Wikipedia as a Pedagogical Tool

Complicating Writing in the Technical Writing Classroom

  • Andrew David Virtue Western Carolina University
Keywords: Wikipedia, pedagogy, wikis, collaborative writing, technical writing


This paper describes a series of pedagogical activities that instructors can use with Wikipedia. While there is research that details student contributions to Wikipedia, these activities use features on Wikipedia to teach about ethos, audience, edits/revisions, and style guides as they relate to technical writing. These activities were originally developed for a Technical Writing course but can easily be modified to fit a range of courses and disciplines. A key pedagogical strength of Wikipedia is that it allows instructors and students to work with the Wikipedia community, which can be used to complicate how technical writing students understand and use language.