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Wikipedia in Academic Studies: Corrupting or Improving the Quality of Teaching and Learning?

Wikipedia in Academic Studies: Corrupting or Improving the Quality of Teaching and Learning?
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Author(s): Klaus Wannemacher (Consultant for Research and Teaching Management, HIS GmbH, Germany) and Frank Schulenburg (Head of Public Outreach, Wikimedia Foundation, USA)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 17
Source title: Looking Toward the Future of Technology-Enhanced Education: Ubiquitous Learning and the Digital Native
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Martin Ebner (Graz University of Technology, Austria) and Mandy Schiefner (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-678-0.ch017

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Abstract

Although Wikipedia has carved its way into the common vernacular, it faces resentments, particularly in higher education institutions, and many professors say students should think twice before turning to the free online encyclopedia for their academic work. “According to the criterion of scholarly standards, Wikipedia is citable on no account since authorship is not verifiable, and therefore an authentication of information is impossible.” (Haber, 2007, p. 500). In spite of perceived quality deficits, Wikipedia is a popular information resource among students. Instructors increasingly take advantage of this student attitude through actively integrating Wikipedia as a learning tool into university courses in accordance with a constructivist teaching and learning paradigm. The chapter raises the question if Wikipedia is suited to make complex research, editing and bibliographic processes through which scholarship is produced transparent to students, and effectively improve their research and writing skills.

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