The Wikiblitz

Graham, Shawn, The Wikiblitz in Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki, eds. Writing History in the Digital Age. Forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press. Trinity College (CT) web-book edition, Spring 2012, http://WritingHistory.trincoll.edu.

In this paper, I describe an experiment conducted in the 2010 academic year at Carleton University, in my first year seminar class on Digital History. This experiment was designed to explore how knowledge is created and represented on Wikipedia, by working to improve a single article. The overall objective of the class was to give students an understanding of how historians can create “signal” in the “noise” of the Internet, and how historians create knowledge using digital media tools. Given that doing “research” online often involves selecting a resource suggested by Google (generally one within the first three to five results)1 this class had larger media literacy goals as well. The students were drawn from all areas of the university, with the only stipulation being that they had to be in their first year. (read more at http://writinghistory.trincoll.edu/crowdsourcing/graham-2012-spring/ )

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