Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/Saint Louis University/Advanced Evolution (Spring 2016)

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This Course
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Course name
Advanced Evolution
Saint Louis University
Kasey Fowler-Finn
Content Expert
Ian (Wiki Ed)
Advanced Evolution
Course dates
2016-02-07 – 2016-05-04
Approximate number of student editors

Explore advanced topics in evolutionary biology in research areas of expertise.

Student Assigned Reviewing
SterlingHerron Evolution of annual and perennial life cycles in plants
Arobson1 Evolution of aerobic fermentation
Jgarret8 Phylogenetic Inertia
Beezing Specialization in bees, Specialization in bees (Hymenoptera: Anthophila)
Djocson Enchenopa binotata complex
Ahenry923 The Nothonotus subspecies
Wshoenberger Behavioral Plasticity


Week 1

Course meetings
Tuesday, 9 February 2016   |   Thursday, 11 February 2016
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

Assignment - 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 PagesEvaluating 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.

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

Week 2

Course meetings
Tuesday, 16 February 2016   |   Thursday, 18 February 2016
Assignment - Using sources

Review close paraphrasing, plagiarism, and copyright violations on Wikipedia.
Handouts to access online: Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism
Supplementary training: [[../../../training/students/sources|Sources and Citations

Assignment - List 5 sources


  • Research and list 5 articles on the Wikipedia page to which you are adding. Look at the talk page for existing topics for a sense of who else is working on it and what they're doing. 
  • Make sure your sources are secondary or tertiary if they are general. If they are organism specific, or classic papers, then primary is ok as long as you have vetted the article to make sure it is well done.
Assignment - Annotate first 5 articles

Annotate the first 5 articles on your list

Assignment - Add to an article


  • Add 1–2 sentences of new information related to your topic to a Wikipedia article, backed up with a citation to an appropriate source.

Week 3

Course meetings
Tuesday, 23 February 2016   |   Thursday, 25 February 2016
Assignment - Compile bibliography of 20-25 sources

Finish compiling a 20-25 article 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.

Assignment - Annotate next 5 articles

Annotate the next 5 articles on your list

Week 4

Course meetings
Tuesday, 1 March 2016   |   Thursday, 3 March 2016
Assignment - Annotate remaining 10 articles

Finish annotating the top 20 articles you will use for your assignment.

Assignment - Drafting outline of article


  • 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.

Week 5

Course meetings
Tuesday, 8 March 2016   |   Thursday, 10 March 2016
Assignment - Peer review outline


  • Peer review the outlines posted by your classmates. What suggestions do you have for: the flow of ideas, concepts that are missing, etc? Provide feedback that you would want to receive!

Week 6

Course meetings
Tuesday, 15 March 2016   |   Thursday, 17 March 2016
Assignment - Complete first draft


  • Expand your outline into a complete first draft. Be sure to consider your classmates' suggestions when writing!

Week 7

Course meetings
Tuesday, 22 March 2016   |   Thursday, 24 March 2016
Assignment - Provide feedback on 2 articles


  • Peer review two other students' articles. Offer suggestions for improvement based on your ideas of what makes a solid encyclopedia article. Make sure to comment on concepts that may need further explanation, or those that are explained too much.

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

Week 8

Course meetings
Tuesday, 29 March 2016   |   Thursday, 31 March 2016
Assignment - 2nd draft - in mainspace


  • Make edits to your article based on peers’ feedback, and any additional reading you may want to include. If you disagree with a suggestion, use talk pages to politely discuss and come to a consensus on your edit.
  • Post your article  to the mainspace.

Week 9

Course meetings
Tuesday, 5 April 2016   |   Thursday, 7 April 2016
Assignment - Peer review 2 articles

Peer review 2 classmates articles. Provide feedback for future improvement.

Week 10

Course meetings
Tuesday, 12 April 2016   |   Thursday, 14 April 2016
Assignment - Final article


  • Add final touches to your Wikipedia article. This will be the final, graded draft. 
  • Feel good about what you have accomplished!

Handout: Polishing your article

Week 11

Course meetings
Tuesday, 19 April 2016   |   Thursday, 21 April 2016