Using Wikipedia to Teach Discipline Specific Writing

ID: 47958 Type: Best Practices Session
  1. Melissa Vosen Callens, North Dakota State University, United States

Wednesday, June 29 11:55 AM-12:15 PM Location: Pavilion Ballroom C

No presider for this session.

Abstract: Unlike first-year composition courses, upper-division writing courses usually require students to engage in discipline specific writing. To engage in this type of writing, students at a mid-sized research institution in a course called Writing in the Health Professions evaluate Wikipedia articles related to healthcare and contribute to one of them. Writing for Wikipedia provides students with the opportunity to practice using plain language, write for an authentic audience, and engage in a non-traditional form of civic engagement. According to Dr. Amin Azzam, a health sciences associate clinical professor who teaches a course on writing for Wikipedia for U.C.S.F. School of Medicine, “If we want to get high-quality information to all the world’s population, Wikipedia is not just a viable option, but the only viable option” (Cohen 2013). In this paper, the assignment will be discussed as well as the advantages and challenges of using Wikipedia in the classroom.

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