Class Notes 10/18/2019: Wikipedia Workshop 2

Class started today with Sam presenting his news story about the controversy surrounding the current president of Bolivia’s successful abolishment of serving terms for Bolivia’s presidents. While Morales did contribute to supporting indigenous people’s rights in Bolivia and economic development, a survey uncovered that people were against abolishing a referendum that would prevent him from serving another term. Furthermore, Morales is currently heavily criticized by certain groups for failing to properly address the Amazonian fires, for being considering too radical in his reform, and for heavily contributing towards Bolivia’s deficit. Going against popular opinion, Morales nonetheless took the matter to court and abolished said referendum. Sam thought the way BBC and The Guardian, while differing in framing, was nonetheless relatively neutral. Sam related the topic to our class discussion by highlighting the duality of Morale’s policies: while the president successfully expanded democracy over the 14 years he served in office, his abolishment of the referendum could be viewed as potentially harmful to democracy.

Dr. Holt added to that by mentioning how people tend to associate Morelos with a massive improvement of indigenous rights in Bolivia and economic prosperity, but that his current move made his intentions questionable. This came as a response to Rita asking Sam to expand on why he thought Morelos’ move to be potentially harmful to democracy. Rita then made on final comment about how knowing the specifics of the survey that uncovered popular opinion about the abolishment of the referendum in order to assess whether it may have led people to respond a certain way.

We then moved to discuss what we expected our peers to include in their feedback on our plan for improving our assigned Wikipedia articles. A student stated that she would be interested in learning about what their peers would be interested in reading about after a first reading of the article, what they think is missing, and what they think of the stated improvement ideas.

Dr. Holt then showed us how we could access the articles that we are assigned and the ways in which it would be acceptable to submit our feedback. Dr. Holt deems it acceptable to post feedback on the Wikipedia portal by clicking the “Feedback” button, as a response on the talk page, or using the new Wikipedia feature that she Air Played in class.

Students asked a number of questions about some issues they are encountering with the process. Rita mentioned that she was unsure how to go about making extensive changes to her article. Dr. Holt suggested making replacements sentence by sentence and stated that adding citations is and should be part of the improvements we plan to make on our articles.

Dr. Holt finally mentioned that we would have to write a memo later in the class where we would develop on how we decided that something in our article needed to be changed/fixed and how we went about it. Finally, she stated that, in order to garner views on our articles, linking to our assigned article in other Wikipedia pages is an efficient strategy.

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