing on Wikipedia, each area had multiple links to click on providing further significant details about the course and writing requirements. The learning format for this class encourages self-exploration and self-discovery by allowing students the freedom to develop and practice their own method of writing rather than following strict style and format parameters. My “a-ha” moment occurred when I realized every link must be read thoroughly and sometimes more than once to gain the necessary knowledge to complete the assignment. Each link provided additional steps and supporting details on successfully completing tasks. I found most intimidating, writing my first journal post without any template or an example to guide me. I had no clue as to the style of writing the professor is expecting. I found myself trying something new in an unfamiliar environment with only a few questions to guide my writing. Whether I succeeded or failed at my first attempts is yet to be determined. However, I am looking forward to expanding my horizons and facing any challenges that may arise in what is presently unknown territory. Dillbug (talk) 19:59, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

Dillbug, I'm glad you mention being a little bit intimidated, because I just now had to search how to respond to a thread in these journals. I'm crossing my fingers right now that this works and shows up the way it's supposed to, in fact. I was just in a conference session this morning in Atlanta (NADE: National Association of Developmental Education) where a presenter said that she embraces these moments of anxiety because they mean we are about to learn something and she's right, I suppose, but I hope my learning curve isn't too steep nonetheless! The session was about the challenges adult learners face and how no matter how successful we are otherwise in our jobs, when we face these new experiences in the academic world, we are going to struggle. She said that the cognitive process for learning in the academic environment is just totally different than the learning environment at work, for example, and our skills there don't necessarily transfer exactly. Here's to not having so much anxiety over not immediately "getting" something, though! By the way, I noticed that if I hovered over the information in the Journal assignment, one suggestion was to use the exercises in our textbook as journal topics. I haven't done that yet, but that's my plan for at least one of the journals each week. Less stress already! JVbird (talk) 20:46, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
@Dillbug and JVbird: I think you're both doing great so far — and you have the right attitude. @JVbird: I do agree with the presenter you cite: while anxiety can make us . . . well, anxious, it can also push use enough to discover new things on our own. That's the best way to create new knowledge. I know there are many links on the syllabus and a lot to read, but you'll become experts in no time. All that said, contact me anytime if you get stuck. —Grlucas (talk) 21:50, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
It is slightly intimidating navigating Wikipedia. But I think that what you said was really a great point, when you feel a sort of discomfort that is a good clue that you are about to learn something new, and are out of your "comfort zone." DCasper79 (talk) 14:36, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
@Dillbug: Hi, I am interested to read your posts because I can relate to the learning curve. I am Dana, nice to meet you. I teach ESL in a middle school in a Tennessee suburban district. Project based learning is what I thought of when I read this post and is what I think is effective with who I work with. I am including a peer reviewed article of project based learning in a secondary social studies classroom that supports the effectiveness for the majority of students but does ask questions for further research with the ESL population that I work with. (Dmcgonagill (talk) 20:44, 15 March 2019 (UTC)) [2]
  1. ^ "Wikipedia". Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  2. ^ Summers, E. J. 1. ejsummers@txstate. ed., & Dickinson, G. (2012). A Longitudinal Investigation of Project-based Instruction and Student Achievement in High School Social Studies. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 6(1), 82–103. Retrieved from

March 14, 2019: Evaluating Wikipedia[edit]

I had hoped this week would be a little less frustrating, but to my dismay, that was not the case. I struggled for hours trying to respond to the discussion post requirement. I finally had to contact Dr. Lucas for further instruction, only to find out I was posting properly all along (lesson learned). I look forward to the day when I will feel adept at posting a response. On a better note, this week’s reading requirements were very informative, providing explicit steps on proofing, formatting and style tips, organizing layers, and evaluating articles and sources. Wiki training on editing an article using visual editor and source editor was a tremendous help in the layout of my discussion post. The practice sections enabled me to rather quickly learn the fundamental steps for editing in Wikipedia. I finally feel a sense of accomplishment.Dillbug (talk) 15:54, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

@Dillbug. It doesn't help that this week's reading basically said that writers/editors have to do so much more than ever before, that they have to deal with not just words but visuals, and format and selling their ideas in a way that will work in various platforms, does it, but I've told myself that this is going to be like anything new. I'm going to feel confused at times and I won't know what to do a lot of the times, but if I just keep pushing, it will happen. I always tell my students that that feeling of confusion is just what happens right before you learn something. I just have to remember to listen to my own advice! JVbird (talk)
@Dillbug: Hang in there, you’re doing great! Just be sure to practice some each day, and I promise it will get easier and maybe even enjoyable. —Grlucas (talk) 15:46, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
JVBird and Grlucas, thank you both so much for the words of encouragement. I may be struggling right now, but I do intend to learn how to navigate and write in the Wikipedia environment.

@Waebo: DillBug trust me you are not alone feeling frustrated with some of these tasks. I have spent hours trying to figure out how does some create a signature when come to find out that it was only 4 squiggly lines. Do not worry though because step by step learning new activities about Wikipedia will help you out. Waebo (talk) 00:33, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

March 16, 2019[edit]

Norman Church Mailer was more than just an author; she was a actress, artist, and model.  The sources currently used in the article are not considered reliable sources. I would recommend changing the sources to more credible sources such as using her memoir, A Ticket to the Circus: A Memoir, as a credible source for reference #2 and for reference #1, the book by Joseph Berger, Church Mailer, Artist and Ally, Dies. Below is my first attempt at editing an article. However, I did not make any reference changes in my attempt to evaluate the first paragraph of the article.

Norris Church Mailer (born Barbara Jean Davis; January 31, 1949, in Atkins, Arkansas – November 21, 2010, in Brooklyn Heights, New York City, New York)[1][2] was an American novelist, actress, artist, and model. Mailer grew up in Arkansas, married her high school sweetheart, Larry Norris, and together had one son[1].  By 1975, Norris had divorced her first husband and had met her soon to be second husband, acclaimed novelist, Norman Mailer, at a book signing In Russellville, AR.[2] She eventually married Mailer in 1980 and had one son[2]. Upon marrying Mailer, Norris became stepmother to two stepsons and five stepdaughters. Norris began publishing her own works from 2000 to 2010, having spent much of her time in the 1980s to 2000s, raising her children and stepchildren, while working as an actress in various films and television and modeling for Wilhelmina Modeling Agency. Dillbug (talk) 15:53, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

@Dillbug What a great idea. I honestly didn't think the original sources were too problematic, but that was an assumption on my part for sure. You dug deep and found that better sources are available to cite information on Norris Church Mailer.JVbird (talk) 20:13, 16 March 2019 (UTC) talk
@Dillbug: Ditto to what Josef said. Great job! I noted more cosmetic things, for example I would have liked to see an info box with a photo. And, I was confused with why dates were given in day, month, year in beginning but later in month, day, year form. So, does evaluate mean to edit source?(Dmcgonagill (talk) 23:16, 16 March 2019 (UTC))
@dmcgonagill I think I may have misunderstood the assignment. I thought we were supposed to edit the introduction paragraph and that is what I did. Even if we were not supposed to, I think the practice was a good start.2600:8807:A6C2:4600:5118:20BA:1867:ABA (talk) 16:59, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
@@Dillbug: Great work on finding credible sources. I too was very concerned about the NY Times Magazine article. Funny enough, I just created my post and spoke about the order of this whole entry. Great work on revising it. It makes much more sense the way you have it listed in order of her life span.Ssimsjones (talk) 04:35, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
@@dmcgongaill: We were supposed to evaluate it. After spring break we will edit and revise it. Good idea of going ahead and getting the practice in. Ssimsjones (talk) 00:13, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

March 18, 2019: Lessons Learned[edit]

I realize we are all on spring break this week and there are no assignments. However, I intend to reread everything again and organize information for ease of access. Last week was a challenge and at times I was really confused as to how to proceed. I did not find the tag on the Webinar until this morning, which tells me I must look closer at all the information presented. Sometimes it feels like I am looking for needles in a huge haystack. Also,my plan is to keep practicing posting and continue to try to locate my author for approval to edit her post. So far, I have tried Googling her for a phone number or address. I found a LinkedIn account with the same name and am currently awaiting a reply. I did not find an obituary. Hopefully, I will find her if she is still alive.Dillbug (talk) 14:04, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

@Dillbug: Keep at it. I know there’s a lot of material, but you’ll be able to do it if you work a bit each day. Please send your questions. —Grlucas (talk) 19:11, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

March 18, 2019: I Found Her[edit]

I am so happy right now! I finally feel a sense of accomplishment. I found my author and have received permission to use her essay. My author is a professor at the University of South Carolina. I took a chance and emailed her to determine whether she was the author and she was! Now I can begin my work without this hanging over my head! I feel like a kid in a candy store, so excited!

@@Dillbug: Where did you find the shared drive to pull the essays? Did I miss something in the Wikipedia training documents because I don't recall this? I looked at the link listed on our syllabus but it sent me to an "American Dream Expanded" website. Is this where I should pull the essay from? Do I need to type in a link or something on this page. I also looked at the discussion tab but am thinking I am really missing something. Ssimsjones (talk) 01:04, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
@Dillbug: Great work! I think you are the first. @Ssimsjones: Please see the project page for the class: An American Dream Expanded. It has instructions for these items. It is also linked pretty prominently on the syllabus under requirements. Let me know if you have more questions. —Grlucas (talk) 19:09, 19 March 2019 (UTC)


1.  1.0 1.1  Norris Church Mailer profile at NNDb

2.   ↑2.0 2.1  Witchel, Alex (2010-04-01). "Norris Church Mailer: The Last Wife". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-14.