Submissions:2016/College Students and Perceptions of Authority in Wikipedia

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Type of submission
Lily Todorinova
E-mail address
Rutgers University
This study considered the implications of using a basic rubric for source evaluation in Wikipedia and its effect on perceptions of the authority and quality of the online encyclopedia. Around sixty students in a large public university in the United States were given a brief survey, which asked them to talk about their considerations for choosing a source for their research papers and whether or not Wikipedia was an acceptable choice. Students were asked to examine an existing article on Internet Privacy in the context of a hypothetical research assignment. Half of the group was provided a source evaluation rubric, which describes basic information literacy source criteria. The students who had the rubric had a higher perception of the authority of Wikipedia than the students who had no guide for evaluating the source. This indicates that while students continue to be warned by their faculty against using Wikipedia for their research papers, they actually find it helpful and appropriate for certain academic purposes. Moreover, students who use a rubric in Wikipedia to evaluate sources seem better able to articulate why a source is useful (or not). This presentation will discuss the results of the study, as well as wider considerations for navigating the use of Wikipedia in the college classroom.

Length of presentation
30 min.
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  1. 02:32, 24 August 2016 (EDT)
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