Q&A Wiki Project

The Q&A Wiki Project is a collaborative activity in my courses for the creation and modification of contents. Changes or contributions to the project page or document are tracked; versions can be compared. Students can edit or improve on each other's work. It's an exercise in doing philosophy, as opposed to just talking or reading about it in a haphazard fashion.

1. Project Tips

  • Pick a topic that can be well developed in less than 4,000 words. Here are some notes that might be of help in picking the appropriate topic in relation to your course.
  • ALWAYS be guided by the course references (see References folder on your UVLe course page) in your choice of topic.
  • State your topic in a form of a main question
  • Formulate about 10 related sub-questions that seek to clarify, expand, tease out the main question.
  • Pay more attention to issues relating to conceptual clarity, relationships among concepts, assumptions made, alternative conceptions (and how such alternatives might be important).
  • Seek greater clarity in issues, better qualifications, better explanations or justifications
  • Maintain proportionality. More words only for more important points. Avoid the temptation of stuffing your wiki with useless "facts." Hyperlinks may be used to point to additional information. 
  • Demonstrate skill in scholarship by connecting your discussion to established literature. Opinions can be cheap. It's scholarship that distinguishes your work from mere opinion. Here's a good start in citation styles. Better still, manage your references using Zotero
  • It's a Q&A. Break long answers with sub-questions as subheadings. Where appropriate, try to make your wiki conversational (citations notwithstanding!).
  • It's a project. Manage it like one.

2. Grading
Grading a Q&A Wiki Project is based on the quality of questions and answers and how well your concerns are raised in other related wiki projects.

Questions (45%)
In Philosophy, questions are (at least) as important as answers. Right questions are expected to be asked. Also encouraged are alternative questions; the important difference such questions make is to be shown.  

  • questions are clearly stated and qualified
  • questions include all important issues
  • questions show relationship to one another
  • the wiki raises questions that might be answered differenly and how the differences matter
  • the wiki summarizes unanswered or less explored questions under Further Questions/Further Readings section

Answers (45%)

  • clear, direct
  • clarify concepts and terms used
  • accommodate issues and concerns from class discussions
  • provide good explanation or justification. A good explanation gives sufficient account of a fact or event using a set of statements from which such fact or event can be clearly inferred. A bad explanation could be indicated here. A good justification of belief, choice, or action provides necessary (if not necessary AND sufficient) bases or reasons for holding such belief or for making such choice or action. Anticipate alternative or counter-explanation or justification.
  • incorporate materials from the Course References
  • add fresh scholarly materials. Where appropriate, upload relevant materials to your wiki project.
  • properly use citations

Conversation (10%)

  • questions, answers, and concerns from a wiki are made relevant or raised in another wiki project or discussion. Use the Comments tab for this purpose.  

3. Project Consultation and Theme Group Meetings

In addition to face-to-face project consultation, online consultation for wiki projects is also available. Ask your teacher for your consultation schedule via Google Hangout or Mconf

Wiki Project proponents under a theme, section, or major topic are encouraged to consult each other as well to avoid duplications and to discuss overlaps.