Course Spotlight: Student Experience with Bio 472 Behavioral Ecology

I took Dr. Strassmann’s Behavioral Ecology class last semester, during the fall. Among other assignments and activities, the class is structured on writing Wikipedia articles for a selected category of animals. We work to select, research, and write about species that have incomplete or nonexistent Wiki entries. This year, we worked on Diptera (aka flies).

Growing up, I always saw Wikipedia as a site that had articles on virtually any topic I could ever want. However, I was unaware of how big the academic community in Wikipedia was -- the site consists of millions of researchers, editors, reviewers, and students. I was also unaware that Wikipedia articles can be tiered and ranked by different editorial standard levels.

I was informed that my article that I spent the class researching and writing on, Drosophila subobscura, was recently promoted to Good Article status, a standard in which only 0.5% of all articles on Wikipedia reach: The process consisted of me having my article nominated for Good Article status, in which a designated reviewer shares feedback and suggestions to improve my article. Even after the class was finished, I kept following up with my reviewer, and I was able to get my article up to Good Article status. It’s very exciting to see that the work I put in for the class will contribute to the academic community for years to come. —Andrew Oh, Biology Major, Class of 2020