Let’s get started

Trusted more than the BBC, Guardian and Telegraph (Jordan, 2014), Wikipedia receives some 17 billion pageviews from 500 million visitors each month and is estimated to be 1,500 times more cost effective than traditional ways of spreading information, such as presenting at academic conferences (Heilman, Masukume, Kipersztok, Shafee and Diptanshu, 2017).

A 2016 study found that 87.5% of students reported using Wikipedia for their academic work (Selwyn and Gorard, 2016) so for many students this will be the first port-of-call when engaging with articles around education technology.

The reason being that when we explain these topics to students – why wouldn’t they look them up on Wikipedia? And what they tend to find is American examples, old citations, pages conflating theory with practice etc.

Education technology articles identified as needing work already:

We can fix that. We can edit.

The task

Normally we would allow 60-90 minutes for Wikipedia training and another 1-3hrs for researching, synthesising and writing new and improved pages. Today, we have a little less time but improving Wikipedia can be done in minutes.

  1. Select an EdTech related article to work on.
  2. Add your name & chosen article to the flipchart paper (it’s important we know who is working on these articles so two editors do not create an edit conflict when they go to the save the page at the same time).
  3. Now you have reserved that article, you can improve it in a number of ways.

Copy-editing the article.

  1. Click Edit at the top of any page to access the Visual Editor interface.
  2. Edit the article to improve its grammar, punctuation, spelling, and accessibility.
  3. Click Publish changes in the top right of the screen when you are finished editing.
  4. Add a short edit summary to describe the changes you just made (e.g. corrected typo).
  5. Click the Publish changes to save your changes.

Adding a citation

Citations are the most important part of any Wikipedia page and a great way to update an out-of-date page with more recent, credible information. More details on adding references with Visual Editor can be found here.

  1. Click Edit to access the Visual Editor interface.
  2. Add your statement to the Wikipedia page.
  3. Place your cursor at the end of the statement and click Cite on the editing toolbar at the top of the page.
  4. Paste the url web address, DOI code, PMID or ISBN number into the Automatic citation box and click Generate. This will create the citation automatically.
  5. Click Insert to place the citation into the article.
  6. Click Publish changes to save the page with a short edit summary like added citation.
  7. Click Publish changes save your citation and auto-generate a reference at the bottom of the page.

Adding a citation with the Citation Hunt tool: ‘Whack-a-mole‘ for citations!

Citation Hunt is a fun tool that has been described as ‘Whack-a-mole‘ for citations.

Find out how to use it in our Wiki Games site.

Adding links to and from other Wikipedia pages.

  1. Click Edit to access the Visual Editor interface.
  2. Highlight the text you wish to wiki link.
  3. Click the chain link dropdown menu on the editing toolbar at the top of the page. This will search Wikipedia pages for the text you have highlighted.
  4. Select the correct Wikipedia page.
  5. The text will now turn blue if a page exists with the title of the text you have highlighted or red if it can’t find a page.
  6. Click Publish changes to save the page with a short edit summary like added link(s).
  7. Click Publish changes again to save your edit.

Wikipedia is based on wiki links leading from one article to a nother. If a concept is mentioned more than once in an article then it should be only be linked the first time it is mentioned. The problem comes when pages that should have a link… don’t.

The Find Link tool (video demo) does a search for article titles/keywords throughout Wikipedia to highlight those articles that mention the search term and therefore ought to be linked to. This can be the difference between articles that are easy to find and those that aren’t. And therefore receive more pageviews as a result. Particularly if the high traffic pages link to your page .

Adding images.

  1. Click Edit to access the Visual Editor interface.
  2. Place your cursor where on the page you wish your image to appear.
  3. Click Insert at the top of Visual Editor and select Insert Media from the dropdown menu.
  4. Type a keyword in the Insert Media search bar. This will look in the 46 million openly-licensed media files on Wikimedia Commons. Alternatively you can use the Upload tab to add your own openly-licensed image.
  5. Click Use this image and type a caption.
  6. Click Insert to add the image to the page.
  7. Drag the bottom left corner of the image to resize it.
  8. Click Publish changes to save your image with an edit summary of ‘added an image’. Click Publish changes again.

If you want to source an open image for the page then try:

Adding an Open Access link to a reference using the OAbot tool.

Find out how to use it in our Wiki Games site.

Video walkthrough of the main Visual Editor elements

There are more details on how to edit with Visual Editor in our Wiki Basics and the Visual Editor userguide.