Submissions:2016/Wikipage Creation: An Exercise in Critical Thinking and Group Collaboration
From WikiConference North America
- WIKIPAGE CREATION: AN EXERCISE IN CRITICAL THINKING AND GROUP COLLABORATION
- Type of submission
- KAREN PAUL AND MORRIS HAMM
- E-mail address
- Karen Paul: Florida International University & Morris Hamm: John F. Kennedy University
- Universities are subject to accreditation by various bodies whose rubrics and emphases differ, but generally emphasize both critical thinking and group collaboration. These can be seen as inherently contradictory goals. Critical thinking is essentially individualistic, requiring the student to consider “received wisdom” (accepted knowledge in the field, assertions by experts, etc.) with less than total acceptance. However, group collaboration requires accepting the contributions of others, respecting varying perspectives, and getting along with diverse individuals, cooperation in a collective. Operationalizing and implementing exercises that recognize and accommodate these two contradictory aims can be a devilish task. The premise of this paper is that one way to deal with this challenge is to require students, in groups, to develop a wikipage.Students developing a wikipage have to blend their individualistic perspectives with the perspectives of others in the group. Thus, both critical thinking and group collaboration are essential elements of the exercise. The exercise can be used in either face-to-face or online classes.Examples are provided in which Business Ethics and Accounting students have been required to produce a wikipage. Sample topics and submissions by students groups are presented. Problems that have arisen are discussed. Students used to working in groups may tend to modularize their contributions. For example, one student takes the first paragraph, another takes the second, another does the media, another provides appropriate references, etc. Students need to be required to critically evaluate and comment on one another’s work, and to collaborate. If the work product is good, it can even be submitted as a real entry in Wikipedia. In addition to stimulating critical thinking and providing an appropriate opportunity for group collaboration, this exercise allows students to learn how wikipedia functions, the benefits of registering and contributing, and even how to write well.
- Length of presentation
- 15 minutes
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