Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/Austin College/Hollywood Stars (Fall 2015)

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Course name
Hollywood Stars
Austin College
Course dates
2015-08-31 – 2015-12-10
Approximate number of student editors

According to Richard Dyer, one of the founders of star studies, “stars matter because they act out aspects of life that matter to us; and performers get to be stars when what they act out matters to enough people.” In this class, we’ll be exploring that very idea—what makes a person a star? Why do stars matter? What do our stars say about us and the society in which we live? Over the course of the semester, we’ll be looking at many stars, investigating how each star was produced, received, and remembered. We will study stars as both semiotic and sociological constructions—as images that can be “read” and deconstructed, but also as manifestations of specific cultural moments. Stars don’t just appear, they are made. This class will teach you how, and why, that phenomenon exists.

Student Assigned Reviewing
Lauren mara
Kat Noaga


Week 1

In class - Wikipedia essentials
  • Overview of the course
  • Introduction to how Wikipedia will be used in the course
  • Understanding Wikipedia as a community, we'll discuss its expectations and etiquette.

Handout: Editing Wikipedia

Week 2

In class - Editing basics
  • Basics of editing
  • Anatomy of Wikipedia articles, what makes a good article, how to distinguish between good and bad articles
  • Collaborating and engaging with the Wiki editing community
  • Tips on finding the best articles to work on for class assignments

Handouts: Using Talk Pages, Evaluating Wikipedia

Assignment -
  • Complete online Wikipedia Tutorial
  • Take Google quiz on the tutorial (Erin will email out link)
  • Create an account and then complete the online training for students. During this training, you will make edits in a sandbox and learn the basic rules of Wikipedia.
  • Create a User page.
  • To practice editing and communicating on Wikipedia, introduce yourself to another student on their user talk page.
  • Explore topics related to your topic area to get a feel for how Wikipedia is organized. What areas seem to be missing? As you explore, make a mental note of articles that seem like good candidates for improvement.

Resources: Online Training for Students


All students have Wikipedia user accounts and are listed on the course page.

Week 3

Week 4

In class - Exploring the topic area
  • Be prepared to discuss some of your observations about Wikipedia articles in your topic area that are missing or could use improvement.

Handouts: Choosing an article

Assignment - Establishment of Credibility on Wikipedia
  • Add 1–2 sentences of new information, backed up with a citation to an appropriate source, to a Wikipedia article related to the class.
  • Choose one article, identify ways in which you can improve and correct its language and grammar, and make the appropriate changes. (You do not need to alter the article's content.)

Week 5

Week 6

In class - Wikipedia culture and etiquette
  • Talk about Wikipedia culture and etiquette, and (optionally) revisit the concept of sandboxes and how to use them.
  • Q&A session with instructor about interacting on Wikipedia and getting started with writing.

All students have started editing drafts on Wikipedia.

Week 7

Assignment - Topic Proposal
  • Research and list 3–5 articles on your Wikipedia user page that you will consider working on as your main project. Look at the talk page for existing topics for a sense of who else is working on it and what they're doing. Describe your choices to your instructor for feedback.
  • Choose 3-5 articles you're considering editing/creating & email Erin a sentence or two about each explaining why you're interested in them
  • Meet with Erin to discuss your ideas. At that meeting, you will...
    • Select an article to work on, removing the rest from your user page. Add your topic on the course page following the meeting
In class - Moving articles to mainspace
  • Discuss the topics students will be working on, and determine strategies for researching and writing about them.
  • We'll discuss moving your article out of your sandboxes and into Wikipedia's main space.
  • A general reminder: Don't panic if your contribution disappears, and don't try to force it back in.
  • Check to see if there is an explanation of the edit on the article's talk page. If not, (politely) ask why it was removed.
  • Contact your instructor or Wikipedia Content Expert and let them know.

Handout: Moving out of your Sandbox

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Assignment - Early Contributions to Wikipedia Entry
  • 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, create a detailed outline reflecting your proposed changes, and post this for community feedback, along with a brief description of your plans, on the article’s talk page. Make sure to check back on the talk page often and engage with any responses.
  • Move your sandbox articles into main space.
  • If you are expanding an existing article, copy your edit into the article. If you are making many small edits, save after each edit before you make the next one. Do NOT paste over the entire existing article, or large sections of the existing article.
  • If you are creating a new article, do NOT copy and paste your text, or there will be no record of your work history. Follow the instructions in the "Moving out of your sandbox" handout.
  • Compile a bibliography of relevant, reliable sources and post it to the talk page of the article you are working on. Begin reading the sources. Make sure to check in on the talk page (or watchlist) to see if anyone has advice on your bibliography.
  • Begin working with classmates and other editors to polish your short starter article and fix any major issues.
  • Continue research in preparation for expanding your article.

Week 12

Week 13

Assignment - Complete first draft
  • Expand your article into a complete first draft.

Week 14


Students have finished all their work on Wikipedia that will be considered for grading.

Assignment - Reflective essay
  • Write a reflective essay (3–5 pages) on your Wikipedia contributions.