Learning patterns/Service Credit for University Students

A learning pattern foroutreach
Service Credit for University Students
problemWe need to engage more undergraduate and graduate level students to edit Wikipedia.
solutionProvide university students with service/volunteer credit, which is required by many student groups and university fellowships, for their contributions on Wikipedia.
created on19:55, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

What problem does this solve?Edit

Many undergraduate and graduate level students have not engaged with Wikipedia as editors, unless it is a requirement of a course. However, getting these students to engage with Wikipedia as editors more frequently is a common goal among Wikipedians. A potential solution to engaging these students is providing them with service/volunteer credit through their institution. For example, students in fraternities or sororities have to complete mandatory service hours to remain in the organization. At West Virginia University, we are allowing students to edit Wikipedia articles for approved service hours. Similarly, graduate students have been editing Wikipedia for service hours required through dissertation fellowships. By engaging universities to provide Wikipedia as an approved service option, students can be incentivized to contribute. In addition, if these students are tasked with writing articles about women, a large impact could be made on the gender gap on Wikipedia.

What is the solution?Edit

Things to considerEdit

  • Contact with university/college (student life or service learning programs)
  • Contact with Women's and Gender Studies Department at institutions for support regarding gender gap
  • Promotion of this service opportunity to students
  • Students who have experience using Wikipedia in a classroom setting could be approached first

When to useEdit

  • When faculty are already using Wikipedia as an instruction tool at a university/college
  • At institutions with a large Women's and Gender Studies Program and/or sizable social justice student groups
  • Where there is a large student population involved with Greek life (thus more students requiring service credit)
  • Where there is a large graduate student population (thus potentially more students with fellowships requiring service credit)


  • One of our main activities at Wiki Learning Tec de Monterrey is with "servicio social" All Mexican undergraduate students are required to do a number of community service hours in order to graduate. A lot of our really best work comes from these students as they self-select this option (rather than being required in a course). I will note that for this to succeed, you need at least one person on campus to support students doing this option and constantly cheerlead it with administration. It cannot work with intermittent support. Thelmadatter (talk) 15:52, 2 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See alsoEdit

Related patternsEdit

External linksEdit