46: Teaching with Wikipedia w/ Malavika Shetty

In Episode 46, we talk to Dr. Malavika Shetty about using Wikipedia in the writing classroom in order to teach media literacy and research skills, create meaningful, public-facing work, and empower students to contribute to the world’s body of knowledge.

Malavika Shetty is a lecturer in Boston University’s Writing Program where she uses her background in linguistics to teach classes related to language and society. She uses Wikipedia in her classroom as a way to develop her student’s research and information literacy skills. Malavika received her PhD in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. Her background and training is in linguistic anthropology with a research focus on the analysis of discourse in everyday conversations.

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Student Contributions

“Our language has changed because of the technology we use.” @mshetty3

“Wikipedia is one of the biggest writing projects we have in the world right now.” @mshetty3

“Wikipedia can be used to build information literacy skills…As writing teachers, we’re not just teaching writing. We’re also trying to teach media literacy. Because that’s the world we live in.” @mshetty3

“90% of Wikipedia editors are male…Only 15% of biographies on Wikipedia are about women.” @mshetty3

“When I’m introducing the assignment, I first talk about these content gaps on Wikipedia and point them out to my students and talk to them about how they are actually contributing…to the world of knowledge, to make it more equitable, to make it more accessible.” -@mshetty3

“I think the best part about teaching with Wikipedia is your students are not just consumers of information. They’re also creators of that information.” @mshetty3

“I think one of the upsides of this pandemic has been for us to reevaluate how we actually teach.” @mshetty3

“One of the things about Wikipedia which I like is they’re very self-reflective. They know exactly what’s wrong with them.” @mshetty3

This episode was recorded on January 18, 2021. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod.

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