The new enjoyable educational game is the result of a cooperation between HIT’s Faculty of Instructional Technologies and Wikimedia Israel
The Conception of the Idea
The Faculty of Instructional Technologies at Holon Institute of Technology (HIT) asked Wikimedia Israel to come up with proposals for its students’ graduation project, with the aim of developing an educational tool that would resolve a real educational challenge.
Various institutes and organizations are invited every year to submit proposals of this kind, from which the students choose one as the focus of their final project, during their last year before graduation.
The aim of their work is to develop an educational tool that can meet the challenge presented, within eleven months and under the guidance of HIT’s professional team and an instructor from the organization that made the proposal.
Wikimedia Israel presented several challenges which it hoped to overcome with new digital tools. The students who took up the task were Emil Tayeb and Rotem Carmi, under the guidance of Dr. Hagit Meshar-Tal and Noga Reznik.
Wikimedia Israel suggested that the experience of reading the articles on Wikipedia and navigating through them be more lively and interactive, especially for younger users. The students were asked to find an alternative to the traditional browsing, which would resemble an enjoyable game rather than passive reading, and also turn the users’ attention to the high-quality content available on Wikipedia.
Gitit led the project and guided the students on behalf of Wikimedia Israel. She held a series of long sessions with them for brainstorming, developing the concept and planning the features and characteristics of the required tool. After months of hard work, WikiSwitch came to be.
What is WikiSwitch?
WikiSwitch is a tool that generates Wikipedia-based games. Its target audience is mainly teachers, though it can serve other audiences as well. Its purpose is to induce learning of a topic covered by Wikipedia by creating a game from the text of the relevant article. The initiator of the game marks sentences in the article to be converted into false statements, and decides which sentences should remain true. When each of these sentences appears on the screen, the players state whether it is true or false. This game can be a fun experience for youths, and also for adults.
The students presented the game before the local Wikipedian community on the 18th anniversary of the Hebrew Wikipedia. The participants had the honor and pleasure of playing it for the first time.