The Gender Gap in Wikipedia

Submitted by Elisa Acosta on March 20th, 2017
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Short Description: 

Students in an introductory Women's and Gender Studies course are required to critically analyze and edit an article in Wikipedia. Through class discussion and an active learning exercise, students begin to understand how and why women and many racial groups and individuals are underrepresented or systematically marginalized in Wikipedia. Students learn how to use the "Talk" tab to evaluate Wikipedia articles and learn about authority and power structures within that community.

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Learning Outcomes: 

Identify voices missing or marginalized in Wikipedia Define "notability" Define "reliable sources" Explain how Wikipedia's policies and guidelines contribute to its gender gap in knowledge

Individual or Group:

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

One-shot library instruction. This exercise is a "warm up" for the Wikipedia edit-a-thon co-sponsored by the Women's and Gender Studies Department.

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

Jackson, J. (2016, July 28). Building on Millions of Tiny Shoulders: Tips for Hosting a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. [Blog article]. Retrieved from

Potential Pitfalls and Teaching Tips: 

If taught Fall Semester, most first year students don't know what peer-review is yet.

Suggested Citation: 
Acosta, Elisa. "The Gender Gap in Wikipedia." CORA (Community of Online Research Assignments), 2017.