Online Communities & Crowds
Comm Studies 378
Fall, 2014

wikiHow editing assignment

Due: 12pm, October 8, 2014 (see details below)


For this assignment, your group will be writing and publishing a how-to on wikiHow. During the next lab, you will assess the how-to written by another group (and your how-to will also be assessed). You may also be asked to discuss your group's experience in class. The instructions below provide an overview of the different steps you need to complete as part of this assignment.

Working together, each group should:

  1. Identify a topic Use this massive list of how-to "stubs" to identify a topic your group will write a how-to about. Once you've chosen a topic, please double-check your selection with Sneha so that she can make sure there are not multiple groups working on the same topic (this part should happen during the Lab on Monday, October 6).
  2. Collaboratively draft the text for your how-to. Use the existing stub (linked to in the giant spreadsheet) as the starting point for your how-to. Be sure to utilize the Writer's guide, Editing basics page, as well as any other documentation you feel is relevant. (Tip: it may be easier to draft the text in something like Google docs or a plain text editor like Notepad rather than directly in wikiHow. Also note that working in Microsoft Word or Apple Pages may introduce strange formatting errors if you try to paste the text directly into the wikiHow editor later).
  3. Format & publish your how-to in wikiHow. Again, make sure to edit the same page where the original stub is located (please feel free to be bold and completely write over the content of the stub!). Make sure to follow standard wikiHow formatting practices and style guidelines as best you can! Also, feel free to save/publish draft versions of your how-to as you go so as not to lose anything along the way.
  4. (OPTIONAL) If possible, add visual materials Not all topics lend themselves well to images or videos, but if yours does, please feel free to upload or link to appropriately licensed photos, images, or videos in your how-to. Note that you can use sites like Wikimedia Commons, Flickr, and/or Google image search to locate images licensed for re-use in a way that is consistent with wikiHow's licensing requirements.
  5. Proofread and review your completed how-to. Make sure to check for typos, errors, formatting problems, and layout issues.
  6. Save and publish the completed version of your how-to!
  7. Notify Sneha that your group's how-to is complete One group member should leave a talk-page message for Sneha when your how-to is complete. In your message, please make sure to include (a) a link to your how-to, as well as (b) your group number (Tip: no need to include full names in your talk-page message, since this is a very public web page!). Please complete this final step by 12pm (noon) on Wednesday, October 8.

Evaluation criteria:

This assignment will form part of your Experiential Assignments Portfolio. Your how-to will be evaluated (by the teaching team and several of your peers) using the following criteria:

The teaching team will combine their own assessments with those of your peers to create a single grade for each group's work. For grading, we will use a "check, check-plus, check-minus" scale. A check-plus reflects truly exceptional work along all three of the dimensions listed above. A check-minus reflects work that was completed, but was severely lacking in at least one area (and you should contact a member of the teaching team to make sure you understand where things went awry). A check falls somewhere in the middle. Incomplete or missing submissions will receive no credit (for all group members) for the assignment.

Please note: Because wikiHow is a wiki and a public community, we realize that it's possible that someone else might come along and edit/improve/delete your group's how-to. Do not worry if this happens! The history of every contribution is also publicly preserved in the site and we will always be able to find your completed work. Indeed, if someone else does come along and edit your how-to, think of it as a compliment and feel free to talk them about it! They were interested enough in your work to read it and try to improve it.