Using Whatsapp and Wikipedia as Learning and Teaching drivers


Author(s) Pedro Telles ; Richard Davies


How can we use Whatsapp and Wikipedia as drivers for learning? With the help of the Wikimedia UK in 2016/17 we did just that in Competition Law, using both to change how the module is delivered and assessed. Whatsapp was used as a case study in seminars to drive student discussion in class. Students were divided into groups and invited to develop and present arguments about business practices from Whatsapp that might constitute a violation of competition law rules. For assessment, students had first to identify a competition law entry on Wikipedia and provide with a detailed critique (2,000 words) of what was wrong and how to improve it ie, academic sources or leading cases missing. For the second assignment they had to actually write a Wikipedia entry (1,000 words) and upload it there. This presentation will cover changes and preliminary data from student attendance, engagement and performance


The presentation will be delivered by Mr. Richard Leonard Davies and Dr. Pedro Telles and divided into two parts. The first one is focused on using WhatsApp as a speculative case study for seminars and the second on the experience of using Wikipedia as an assessment tool for Competition Law (LAA319). This presentation will cover the changes and some preliminary data related with student attendance, engagement and performance, using data from both semesters (in cohort comparison) and from the previous year when the module was taught along a traditional teaching and assessment format. In the first part we will cover the decision to use a case study as a discussion driver in seminars and why WhatsApp was selected as a speculative case study topic. Instead of using a company which had already been found at fault, we picked one whose current activities may (or may not) constitute a violation of competition law rules. Therefore, students would not be anchored/biased by previous practices or similar previous cases and were forced instead to use their creativity to develop arguements for or against the legality of WhatsApp activities. In addition, the presentation will include our opinion of the challenges and opportunities posed by both the case study method and using Wikipedia, as well as the support given by the Wikimedia Foundation UK. This support included access to the Wikimedia Course Outreach Dashboard where the teaching team could keep track of student progress on Wikipedia training modules and each student’s progress on entry drafting. The practice developed in this module for both the case study and Wikipedia assignments can be transferred to other disciplines, particularly in small classes. Presentation outline: 1. WhatsApp as a case study – Why using Whatsapp as a case study? – Attendance data (Semester 1 vs Semester 2; 2015/16 vs 2016/17) – How seminars were structured and run – Seminar engagement – Feedback – Lessons learned 2. Wikipedia assignments – Why setting up Wikipedia assignments – Assignment 1 (Critiquing a Wikipedia entry) – Assignment 2 (Drafting Wikipedia entry) – Using Wikimedia Foundation’s Course Outreach Dashboard – Grade analysis (Semester 1 vs Semester 2; 2015/16 vs 2016/17) – Feedback – Lessons earned (What we would change; scalability issues; replicability in the same module) – Next steps (re-doing in Competition Law LAA318)

Key Words

Assessment, Wikipedia, WhatsApp, Case Study, Engagement

Key Messages

By the end of the session, conference participants will understand how speculative case studies may be used to foster student critical thinking in seminars and lead to engaging discussions around the topic and how using such tool enhances student participation and engagement. Participants will also be able to gauge the benefits of using Wikipedia assignments as an assesment technique, including how to use the Wikimedia Foundation Course Outreach Dashboard to keep track of student progress.

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