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The Future of Wikipedia in Education


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An overview of Wikipedia and it's role in higher education. Exploring the intersection of the world's largest reference work and academia

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The Future of Wikipedia in Education

  1. 1. The Future of Wikipedia in Education Jake Orlowitz User:Ocaasi @JakeOrlowitz Wikimedia Foundation Grantee Wiki Project Med Foundation Wikipedia Administrator All content under a CC-BY-SA 3.0 license
  2. 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. 3. Ubiquitous usage ● 50% to 90% of physicians ● 35 to 70% of pharmacists ● 94% of medical students use Wikipedia
  4. 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. 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. 6. Wikipedia’s volunteers 20 million registered users 120,000 active editors 1,400 administrators … working for free, with no central control
  7. 7. Wikimedia’s scope 286 languages 18 projects images, data, dictionary, travel guide, species, quotes, books, source material, wiki software...
  8. 8. Wikimedia Foundation San Francisco 150 employees Donor funded Nonprofit No ads!
  9. 9. Wikipedia’s pillars Neutral point of view Verifiability Consensus Civility Open copyright
  10. 10. Wikipedia’s reliability As accurate as Britannica Errors fixed quickly over time “Many eyeballs make all bugs shallow” Virtual filter Teaches information literacy
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. 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]
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. Plagiarism
  15. 15. Education Program Started with 2010 Public Policy Initiative 20,000 printed pages 6,000 Wikipedia articles Mission Alignment: Increasing participation Increasing quality
  16. 16. Questions?