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wikiHow Much Fun!

posted: 6.21.07 by Barclay Barrios

I don’t even remember how or when I ran across this, but take a moment, take a look, take a break and imagine the potential: wikiHow page

So, of course, off the top of my head (and probably off the top of yours) I’m thinking:

  • Have students read this wikiHow.
  • Have students participate in the discussion and/or edit the page.
  • Have students make similar pages for other grammatical issues, using the handbook and maybe working in teams.
  • Start a class wiki with these sorts of pages.
  • Start a course/program/department/school wiki with these sorts of pages.

And so on and so on. Anyway, that’s it for today. Let me know if you’ve already seen that page or have some others like it!

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Teaching with Technology
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5 Responses to “wikiHow Much Fun!”

  1. Jessica Kidd Says:

    I can definitely see some fun/useful classroom activities with the wikiHow site.
    But at the same time, I am wary. I have a hard enough time prying students away from wikipedia during research projects.
    Perhaps if they would see wikiHow as an extension of their style manual, they might become less afraid of looking things up.
    And by editing their own page, might become better at evaluating online sources.

  2. RWL Says:

    Excellent link! I’ve asked students to read and write wikiHow pages before to practice process writing and descriptive writing, but I never thought to apply it to grammar. I imagine that writing this kind of step-by-step explanation of grammatical concepts would really help classes remember what they’ve learned. Hmm…

  3. Stuart Selber Says:

    I’ve used this for technical writing. It’s a great way to illustrate participatory design, the shifting nature of procedural writing, and the indeterminate nature of language. Because technical writing issues are bleeding into composition issues, I suspect there would be many good uses in the first-year course.

  4. JP Says:

    Great idea. I’ve also used WikiHow extensively for technical/professional writing projects but hadn’t thought of assigning students to write entries on grammatical issues. I have, however, created class-specific wikis for students to write such entries with reasonable success, but using WikiHow instead might be a superior option as non-class members will also comment and respond.

  5. Barclay Barrios Says:

    Hey I never thought about wikihow in the context of professional writing but now it’s a “D’oh” kind of moment since that makes so much sense. We’re going to be developing some new courses in tech writing here and projects connected to something like wikihow just make so much sense–real audience, real writing, collaborative possibility, and more.

    Cool beans!