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Wikipedia Under the Hood

A 3-part discussion series in honor of Wikipedia's 20th birthday

We would like to invite you to join us for Wikipedia @ 20, a 3-part discussion series that examines the past, present and future of Wikipedia, the Internet encyclopedia. In this series of 3 programs, you can learn more about how crowdsourced information affects the way people learn and share knowledge and how teachers and students from grade school to graduate school are using Wikipedia (for better or worse). We'll dismantle some misconceptions about Wikipedia and meet some of the editors who are responsible for coordinating the production of Wikipedia information about COVID-19 and the January 6th insurrection. This program is co-sponsored by the University of Rhode Island College of Arts and Sciences and the Harrington School of Communication and Media. 


Educator Workshop

It's a statewide professional development day - and Rhode Island educators will receive a certificate of participation for attending! 


We are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Wikipedia! This program features Professor Troy Hicks, an expert in digital writing, who engages participants in an interactive and collaborative online activity that helps participants better understand how Wikipedia works and how it can be used to support the development of research skills and inquiry learning in any field or discipline. This event will also feature case studies of faculty who have used Wikipedia in their teaching. 

DATE: Monday, March 15

TIME: 12 - 1 pm EST

LOCATION: Online. Click here to register. 


  • Troy Hicks, author of The¬†Digital Writing Workshop¬†and many other books on digital literacy
  • Smita Ramnarain, Department of Economics, University of Rhode Island
  • Susanne Menden-Deuer, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island¬†

MODERATOR: Mary Moen, Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, University of Rhode Island

Students have been told repeatedly that Wikipedia is an unreliable source, with concerns that are rooted in the technical functions of how any wiki -- including a site like Wikipedia -- actually works, including who has access and what that access might allow a user to do with mean-spirited editing. 

Yet, how much do we really know about how¬†Wikipedia¬†functions, from both technical and social standpoints? In this session, we will explore the anatomy of a¬†Wikipedia¬†page, focusing on the editorial principle of a ‚Äúneutral point of view,‚ÄĚ and will explore additional features embedded in the structure of¬†Wikipedia¬†itself for tracking page edits and discussing disagreements about any topic. As we close, we will hear from University of Rhode Island faculty who have engaged students in creating Wikipedia entries, helping them consider the value of this much-maligned resource¬†for their own academic learning.¬†

Click here to check out the educational resouces we use in this session