||Writing Wikipedia Articles: The Basics and Beyond (#WWAcourse)
|a free six week course
Join this free five week online course February 13—March 16, 2017.
Registration opens Monday, February 6, 2017.
Our registration process needs a little tweaking! If you're eager to sign up, please add your username to this page, and we'll let you know when registration is open.
Week of 20 August 2013 (Class #3)
Week 3: What is quality?
This class will first explore the concept of quality in Wikipedia, as well as reviewing and expanding on Week 2's focus on communicating with other Wikipedians.
We will look at several different peer review processes within Wikipedia, and explore articles of low and high quality. We'll also look at techniques for gathering information about a page. For instance, how many Wikipedians are "watching" an article for changes? How many page views have there been in the last month? We'll also talk about how Wikipedians with similar interests find each other and collaborate to improve the site, and how you can get involved in projects outside our class.
Overview of Wikipedia article assessment
This week, we talked about various ways Wikipedians evaluate article quality. We introduced a lot of detailed information, so we're collected the most important links and notes here for your review.
Featured Article (FA) was the first kind of formal peer review established on Wikipedia, and remains the highest quality assessment an article can attain. The principles developed around the FA process provided important context for quality assessment in general; so by looking at the FA process first, we will gain insight into how Wikipedians think about article quality more generally.
FA was initially introduced as an answer to the question, "What are the best articles on Wikipedia, to be displayed on the site's main page?" The criteria (what it takes to be a FA) have evolved a bit over time, but are pretty straightforward. Decisions about what articles are awarded FA status are made by consensus, by comparing a nominee (or candidate) to the criteria.
Good article (GA) is similar to FA, slightly lower on the quality scale and a bit less onerous to attain. The principle difference is that, while an FA nomination initiates a discussion open to all, a GA nomination is an invitation for just one Wikipedian to review the article. The GA criteria are similar to those for FA, but a little less strict; and the process is simpler, consisting of a straightforward discussion between two people (the nominator and the reviewer), typically on the article's own talk page.
A much lighter peer review process is the Did You Know (DYK) feature of the main page. An article with as few as 1500 characters can qualify to be featured on the main page in this way. DYK is not itself a quality rating, but a process that helps people get feedback and recognition while they are developing an article. There is also a generic process called simply Peer Review (PR) in which people can ask for feedback at any stage in an article's development.
Back to the formal quality ratings. Below FA and GA, there are quality ratings that do not involve as much peer review. These are, in descending order:
- FA - GA - B - C - Start - Stub
(We won't be focusing on A class, which exists but is rarely used.) These lower quality ratings are generally handled by WikiProjects, in the process of keeping track of the various articles in a certain topic area. There are some general principles about what a given quality rating means, but each WikiProject is encouraged to develop guidelines specific to its topic area.
Join us informally Thursday (same time as class time, 15:00 UTC) to work through the on-wiki homework tasks or ask other editing questions. In addition to the conference room, you can always use our class discussion page for questions and comments: WT:WIKISOO.
Students completing the Final Project
and 200 edits to Wikipedia will earn the WIKISOO Burba Badge.
Week 3 Homework
Beginning in Week 3, your homework assignments are rooted in the course's Final Project. Please visit that page for a detailed description of the overall project. Below, you will find tasks that will help you get started this week.
- Upload a photo to Wikimedia Commons and place it on your user page or in an article. (This is not explicitly part of the final project, but as you work on your article, you may find that adding an image is a useful skill!)
- Get started on the final project! By now, hopefully you have an idea what article you want to work on. If not, there are some tips and pointers on the final project page. If you're still making your decision, feel free to use your user page, your sandbox, or our class discussion page to narrow it down. When you are ready, choose your article!
- Start taking notes outlining your plans for article improvement on your talk page or in your sandbox.
- If building a new article, start working on it in your sandbox. This can be a basic outline or notes to begin with.
- You have several weeks to complete this task (which should ideally be completed by our final class session, 18/19 June), but plan to spend at least two hours this week wrapping your head around the requirements and your ideas before the next class.
Be sure to look at the Final Project page, to gain a complete understanding of what you should aim for by the end of the course.