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CSCW 2012 Note - Wikipedia Public Policy Initiative


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One of the biggest challenges faced by social media sites like Wikipedia is how to motivate users to contribute content. Research continues to demonstrate that only a small percentage of users contribute to user-generated content sites. In this study we assess the results of a Wikimedia Foundation initiative, which had graduate and undergraduate students from 22 U.S. universities contribute content to Wikipedia articles as part of their coursework. 185 students were asked about their participation in the initiative and their intention to participate on Wikipedia in the future. Results suggest that intentions to continue contributing are influenced by the initial attitude towards the class, and the degree to which students perceived they were writing for a global audience.

Published in: Education, News & Politics
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CSCW 2012 Note - Wikipedia Public Policy Initiative

  1. 1. Classroom Wikipedia Participation Effects on Future Intentions to ContributeCliff Lampe, Jonathan Obar, Elif Ozkaya, Paul Zube, Alcides Velasquez
  2. 2. The Problem Wikipedia growth is slowing/declining.Wikipedia participation is unequal.
  3. 3. Stolen from Suh, Convertino, Chi and Pirolli 2009 Wikisym paper
  4. 4. Theories for declineThe “easy” topics are coveredOther cool sites have appeared, interfaceWikipedians bite newbiesLack of editor diversity
  5. 5. Possible solutionsDirect people’s attentionCreate new interfaces for editingIntroduce new audiences
  6. 6.
  7. 7. 12 classes in 9 U.S. Universities ~ 600 students, mostly grad
  8. 8. How does WPPI participation affectstudent perceptions of participating on Facebook?
  9. 9. 185 survey respondentsMixed closed and open Qs
  10. 10. ResultsDV = likelihood to participate in the futureAge increased likelihood; ESL decreased; nogender effectImpression of assignment and class matteredSocial media use and global awarenessmattered
  11. 11. Results72% would NOT have preferred trad. assign.Global awareness strongly mattered forpeople who preferred this assignmentSome discomfort with the idea of future edits25/615 edited Wikipedia after the classhad ended
  12. 12. ConclusionsAssignment effects on future useClass size, level may matterNeed to account for student demosWPPI and similar moving forward
  13. 13. Cliff Lampe University of MichiganJonathan Obar Michigan State UniversityElif Ozkaya Michigan State UniversityPaul Zube Michigan State UniversityAlcides Velasquez Michigan State UniversityNSF – 0812429Slideshare: clifflampe