Wikipedia might be thought of as a field of action in history and and social studies education. The unique structure of Wikipedia supports learning history on many levels. At the top level, Wikipedia articles are a tertiary source, communicating information about events and people (many in of these in the past) in an encyclopedic form. Underneath this top level are two other levels that help us to uncover issues of authorship and change in the story over time. Both of these ideas, authorship and change over time, are critical elements in disciplinary history. Wikipedia is an interesting space to explore the manner in which information comes to be and unpack the process behind this information. Central to the positioning of Wikipedia as a critical resource, are the history and discussion features in Wikipedia, as well as the identification of authorship identify (or lack thereof). The democratic nature of Wikipedia authorship is another critical issue for social studies and history educators.
Here, we are conducting analyses of Wikipedia articles featured list for WP history articles. The list is available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Featured_articles#History
This analysis is focused on the following questions.
1. Account for the postings (number of revisions, time range from first to last, notation of periods of activity)
2. Describe progress or development in the article from the original post to the most recent update (use Jones' descriptions of B-17 and special effect articles as a guide)
3. Critique the quality of the article in its current state (use Rosenzweig's approach, writing quality and factual information)
4. Describe the discussion around the article
5. Background information on the most active contributors (use Boston Massacre work as an example)