Working with Wikipedia

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 1.10.12 PM.pngA recent Turnitin webcast provoked educators and students when they questioned the use of Wikipedia in education. The webcast titled, “The Future of Wikipedia in Education,” statistically broke down how Wikipedia was referenced in courses and gave insight into how educators can positively use the site.
Wikipedia is an open source encyclopedia, it contains 30 million articles in 287 languages and in the academic world it is commonly rejected. At the beginning of a new course it is typical for an instructor to go through the syllabus and outline class expectations, grading, and any big semester projects. Plagiarism is always a topic of discussion and many instructors negatively reference Wikipedia and encourage students to use scholarly sources in their work.
As students, we have limitless access to scholarly work through our library system and we are taught by experts everyday; so why when we search for answers do we look to Wikipedia? Students use Wikipedia as references and for quick summaries on topics they are interested in or need to understand better.
It is important to understand and utilize scholarly work but embracing Wikipedia can be useful in the classroom too. Wikipedia could be a great tool for class collaborations, projects, and discussions. Check out the webcast mentioned above and try working with Wikipedia before you dismiss it.
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Image courtesy of Turnitin

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