Higher and further education courses in the UK
Author: Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk)
Summary: The new academic year is underway in the United Kingdom (UK), with courses at the universities of Edinburgh, Middlesex, Sheffield, and Sussex and Edinburgh College.
The new academic year started in September and October in the UK, depending on the institution. For Wikimedia UK (WMUK), this means supporting new and returning classroom courses. We have three returning courses and one new one. After a relatively quiet 2020/21 due to disruption caused by COVID, the first few months of the academic year are shaping up to be busy.
At the University of Edinburgh, the MA Translation Studies course is back in full swing, with expert support from their Wikimedian in Residence, Stefan Lutschinger. Throughout the year, students are translating Wikipedia articles as part of their coursework. Students critically consider the role of Wikipedia in sharing information and the role of the translator in determining what is important. They prioritise articles that have been through Wikipedia's internal assessment processes, especially Featured Articles. The range of languages being translated includes Spanish, Chinese, and English. With remote learning still the norm, there have been challenges around making sure everyone has internet access, but the course is progressing well. It is fascinating to see what subjects the students settle on.
Dr. Sara Thomas has been providing training for students at Edinburgh College. They are studying a course on Art+Ethics, and there have been regular training events. The college is a further education institution (as opposed to higher education) and is an important area for WMUK to work with, giving students key digital skills.
At Middlesex University, Stefan Lutschinger's second-year students have been learning about Wikipedia and crowdsourcing and will be editing Wikipedia throughout this semester. WMUK provided an introduction to Wikipedia session for them this month, and we're looking forward to seeing what they write about. The University of Sheffield's Masters module 'Wikipedia and Medieval History' makes a return under the auspices of Dr. Sihong Lin while Dr. Charles West is away. The students have started writing and we'll be seeing more from them in the coming months.
We have broken new ground at the University of Sussex with a brand new module led by Dr. Nimi Hoffman. Her students are learning about education for development and will be writing about the education sector in a range of different countries. This is an important and under-represented topic on Wikipedia. Dr. Richard Nevell ran an introductory session this month, and WMUK plans to have a follow-up session where the students take their articles live in January 2022.
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