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The Future of Wikipedia 
in Education 
Jake Orlowitz 
User:Ocaasi 
jorlowitz@gmail.com 
@JakeOrlowitz 
Wikimedia Foundation Grantee 
Wiki Project Med Foundation 
Wikipedia Administrator 
All content under a CC-BY-SA 3.0 license
An early study in the journal Nature said that in 2005, 
Wikipedia scientific articles came close to the level of 
accuracy in Encyclopædia Britannica and had a similar 
rate of "serious errors".[2] 
Between 2008 and 2012, articles in medical and scientific 
fields such as pathology,[5] toxicology,[6] oncology,[7] 
pharmaceuticals,[8] and psychiatry[9] comparing Wikipedia 
to professional and peer-reviewed sources found that 
Wikipedia's depth and coverage were of a high 
standard. 
--Reliability of Wikipedia, Wikipedia
Ubiquitous usage 
● 50% to 90% of physicians 
● 35 to 70% of pharmacists 
● 94% of medical students use Wikipedia
Wikipedia’s scale 
30m articles, 4m English 
16 million images 
8000 views per second 
500 million unique visitors per month 
3.7 billion monthly mobile pageviews 
2.1 billion edits, 700 million English
Wikipedia’s mission 
Imagine a world in which every person on 
the planet shares in the sum of all human 
knowledge. That is what we’re doing. 
(for free, in the language of their choice)
Wikipedia’s volunteers 
20 million registered users 
120,000 active editors 
1,400 administrators 
… working for free, with no central control
Wikimedia’s scope 
286 languages 
18 projects 
images, data, dictionary, travel guide, 
species, quotes, books, source material, wiki 
software...
Wikimedia Foundation 
San Francisco 
150 employees 
Donor funded 
Nonprofit 
No ads!
Wikipedia’s pillars 
Neutral point of view 
Verifiability 
Consensus 
Civility 
Open copyright
Wikipedia’s reliability 
As accurate as Britannica 
Errors fixed quickly over time 
“Many eyeballs make all bugs shallow” 
Virtual filter 
Teaches information literacy
Multiple safeguards 
1. Edit Filter automatically rejects known vandalism patterns 
2. ClueBot reverts and flags suspicious edits with a machine-learning bot 
3. Humans review malicious changes tagged with language recognition tools 
4. Vandalism patterns are checked against metadata and historical trends 
5. Recent changes patrollers scroll through new edits 
6. Editors alerted to each change on all pages in their article watchlist 
7. Specialists and experts report and fix mistakes when they see them 
8. Millions of readers identify and correct errors when they come upon them 
9. Link blacklists lock out known spam sites and unreliable sources 
10. Detection mechanisms to determine conflict of interest 
11. Administrators to block disruptive editors and protect pages
Featured, Good articles 
Semi-formal peer review 
Total: 4,000 FAs and 10,000 GAs 
Frequently written by experts 
Primarily by one or by a few people 
[20]
Pedagogical Benefit 
● Engaged students, global audience, realworld purpose 
● Unique assignment, peer feedback, cool and different 
● Media literacy, identify bias, evaluate credibility 
● Constructing knowledge, content gaps 
● Discourse, collaboration, community of practice 
● Expository writing, literature review, citation 
● Critical thinking, process reflection 
● Plagiarism, close paraphrasing, copyright 
● Digital citizenship, online etiquette, wiki code
Plagiarism
Education Program 
Started with 2010 Public Policy Initiative 
20,000 printed pages 
6,000 Wikipedia articles 
Mission Alignment: 
Increasing participation 
Increasing quality
Questions? 
jorlowitz@gmail.com 
education@wikimedia.org

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The Future of Wikipedia in Education

  • 1. The Future of Wikipedia in Education Jake Orlowitz User:Ocaasi jorlowitz@gmail.com @JakeOrlowitz Wikimedia Foundation Grantee Wiki Project Med Foundation Wikipedia Administrator All content under a CC-BY-SA 3.0 license
  • 2. An early study in the journal Nature said that in 2005, Wikipedia scientific articles came close to the level of accuracy in Encyclopædia Britannica and had a similar rate of "serious errors".[2] Between 2008 and 2012, articles in medical and scientific fields such as pathology,[5] toxicology,[6] oncology,[7] pharmaceuticals,[8] and psychiatry[9] comparing Wikipedia to professional and peer-reviewed sources found that Wikipedia's depth and coverage were of a high standard. --Reliability of Wikipedia, Wikipedia
  • 3. Ubiquitous usage ● 50% to 90% of physicians ● 35 to 70% of pharmacists ● 94% of medical students use Wikipedia
  • 4. Wikipedia’s scale 30m articles, 4m English 16 million images 8000 views per second 500 million unique visitors per month 3.7 billion monthly mobile pageviews 2.1 billion edits, 700 million English
  • 5. Wikipedia’s mission Imagine a world in which every person on the planet shares in the sum of all human knowledge. That is what we’re doing. (for free, in the language of their choice)
  • 6. Wikipedia’s volunteers 20 million registered users 120,000 active editors 1,400 administrators … working for free, with no central control
  • 7. Wikimedia’s scope 286 languages 18 projects images, data, dictionary, travel guide, species, quotes, books, source material, wiki software...
  • 8. Wikimedia Foundation San Francisco 150 employees Donor funded Nonprofit No ads!
  • 9. Wikipedia’s pillars Neutral point of view Verifiability Consensus Civility Open copyright
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 12. Wikipedia’s reliability As accurate as Britannica Errors fixed quickly over time “Many eyeballs make all bugs shallow” Virtual filter Teaches information literacy
  • 13. Multiple safeguards 1. Edit Filter automatically rejects known vandalism patterns 2. ClueBot reverts and flags suspicious edits with a machine-learning bot 3. Humans review malicious changes tagged with language recognition tools 4. Vandalism patterns are checked against metadata and historical trends 5. Recent changes patrollers scroll through new edits 6. Editors alerted to each change on all pages in their article watchlist 7. Specialists and experts report and fix mistakes when they see them 8. Millions of readers identify and correct errors when they come upon them 9. Link blacklists lock out known spam sites and unreliable sources 10. Detection mechanisms to determine conflict of interest 11. Administrators to block disruptive editors and protect pages
  • 14. Featured, Good articles Semi-formal peer review Total: 4,000 FAs and 10,000 GAs Frequently written by experts Primarily by one or by a few people [20]
  • 15. Pedagogical Benefit ● Engaged students, global audience, realworld purpose ● Unique assignment, peer feedback, cool and different ● Media literacy, identify bias, evaluate credibility ● Constructing knowledge, content gaps ● Discourse, collaboration, community of practice ● Expository writing, literature review, citation ● Critical thinking, process reflection ● Plagiarism, close paraphrasing, copyright ● Digital citizenship, online etiquette, wiki code
  • 17.
  • 18.
  • 19.
  • 20. Education Program Started with 2010 Public Policy Initiative 20,000 printed pages 6,000 Wikipedia articles Mission Alignment: Increasing participation Increasing quality
  • 21.
  • 22.
  • 23.
  • 24.
  • 25.
  • 26.
  • 27.