Teaching

Summary

Teaching Publications

We discuss systematic knowledge gaps in political science and politics on Wikipedia and efforts by political scientists to ameliorate these gaps through student initiatives in higher education. In this introductory article to a symposium (organized by Ackerly & Michelitch), we argue first why political scientists should care about the knowledge gaps and biases in Wikipedia articles in our discipline. Second, we discuss how such Wikipedia articles can be incomplete and biased in systematic ways that reflect broader systematic biases in knowledge production in the field and more broadly in society. Third, we argue why political science students are ideally suited to write Wikipedia articles. We conclude by inviting political science instructors and students to use their position, and privilege, to improve Wikipedia --- consistent with university missions to disseminate knowledge to the wider public.


We discuss the use of Wikipedia page creation as a fruitful assignment in undergraduate political science courses on the Global South, in collaboration with Wikiedu. Based on our experience teaching African Politics, we argue that assigning students to write a Wikipedia entry achieves twin objectives. First, it engages students to help close the significant gaps in Wikipedia's coverage of politics in the Global South versus the Global North. Undergraduate students are highly motivated to address these disparities and uniquely positioned to do so due to their access to gated scholarly resources, supervision by subject experts, and ability to "translate" academic sources into widely accessible language. Second, the assignment is an excellent pedagogical tool whether teaching in-person or online. Pedagogical benefits include: (i) sharpening digital literacy skills, (ii) honing research and citation skills, (iii) learning and demystifying technical editing skills on a web platform, (iv) developing competency in writing neutrally, and (v) gaining confidence as producers of public-facing output.

Past Course Syllabi during COVID-19

Past Course Syllabi

Undergraduate

PhD