Pia Palm is an Educational Developer with focus on Information and communications technology (ICT) at Linnaeus University in Kalmar, at the eastern coast of Sweden. Joining with professors at the university, she has worked to integrate Wikipedia in education, specifically with students who are studying to become biomedical health practitioners.
So what are these students engaged in writing? The most recent class just presented these articles:
- Clostridium tetani
- Shigella dysenteriae
- Stenotrophomonas maltophilia
- Rävens dvärgbandmask
- Schistosoma mansoni
- Strongyloides stercoralis
- Helicobacter pylori
- Onchocerca volvulus
- Naegleria fowleri
Pia says that they have formed a team at the university to support the students in writing on Wikipedia. Once students receive an introduction to Wikipedia, they create user accounts and try writing in sandboxes. Staff at the Learning Resources Centre (LRC) are also helping the students by teaching research and citation skills. Pia says that the foremost reason to why they are using Wikipedia in education at Linnaeus University is to have students learn about digital media and to write for a greater audience. They have been running this education programme since spring-term 2011.
The task for the students is to further their knowledge of a parasite which is not, or fairly shallowly, covered on Swedish Wikipedia. They would do this by researching and finding literature about this parasite which they then used as sources when writing on Wikipedia. Students add the article about their chosen parasite, using these references, in an understandable and encyclopedic way. The students have to research and find at least three academic references to use in their article. Students were assigned a lecturer who, with the students, looked at the articles before making them live on Wikipedia. Pia says that students always are happy to get feedback from the community on their articles. She also tells us that the students may use the articles as work to point at when applying for jobs in the future.
Sophie Österberg, Wikimedia Sweden