Wikipedia, information equity, information literacy instruction, open pedagogy

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Innovative Practice


There is a common classroom refrain, “Don’t use Wikipedia; it’s unreliable.” Unfortunately, this simple dismissal of the world’s largest repository of information fails to engage students in a critical conversation about how knowledge within Wikipedia is constructed and shared. Wikipedia is available in almost 300 languages, it is the top result in most Google searches, and it provides free, well-sourced, information to millions of people every day. However, despite these positives, there is uneven geographic, historical, and cultural representation; there are well-known information gaps related to women, gender, and sexual identity; and the majority of Wikipedia editors are white, Western, men. Engaging students in complex conversations about this information source is one way to improve students’ information literacy skills. In 2019 we decided to meet students where they are by developing a two-credit course, Wikipedia and Information Equity, at Oregon State University that centers and critically examines Wikipedia as an information source and as a community of editors co-creating public knowledge. This article shares our experience teaching this two-credit course three times, with the ultimate goal of providing a template and starting point from which other instructors can develop similar courses and curricula about information equity through the lens of Wikipedia.



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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.