NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ837184
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Raising the Stakes: Writing about Witchcraft on Wikipedia
Pollard, Elizabeth Ann
History Teacher, v42 n1 p9-24 Nov 2008
Wikiality, Wikimania, WikiGnomes, Wikitrolls, Wikibots, Wikipediaholism... all these neologisms have been coined in recent years to talk about Wikipedia, the online, open-source encyclopedia. In this article, the author describes a project that aims to craft a pedagogical approach that incorporated student-contribution to Wikipedia in order to teach History methods students how to be historians. In this project, History 400W students contributed to or created new Wikipedia entries on witchcraft and magic accusations from the Greco-Roman period through Colonial America. Student learning goals included researching and writing about a specific historical topic, recognizing the relative value of various resources for historical research (including Wikipedia), contributing to high-stakes historical discourse, understanding and constructing historiography, and sharing the process of that discourse with peers. The author's rubric-based assessment and student survey responses demonstrated that supervised student participation on Wikipedia fulfills these goals, while preparing life-long learners equipped with skills valuable to the historical profession and beyond. Here, the author reviews the relationship of academia with Wikipedia and how it led to the aforementioned assignment, describes the assignment the students completed, explains the methods and rationale for her assessment approach (both rubric-based and student survey-based), and discusses the problems she anticipated as well as those that the students and the author actually encountered. This article concludes by evaluating how this assignment helped students become better historians and provided them with twenty-first-century learning skills such as digital-age literacy, inventive thinking, effective communication, and high productivity. (Contains 17 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A