Submissions:2018/Wikipedia for College Information Literacy and Science Identity

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2018.

Wikipedia for College Information Literacies and Academic Identities

File:Wikipedia for College Information Literacies and Academic Identities.pdf

Theme (optional)
Education and Research
Academic Peer Review option
Type of submission
Zachary J McDowell
E-mail address
Wikimedia username
Affiliation(s) (optional)
University of Illinois at Chicago
Wikipedia is a decentralized commons-based peer production community that both participates in the “don’t trust, do research” mantra of the potentially-problematic “information literacy” that we have fed numerous students, but also follows a set of rules that relies on, understands, and engages with more traditional epistemological foundations. Recent research (Vetter and McDowell 2018) illustrates that students who engage with Wikipedia are learning and experiencing information literacy in much more effective ways and are able to participate in this decentered epistemological system in a way that transfers a more critical type of information literacy that is necessary.

Recent research (McDowell, 2016) suggests that utilizing Wikipedia-based assignments in lieu of traditional assignments helps to shift perceptions of knowledge production, teaches better disciplinary literacy skills, and motivates students with a “public” project. In general, a well structured Wikipedia-based assignment forces students into reflection on disciplinary knowledge generation processes, teaches disciplinary literacy, and motivates them to “be part of something bigger,” with implications for the development of stronger affinity for, and identity with disciplinary fields such as the STEM professions.

This presentation explores this connection between the Wikipedia commons-based peer production of information, critical information literacies, and students ability to identify with a larger academic identity, particularly in the STEM professions. This presentation explores the relationship between the participation in a knowledge community and how experiential learning and engagement with current systems of knowledge production may help to shape literacies and identities in a changing digital world.

Length of presentation
15-30 min.
Special requests
Preferred room size
Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?
Yes, I have presented on variations on this topic at Wikicon USA in DC, NCA in Dallas, ICA in Prague, CCCC in Kansas City, and over a dozen other locations in the USA and Europe.
If you will be incorporating a slidedeck during your presentation, do you agree to upload it to Commons before your session, with a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license, including suitable attribution in the slidedeck for any images used?
Will you attend WikiConference North America if your submission is not accepted?

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  1. Gamaliel (talk) 22:18, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
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