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Instructors of Israeli history or literature, like professors in other areas, complain about students’ use of Wikipedia—and with good reason. Unlike peer-reviewed scholarship, many Wikipedia articles contain information that is both incomplete and wrong. Most instructors will warn their students that relying on Wikipedia is a sure recipe for failing assignments. Yet there is a way to mobilize this giant encyclopedia for pedagogical purposes. When students in Israel Studies classes are assigned to edit Wikipedia articles, they achieve multiple goals: they gain critical reading skills, shape public knowledge about Israel, and engage in active learning. This article explains how to run a Wikipedia-editing assignment, outlines its pedagogical benefits, and highlights challenges involved in editing articles on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Israel Studies Review, volume 33, issue 1, in 2018 following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at

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Association for Israel Studies



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