Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/Northeastern University/Biology Capstone (Summer 1)

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Course name
Biology Capstone
Northeastern University
Kostia Bergman
Content Expert
Ian (Wiki Ed)
Biological scientific thinking and writing
Course dates
2016-05-09 – 2016-06-28
Approximate number of student editors

Integrates and assesses the concepts and skills obtained from the entire biology curriculum including both experiential and classroom-based components. Requires extensive reflection by students on their various educational experiences as well as written summaries of these reflections, library and Internet research of scientific questions related to the experiences, and preparation of presentations of this research (oral, poster, and/or Web site). All phases are accompanied by class discussion and critique.

Student Assigned Reviewing
Rubyj13 P1NP, Sonophoresis Sonophoresis
Bmahima Treatments for combat-related PTSD
Ramisha Ashfaq
Rija Ashfaq
Alli.Cucalon Mouse Model of Down Syndrome
Elikem tt
Mary.duffy726 Mouse Model of Down Syndrome
Husky.ellis.w Kaneohe Bay


Week 1

Course meetings
Wednesday, 25 May 2016   |   Thursday, 26 May 2016
In class - Wikipedia essentials & Exploring the topic area
  • 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.  
  • 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

Handout: Editing Wikipedia

Assignment - Practicing the basics
  • Create an account and join this course page.
  • Complete the introductory training modules. 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.

Handouts: Using Talk Pages, Evaluating Wikipedia

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 - Choosing your assignment
  • 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.

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

Week 2

Course meetings
Tuesday, 31 May 2016   |   Wednesday, 1 June 2016   |   Thursday, 2 June 2016
In class - Discussing our topics & using sources
  • Discuss the topics students will be working on, and determine strategies for researching and writing about them.  
  • Be prepared to explain close paraphrasing, plagiarism, and copyright violations on Wikipedia.

Handouts: Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism

Supplementary training: [[../../../training/students/sandboxes|Sandboxes and Mainspace]]

Supplementary training: [[../../../training/students/sources|Sources and Citations]]

Assignment - Editing Medical Topics - Review Wikipedia's guidelines

Review Wikipedia's rules for topics related to medicine, human health, and psychology.

Assignment - Finalize your topic and start researching
  • Select an article to work on, removing the rest from your user page. Add your topic on the course page.
  • 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.

Week 3

Course meetings
Monday, 6 June 2016   |   Tuesday, 7 June 2016   |   Wednesday, 8 June 2016   |   Thursday, 9 June 2016
In class - Group suggestions
  • As a group, offer suggestions for improving one or two other students' articles, based on your ideas of what makes a solid encyclopedia article.

Supplementary training: [[../../../training/students/peer-review|Peer Review]]

Assignment - Drafting starter articles
  • If you are starting a new article, write an outline of the topic in the form of a standard Wikipedia lead section of 3–4 paragraphs in your sandbox. Wikipedia articles use "summary style", in which the lead section provides a balanced summary of the entire body of the article, with the first sentence serving to define the topic and place it in context. The lead section should summarize, very briefly, each of the main aspects of the topic that will be covered in detail in the rest of the article. If you are improving an existing article, draft a new lead section reflecting your proposed changes, and post this along with a brief description of your plans on the article’s talk page. Make sure to check that page often to gather any feedback the community might provide.
  • Begin working with classmates and other editors to polish your lead section and fix any major issues.
  • Continue research in preparation for writing the body of the article.
In class - Media literacy discussion
  • Open discussion of the concepts of neutrality, media literacy, and the impact and limits of Wikipedia.
Assignment - Address peer review suggestions
  • Make edits to your article based on peers’ feedback. If you disagree with a suggestion, use talk pages to politely discuss and come to a consensus on your edit.
Assignment - Illustrate an article
  • Identify an article that would benefit from illustration, create or find an appropriate photo, illustration, or audio/video, and add it to the article. 
    • All media uploaded to Wikipedia must fall under a "free license," which means they can be used or shared by anyone. Examples of media you can use are photos that you take yourself, images and text in the public domain, and works created by someone else who has given permission for their work to be used by others. For more information about which types of media can be uploaded to Wikipedia, see Commons:Help desk.
    • To add a media file to an article, you must first upload it to Wikimedia Commons. For instructions on how to upload files to Commons, refer to Illustrating Wikipedia. This brochure will also provide you with detailed information about which files are acceptable to upload to Wikipedia and the value of contributing media to Wikipedia articles.

All students have started editing articles or drafts on Wikipedia.

Week 4

Course meetings
Monday, 13 June 2016   |   Tuesday, 14 June 2016   |   Wednesday, 15 June 2016   |   Thursday, 16 June 2016
In class - Moving articles to mainspace
  • 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

In class - Discuss further article improvement
  • Continue discussing how the articles can be further improved. Come up with improvement goals for each article for next week.
Assignment - Continue improving articles
  • Return to your classmates' articles you previously reviewed, and provide more suggestions for further improvement. If there is a disagreement, suggest a compromise.
  • Do additional research and writing to make further improvements to your article, based on your classmates' suggestions and any additional areas for improvement you can identify.
  • Expand your article into a complete first draft.

Every student has finished reviewing their assigned articles, making sure that every article has been reviewed.

Week 5

Course meetings
Monday, 20 June 2016   |   Tuesday, 21 June 2016   |   Wednesday, 22 June 2016   |   Thursday, 23 June 2016
Assignment - Final article
  • Add final touches to your Wikipedia article.

Handout: Polishing your article

Assignment - Reflective essay
  • Write a reflective essay (2–5 pages) on your Wikipedia contributions.

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