Education/Newsletter/June 2015/A Wikipedia project in foreign languages receives a teaching award in Uruguay

By Professor Roxana Sordo (Uruguay)

Education Board at Sembrando Experiencias, Uruguay

Snippet: Wikipedia as a Learning Community in Foreign Languages Project received a teaching award in Uruguay.

Professors Beatriz Teijeira and Roxana Sordo have received a teaching award by ANEP (Administración Nacional de Educación Pública) and the Uruguayan Education Council in Uruguay in recognition of their work in their project "Wikipedia: a Learning Community in Foreign Languages" at Instituto de Profesores Artigas in Montevideo, Uruguay. This is the first award a Wikipedia education-related project in Uruguay receives. The ceremony was held at Presidencia de la República Oriental del Uruguay on Thursday 18th June 2015.

Professors Beatriz Teijeira and Roxana Sordo at Sembrando Experiencias Teaching Awards Ceremony

Our project idea is using Wikipedia as a learning community in Foreign Languages, promoting bilingualism and cultural awareness. It involves education students who are Secondary School teachers-to-be of Geography, History, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Spanish, English, Music, Arts and Sociology. The project teaches students how to use Wikipedia as an education tool to read academic articles in English, create and edit new Wikipedia articles in Spanish using collaborative work by means of Strategy-based Instruction. The objective is helping students improve their reading and writing skills and develop their digital skills. Most of the students are young women with little prior digital skills, who have never edited a Wikipedia article. Therefore, it aims at narrowing the gender gap and fostering digital literacy. The project is part of Wikipedia Education Program in Uruguay (In Spanish: Proyecto Wikipedia en la Educación CFE-Plan Ceibal) directed by Professor Fernando da Rosa. It has changed the way professors and students conceive and use Wikipedia in Uruguay.

Students work in groups, search for the Wikipedia articles that do not have a Spanish entry, look for more reliable sources to back up the information and improve the article- Then, they organize the article in their sandbox in Wikipedia using the English article as a model, and sometimes they add more information. Finally, students create the Wikipedia article. They are major in certain areas of knowledge which helps them make significant contributions to the Wikipedia community.

In order to evaluate students, some evaluation forms and rubrics were created. Students used their cognitive and metacognitive strategies in order to self-evaluate and evaluate their group work, as well. We have collected and analyzed some testimonials from students. According to Carolina, a Literature teacher-to-be at Instituto de Profesores Artigas It's been an enriching experience for our academic and specific knowledge since we have developed and used learning strategies that foster our autonomy.

Evaluation Forms created and used in the project:

More information

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Uruguay here.