Diderot, come help your Encylopedia

A couple of weeks ago, I needed to link to something defining a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) for a professional development thang (and for my last post!), so naturally I went to Wikipedia. But the page for “Massive open online course” had very little on it, just a basic definition and a list of years and some courses.

So I tweeted, of course:
And Dave Cormier answered:


Now, I’m not a MOOC expert at all. No research, no articles. I’ve participated fully in three of them, as a student. I taught one in History, and failed. I am teaching another one in fall, POT’s Online Certificate Class. But I started editing, though I’d never edited a Wikipedia article before that I recall. I put in a few names, like George Siemens and Stephen Downes. Then I figured I’d get back to it later.

Then it got more urgent. I regret to say that I have not been able to participate much this summer in the eduMOOC: Online Learning Today…and Tomorrow course. However, I subscribe to the feed from the Google Group. I began seeing a thread called “Please help edit the Wikipedia article on MOOCs (before it disappears)“. Perhaps my actions triggered something, but the MOOC page was set for deletion.

So I and a couple of folks from the eduMOOC class have been working on it. I’ve added links to research, and some text with references, and links from other pages (like Connectivism, and George Siemens) because it was an “orphan” page.

But really, I’m thinking some of the Big Players might want to work on this too? The topic itself is about openness and collaboration, and while blogging and writing journal articles and conducting courses is great, Wikipedia is where most people get their information. In an area that emphasizes open education, shouldn’t the Wikipedia entry be pretty important?

I wonder — did Diderot and d’Alembert outsource the Encyclopedia to their students?

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