Original Publication
Open Access

Group Learning With Wikipedia: A Structured Approach

Published: March 14, 2016 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10362

All appendices are peer reviewed as integral parts of the Original Publication.

  • Article Section Rubric.doc
  • Group Bullet List Rubric.doc
  • Group Charter Example.doc
  • Group Learning Student Handout.doc
  • Individual Bullet List Rubric.doc
  • Instructor's Guide.doc

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: Previous studies have shown that group learning may help students retain a greater amount of information than tradition teacher-student model. For online courses that lack direct interpersonal contact, incorporating group learning into online learning can be more challenging than the traditional in-person courses. This resource consists of a structured multiple mini-team assignments. The idea of incorporating Wikipedia into the assignment was premised on the principle that students are more apt to gain a greater depth of knowledge when motivated by teaching others. Methods: This activity is designed to be completed over a sequence of 8 weeks. The activity has historically complemented an online course; therefore, students complete components of the assignment in an unstructured time. Each component of the activity is designed to be completed in 3-5 hours. Students are required to have some baseline knowledge of the subject before beginning the project. Students also should be knowledgeable of proper sources of peer-reviewed information. Results: This activity has been implemented a total of seven times in an online, 8-week format for the past 4 years. During that time, students have developed full-text reviews on a variety of health economics topics. Seventy percent of the students have voluntarily submitted their assignments to Wikipedia to add to a public repository. Discussion: To our knowledge this is the first MedEdPORTAL resource that gives a structured approach to the development of a Wikipedia article. The peer review process is a unique feature of the workshop version of this activity, which has not been synthesized in practice.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this module, learners will be able to:

  1. Synthesize current literature on a specialized topic and communicate findings concisely with members of the non-specialist public.
  2. Collaborate with team members to design and author reference materials on an assigned topic.
  3. Analyze the steps in the authorship of an encyclopedia-type article and coordinate production with team members.
  4. Perform a literature review in an emergent or evolving area of study.
  5. Exemplify behaviors and attitudes of productive members in a knowledge-sharing community of practice.

Author Information

  • Robert Lieberthal, PhD: Thomas Jefferson University
  • Jacquelyn McRae, PharmD: Thomas Jefferson University
  • Juan Leon, PhD: Thomas Jefferson University

None to report.

None to report.


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Lieberthal R, McRae J, Leon J. Group learning with Wikipedia: a structured approach. MedEdPORTAL. 2016;12:10362. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10362