Wikipedia:United States Education Program/Courses/Geography of Crop Plants (Mary Handley)

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Course description[edit]

How did the crops we depend on for food develop from their wild progenitors? Where did they first grow? Who were the first people to practice agriculture? How have plants shaped the people who grow them? How have crops moved over time? How does geography influence today’s crops and the development of new crop varieties? Welcome to the Geography of Crop Plants, where these and other questions form the background for investigating our agricultural heritage.

Instructor and Ambassadors[edit]

Campus Ambassadors
Online Ambassadors


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 Sept 9)
  • Read Five pillars, an explanation of Wikipedia's basic rules and principles

Week 2: Editing basics[edit]

» Campus Ambassadors introduce the basics of Wikipedia editing, the anatomy of a Wikipedia article, what makes a good article, and how to distinguish between good & bad articles
Assignments (due Sept 9)
(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.
  • By September 9, All students have Wikipedia user accounts and are listed on the course page.

Week 3: Exploring the topic area[edit]

In class
Assignments (due By September 21)
  • 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 Sept 28)
  • Add 1–2 sentences of new information, backed up with a citation to an appropriate source, to a Wikipedia article related to the class.
Between Sept. 21 and Oct. 7
  • Meet individually with instructor to discuss article selections.

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 no later than October 7)
  • 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 6-7: Drafting starter articles[edit]

In class
  • Instructor and/or Campus Ambassadors talk about Wikipedia culture & etiquette, and 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 no later than October 19)
  • 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.
  • By October 19, all students have started editing articles or drafts on Wikipedia.

Week 8: Did you know[edit]

In class
Wiki assignments (due October 26)
  • 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 9: Building articles[edit]

In class or outside of class
Wiki assignments (due by November 6)
  • 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 10-11: Getting and giving feedback[edit]

In class
  • Two (or more) class periods will be dedicated to discussing the group’s articles.
Wiki assignments (due November 15)
  • Peer review two of your classmates' articles. Leave suggestions on the article talk pages.
  • Copy-edit the two reviewed articles.
November 15 Milestone
  • All articles have been reviewed by others. All students have reviewed articles by their classmates.

Week 12: 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 by November 25)
  • 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 14-15: Class presentations[edit]

In class
  • In-class presentations about your article and your experiences editing Wikipedia.
Wiki assignments (due by December 9)
  • 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. (Guidelines will be posted)


Article banners

To mark each article the subject of a student project, add the following code at the top of the talk page for each article: {{ WAP assignment | course = Wikipedia:United States Education Program/Courses/Geography of Crop Plants (Mary Handley) | university = James Madison University | term = 2011 Q3 | project = }} That will result in the following banner (and make the articles easy to track):


Wikipedia contributions will be graded according to a rubric which is TBD when Mary figures it out. It is expected that the rubric will be here by Halloween. BOO!


Instructions: Add your username to the list here using the format "*{{User|EXAMPLE USER}}" where EXAMPLE USER is substituted by your username that you see at the top of the page. Your username should be put at the end of the list before the line which begins "<!--the code below":

Once you have chosen an article, add a link to it next to your username.