Fashion and digital citizenship at Bath Spa University

Bath Spa University. Photo by User:Rwendland, licensed CC-BY-SA 4.0.

Bath Spa University in the UK had its first ever Wikipedia assignment, as part of a Digital Citizenship module for undergraduates studying Business Management Fashion. The results are mostly in user sandboxes, but some new articles have been created.

Bath Spa University, located in South West England, recently had its first, tentative, Wikipedia student assignment. The Business fashion degree has a focus on sustainable fashion, hence students had been studying the Rana Plaza collapse and its aftermath. This disaster highlighted the role of sweatshop labour in fashion supply chains and led to activism  including the #WhoMadeMyClothes hashtag. This gave a range of Wikipedia articles to which their work is relevant. The Women In Red project was also immensely useful for identifying prominent women in the fashion industry who did not have a Wikipedia article.

User:MartinPoulter gave two workshops on editing and interacting with Wikipedia. Because the Wikipedia element was introduced relatively late in the course, we decided to have the students post in user sandboxes rather than directly edit articles. Some groups collaborated on a single sandbox, and the article history was very useful in showing what each student had contributed.

As well as being marked for their individual essay submitted in the normal way, students were marked on whether they had done enough on-wiki work to make a substantial improvement to Wikipedia. It was still important that they experience feedback through the wiki platform, so in one activity they used Talk pages to write short reviews of each others’ drafts. The resulting work varies widely in quality but it has already enabled some significant improvement to English Wikipedia and at the same time it enabled students to do real collaborative writing. Martin is going through the students’ content, moving it into mainspace, in some cases combining work from multiple drafts. Some articles that have been created or improved:


On 26 February Wikimedia UK and the Disruptive Media Learning Lab are holding a one-day summit about the role of Wikimedia in education. This post was written by Martin Poulter and Caroline Kuhn; Martin will be taking part in the summit and teaching people about Wikidata. To learn more about Wikimedia UK’s activities, subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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