Submissions/Embracing Wikipedia in UK Higher Education

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This is a rejected submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.


Title of the submission
Embracing Wikipedia (and other MediaWiki projects) in UK Higher Education
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Toni Sant
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
University of Hull - Scarborough Campus
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

There is the general feeling among teachers at all levels of education that Wikipedia (and other Wikimedia projects) are not suitable for academic purposes. It is understandable that those of us trained through authoritative, fixed texts would feel this way about Wikimedia projects. The countless examples of mischief across all sorts of wiki pages, especially on Wikipedia, reinforce the mistaken idea that this is not a useful tool for learning and teaching, especially in higher education. However, Wikipedia remains popular with students for all sorts of reasons; in most cases it is among the top 5 websites visited by students regularly. It's an obvious shortcut to finding out about something, even if what you find out is not always entirely accurate. It is also a great springboard to further online (even offline) information about a specific topic.

If students are going to use Wikipedia anyway, one way or another, why don't we as tutors provide them with a support mechanism that ensures they:

a. understand how a wiki really works
b. learn to distinguish between "reliable", "less reliable", and "unreliable" sources
c. comprehend the difference between subjective and objective viewpoints
d. discover ways to produce data on the internet rather than just consume it.

We are particularly interested in finding out how Wikipedia (and other major wiki projects) can support, enhance or transform learning and teaching in higher education, particularly in the UK, and in comparison with others Wikipedia Education Programs in the US and India.

The members of this panel have been exploring the use of Wikipedia as a learning and teaching resource through assessments on undergraduate modules at the University of Hull’s Scarborough Campus in the UK since 2009/10. (see current class details)

Parallel to this work on Wikipedia, we have also been involved in the implementation of the MediaWiki software package for a collaborative multimedia database of Maltese music and associated arts.[1] A position paper outlining plans for this project was published in the Journal of Music, Technology and Education in 2010.[2]

Nationally in the UK there’s little work being done with editing Wikipedia in higher education institutions. This is in stark contrast with the USA and India. The UK is slowly catching up and we’re looking to be on the forefront of these developments. Our work in Scarborough builds upon the broader academic expertise of all three University of Hull members of staff involved, as well as the first hand experiences of the students in the respective Wikimedia communities. It allows us to integrate our research on new media technologies with our teaching at the university.

This panel will outline the work undertaken with Wikimedia-related projects at the University of Hull since 2009/10, as well as our plans for 2012/13 and beyond, in the context summarized here.

  • WikiCulture and Community; Research, Analysis, and Education
Length of panel
70 Minutes
Panel members and areas of focus
  • Toni Sant - Embracing Wikipedia as a Learning and Teaching Resource in UK Higher Education
  • Darren Stephens - Adopting MediaWiki Tools for Collaborative Projects in Higher Education
  • Christine Trala - Comparing Wikimedia Education Programs in the UK, US and India
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Not sure
Further information
We're happy to combine our panel with any presentation relating to the use of Wikipedia in UK Higher Education, if necessary. We can shorten our three contributions to accommodate a fourth or even a fifth within this same panel.
Special request as to time of presentations
n/a (tbc)

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with four tildes. (~~~~).

  1. GastelEtzwane (talk) 23:04, 18 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Zellfaze (talk) 16:14, 19 March 2012 (UTC) HighlyReply[reply]
  3. AbhiSuryawanshi (talk) 17:12, 19 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. As a UK university student this is of great interest to me. CT Cooper · talk 18:02, 19 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Ldavis (WMF) (talk) 23:07, 21 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. Airwolf (talk) 00:15, 22 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. --Brest (talk) 00:18, 22 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. Pete F. (talk)
  9. IbrahimPsy111 (talk) 17:58, 23 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  10. Rangilo Gujarati (talk) 13:59, 26 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  11. Graham87 (talk) 10:47, 31 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]