Learning to Contribute to a LitWiki Page

A pair of hands typing on a laptop.
Writing on a laptop

My experiences as an assistant editor on a LitWiki page has reminded me of the good that wikis offer as foundational knowledge caches and I am planning on incorporating them more into my theory classes going forward. For this particular LitWiki topic, Technical Writing in the Digital Age, that I participated in, I was able to contribute sizeable chunks to the topics of disinformation, SEO, and a little to multimodality. I also added in a few citations throughout the semester when I saw something missing and updated a few citations to not just be links but instead to look like a true reference.

Specific Contributions

My first major contribution was the Disinformation section under Ethical Considerations. I added in the first substantial paragraph dedicated toward defining and distinguishing misinformation and disinformation back in October. This section has grown and been cleaned up since then but I’m very happy that a majority of my initial contribution has been deemed appropriate by my fellow editors.

A list of contributions from a wikipedia page by a single user.
A list of user contributions for the user Apjones428

My second major contribution was to add into the SEO section. Here, I added in a sentence to the introductory paragraph and started the sections with Keywords and Alt-Text. Again, my fellow editors have grown the section from here and I think that it has become a helpful but succinct addition to the overall page.

My final, much more minor edit, was on multi-modality in the Digital Documentation section. I only added in about two sentences here to clarify what multimedia could mean but I still find more clarification in this part to be helpful.

A Learning Experience

I am familiar with adding content to different wiki sites before but using the talk pages and learning the correct coding of references ended up being the most valuable lessons to me. The talk pages helped with the large amount of editors having conversations regarding the collaboration. I have struggled with noting what my contributions were within the talk pages but having conversations with others has been relatively easy. With the references, I am a firm believer in being able to do referencing on your own, without help from a source or service. The coding part was helpful, although I need much more practice at it to truly get it into my head.

Using Wiki in the Future

As I mentioned earlier, I am planning on bringing in Wiki information into my future classes in hopes that students will be able to use wikis not as primary sources, but as a way to increase their knowledge on a topic before completing an assignment with it. In Spring, I am teaching an Introduction to Journalism class and a Media Criticism class. Both of these classes can benefit from a wiki-like assignment. I am thinking in my journalism class, I will have the students use a wiki to create first-round interview questions. In my media criticism class, I may have the students use a wiki to learn about a media theory and then apply it through examples of their own choosing. Either way, contributing to the litwiki page on Technical Writing has been a big help for me that I want to turn around and use for my students.

Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones

I am an Assistant Professor in Communication and Emerging Media at Georgia Southwestern State University. My research expertise focuses on digital games.
Americus, GA