Create an entry in a LocalWiki

Submitted by Lani Smith on February 17th, 2016
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Short Description: 

Students create an entry in the Fremont Wiki - Students incorporate information literacy concepts, have hands-on experience conducting research, and create actual content on the Internet [while also learning how easy it is for anyone to change that content]. It could also be a great chance to get students into local museums and archives.

create a fremont wiki entry.docDownloaded 773 times537.5 KB
Learning Outcomes: 

coming soon

Course Context (e.g. how it was implemented or integrated): 

This would be greatly strengthened taught in a learning community. Could work well with English, History, Journalism, LGBT History, and more.

Additional Instructor Resources (e.g. in-class activities, worksheets, scaffolding applications, supplemental modules, further readings, etc.): 

If there isn't one in your town, a LocalWiki is easy to set up. You can also contact the folks who run it who graciously supply their wonderful support. One of the exciting things this does is to get some of this history out of the archives into to a wider audience. See Oakland Wiki for an incredibly dynamic example.

Suggested Citation: 
Smith, Lani. "Create an entry in a LocalWiki." CORA (Community of Online Research Assignments), 2016.


I really like the idea of adding information to local or subject specific wiki, because Wikipedia can be very intimidating and time-consuming. I understand that Wikipedia has its coalition of very active editors that will revert or delete your content if it doesn't comply to the Wikipedia standards, which can teach students (in a very real way) that citations and authoritative information is important. But the flip side of that is the wiki-speak and jargon, the fighting among editors, the technology learning curve (which I think is higher than other wikis), and the lack of support from current editors. Save for an in-person Wikipedia edit-a-thon surrounding a particular topic with a friendly group, Wikipedia may present cognitive distractions that inhibit learning. Using a local wiki not only connects students to their local communities, but, I imagine, presents less distractions and more opportunity to learn.

This is a great idea. Students adding to a public forum, such as a local wiki, might be more likely to extend themselves to do a credible job. And, it could be both exciting and rewarding for them to see how they can participate directly in the creation of knowledge. I see this project having a particular impact in the area of journalism, or in the use and promotion of a local archive. The project also allows each person to focus on an area or subject of particular interest to themselves, thereby increasing a connection to their contribution.