University of Utah professor Gunseli Berik’s is allowing students to write the articles in an effort to fill existing gaps in Wikipedia's knowledge base. According to KSL.com
, Professor Berik states:
"They had to identify gaps on Wikipedia." "So either an article is inadequate, there's limited information or there's no article on the subject that they're interested in. So they had to identify a topic and they ended up writing 15 articles."
Berik went on to say
"It's not going to end up in the dust bin at the end of the semester, or in a drawer.” “And it's going to have a useful life at the end of the term."
The graduate students in Professor Berik's class also like the idea of doing the articles instead of a standard term paper and believe that there is more pressure to aspire to great, accurate writing then what is put on them by their professor. The Daily Dot quotes one student as saying:
"Knowing that it would be public, and that my work was going to be out there and I have to make it as accurate as can be, because that's the way I wanted it."
Another student, Guadalupe Aguilera, is quoted as saying
"It's pretty intimidating because I'm used to having my work stay in the classroom and that's it,"
Professor Berik is not the first to try such an experiment. Ecampus News
reported in 2010 that students in a University of Denver journalism class are writing Wikipedia entries as part of a curriculum that stresses online writing and content creation.