Turning Introductory Comparative Politics and Elections Courses Into Social Science Research Communities Using Wikipedia: Improving Both Teaching and Research

R. Kennedy, B. Keegan, E. Forbush, D. Lazer
PS: Political Science and Research
April 2, 2015


This article  advocates a lesson plan for introductory comparative politics and elections  courses. The authors argue that Wikipedia (yes, Wikipedia) provides a unique  platform for improving learning outcomes and a useful social good from  traditional student papers on elections. The proposed lesson plan can achieve  this in at least three ways: (1) by providing social incentives for learning  and a method for students to contribute to social science knowledge from  their earliest courses, the incorporation of Wikipedia editing can improve  student learning and retention; (2) incorporating an online information  component can help both future students and researchers by improving the  quality and quantity of easily accessible and well-referenced information about  historical and upcoming elections; and (3) the use of the Wiki format is  becoming increasingly common in both business and government. Teaching the  basics of editing is an increasingly useful skill for students to learn for  future employment.

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