1 Universidade Aberta - Open University Portugal (PORTUGAL)
2 LE@D, Universidade Aberta - Open University (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN20 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 8602-8608
ISBN: 978-84-09-17979-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2020.2115
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Wikipedia as an object of study and as a pedagogical strategy has become increasingly present in the various levels of education in the world. Portugal is no exception, and the path started by the Universidade Aberta (Open University Portugal), through its research unit, UID4372, Laboratory of Distance Education and Elearning (LE@D), has been promoting studies on the curricular integration of Wikipedia in different contexts. In this field of action, the International Academic Network WEIWER® was launched, facilitating, in October 2018, its first Open Sessions. This network aims to study the Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, and to foster synergies between education and research.

This text presents part of a larger study, with the following research question: did the Open Sessions of the International Academic Network WEIWER® contribute to promote collaborations between educators and researchers? What is the viability of the creation of an academic network in the scope of Wikipedia, Wikis, Education & Research? In other words, the aim of this text is to identify what potential can these Open Sessions have for creating synergies between different educational actors (namely, teachers and students) and researchers.

The theoretical references are framed by Open Education and Wikipedia. Methodologically, we adopted a case study, following a mixed approach, considering the participants in the 2018 and 2019 WEIWER® Open Sessions. In order to collect data, observation and a survey were considered, by using focused observation grids and the assessment questionnaire of the event. Descriptive statistics and content analysis were used for the treatment of the data.

The presentation and discussion of the data show the evidence gathered through those instruments, in addition to the context that supported the creation of the International Academic Network WEIWER® and its Open Sessions. The results show a great adhesion to the project, due to the interest it aroused in several professors of Brazilian and Portuguese higher education institutions, as some acknowledged it as an excellent means to understand this phenomenon as a pedagogical strategy and as an object of study. As for the participating students, in addition to considering Wikipedia important, because they use it, stated their intention on having a more critical and attentive reading of its articles, and eventually start to contribute to it as editors.
Open Education, Wikipedia, Open Educational Resources, Open Educational Practices, Open Science.