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EDID 6503 Instructional Design Theories, Models and Strategies

Assignment 2 Reflection Paper

Terry Hall ID#94033128 February 26, 2014

Our second assignment for the EDID 6503 course was to create a Wikipedia post for a theorist of our choice, in the field of instructional design, instructional technology and/or distance education. The theorist selected should not have an existing Wikipedia post. Some interesting facts surfaced while researching the theorist. I was now prepared for the next step which was to create the article for the Wikipedia page. I had underestimated the task that was ahead of me. How hard could that be? No sooner had I begun that I started to question the purpose relative to the course for having to do the Wikipedia creation. My eager anticipation quickly disappeared to be replaced by feelings of frustration and annoyance. Presenting the information gathered in a report form would have served the purpose of learning more about the field of study. The Wikipedia creation was an awesome task. It was not as straightforward as putting the information in a Microsoft Word file and importing said file into the wiki work space. The Wikipedia had detailed instructions applicable only to the Wikipedia page creation. There were symbols used to identify and separate headings and sub headings into levels 1, 2 and 3; symbols to italicise letters. Data entry was abated as I had to take some time to learn how to create a Wikipedia page. There were many rules of what can and cannot be done; how to do citings and link references; plagiarism to consider. Cognizant of the fact that time was going I set about doing the task assigned. As advised by wiki, I created an account, a user page and a sub-page on which to prepare my draft article. This sub-page would allow me to edit and make changes for as long as possible until I was satisfied with the final document. At that point, the final article would be ‘moved’ into the Wikipedia main space. I cautiously entered a few lines, previewed my entry and saved. Excitement started to build once again after seeing the previewed entries. To be actually doing this and wondering if the theorist I selected would be satisfied with the end product. I observed

similarities in structure for writing essays. The Introduction with the Wikipedia lead space; the points covered in the body of the essay with the headings and subheadings of the Wikipedia article and most importantly the references in both. On ascertaining that the input of the references may take a while, I decided to do that activity at the end. This was also because I was eager to preview the article as near to completion stage as possible. It gave me something to smile about. However, that smile began to fade on hearing the problems some of my peers were experiencing. Articles were being deleted by Wikipedia from the Wikipedia space. In some cases repeatedly and in some, after two days of completion of the final product. There were problems with importing pictures. New theorists were selected. Starting over became an option. Existing pages were restructured. All being done in an attempt to complete the assignment. Panic started to creep in. What is going to happen to all this work done so far? Soon after I too began to have my share of difficulties with the Wikipedia post creation: mainly with the entering of the reference links. After a while I was not able to preview or save the article. The deadline day for submission of the article has arrived. Fear of being accused of plagiarism resurfaced. I leave this assignment with mixed feelings. I began eagerly and ended with a feeling of helplessness. Despite this, I have learnt about a theorist in the field of distance education and I have learnt the steps in creating an article for the Wikipedia Encyclopaedia. For a short while I may still be able to see my draft article when I do a search on the theorist I selected with a sense of pride; that is until Wikipedia decides to remove it. I have developed a level of interest in the field of distance education as a result of this exercise and have also developed a newly found respect for the Wikipedia encyclopaedia.