BLC's Educating with Wikipedia Half-Day Workshop - February 23, 2018

Friday, February 23, 2018 - 10:00am to 2:00pm

The BLC held an “​Educating with Wikipedia” workshop with Zach McDowell, Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Former Research Fellow at the Wiki Education Foundation; ​Anna Newman, ​Librarian for Digital Academic Strategies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Phoebe Ayers, Librarian for Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at MIT; Greta Kuriger Suiter, Processing Archivist at MIT; Amanda Rust, Assistant Director of the Digital Scholarship Group and Digital Humanities Librarian at Northeastern University, and Amy Carleton, Lecturer of Comparative Media Studies/Writing at MIT.

The event took place on the ​Boston University campus at Hillel House in the Bay State Road Room on Friday, February 23, 2018 from 10:00AM-2:00PM

How many times have you heard “don’t use Wikipedia"? Recent research suggests that Wikipedia-based assignments are more valuable for learning about the reliability of online sources, the class topic, and writing for a general audience, as well as developing information literacy, critical thinking, and technical skills. This session will introduce the research, illustrate best practices, and engage participants in revising their assignments to include Wikipedia-based components.

Facilitators presented information on learning with Wikipedia, and then engage participants in active discussion and workshopping of assignments, incorporating learnings from the research to improve their pedagogy.
Participants learned how and why teaching with Wikipedia is helpful for developing critical thinking and information literacy skills. This will lead to discussions and engagement on incorporating Wikipedia assignments into their classroom, and participants will leave with a plan of action to help incorporate Wikipedia into a variety of STEM courses.


Zachary McDowell was previously a research fellow at the Wiki Education Foundation, studying student learning outcomes and digital literacy using Wikipedia. He has been teaching with Wikipedia since 2011.

Anna Newman was previously the Open Access Specialist at Boston University, where she organized Wikipedia editing events to promote open access to knowledge.

Phoebe Ayers  served four years on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia and its sister projects. She is the co-author of a book about Wikipedia, and is a long-time member of the project's community.

​Greta Kuriger Suiter has presented on various ways of teaching with Wikipedia at conferences and events across the country including the 10th Annual Conference of African American Librarians and the Conference on College Composition and Communication this year.

​Amanda Rust has held offices in a national forum for literature librarians, and presented or written on topics like information literacy and instruction, Drupal and website design, post-custodial theatre archives, library special collections and Wikipedia, inclusive information systems design, and digital humanities pedagogy.

Amy Carleton teaches with Wikipedia and studies communication and collaboration in online communities.