Wikipedia:United States Education Program/Courses/Interdisciplinary Application of Biology (Candace Timpte)

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Course description[edit]

This course is designed to enable students to integrate the entirety of their undergraduate liberal arts education to topical issues in Biology. Students will be challenged to investigate a biology problem politically, economically, ethically, and technically and communicate their findings to peers using a variety of technologies. Completion of this course establishes the basis for the life long learning process of applying biology content material to real world problems. By choosing topics that transcend traditional boundaries among specialized sub-disciplines of biology and other fields, students are encouraged to view problems from a holistic and integrative perspective. In Wikipedia project, students will be required to make substantial contributions to Wikipedia pages preferably about a US Federal or state Law on Biological issues or other instructor approved pages.

Instructor and Ambassadors[edit]

Candace Timpte Waterbug42 (talk) 18:56, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Campus Ambassadors
Xin Xu, Jim Rowan
Online Ambassadors
Graeme Bartlett


Wiki syllabus for BIOL4700[edit]

Week 2: Jan. 16 Wikipedia essentials and Editing Basics[edit]

In class
  • Presentation of Wiki Editing
  • Introduction to how Wikipedia will be used in the course
  • Handout: Welcome to Wikipedia (available in print or online from the Wikimedia Foundation)
  • Read Five pillars, an explanation of Wikipedia's basic rules and principles
In class
Assignments (due Jan. 30)
  • 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 by Jan. 30.

Week 3&4 through Jan 30: Exploring the topic area[edit]

Finding topics with the right balance between lack of prior good Wikipedia coverage and available literature from which to build new Wikipedia coverage can be tricky. See the list of topics on the course page or find one on your own.

In class

Week 5[edit]

Evaluate Wikipedia Articles: what makes a good article? Due Feb. 20, 3:00 pm.

Select an article on Wikipedia that might be your capstone project.

1. Submit the link to me for approval in advance of the due date.

2. Critically examine the article using the Wikipedia:Good article criteria addressing each of the six elements listed in your proposed article. You may make a table or a chart, but more than a one word synopsis of your article is required for each of these categories.

3. Propose what you plan to do to enhance this article: Will you add a new section, expand an existing section, find images, make tables? Provide a detailed plan for your project. Of course you might deviate from the plan as you work in the next month, but it is good to have a plan to start.

4. Put the GGC Wikiproject Banner on the talk page of the article and make one statement on the talk page about what you plan to do.

5. Do this by 3:00 pm Feb. 20th.

Feel free to consult with our online ambassadors or our campus ambassador as well.

Week 6: Using sources[edit]

In class
Assignment (due Feb. 27)
  • Add 1–2 sentences of new information, backed up with a citation to an appropriate source, to a Wikipedia article related to the class or a biology topic. LIVE on Wikipedia! YOU are a participating Wikipedian!! Congratulations!
  • You are responsible for adding about 10 paragraphs. Two students maximum per article, please.

As they start using sources to improve Wikipedia articles or write new ones, it is especially important for students to understand Wikipedia's policies on plagiarism and copyright violation. Students generally know that copying whole paragraphs or sentences from sources constitutes plagiarism. But many don't know about—or think they can get away with—subtler forms of plagiarism, such as using shorter phrases without attribution or beginning from a copied text and simply rewording it while leaving the structure and meaning intact (i.e., close paraphrasing). Any form of plagiarism or copyright violation is likely to result in students' work being removed from Wikipedia.

Week 7 & 8: Get to WORK!![edit]

Because students often wait until the last minute to do their research or choose sources unsuited for Wikipedia, we strongly suggest that the students put together a bibliography of materials they want to use in editing the article which can then be assessed by, you, the instructor and other Wikipedians.

Assignments Due Feb.20
  • Wikipedia Plan assignment: see the example assignment on the CMS. Cite the page you plan to edit, put the link in the chart below on the wikipedia class page. Evaluate the article using Wikipedia's GA criteria. Submit a proposal of your plans for editing the article, being as specific as possible. See sample assignment.

Week 9: Wikipedia Help Session[edit]

Keep working on your capstone project
In class
  • Questions? What is working for you? Review of plagiarism rules.
  • Work with classmates and Online Ambassadors to polish your editing and fix any major transgressions of Wikipedia norms.
  • Continue research in preparation for expanding your article.
Milestone Week 9
  • All students have started editing articles or drafts on Wikipedia.
  • March 9, All students will have entered 2 paragraphs on the Wikipedia page for their project. (This submission will be graded up to 10 points).

Week 10: Did you know[edit]

  • 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.
  • Continue expanding your article into a comprehensive treatment of the topic.

Week 11: Building articles[edit]

KEEP working!!! Let me know if you've moved major portions onto the page you are editing so I can keep up with you. If you encounter other Wikipedians undoing your edits, engage in polite discourse and enlist my help or that of one of our ambassadors.

In class or outside of class

Week 12: Getting and giving feedback[edit]

In class
  • As a group, examine a couple of Wikipedia Articles and set the example for what is expected from a solid encyclopedia article.
Assignment (due April 20)
  • Select one classmate’s article that you will peer review. Sign your name in the chart on this page. Write a brief (250 word) summary or critique of the student's contributions to the wikipedia page. Is there another area of the article that still needs improvement? Be aware that everyone's pages are still 'works in progress' ; therefore make specific suggestions if possible.

Milestone April 20
  • All articles have been reviewed by others. All students have reviewed articles by their classmates.

Week 15: April 23 week: Responding to feedback[edit]

In class
  • Open discussion of the concepts of neutrality, media literacy, and the impact and limits of Wikipedia
Assignments (due April 27)
  • 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 15: April 23 Class presentations[edit]

In class
  • Students give in-class presentations about their article of interest and lead the class through an examination of the issue from the four perspectives.

Final Edits to your Wikipedia page for grading purposes are due by midnight April 30, 2012[edit]

  • Add final touches to you Wikipedia article. Try to address issues from Good Article reviews.
  • I will begin assessing pages on May 1, 2012.

Week 16: May 1.[edit]

You made it! Wiki Celebration Party! Discussion of the course, and the Wikipedia contributions. Will you continue as an active wikipedian?

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

Capstone Project is 40% of course grade[edit]


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

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/Interdisciplinary Application of Biology (Candace Timpte) | university = Georgia Gwinnett College | term = 2012 Q1 | project = }} That will result in the following banner (and make the articles easy to track):

User Article 1st reviewer 2nd reviewer
Sajjad101 (talk · contribs · count) Genetically modified rice mtoto11 smatovu
gahuja (talk · contribs · count) Genetically modified tomato Lawrencia Ekah NDave28
ammclemore1987 (talk · contribs · count) Genetically modified foods Gshikula1 open
Jahmal.council (talk · contribs · count) Genetically Modified Food Natalie Peck: natalietadpole open
Bravura1 (talk · contribs · count) Food Safety and Modernization Act John Campbell open
ESmith3 (talk · contribs · count) National Wilderness Preservation System Jennifer G open
jonathandemart (talk · contribs · count) National Wilderness Preservation System open open
natalietadpole (talk · contribs · count) Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 Christina Nassisi Audrey Thomas
roorie16 (talk · contribs · count) Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 Zainab V arandolp
jenniferdanielle418 (talk · contribs · count) Animal testing regulations smatovu open
Aduong0424 (talk · contribs · count) Animal testing regulations Asif Jahmal.council
Nimbus1ZZ-FE (talk · contribs · count) Coastal Zone Management Act Bravura1 open
Mespinos (talk · contribs · count) HPV vaccine Nkhudgens (talk)nkhudgens open
naprissi (talk · contribs · count) HPV vaccine open open
Jneutronbg007 (talk · contribs · count)
Mtoto11 (talk · contribs · count)
Comprehensive Smoking Education Act Yuuusraz open
Nkhudgens (talk · contribs · count)
Bgarduno (talk · contribs · count)
Eugenics Board of North Carolina Marleny E. Tilghman45
viamars (talk · contribs · count) Arctic Policy of the United States JeOs24 open
JeOs24 (talk · contribs · count) Compulsory sterilization Bgarduno open
Hrojas01 (talk · contribs · count) Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 Jonathandemart (talk) 00:51, 21 April 2012 (UTC) open
nquinte1 (talk · contribs · count) Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 Johnny Adnani89 (talk) 20:13, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
gshikula (talk · contribs · count) Economic impact of illegal immigrants in the United States aymud88 open
AshROwens322 (talk · contribs · count) Stem cell laws and policy in the United States open Jonathandemart (talk) 18:29, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
AKatkam (talk · contribs · count) Stem cell laws and policy in the United States open open
Veerani91 (talk · contribs · count) Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act Johnny open
NDave28 (talk · contribs · count) Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act open open
Tilghman45 (talk · contribs · count) Sustainable seafood Nimbus1ZZ-FE open
le.brianna (talk · contribs · count) Animal Welfare Act of 1966 smorris80 Jonathandemart (talk) 18:43, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Lawrencia E (talk · contribs · count) Animal Welfare Act of 1966 open open
Ngocvienduong (talk · contribs · count) Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007 Zainab V open
Leeedahhh (talk · contribs · count) Virus-Serum-Toxin Act roorie16 Tilghman45
Yuuusraz (talk · contribs · count) Clean Water Act Bravura1 Sarqbal
Sarqbal (talk · contribs · count) Clean Air Act (United States) open open
justxforxnow (talk · contribs · count) Clean Air Act (United States) open open
aymud88 (talk · contribs · count) Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 open open
adnani89 (talk · contribs · count) Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 nquinte1 open
i41hope (talk · contribs · count) Energy Task Force open open
dtran420 (talk · contribs · count) Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act i41hope open
Crussoma (talk · contribs · count) Natural Resources Conservation Service ND Eowyn open
jjohns18 (talk · contribs · count) Natural Resources Conservation Service open open
SsjGGV (talk · contribs · count) Aerial seeding Aduong0424 NgocvienDuong
Scootersquirrel10 (talk · contribs · count) Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 open open
ND Eowyn (talk · contribs · count) International Food Policy Research Institute crussoma open
smorris80 (talk · contribs · count) Emergency Wetlands Resources Act SsjGGV open
smatovu (talk · contribs · count) Genetically modified fish jjohns18 Nimbus1ZZ-FE
arandolp (talk · contribs · count) Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act viamars open
jcampbe1ggc (talk · contribs · count) Environmental Quality Improvement Act Leeedahhh Open
example (talk · contribs · count) example open open
Wikipedia-Ambassador-Program-Logo.png This article is the subject of an educational assignment at Georgia Gwinnett College supported by the Wikipedia Ambassador Program during the 2012 Q1 term. Further details are available on the course page.


Wikipedia contributions will be graded as follows:

Capstone Project is 40% of course grade[edit]

These elements contribute to the Capstone Project

  • 10%: Peer reviews and collaboration with classmates
  • 10%: Scaffolded steps: 2 paragraphs before spring break
  • 10%: Presentation
  • 10%: Peer evaluation
  • 60  %: Quality of main Wikipedia contributions, evaluated in light of reflective essay

Bonus if you start a new, quality page, get accepted as a Good Article or hit a Wikipedia milestone.


Add your username to the list here using the format for Example User below:

Possible Articles[edit]

Marine protection and safety act of 1972,_Research,_and_Sanctuaries_Act_of_1972 has some good suggestions in the talk page.

Food Safety and Modernization Act: Add a section or update some material? Thermo Scientific sent me an email with a web link to get information from them on updates ( if you are interested.

HPV vaccine law: currently a source of controversy at the Republican debate.

Stem cell laws and Policy: add a section. Be very careful if choosing this, you must take a neutral tone.

Genetically modified food: perhaps build a genetically modified crops page?

Golden and Bald eagle Protection Act: Article is currently a stub, lots of potential for work!

The Clean Air Act has a couple of areas that require clean up and enhancement

Clean Water Act

Arctic Policy of the United States: Lots of links, but much need for cleaning up and updating.

Animal welfare act of 1966 (lots of room for enhancement!!) Use of Animals in Research

Intellectual Property Act: much of it is orphaned but was the act passed?

Comprehensive Smoking Education Act

Economic Impact of Illegal Immigrants in the United States

Entergy vs Riverkeeper

Animal Testing Regulations Can research and add for countries outside the US, big legislation in India pending. (Not a forum for presenting your case over animal rights.)

Endangered Species Act

DHS Directorate for Science and Technology

Federal Insecticide and Rodenticide Act,_Fungicide,_and_Rodenticide_Act

Natural Resources Conservation Service What about similar sites for other countries?

National Wilderness Preservation System What about similar sites from other countries?

Non-point source water regulations

International Food Policy Research Institute

Tennessee Valley Authority

If you really liked Tuskegee, the North Carolina Eugenics board site needs help

Federal legislation stubs…for more possibilities

C-class public policy articles for more ideas

Online Education Guide by Mottobiz