Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/University of Guelph/Comparative Public Policy and Administration (Winter 2017)

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Course name
Comparative Public Policy and Administration
University of Guelph
Stephanie Tombari
Content Expert
Ian (Wiki Ed)
Political Science
Course dates
2017-01-09 00:00:00 UTC – 2017-05-07 23:59:59 UTC
Approximate number of student editors

Agenda setting, formulation, implementation, and evaluation of public policy are among the most critical functions of modern governments. Various theories of policymaking explain the role of ideas, interests, and/or institutions in the policies that governments choose to pursue – or not to pursue. Economic and climate crises have complicated policymaking further; indeed, climate change and economic recession have been key challenges facing many governments across the globe, and there are wide differences and disagreements on the objectives and strategies needed to address these closely-connected crises. This course explores various aspects of public policy in comparative perspective, and will familiarize students with the theories, concepts, and debates that influence policy decisions at the intersection of economic growth and climate change mitigation/adaptation.

Learning Objectives By the end of this course, the student will be able to: 1. identify various theories of comparative public policy and policymaking, and explain how these theories apply to policy at the intersection of the economy and the environment/climate change; 2. discuss some of challenges and opportunities at the intersection of economic and environmental policies; 3. compare and contrast policy approaches to economic growth and climate mitigation/adaptation by different nation-states; and 4. discern the difference between a strong and weak article, and research and publish a piece of scholarly-level work.

The Wikipedia project will require that all students: 1) evaluate one of three Wikipedia articles related to the course (assigned by the instructor); 2) choose a Wikipedia article to edit or a stub to write (list provided by instructor) and a) create a page proposal on a Wikipedia talk page, and b) research, write, and publish the page to Wikipedia. A one-page reflection will also be required at the end of the course.

Student Assigned Reviewing
Alihuson Carbon monitoring
Esamek Sustainable tourism in Canada
Moffatt087 Green economy policies in Canada
Ablack07 Environmental Health Policy
TravisAdams Political agenda
AaliyahCS Sustainable Development Technology Canada
Rikin kotak Circular Economy and China
KatrinaC Foreign direct investment and the environment
Jbrockie95 Anti-environmentalism
CarsonAB Public-Private Parnterships in Canada
ABetancur Eco-restructuring
JNixon Green industrial policy
Grypht78 Green economy policies in Canada
Ckironde Women in global value chains
Ebell05 Global Supply Chain Management
William Roy 0887920 Environmental issues in Toronto
KyleStephen Cultural sustainability
Ryanlav8 Chinese national carbon trading scheme
Evan Collict Policy entrepreneur
Emrojas History of environmental migration in the United States
JCarson5 Policy entrepreneur
Nicolescott New Constitutionalism
Jschoula Knowledge Regime
FJDurdan Ontario Climate Change Action Plan
Elviruzunovic Water policy
NicoleCamillo Renewable energy in South Africa
Nicolestephan Labour and the environment
Abdullah95x Water policy
Takintol Family Policies in Scandinavia
Ashabrahams15 Canada Wildlife Act
EmilyPereira Air pollution in Canada
KyleP9 Indigenous rights and hydroelectricity in Canada
Megan Spencer Renewable energy in Mexico
Jmdament Renewable energy in South Africa
Shannonlawless Multilateral Environment Agreement
DominicM2 Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
Hmckeee Emissions trading in India
Kyle Crann Family Policies in Scandinavia
Aleishawhite Global supply-chain governance
Bdiefenb Global supply-chain governance
Cosmo m16 Renewable energy in Canada
Andrearicha4 Environmental issues in Syria
ZachGraham Polycentric network
Jackjvireland11 Gender and Welfare State Regimes
StevenDoyle Gender and Welfare State Regimes
CCHANDAT Innovation policy
Wadecoulis Ecoprenuership
KLee23 Foreign direct investment and the environment
Carly MacArthur Extractivism
Ccugini1 Feminist institutionalism
Keltiefraser Political agenda
Bsimmons22 Environmental Health Policy
Jdias22 Policy learning
EmilyOverholt Public housing in Canada
Ccransto Renewable energy and women's development
Cedwar02 Women in Global Value Chains
Arvinder Pannu Renewable energy in Canada


Week 1

Course meetings
Tuesday, 10 January 2017   |   Thursday, 12 January 2017
In class - Introduction to the Wikipedia project

 Welcome to your Wikipedia project's course timeline. This page will guide you through the Wikipedia project for our course. Be sure to check with your instructor to see if there are other pages you should be following as well. 

 This page breaks down writing a Wikipedia article into a series of steps, or milestones. These steps include online training modules to help you get started on Wikipedia. For your final project, you will be able to choose to either: 1) write content for a stub; or 2) edit an existing article. These are provided by the instructor and can be found under 'articles'. 

 Your course has also been assigned a Wikipedia Content Expert. Check your Talk page for notes from them. You can also reach them through the "Get Help" button on this page. 

 To get started, please review the following handouts, available the first day of class or online at:

You will also need to complete the training modules listed below. This is required and counts toward your participation grade. 

Week 2

Course meetings
Tuesday, 17 January 2017   |   Thursday, 19 January 2017
Assignment - Practicing the basics

Due Thursday Jan 19th.

  • Create an account and join this course page, using the enrollment link your instructor sent you.
  •  It's time to dive into Wikipedia. Below, you'll find the first set of online trainings you'll need to take. New modules will appear on this timeline as you get to new milestones. Be sure to check back and complete them! These trainings are required for your course. 
  •  When you finish the trainings, practice by introducing yourself to a classmate on that classmate's Talk page. 

This week, everyone should have a Wikipedia account.

Week 3

Course meetings
Tuesday, 24 January 2017   |   Thursday, 26 January 2017
Assignment - Critique an article

Due Thursday Jan 26th.

It's time to think critically about Wikipedia articles. As part of this exercise, you'll learn what makes a Wikipedia article good.

First, select an article

Second, complete the evaluation: 

  • Complete the "Evaluating Articles and Sources" training (linked below).
  • Choose an article, and consider some questions (but don't feel limited to these): 
    • Is each fact referenced with an appropriate, reliable reference?
    • Is everything in the article relevant to the article topic? Is there anything that distracted you?
    • Is the article neutral? Are there any claims, or frames, that appear heavily biased toward a particular position?
    • Where does the information come from? Are these neutral sources? If biased, is that bias noted?
    • Are there viewpoints that are overrepresented, or underrepresented?
    • Check a few citations. Do the links work? Is there any close paraphrasing or plagiarism in the article?
    • Is any information out of date? Is anything missing that could be added?

Submit your evaluation/critique to your instructor by Thursday, January 26. The critique is worth 10% of your grade.

Week 4

Course meetings
Tuesday, 31 January 2017   |   Thursday, 2 February 2017
In class - Discussion
What's a content gap?

Now that you're thinking about what makes a "good" Wikipedia article, consider some additional questions.

  • Wikipedians often talk about "content gaps." What do you think a content gap is, and what are some possible ways to identify them?
  • What are some reasons a content gap might arise? What are some ways to remedy them?
  • Does it matter who writes Wikipedia?
  • What does it mean to be "unbiased" on Wikipedia? How is that different, or similar, to your own definition of "bias"?

Week 5

Course meetings
Tuesday, 7 February 2017   |   Thursday, 9 February 2017
Assignment - Choose your article and draft proposal

Due Thursday Feb 9th.

It's time to choose an article and assign it to yourself. If you want to work in a team of 2, now's the time to decide. 

Please note that students who choose to work in a team will not be permitted to work individually once the proposal/talk page has been submitted. Likewise, students who choose to work on their own will not be permitted to work in a team once they have submitted their proposal/talk page. Both members of a team will receive the same grade on the assignment, so be sure to choose wisely. If you decide to work in groups, review the "Tips for Working in Groups" below and follow the instructions there. 

  • Review page 6 of your Editing Wikipedia guidebook.
  • Find an article from the list of "Available Articles" on the Articles tab on this course page. When you find the one you want to work on, click Select to assign it to yourself. 
  • If you decide to work in as a team, both members of the group need to assign themselves the same article. The second member of the group should go to the Students tab above, and assign themselves the article by typing in the article name. 
  • If you don't see an article that you want to work on, feel free to talk to your instructor about a custom article topic. 
  •  In your sandbox, draft your proposal about what you plan to contribute to the selected article. 
    • If you chose to write a stub, what needs to be covered? Why is this topic important? In what ways will your article contribute to theories of comparative public policy and/or course topics?
    • If you chose to edit an article, why does this article need to be edited? What is missing? Be sure to evaluate the lead section, organization, reference list, and writing style. Refer back to Week 2 on evaluating an article. 
    •  Compile a list of relevant, reliable books, journal articles, or other sources. You can use course materials, but not only course materials (two max). 
    • Post an annotated bibliography to the talk page of the article you'll be working on, and submit it with your proposal to Dropbox. Make sure to check in on the Talk page to see if anyone has advice on your bibliography. 

This is due on Thursday, February 9 and is worth 15% of your final grade. 

Tips for Working in Groups
  • Make sure both members of the team are assigned to the same Wikipedia article on the Students tab of this course page. 
  •  Select one team member whose Sandbox space you'll use for draft work. Each person should link to that shared Sandbox from their own Sandbox page. A sandbox is like any other page on Wikipedia, and anyone can edit it. 
  •  Wikipedia doesn't allow multiple people to edit from different devices at the same time. If you're working together in person, one person should add the work to the Sandbox. If you are all working independently, make small edits and save often to avoid "editing conflicts" with your co-author. Make sure that you're logged in under your own Wikipedia account while editing in your co-author's sandbox to ensure your edits are recorded. 
  •  Don't create a group account for your project. Group accounts are prohibited. 

Week 6

Course meetings
Tuesday, 14 February 2017   |   Thursday, 16 February 2017
In class - Discussion
Thinking about sources and plagiarism
  • Blog posts and press releases are considered poor sources of reliable information. Why?
  • What are some reasons you might not want to use a company's website as the main source of information about that company?
  • What is the difference between a copyright violation and plagiarism?
  • What are some good techniques to avoid close paraphrasing and plagiarism?

Week 7

Course meetings
Thursday, 23 February 2017

Week 8

Course meetings
Tuesday, 28 February 2017   |   Thursday, 2 March 2017
In class - Discussion
Thinking about Wikipedia
  • What do you think of Wikipedia's definition of "neutrality"?
  • What are the impacts and limits of Wikipedia as a source of information?
  • On Wikipedia, all material must be attributable to reliable, published sources. What kinds of sources does this exclude? Can you think of any problems that might create?
  • If Wikipedia was written 100 years ago, how might its content (and contributors) be different? What about 100 years from now?

Week 9

Course meetings
Tuesday, 7 March 2017   |   Thursday, 9 March 2017
Assignment - Draft lead section (stub) or edit and outline (article)

Due March 7th.

You've picked a topic and found your sources. Now it's time to start writing.

Preparing your article from a stub:

  •  Write an outline of that topic in the form of a standard Wikipedia article's "lead section." Write it in your sandbox
    •  A "lead" section is not a traditional introduction. It should summarize, very briefly, what the rest of the article will say in detail. The first paragraph should include important, broad facts about the subject. A good example is Ada Lovelace. See Editing Wikipedia page 9 for more ideas. 

Preparing an existing article for editing:

  •  Edit the lead topic in the form of a standard Wikipedia article's "lead section." Write it in your sandbox. (see above)
  • Re-construct the outline of the article. Identify the subheadings you will use, and explain why you will re-arrange the article as you propose.

Working as a team? 

  • Select one team member whose sandbox space you will draft your work in together. Make sure both members are contributing to the sandbox draft from their own accounts throughout the term. You can see this in the "Edit History" on the sandbox space you choose. 
  • If you are the group member who is NOT working in your own space, please make a note in your sandbox about your other group member and provide a link to their sandbox space there. 

Keep reading your sources, too, as you prepare to write the body of the article.

Don't forget to use the Get Help button if you need help from your content expert. 

Resources: Editing Wikipedia pages 7–9

Your lead section is due Tuesday, March 7 and is worth 5% of your article grade. 


Everyone has begun writing their article drafts.

  • Keep working on transforming your article into a complete first draft. Get draft ready for peer-review. 
  • If you'd like a Content Expert to review your draft, now is the time! Click the "Get Help" button in your sandbox to request notes.
  • Note: if you'd like feedback from a Content Expert do not wait until three days before your article is due. He or she will need at least a week to get back to you, so don't wait. 

Week 10

Course meetings
Tuesday, 14 March 2017   |   Thursday, 16 March 2017
Assignment - Peer review and copy edit

Due March 16th.

  • First, take the "Peer Review" online training.
  •  Select a classmates’ article that you will peer review and copyedit. On the Articles tab, find the article that you want to review, and then assign it to yourself in the Review column. 
  •  Peer review your classmate's draft. Leave suggestions on the Talk page of the article, or sandbox, that your fellow student is working on. Other editors may be reviewing your work, so look for their comments! Be sure to acknowledge feedback from other Wikipedians. 
  •  As you review, make spelling, grammar, and other adjustments. Pay attention to the tone of the article. Is it encyclopedic? 

This assignment counts toward your participation grade. 

Week 11

Course meetings
Tuesday, 21 March 2017   |   Thursday, 23 March 2017
Assignment - Respond to your peer review

Due March 23rd.

You probably have some feedback from other students and possibly other Wikipedians. It's time to work with that feedback to improve your article!

  • Read Editing Wikipedia pages 12 and 14.
  •  Return to your draft or article and think about the suggestions. Decide which ones to start implementing. Reach out to your instructor or your Content Expert if you have any questions. 

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


Over the weekend.
Once you've made improvements to your article based on peer review feedback, it's time to move your work to Wikipedia proper - the "mainspace." 

Editing an existing article?

  • NEVER copy and paste your draft of an article over the entire article. Instead, edit small sections at a time.
  • Copy your edits into the article. Make many small edits, saving each time, and leaving an edit summary. Never replace more than one to two sentences without saving!

Creating a new article?

  • Read Editing Wikipedia page 13, and follow those steps to move your article from your Sandbox to Mainspace.
  • You can also review the [[../../../training/students/sandboxes|Sandboxes and Mainspace]] online training.

Week 12

Course meetings
Tuesday, 28 March 2017   |   Thursday, 30 March 2017

Do additional research and writing to make further improvements to your article, based on suggestions and your own critique. You should be working live at this point. 

  • Continue to expand and improve your work, and format your article to match Wikipedia's tone and standards. 
  • Remember to contact your Content Expert at any time if you need further help!  
  • Read Editing Wikipedia page 12 to see how to create links from your article to others, and from other articles to your own. Try to link to 3–5 articles, and link to your article from 2–3 other articles. 
Assignment - Final Assignment

Due Thursday March 30th.

Write a reflective essay (2–5 pages) on your Wikipedia contributions. This should include: 

  • One page summary of your "critique an article" assignment. 
  • One page summary of your edits, with a print out of your "before" article and your "after" article. Feel free to make notes and highlight pieces that you contributed.  
  • A one page evaluation of why your edits were meaningful. 

This is also the last week to finish your article. 

  • Read Editing Wikipedia page 15 to review a final check-list before completing your assignment.
  • Don't forget that you can ask for help from your Content Expert at any time!

Everyone should have finished all of the work they'll do on Wikipedia, and be ready for grading.

Week 13

Course meetings
Tuesday, 4 April 2017   |   Thursday, 6 April 2017
Assignment - One-page reflection

Due Tuesday April 4th.

You are required to submit a one-page reflection on the process of writing/editing your Wikipedia article. What did you find challenging? What did you learn about writing and editing at a scholarly level? In what ways did the critique at the beginning of the term influence how you approached your final project? 

Your reflection is due Tuesday, April 4 and is worth 5% of your final grade.