Dr Martin Poulter, Wikipedia and higher education

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Talk delivered as part of the Research in Learning Innovation Seminar series, University of Leicester, 18 June 2012

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Dr Martin Poulter, Wikipedia and higher education

  1. 1. Wikimedia and Education Dr Martin Poulter
  2. 2. Our options?• Ignore Beat them• Recognise• Learn from• Co-operate• Partner Join them
  3. 3. Sausages and Scholarshiphttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bratwurst-1.jpg CC-BY-SA
  4. 4. Writing an online encyclopaedia• What skills do people need to write, edit and illustrate an online encyclopaedia for the world?
  5. 5. Writing an online encyclopaedia• Thinking, planning, reasoning• IT Skills: word processing• Critical thinking• Information skills: interpreting, assessing• Information skills: digesting, reporting• Creative/ original thinking• Writing accessibly• Attention to detail: reviewing and improving• Research skills• Working in a global environment: collaborating with people from different cultures, time zones, languages
  6. 6. Working in the 21st Centuryhttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Armand_Kohl22a.jpg (PD)
  7. 7. Working in the 21st Century• Thinking, planning, reasoning• IT Skills: word processing• Critical thinking• Information skills: interpreting, assessing• Information skills: digesting, reporting• Creative/ original thinking• Writing accessibly• Attention to detail: reviewing and improving• Research skills• Working in a global environment: collaborating with people from different cultures, time zones, languages
  8. 8. What is Wikimedia?“Imagine a world in whichevery single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.Thats our commitment.”
  9. 9. Wikimedia projects
  10. 10. “Bronchial anatomy” by Patrick J. Lynch via Wikimedia Commons. CC-BY
  11. 11. The Garter King Before St George in the Garter Book 1435. Public Domain, viaWikimedia Commons
  12. 12. The Free Encyclopedia anyone can edit
  13. 13. Supported by donations
  14. 14. The Wikimedia projects• Multilingual (in more than 280 languages)• Free (as in free speech)• Created by volunteer labour• Run by the Wikimedia Foundation, a US charity• Supported in the UK by Wikimedia UK, a charity• No ads, no commercial influences, no government targets
  15. 15. Some statistics• > 1,000,000,000 edits so far• Nearly 500 million visitors per month – Aiming for 1 billion per month by 2015• Around 90,000 active registered editors• 12 million files (images, audio, video)
  16. 16. Wikipedia• >22,000,000 total articles – 3,973,696 articles in English • 3,567 are Featured Articles • 5 million hits per day on English Wikipedia main page• More than 280 Wikipedias Image by user He!ko on Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA
  17. 17. Policies and guidelines
  18. 18. Core policies• Verifiability [[WP:V]] – “Other people have to be able to check that you didnt just make things up. This means that all quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation.”• No original research [[WP:NOR]] – “All material in Wikipedia must be attributable to a reliable, published source. Articles may not contain any new analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position not clearly advanced by the sources.”
  19. 19. Open review processes
  20. 20. Openness and transparency• Page history is open• Discussion is open• Open processes for policies & guidelines• Open source software• Open, transparent organisation
  21. 21. The Free Encyclopedia anyone can edit
  22. 22. Freely available tertiary literature,accessibly and neutrally summarised fromreliable secondary and primary sources, inan ongoing process of good faithcollaboration involving both experts andnon-experts
  23. 23. Robbins report into HE, 1963• “[T]here are many persons of first class ability, particularly in the humanities, who have never engaged in research in the narrow sense or felt any urge to publish, but whose breadth of culture, ripeness of judgment and wide- ranging intellectual curiosity are priceless assets in a department or a college.”
  24. 24. Wikipedia Educational Assignmentshttp://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Education
  25. 25. Campus Ambassadorshttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dc-2011-campus-ambassador-training.jpg CC-BY
  26. 26. Article quality
  27. 27. Potential advantages• Feedback from the community• Motivation• Public exposure• Encouragement to write neutrally & accessibly• Use the community’s free resources: handouts, video, mentorship etc.
  28. 28. ChallengesWikipedia assignments are rewarding, but are inseveral respects more challenging thantraditional assignments.• Demanding of students• Planning ahead• Pacing• Grading
  29. 29. Meanwhile, i n HE2699 words
  30. 30. Thanksmartin.poulter@wikimedia.org.uk@mlpoulterhttp://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Education/See you at EduWiki Conference 2012, LeicesterWed 5th-Thurs 6th SeptemberBit.ly/eduwiki

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