Martin Poulter a volunteer for Wikipedia, presented a passionate defense of the idea and practice of writing articles for Wikipedia, as digital literacy and open practice. In fact, the sort of skills required to successfully write an article on Wikipedia — digital literacy, critical thinking, good review practice, and it helps to be a pedant — are not far away from the skills we hope any HE degree student would demonstrate and learn.
Martin advocated incorporating the writing of good, well-researched and well-referenced Wikipedia articles into a course as a form of assessment, allowing students to research, write, post, and defend their own work on some stopic. Wikimedia offers to come in and help with this process — hence, the Wikipedia Education Program. Martin made a compelling case for this sort of incorporation of open educational practice into formal learning and it made me wonder why I don’t write more Wikipedia articles myself.
Terese Bird, Learning Technologist, University of Leicester