Session 7

How To beat fake news: advanced verifiability skills with Wikimedia
Stefan Lutschinger, Associate Lecturer in Digital Publishing, Middlesex University London

This workshop introduces the Wikipedia Education Program, Wikimedia’s Campus Ambassador Program at Middlesex University and student work using Wikimedia projects. Learn how to enhance academic practice with Wikipedia assignments, develop advanced verifiability skills with Wikidata, Wikisource and Commons, book free training for staff and apply for Wikimedia’s grant scheme.

Session summary:

Stefan introduced the session by describing how he has embedded a Wikipedia assignment for year 3 students on a creative writing and journalism degree, both here and overseas. In the spirit of recognising that people use Wikipedia - although it is not accepted as an academic source, they can honour it as valuable and learn how to use safely (the latter by understanding the full features of Wikipedia, for example page ranking).

The assignment requires students to edit Wikipedia themselves (and document their edits), so learning how easy it is for anyone to edit. When they edit, they must also provide a reference for that edit. It is very much a teaching tool with the aim that students appreciate why peer review is important and within the course it has been made a mandatory part of the introduction to academic practice.

This approach was inspired by Wikimedia London in 2014; Future of Education pre-conference.

Stefan also touched on the value of wiki data and data visualisation – how visuals can be produced from the vast community editing and monitoring Wikipedia.

The second part of the session was taken up with a hands- on practical exercise of editing Wikipedia and learning the basics to do that.

As part of his ambassadorial role, he will be running workshops from October onwards for staff who are interested in embedding Wikipedia/media editing assignments into their curriculum.

There is also a Hackathon planned for Ada Lovelace day (8th October) at the university.

Please email Stefan if you are interested in this event or training.

Screenshot of interactive timeline of notable Middlesex University alumni created with Wikidata from existing Wikipedia articles with students and the support of our Alumni Relations team.