Wikipedia at university: what faculty think and do about it

Wikipedia at university: what faculty think and do about it Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to investigate university faculty perceptions and practices of using Wikipedia as a teaching resource. Design/methodology/approach– This study is based on a large survey to all faculty members in two large public universities. A total of 913 valid responses were collected through an online questionnaire with 9 control variables and 41 Likert-scaled questions. Findings– The results do not support an overwhelming sceptical attitude among faculty towards Wikipedia. The overall quality of Wikipedia articles is highly valued and most faculty are regular users, just as students are. Though most faculty show a positive view on the teaching usefulness of Wikipedia, few of them actually use it for teaching purposes. A certain conflict has been detected between standard academic procedures of knowledge building and the open collaborative model on which Wikipedia rests. In the end, two important factors play a role in shaping faculty views: their colleagues’ perceived opinions and practices, and academic disciplines. Research limitations/implications– The survey has only been conducted in two universities. More institutions are needed to broaden the scope. Originality/value– The authors have gathered a greater number of answers than those collected in previous studies. The questionnaire is also very extensive. The survey has been addressed to all faculty members at one online university and at one standard brick-and-mortar university. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Electronic Library Emerald Publishing

Wikipedia at university: what faculty think and do about it

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0264-0473
D.O.I.
10.1108/EL-12-2013-0217
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to investigate university faculty perceptions and practices of using Wikipedia as a teaching resource. Design/methodology/approach– This study is based on a large survey to all faculty members in two large public universities. A total of 913 valid responses were collected through an online questionnaire with 9 control variables and 41 Likert-scaled questions. Findings– The results do not support an overwhelming sceptical attitude among faculty towards Wikipedia. The overall quality of Wikipedia articles is highly valued and most faculty are regular users, just as students are. Though most faculty show a positive view on the teaching usefulness of Wikipedia, few of them actually use it for teaching purposes. A certain conflict has been detected between standard academic procedures of knowledge building and the open collaborative model on which Wikipedia rests. In the end, two important factors play a role in shaping faculty views: their colleagues’ perceived opinions and practices, and academic disciplines. Research limitations/implications– The survey has only been conducted in two universities. More institutions are needed to broaden the scope. Originality/value– The authors have gathered a greater number of answers than those collected in previous studies. The questionnaire is also very extensive. The survey has been addressed to all faculty members at one online university and at one standard brick-and-mortar university.

Journal

The Electronic LibraryEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 3, 2015

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