Tag: Reproductive Medicine

How to run a Wikipedia editathon – a workshop for health information professionals at the EAHIL conference

This post was authored by Ruth Jenkins, Academic Support Librarian at the University of Edinburgh.

For some time, Wikipedia has been shown to be a resource to engage with, rather than avoid. Wikipedia is heavily used for medical information by students and health professionals – and the fact that it is openly available is crucial for people finding health information, particularly in developing countries or in health crises. Good quality Wikipedia articles are an important contribution to the body of openly available information – particularly relevant for improving health information literacy. In fact, some argue that updating Wikipedia should be part of every doctor’s work, contributing to the dissemination of scientific knowledge.

Participants editing Wikipedia

With that in mind, Academic Support Librarians for Medicine Marshall Dozier, Ruth Jenkins and Donna Watson recently co-presented a workshop on How to run a Wikipedia editathon, at the European Association for Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL) Conference in Cardiff in July. Ewan McAndrew, our Wikimedian in Residence here at the University of Edinburgh, was instrumental in the planning and structuring of the workshop, giving us lots of advice and help. On the day, we were joined by Jason Evans, Wikimedian in Residence at the National Library of Wales, who spoke about his role at NLW and the Wikimedia community and helped support participants during editing.

We wanted our workshop to give participants experience of editing Wikipedia and build their confidence using Wikipedia as part of the learning experience for students and others. Our workshop was a kind of train-the-trainer editathon. An editathon is an event to bring people together at a scheduled time to create entries or edit Wikipedia on a specific topic, and they are valuable opportunities for collaborating with subject experts, and to involve students and the public.

Where a typical editathon would be a half-day event, we only had 90 minutes. As such, our workshop was themed around a “micro-editathon” – micro in scale, timing and tasks. We focused on giving participants insights into running an editathon, offered hands-on experience, and small-scale edits such as adding images and missing citations to articles.

Systematic review edit
Key stats from the EAHIl Wikipedia editathon

We also presented on the Wikipedia assignment in the Reproductive Biology Honours programme here at Edinburgh, including a clip from this video of a student’s reflections on the assignment, which sparked discussion from the attendees. Jason Evans’ talk about Wikimedia UK and Wikiproject Medicine, contextualised the participants’ edits within the wider Wikimedia community.

We are waiting on feedback from the event, but anecdotally, the main response was a wish for a longer workshop, with more time to get to know Wikipedia better! There was lots of discussion about take-home ideas, and we hope they are inspired to deliver editathon events in their own organisations and countries. We also spotted that some of our participants continued to make edits on Wikipedia in the following weeks, which is a great sign.

If you want to know more, you can visit the event website which roughly follows the structure of our workshop and includes plenty of further resources: https://thinking.is.ed.ac.uk/eahil-editathon/

Further information.

Pic of Ruth Jenkins at the Reproductive Biology Hons. Wikipedia workshop.
By Stinglehammer [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Reflections on a Wikipedia assignment – Reproductive Medicine

Wikipedia as an important source of health information and not medical advice.

“The Internet, especially Wikipedia, had proven its importance in everyday life. Even the medical sector is influenced by Wikipedia’s omnipresence. It has gained considerable attention among both healthcare professionals and the lay public in providing medical information. Patients rely on the information they obtain from Wikipedia before deciding to seek professional help. As a result, physicians are confronted by a professional dilemma as patients weigh information provided by medical professionals against that on Wikipedia, the new provider of health information….

We state that Wikipedia should not be viewed as being inappropriate for its use in medical education. Given Wikipedia’s central role in medical education as reported in our survey, its integration could yield new opportunities in undergraduate education. High-quality medical education and sustainability necessitates the need to know how to search and retrieve unbiased, comprehensive, and reliable information. Students should therefore be advised in reflected information search and encouraged to contribute to the “perpetual beta” improving Wikipedia’s reliability. Therefore, we ask for inclusion in medical curricula, since guiding students’ use and evaluation of information resources is an important role of higher education. It is of utmost importance to establish information literacy, evidence-based practices, and life-long learning habits among future physicians early on, hereby contributing to medical education of the highest quality.
Accordingly, this is an appeal to see Wikipedia as what it is: an educational opportunity. This is an appeal to academic educators for supplementing Wikipedia entries with credible information from the scientific literature. They also should teach their protégés to obtain and critically evaluate information as well as to supplement or correct entries. Finally, this is an appeal to medical students to develop professional responsibility while working with this dynamic resource. Criticism should be maintained and caution exercised since every user relies on the accuracy, conscientiousness, and objectivity of the contributor.” (Herbert et al, BMC Medical Education, 2015)

Reproductive Medicine Wikipedia assignment at Edinburgh University – September 2016

Reproductive Medicine undergraduates - collaborating to create Wikipedia articles.
Reproductive Medicine undergraduates – collaborating to create Wikipedia articles.

In September 2016, Reproductive Biology Honours students undertook a group research project to research, in groups of 4-5 students with a tutor, a term from reproductive biomedicine that was not yet represented on Wikipedia. All 38 were trained to edit Wikipedia and they worked collaboratively both to undertake the research and produce the finished written article. The assignment developed the students’ information literacy, digital literacy, collaborative working, academic writing & referencing and ability to communicate to an audience. The end result was 8 new articles on reproductive medicine which enriches the global open knowledge community and will be added to & improved upon long after they have left university creating a rich legacy to look back upon.

One of the new articles, high-grade serous carcinoma, was researched and written by 4th year student, Áine Kavanagh.

High-grade serous carcinoma - new Wikipedia article researched and written by Áine Kavanagh, in September 2016.

Rather than a writing an assignment for an audience of one, the course tutor, and never read again, Aine’s article can be viewed, built on & expanded by an audience of millions. Since creating the article in September 2016, the article has now been viewed 2196 times.

Pageviews for the High Grade Serous Carcinoma
Pageviews for the High Grade Serous Carcinoma

Guest post:

Reflections on a Wikipedia assignment

by Áine Kavanagh.
Reproductuve Medicine students - September 2016
Reproductive Medicine students – September 2016

The process of writing a Wikipedia article involved me trying to answer the questions I was asking myself about the topic. What was it? Why should I care about it? What does it mean to society? I also needed to make the answers to those questions clear to other people who can’t see inside my head.

It then moved onto questions I thought other people might ask about the topic. Writing for Wikipedia is really an exercise in empathy and perspective. Who else is going to want to know about this and what might they be interested in about it?

Is what I’m writing accessible and understandable? Am I presenting it in a useful way? It’s an incredibly public piece of writing which is only useful if it serves the public, so trying to put yourself in the frame of someone who’s not you reading what you’ve written is important (and possibly the most difficult part).

It’s also about co-operation from the get-go. You can’t post a Wikipedia article and allow no one else to edit it. You are offering something up to the world. You can always come back to it, but you can never make it completely your own again. The beauty of Wikipedia is in groupthink, in the crowd intelligence it facilitates, but this means shared ownership, which can be hard to get your head around at first.

It’s a unique way of writing, and some tips for other students starting out on a Wikipedia project is to not be intimidated. Wikipedia articles in theory can be indefinitely long and dense and will be around for an indefinitely long time, so writing a few hundred words can seem like adding a grain of sand to a desert. But if the information is not already there then you are contributing – and what is Wikipedia if not just a big bunch of contributions?

There’s also the fear that editors already on Wikipedia will swoop down and denounce your article as completely useless – but the beauty of storing information is that you can never really have too much of it. There’s no-one who can truly judge what is and isn’t worthy of knowing*.

*There’s no-one who can judge what’s worth knowing, but the sum of human knowledge needs to be organised, and so there are actually guidelines as to what a Wikipedia article is (objective account of a thing) and is not (platform for self-promotion).

Áine Kavanagh

Teaching with Wikipedia – how to get started (an Edinburgh University case study)

Wikipedia is much more straightforward using the new Visual Editor interface which makes editing Wikipedia now as easy as using Microsoft Word. Students can be taught how to edit in approximately 60 minutes and thereafter can research and write, with academic rigour, brand new Wikipedia articles.

The video interview provided by the University of Edinburgh’s Dr. Chris Harlow illustrates  the Wikipedia research session he ran in September 2015.

Dr. Chris Harlow - Reproductive Biology (University of Edinburgh)
Dr. Chris Harlow – Reproductive Biology (University of Edinburgh)

A practical example of engaging with Wikipedia in teaching and learning – watch Dr. Chris Harlow speak about his recent experiences introducing Wikipedia to his 3rd year Honours students to researching & writing a Wikipedia article.

Teaching with Wikipedia – Dr. Chris Harlow (Reproductive Biology research session)

Duration: (7:09)
User: Ewan McAndrew – Added: 03/06/16

YouTube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIHlOWxepoc

Some additional resources & recent examples of approaches to teaching with Wikipedia are detailed here:

1.    Teaching with Wikipedia (University of Edinburgh examples)

2.    How to use Wikipedia as a teaching tool (PDF)

3.    Wikipedia Education Program – Case Studies: How universities are teaching with Wikipedia (PDF)

If you would like to know more about how Wikipedia fits in with academia then these recent articles make very compelling reading:

1.    Wikipedia 15 and education

2.    Wikipedia the digital gateway to academic research

The project page for the residency with details on upcoming events is located here: Wikipedia: University of Edinburgh and the latest Wikipedia training session (30th June 2016) is available to book here: bit.ly/1UdQ4f6

Further video tutorials can be found on the Wikimedian in Residence Youtube channel here.

Further examples of Teaching with Wikipedia include:

Making use of Wikipedia’s new Content Translation tool – University College, London.

  1. The UCL’s Wikipedia ‘Translate-a-thon’ is written up here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/teaching-learning/case-studies-news/e-learning/teaching-translation-wikipedia
  2. In addition, UCL also ran a Wikipedia session for familiarising Year 1 undergraduates with using sources – making good use of the Wiki Education project dashboard to allow educators to manage & monitor class Wikipedia assignments & communicate with students from a central hub: https://prezi.com/apxnjcabgtdd/when-ucl-students-write-wikipedia.
  3. This one also includes how Wikipedia work complements UCL’s educational strategic aims.

Telling the stories of rural England with Wikipedia – The University of Portsmouth.
Dr Humphrey Southall, Reader in Geography, University of Portsmouth, written with Dr Martin Poulter, describe a Wikipedia-based assignment given to first-year students in Applied Human Geography and also looking at how academics can inform the widest public about their subject, and raise awareness of the reliable sources used in research.

 

In addition – Wiki Education resources

Wiki Education has a variety of materials which may be helpful. 

Teaching with Wikipedia (some recent homegrown examples)

A little while ago, I came across the reasons to use Wikipedia, (well worth a read) and have been reflecting on how Wikipedia and its sister projects can be best utilised as a teaching tool.

Simply working with Wikipedia as a teaching assignment is much more straightforward using the new Visual Editor WYSIWYG interface (What You See Is What You Get) which makes editing Wikipedia as easy as using Microsoft Word or WordPress blogging. Students can be taught how to edit in as little as 45mins-60mins and thereafter can work individually or collectively to research & write, with academic rigour, brand new Wikipedia articles.

By way of example, Anouk Lang, English Literature Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, has applied this in getting her students to create a new page on a literary text, Conversations in Bloomsbury, a 1981 memoir that depicts writer Mulk Raj Anand’s life in London during the heyday of the Bloomsbury Group, and his relationships with the group’s members.

The collaborative process engaged her students, and some students in particular who had perhaps been more reticent (or less confident) in participating in more traditional assignments, in researching the topic & in applying the digital literacy skills required to achieve the page’s creation. The net result is not an essay or report that could potentially be filed away & forgotten but instead something that adds to the sum of human knowledge & is discoverable by other readers & editors all over the world so that they, in turn, can add more to it.

Conversations in Bloomsbury

Which all fits in with achieving, quite nicely, with achieving the University’s mission and Wikimedia’s mission.

Areas of convergence between Wikimedia UK and the University of Edinburgh's missions.
Areas of convergence between Wikimedia UK and the University of Edinburgh’s missions.

Similarly, Dr. Chris Harlow at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Reproductive Health, has run Wikipedia research sessions with his Reproductive Medicine Honours students where, within the space of an afternoon’s session, they were able to navigate the open access journals to find enough good quality, reliable published sources to create a new article on a term that previously did not exist on Wikipedia: neuroangiogenesis. In doing so, the students created a page that significantly added to the discourse, and the visibility of the discourse, on a number of other related pages: Angiogenesis, Alzheimer’s disease and Endometriosis.

Neuroangiogenesis

The two links below are booklets which have a number of good places to begin teaching with Wikipedia including how to design your assignment as well as alternative assignment ideas such as translating an article into different languages (now even easier with a Wikipedia tool that allows both articles to be onscreen), illustrating an article (with photos, infographics, videos etc.), copy-editing articles to improve critical thinking skills on how good writing is achieved in your particular discipline and so on.

The second booklet explores a number of case studies of approaches taken implementing Wikimedia assignments within a university. However, it is important to note that these are just starting points and that, as this is a new & developing discipline, that newer models can be designed to better suit your purposes.

  1. How to use Wikipedia as a teaching tool
  2. Wikipedia Education Program – Case Studies

If you would like to know more about how our main open knowledge project, Wikipedia, fits in with academia then these recent articles make very compelling reading:

  1. Wikipedia 15 and education
  2. Wikipedia the digital gateway to academic research

Myself and Martin Poulter, former Wikimedia Ambassador at JISC and the current Wikimedian in Residence at the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, will also be attending the OER16 Conference in Edinburgh on 19-20 April if you want to learn more about the education projects he has been involved in.

Indeed, should you wish to discuss teaching with Wikimedia or collaborating on any projects then I would be only too glad to hear from you.