Wikipedia:United States Education Program/Courses/Communication Theory and Frameworks (Jeanine Turner)

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Course description[edit]

This course provides students with an overview of important theories in communication. This course will examine interpersonal, organizational, mass communication, and mediated theories for explaining the content and form of messages and the role of communicators as individuals, participants, and members of communities. Students will explore how these theories explain various aspects of message production, underlying assumptions supporting these explanations, and the implications of these explanations on how communication is studied.

Instructor and Ambassadors[edit]

Jeanine Turner
Campus Ambassadors
Steve Fernie
Online Ambassadors
Alan Jump Alan the Roving Ambassador (User:N5iln) (talk)


Week 1: Wikipedia Essentials[edit]

In class
  • Overview of the course
  • Introduction to how Wikipedia will be used in the course
  • Handout: Welcome to Wikipedia (available in print or online from the Wikimedia Foundation)
Assignment (due week 2)
  • Read Five pillars, an explanation of Wikipedia's basic rules and principles

Week 2: Editing basics[edit]

In class
Assignments (due week 3)
(See this and this for example assignments.)
  • Create a Wikipedia account, create a user page, and sign up on the list of students on the course page.
  • To practice editing and communicating on Wikipedia, introduce yourself to one of the class's Online Ambassadors (via talk page), and leave a message for a classmate on their user talk page.
  • All students have Wikipedia user accounts and are listed on the course page.

Week 3: Exploring the topic area[edit]

In class
Assignments (due week 4)
  • Critically evaluate an existing Wikipedia article related to the class, and leave suggestions for improving it on the article's discussion page.
  • Research and list 3–5 articles on your Wikipedia user page that you will consider working on as your main project. Ask your class's Online Ambassadors for comments.

Week 4: Using sources[edit]

In class
Assignment (due week 5)
  • Add 1–2 sentences of new information, backed up with a citation to an appropriate source, to a Wikipedia article related to the class.
For next week
  • Instructor evaluates student's article selections, by week 5.

Week 5: Choosing articles[edit]

In class
  • Discuss the range of topics students will be working on and strategies for researching and writing about them.
Assignments (due week 6)
  • Select an article to work on, removing the rest from the course page.
  • Compile a bibliography of relevant research and post it to the talk page of the article you are working on. Begin reading the sources.

Week 6: Drafting starter articles[edit]

In class
  • Instructor and/or Campus Ambassadors talk about Wikipedia culture & etiquette, and [optionally] introduce the concept of sandboxes and how to use them.
  • Q&A session with instructor and/or Campus Ambassadors about interacting on Wikipedia and getting started with writing
  • Video resource: Sandbox tutorial
Assignments (due week 7)
  • If you are starting a new article, write a 3–4 paragraph summary version of your article (with citations) in your Wikipedia sandbox. If you are improving an existing article, write a summary version reflecting the content the article will have after it's been improved, and post this along with a brief description of your plans on the article's talk page.
  • Begin working with classmates and Online Ambassadors to polish your short starter article and fix any major transgressions of Wikipedia norms.
  • Continue research in preparation for expanding your article.
  • All students have started editing articles or drafts on Wikipedia.

Week 7: Did you know[edit]

In class
Wiki assignments (due week 8)
  • Move sandbox articles into main space.
  • For new articles or qualifying expansions of stubs, compose a one-sentence "hook," nominate it for "Did you know," and monitor the nomination for any issues identified by other editors.
  • Begin expanding your article into a comprehensive treatment of the topic.

Week 8: Building articles[edit]

In class or outside of class
Wiki assignments (due week 9)
  • Expand your article into an initial draft of a comprehensive treatment of the topic.
  • Select two classmates' articles that you will peer review and copy-edit. (You don't need to start reviewing yet.)

Week 9: Getting and giving feedback[edit]

In class
  • As a group, have the students offer suggestions for improving one or two of the students' articles, setting the example for what is expected from a solid encyclopedia article.
Wiki assignments (due week 10)
  • Peer review two of your classmates' articles. Leave suggestions on the article talk pages.
  • Copy-edit the two reviewed articles.
  • All articles have been reviewed by others. All students have reviewed articles by their classmates.

Week 10: Responding to feedback[edit]

In class
  • Open discussion of the concepts of neutrality, media literacy, and the impact and limits of Wikipedia
Wiki assignments (due week 11)
  • Make edits to your article based on peers' feedback.
  • Nominate your article for Good Article status.
  • Prepare for an in-class presentation about your Wikipedia editing experience.

Week 11: Class presentations[edit]

In class
  • Students give in-class presentations about their experiences editing Wikipedia.
Wiki assignments (due week 12)
  • Add final touches to you Wikipedia article. Try to address issues from Good Article reviews.
  • Write a reflective essay (2-5 pages) on your Wikipedia contributions.

Week 12: Due date[edit]

You made it!

  • Students have finished all their work on Wikipedia that will be considered for grading, and have submitted reflective essays.


This table will list each article that a student is working on, and which other students will be peer reviewers for the article.

User Article 1st reviewer 2nd reviewer
User:Willycutpro Symbolic Convergence Theory User:Rk384 User:Gesund
User:Getwellsteve Hyperpersonal User:Mikagu User:DMM78
User:Bgwiki15 Symbolic Interaction User:Opheliajw User:Yw59
User:Wikirulesmylife Media Systems Dependency Theory User:XiaosongChen User:Lightbrite
User:Lightbrite Uses and Gratifications User:Wikirulesmylife User:XiaosongChen
User:Mikagu Standpoint Theory User:Getwellsteve User:DMM78
User:XiaosongChen Social Exchange Theory User:Wikirulesmylife User:Lightbrite
User:Rk384 Social information processing theory User:Willycutpro User:Gesund
User:LaRabiosa Communication Privacy Management Theory User:Cstorm44 User:Rms235
User:Rms235 Cultivation Analysis User:Cstorm44 User:LaRabiosa
User:Cstorm44 Critical Mass User:Rms235 User:LaRabiosa
User:Opheliajw Organizational Information Theory User:Bgwiki15 User:Yw59
User:Yw59 Media Ecology User:Bgwiki15 User:Opheliajw
User:Gesund Communication Accommodation Theory User:Willycutpro User:Rk384
User:DMM78 Problematic Integration Theory User:Mikagu User:Getwellsteve

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