I have run student assessments on Wikipedia in the past, which weren't entirely successful. For that reason I was particularly interested in this strand of the conference. Toni Sant's presentation on Wikipedia in university teaching was of interest, particularly his assessment criteria:
However, of even more interest to me was Leigh Thelmadatter describing how she runs Wikipedia assignments in higher education:
Leigh is teaching English as a foreign language, so the exact way she runs her "content-free" projects is not relevant to me, but one thing I would definitely do if I was running this again is to follow her model where students write explicitly for (in the style of) Wikipedia, but the writing, editing and grading is done offline, as a private conversation between student and tutor, with "extra credit" for uploading final outputs which meet acceptability standards to the site - thus separating the contentious grading stage from the actual addition of content to Wikipedia.
Ale started the conference by asking attendees to write down their dreams and nightmares for the future of Wikipedia and deliver them to him by (paper) airmail. As usual, I was light on dreams but had plenty of nightmares:
The weakness of OER/wiki model is failure to motivate individual authors through credit, hence sustainability problems. Will badges solve this or are micropayments needed?During the course of day two, the concept of Wikipedia being about a user community rather than about content emerged. In my mind, a major problem with OERs has been the repository approach - looking back, it would have been far better to have taken the engaged community approach rather than the file-and-forget model.
Why should I be a Wikipedia sharecropper when I can get more credit for my output by publishing on my own blogs?
I wasn't sure what I was expecting when I signed up for this conference, but looking back it was easily the most thought-provoking event I have been to for some time.