User:Lyco Hist 232

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In "The Rise of Islam" course at Lycoming College[1], we will ask students to augment short or stub Wikipedia articles.

There will be 13 pairs of students working on this project, with each group having a separate Wikipedia account. Each group will choose a Wikipedia stub topic to expand to the level as close to a Wikipedia:Featured Article as they can.

Supervisors: Dr. Chandler will provide the students with a list of acceptable stubs/articles to work on, and will ensure that the students' additions to Wikipedia are properly researched and cited. Ms. Gregory will take care of introducing students to the technical side of Wikipedia and will ensure that the students are working within the bounds of Wikipedia guidelines.

Start date: The project will begin in January, 2008.

Introduction for students[edit]

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, is an encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone. It has over three million editors as of 2007, many of whom are students like you. The vast majority of them are volunteers who find editing this site to be an enjoyable experience, even a hobby. Therefore we hope you will enjoy this exercise and the course! After all, there are not many exercises that tell you to do something that over a million people think is 'fun'. :-)

Wikipedia:Tutorial is the best place to start your adventure with this wiki. Please familiarize yourself with Wikipedia:School and university projects - instructions for students and if you have any questions, check the Help:Contents and if you cannot find what you are looking for, ask the friendly people at Wikipedia:Help desk - or contact your class' librarian.

Before making any edits, it is required that you create an account. You definitely need to have an account before attempting to work on any of the exercises in the next section (otherwise we will be unable to confirm if you have completed the exercise). Do not use your real name for the account, but do choose a name that lends a degree of credence to your work. After you create an account, please be sure to add your group's user name to the Moodle course Wikipedia forum -- this forum is how Dr. Chandler will be able to track your work and give you credit for it.

Remember that Wikipedia is not a project limited only to Lycoming College. We are guests here and we should all behave accordingly. Please make sure you read Wikipedia:Wikiquette. Our HIST 232 course is the first one at our college to use Wikipedia to such an extent, so please try to think what impression you want other Wikipedians to have of our college — and of yourselves.

You should expect that the Dr. Chandler, Ms. Gregory, other students, your friends, and even (or especially) other Wikipedia editors (not affiliated with our course) will leave you various messages on your talk pages. When working on the exercises below, you should log in to Wikipedia and check your messages as often as you check your email (we strongly recommend that you read your messages daily). Whenever you have a new message and are logged to Wikipedia, you will see a large orange message, 'You have new messages', on every Wikipedia page you access. To make this message disappear, you should click on it and read the message. Note that it is customary to leave new messages at the bottom of the talk/discussion pages, and to reply to somebody's messages on their talk pages. If you want to leave somebody a message, make sure you are editing their talk page, not their user page. Remember to sign your talk and discussion messages.

Some other useful tips: whenever you are done with an edit and want to save a page, fill out the edit summary box and view a preview of the page after your edit to make sure it looks as you actually want it to look. Only then click the "Save Page" button. You may find the page history tool and watchlist tools to be very useful when you want to check what changes by other editors have been made to the article you are working on.

If you have questions about using Wikipedia, you are welcome to send us e-mails, or drop by to see us during our office hours, but please try to find the answer first on the Help:Contents.

Exercises for students[edit]

After you familiarize yourself with how Wikipedia works, it is time to put those lessons into practice. This is important; not only it will give you experience in wiki technology before you begin your actual class project, but the successful completion of the below exercises in itself will impact your quiz/participation score. After you finish doing an exercise, please record the information on the Moodle course Wikipedia forum.

Important note: make sure you are logged into your account before making any edits. If you are not logged in, we cannot verify who has done the edits, thus we will be unable to recognize your work and grade you on it. In other words, if you do any edits while not logged in, we will not count those edits toward your grade in this course.

As mentioned in the introduction section above, each student group must let us know its Wikipedia account name by adding its user name to the Moodle course Wikipedia forum. In the same manner, be sure to document your work on the exercises below on that forum.

Exercise 1

First, get comfortable with the mechanics of editing Wikipedia pages by going to the User:Lyco Hist 232/Sandbox. The Sandbox is where you can play without making any permanent changes to a page. (Remember how easy it was to experiment with and then wipe out a sandcastle gone wrong?...) After experimenting with the Sandbox, be sure to add your comments and questions to the Moodle Wikipedia forum. This exercise should be completed by January 28, 2008.

Exercise 2

Next, try making a small change on an existing article. Wikipedia covers nearly every aspect of our life and culture, so you should be able to find something to add. The point of this exercise is to ensure that you know how to add content to an existing page. Make sure you have read the guides mentioned in the introduction section and familiarized yourself with how a wiki works before attempting to do this exercise. You may want to refresh your memory by rereading this page:

To complete this exercise, it is enough to expand any one article with a single meaningful sentence. Of course, if you feel you can do more, feel free to do so. If you manage to expand (in a meaningful way) a stub article so that it no longer qualifies as a stub, then you may receive some additional points. Please be sure to document your work on the Moodle course Wikipedia forum. This exercise should be completed by January 30, 2008.

Exercise 3

It is vitally important to be able to distinguish between primary sources and secondary sources, as well as to be able to properly cite your sources. In this excercise we will concentrate on references. You may add a citation for the information that you added in Exercise 2, or browse the Category:Articles lacking sources to find a missing reference. When you find an article that does not follow Wikipedia:Citing sources guidelines, try to find a reference for an important fact in the article. Please try to use academic, primary sources (like academic journals) instead of non-academic, secondary sources (like newspapers or non-academic Web sites). See also Wikipedia:Reliable sources for information on what sources are preferred.

Some examples of well-referenced articles: Katyn massacre, Section summary of the USA PATRIOT Act, Title II, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Battle of Austerlitz, Military history of France, Monopoly (game).

Please be sure to document your work on the Moodle course Wikipedia forum. This exercise should be completed by February 6, 2008.

Wikipedia Project[edit]

A list of short, stub Islam-related articles selected by Dr. Chandler will be available in class. Each pair of students should chose one article and work on it. Make sure you report your choice on the Moodle course Wikipedia forum. If instead of expanding an existing stub you would like to create a new article from scratch, this is possible, however make sure you consult the subject of this article with Dr. Chandler and get his approval before starting the project.

You are welcome to use Wikipedia:Peer Review and related tools and seek creative comments on your article. If you manage to make your article a Wikipedia:Featured Article, you may receive additional points. However, please refrain from voting for each other's articles during this process (note also that anonymous and new user votes are commonly disregarded during FA voting process to prevent any abuses.) In additon, please note that Lycoming College's academic honesty standards do apply to this Wikipedia project.

You must turn in a paper copy of what you intend to actually add to Wikipedia to Dr. Chandler by February 20, 2008.

Please be sure to document all of your work on the Moodle course Wikipedia forum. This assignment will be completed in class on March 3, 2008.