About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4269-4275
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain

WIKIPEDIA IN HIGHER EDUCATION: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY ON FACULTY PERCEPTIONS AND PRACTICES

E. Aibar, M. Lerga, J. Lladós, A. Meseguer, J. Minguillon

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (SPAIN)
Despite the initial skeptical attitude of university faculty towards Wikipedia as a source of reliable information – mainly because of its unclear authorship – an increasing number of teaching experiences using Wikipedia have begun to appear at different universities around the world. These experiences show, in most cases, very satisfactory results and a substantial improvement in various basic skills, as well as a positive influence on the students' motivation.

We are undertaking a research project in order to systematically analyze, using a comprehensive empirical study, the perception and attitudes of university faculty from different scholarly areas towards Wikipedia. The study aims to investigate relationships between these perceptions and several faculty characteristics to establish the extent to which the skeptical attitudes are related to disciplinary or generational factors on the one hand, or to an implicit conflict between the standard scientific or academic epistemological stands and the specific peer-to-peer culture of Wikipedia (as a paradigmatic example of content production in a collaborative open network), on the other.

Different studies have explored and documented how a vast majority of university students use Wikipedia very frequently and for different tasks. However, studies on faculty members are scarce and often based on a very limited empirical scope. We have launched an online survey to all faculty members of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. From a universe of 2,128 individuals we have got 800 valid responses. For a confidence level of 95%, and the assumption of maximum uncertainty (p = q = 0.5), the margin of error is 2.74%.
The questionnaire was designed to measure different constructs: perceived quality of Wikipedia, teaching practices involving Wikipedia, use experience, perceived usefulness, use of 2.0 tools, and other. Control items were also included for gathering information on gender, age, teaching experience, academic rank, area of expertise, etc.

This work presents and discusses the main preliminary results obtained by the survey. Though most faculty have got a positive view on the teaching usefulness of Wikipedia, few of them engage in actual teaching uses. Passive use is much more frequent than active and contributory practices are scarce. Nevertheless the proportion of registered users is big and the quality of Wikipedia contents is mostly positively judged. Our analysis also deals with other institutional, professional and individual factors affecting attitudes and practices on Wikipedia.
@InProceedings{AIBAR2013WIK,
author = {Aibar, E. and Lerga, M. and Llad{\'{o}}s, J. and Meseguer, A. and Minguillon, J.},
title = {WIKIPEDIA IN HIGHER EDUCATION: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY ON FACULTY PERCEPTIONS AND PRACTICES},
series = {5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN13 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3822-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {1-3 July, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {4269-4275}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Aibar AU - M. Lerga AU - J. Lladós AU - A. Meseguer AU - J. Minguillon
TI - WIKIPEDIA IN HIGHER EDUCATION: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY ON FACULTY PERCEPTIONS AND PRACTICES
SN - 978-84-616-3822-2/2340-1117
PY - 2013
Y1 - 1-3 July, 2013
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN13 Proceedings
SP - 4269
EP - 4275
ER -
E. Aibar, M. Lerga, J. Lladós, A. Meseguer, J. Minguillon (2013) WIKIPEDIA IN HIGHER EDUCATION: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY ON FACULTY PERCEPTIONS AND PRACTICES, EDULEARN13 Proceedings, pp. 4269-4275.
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