Submissions:2014/Wikipedia in the Era of the MOOC

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Title of the submission

Wikipedia in the Era of the MOOC

Themes (Proposal Themes - Community, Tech, Outreach, GLAM, Education)


Type of submission (Presentation Types - Panel, Workshop, Presentation, etc)


Author of the submission
  • Jon Beasley-Murray
  • Frank Schulenburg
  • George Haines
E-mail address
  • Jbmurray
  • Frank Schulenburg (WEF)
  • oline73
US state or country of origin
  • British Columbia
  • California
  • New York
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
  • University of British Columbia
  • Wiki Education Foundation
  • Hofstra University
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

This panel will be a discussion of changes in contemporary higher education (which, for shorthand, we are calling the “Era of the MOOC”) and Wikipedia’s role, actual or potential, positive or negative. It aims to introduce Wikipedians to some of the “big picture” of these changes, and their implications. This session will also be an opportunity to bring together Wikipedians, academics, instructional designers and educational technologists. Invited panelists include Frank Schulenburg (Wiki Education Foundation), Jon Beasley-Murray (University of British Columbia), Jim Groom (University of Mary Washington), and George Haines (Hofstra University).

Higher Education, and particularly higher education budgets, are under increasing stress as the public demands efficiency and value for money in the face of what often seem to be spiralling costs and a consequent debt burden on young graduates. At the same time, commercial, for-profit enterprises, from the University of Phoenix to providers of so-called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), are challenging our ideas of what is involved in the college experience. Universities are trying to respond, often with the hope that there is some kind of technological panacea out there, most likely online. While there is nothing wrong with efficiency or value for money per se, many people within higher education worry about the impact of these changes in the long (and even short) term. And while academia has traditionally viewed Wikipedia with some suspicion and vice versa (for a variety of reasons, some good, some bad), fundamentally this is an area in which Wikipedia and academia share many of the same values. Wikipedians and academics both tend to believe in the goal of a universal education that goes beyond any financial considerations. Both aspire to a fundamentally democratic ethos. And both are now hard-pressed by for-profit interests, if in somewhat different ways.

This session aims to initiate a conversation between Wikipedians and academics, mediated by educational technologists, about the role of technology in education, its pitfalls and its potential, the politics of the so-called “free knowledge movement,” and the possibilities for (further and more meaningful) collaboration in the future.

Length of presentation/talk (see Presentation Types for lengths of different presentation types)
75 Minutes
Will you attend WikiConference USA if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)
Special request as to time of presentations

Interested attendees

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  1. GastelEtzwane (talk) 15:44, 7 April 2014 (EDT)
  2. Dgorsline (talk) 19:59, 19 April 2014 (EDT)
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