University of Oviedo (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 3708-3714
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
In contrast to previous technologies, the Internet is, par excellence, an interactive technology for which not only does the user needs access to infrastructure but also he/she needs practical skills in information seeking via the Internet and critical skills in analyzing and evaluating information found online.
Recent studies show that students' online searches often lead to materials that are wholly or partially unsuitable for academic purposes, and that many times they lack the skills to evaluate online information.
Therefore this project was set out to work on improving students’ digital skills with special focus on using and evaluating Wikipedia contents, since it is one of the most popular online resources. The project was carried out among students working on a research-based assignment in a first-year Sociology of Education course. An initial survey was done among the students in order to assess their level of use and experience on the Internet, as wells as their digital skills. Then, they were assigned a list of basic sociological concepts on which they should work during the course doing an online research. They were required to submit an annotated bibliography consisting of five online sources, indicating how they found them, and to evaluate them in terms of the most/less complete, whether there were discrepancies in the contents, among other issues…After all this work was done, students were to write a complete definition in order to upload it in Wikipedia and contribute to its improvement.
Finally, a post-survey was done to check whether any differences could be detected in their self-assessed digital skills, comparing results with the initial ones.
e-skills, Internet, college students.