Wikipedia:WikiProject United States Public Policy/Courses/Spring 2011/Economics of Public Policy (Eugenia Toma)

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Course Overview[edit]

Course Description[edit]

The focus of this course is on economics of the public sector. It addresses the fundamental issue of the appropriate role of government activity in a market economy. It examines the behavioral consequences of government policy from the perspective of the consumers, the policymakers, regulators, and general taxpayers. The course examines not only the optimal role of government but develops models to explain real world government policymaking.

Course Objectives[edit]

1. To develop an understanding of the fundamental tools of economics.

2. To understand the conceptual framework on which optimal government policy would be based.

3. To apply the tools and concepts developed in the course in understanding issues in the policy arena.

Wikipedia PPI Goals[edit]

Wikipedia’s Public Policy Initiative has 5 Goals:

- Increase writing skills

- Influence critical thinking

- Augment media literacy

- Inspire collaboration and consensus

- Create a community of practice

Wikipedia PPI Overview[edit]

Wikipedia wants to be used a tool in the classroom; Wikipedia wants to supplement classroom education.

Editing and creating Wikipedia public policy articles is a great way to do this!

What can I do?

There are many, many things you can do to help! These can run the entire gamut from easy to hard--from fixing a typo, to creating an entire article!

Here are just a few of these:

- Article improvement and enrichment

- Article evaluation and grading

- Adding media and graphics

- Creating links between articles

- Adding references

- Fixing typos

- "Wikifying"

- Article monitoring and maintenance

- Article creation



The goal is to create new, and enrich already existing, articles on Wikipedia.

Do they have to be about public policy?

No--you can edit whatever you want!

However, for this course, we will be focusing on economics- and public policy-related articles.

Assignment Timeline[edit]

This is a summary of the key due dates and the expected timeline for the Wikipedia-related assignment(s). The following is a sample timeline that the Wikimedia Foundation put together in collaboration with other instructors who have previously used Wikipedia in their classes -- please feel free to adapt, trim, cut, and use it (or replace it wholesale with your timeline) as you see fit:

Week 1 - 20 January 2010

  • In class
    • Overview of the course
    • Introduction to the Wikipedia part of the course
    • Read the page "Wikipedia:Five pillars" on Wikipedia
  • Introduce Wikipedia

Week 2

  • In class
    • Introduce Wikipedia
      • Basics of editing
      • Anatomy of Wikipedia articles, what makes a good article, how to distinguish between good & bad articles
      • Tips & recommendations for best articles to work on for the class assignments
      • HANDOUT: "Creating an account" handout, "Evaluating Wikipedia Article Quality" brochure
  • Assignments for students (due week 3)
    • Create a Wikipedia user account, create a user page, and add your name to the course page's list of students (on the WikiProject)
    • Contact an Online Ambassador (via his/her Wikipedia user talk page) as a mentor. Mentors will be available to offer advice and assistance as you start editing.
    • To practice the editing features of Wikipedia, leave a message for a few classmates on their user talk pages.

week 3

  • In class
    • Campus Ambassadors introduce students to IRC (online chat system where students can get live support) and show students how to contact Online Ambassador mentors
  • Assignments for students (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 Online Ambassador mentor for comments.

week 4

  • In class
  • Assignments for students

[Professor evaluates students' article selections, by week 5]

week 5

  • In class
    • HANDOUT: "Referencing on Wikipedia" handout
  • Assignments for students (due week 6)
    • Decide which article you will work on and list it on the course page. Compile a bibliography of relevant sources, and begin researching the topic.

[Professor evaluates the compiled bibliography, by week 7]

week 6

  • In class
    • Campus Ambassadors talk about Wikipedia sandboxes and Wikipedia culture/etiquette
    • Campus Ambassadors hold question-and-answer session with students
  • Assignments for students (due week 7)
    • Write a 3-4 paragraph summary version of your article (with citations) in your Wikipedia sandbox
    • Begin working with Online Ambassador mentor to polish your short starter article and fix any major transgressions of Wikipedia norms.
    • Continue research in preparation for expanding your article.

week 7

  • In class
    • HANDOUT: "Moving article from sandbox into main space" handout (to be made), "Did You Know nominations" handout (to be made)
  • Assignments for students (due week 8)
    • Move your sandbox article into Wikipedia's main space (live articles)
    • Nominate your article for "Did You Know" status, and monitor the nomination for any issues identified by other editors.
    • Begin expanding your article into a comprehensive treatment of the topic.

week 8

  • In class or outside of class
    • Campus Ambassadors lead Wikipedia lab/workshop, ideally in a computer-lab setting
      • Article ratings on Wikipedia & how to get there
      • Uploading images onto Wikipedia articles
  • Assignments for students (due week 9)
    • Expand your article into an initial draft of a comprehensive treatment of the topic.

week 9

  • In class
  • Assignments for students (due week 10)
    • Peer-review two classmates' articles:
      • Leave suggestions and comments on those classmates' article discussion pages.
      • Copy-edit peers' articles.

week 10

  • In class
    • Recommended activity: open discussion around the concepts of neutrality, media literacy, and the impact and limits of Wikipedia (guest speakers? panels? classroom discussions?)
  • Assignments for students (due week 11)
    • Revise your article based on peers' feedback.
    • Nominate your article for "Good Article" status.
    • Prepare for in-class presentation about your Wikipedia-editing experiences.

week 11

  • In class
    • Students give in-class presentations about their experiences editing Wikipedia.
  • Assignments for students (due week 12)
    • Add final touches to your Wikipedia article.
    • Write a reflective essay on your Wikipedia contributions and editing experiences.

week 12

  • In class



This is a list of the students in your class (or rather their Wikipedia usernames), along with their Wikipedia articles (which students will select at the appropriate time).

Article Contributions[edit]

(To be filled in as soon as possible.)