Friday, April 19, 2013

Wikis, Wikipedia, Wikibooks, and Collaborative Writing 3/24/2013

March 24, 2013


This week, I learned more about Wikipedia and how to use it in the classroom.
I do sometimes look up information on Wikipedia, but I have never collaborated on Wikipedia. Most educators don’t want their students to use Wikipedia as a source of information because it isn’t a credible source. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone and false information can remain on it for an extended period of time.
One of the articles I read this week is: How today’s college students use Wikipedia for course-related research by Alison J.Head and Michael B. Eisenberg, this article is about how and why students use Wikipedia to do research for school work. The Majority of students who were surveyed said they do use Wikipedia for background information, but not as much as they use other resources. Reasons that students use Wikipedia are: Wikipedia gives a summary on a topic, the meaning of related terms, gets students started on their research, and it is easy to use. Students who were majoring in architecture, engineering, or other sciences were more likely to use Wikipedia. Over half of the students surveyed used Wikipedia- even if a professor told them not to. Some students said that they could not start their research until they knew what they were writing about. I can relate to that because if I want to know what something means or where to start my research, I will sometimes start with Wikipedia. The article, Learning outcomes and students’ perceptions of online writing: Simultaneous implementation of a forum, blog, and wiki in an EFL blended learning setting by Terumi Miyazoe and Terry Anderson is about the effectiveness of forums, blogs, and wikis in a foreign teaching practice.  In Taiwan, Wu reported an 18-week blog course where students had to carry out a peer review. The results showed little progress n the students’ writing skills. Murray and Hourigan’s study used the blog in an academic writing class with students majoring in different languages. Students were to reflect on their language learning process on the blog. The students had a positive experience with the blog. These are just a few of the studies that have been done on blogs. Overall the studies claim that the three different writing tools have a positive effect on students’ language learning process.

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