Wikipedia Collaboration

Wikipedia Assignment

Kris Firth

EDST 403

Isabeau Iqbal

I edited a page on woodworking, and added content on modern day woodwork. Before editing the page, I found that there was noting on modern advances in technology and their effects on the field of woodworking. Editing was fairly easy; I did not receive any feedback, however, on my post. Since it was so easy to edit, without receiving any feedback, I feel it could bring to question the credibility of Wikipedia as a source. I feel that I did not receive comments in part because the article I edited was not often visited. I also did not put incorrect information to the best of my knowledge, so I would imagine that if what I put were wrong, it would be corrected.

In the field of Technology Education I would imagine that students would not use Wikipedia often. It can be useful at times to search online for tips and instructions on doing certain procedures, however, Wikipedia doesn’t often offer these types of things. In the study done by Shen et al., looking at students’ determination of the usefulness of information in Wikipedia articles, they looked through the lens of the information adoption model, in which “information adoption is determined by information usefulness, which, in turn, is predicted by both argument quality and source credibility”. In the case of technology education, however, the usefulness of information is determined by whether or not it can actually practically help you. It doesn’t really matter the source of the information as much as whether it can help you to do.

It is often more useful to find a woodworking, or metalworking website, or even a youTube video for information like this. I would encourage students to search and seek out information online for how to do certain things. I would, however, ask that they double check with me when they find things online, as it is important to ensure certain standards of safety. You may find procedures or information online that don’t follow safe practices.

It’s unlikely that I would consider viewing, editing, and/or creating Wikipedia articles in my classroom. This is because Technology Education classes and curriculum don’t lend themselves too well to an activity like this. It can be useful for students to search up information online pertaining to their projects, design, or procedures. It is also important for students to develop the qualities and attitudes of a learner, that is, to seek out knowledge from various sources, and to critically question the validity of certain sources. Students, therefore, should feel encouraged to seek out knowledge online, but to assign a project of viewing, editing, and/or creating articles would not fit the nature of the courses.

What may be of value, instead of Wikipedia articles, would be for students to write up about the procedures they follow, and tips and tricks they may come across in their work. This would likely be done more on a websites like “Instructables” or “Life Hacker” or on the teacher’s blog. They could also make instructional videos to be used in the class, or (depending on sensitivity issues) to be posted online. Alternatively, although I already create procedure sheets for the projects I do, I could have students revise or rewrite procedure sheets to make them better.

Wikipedia articles, being more information based than instruction based, don’t lend themselves well to Technology Education. They may be valuable in, say, searching up information during the design process around certain designs. They may also be useful if I decided to assign a project looking into certain history or even modern technology.

Works Cited:

Shen, X., Cheun, C., Lee, M. (2013) What leads students to adopt information from Wikipedia? An empirical investigation into the role of trust and information usefulness. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(3), 502-517.

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