Wikipedia in Academia

Wikipedia in Academia, an international conference co-hosted by University of Padua, Italy and Wikimedia Italia.

The academic world initially regarded Wikipedia with misgivings for a number of reasons, including the uncertainty concerning the reliability of its content, its anonymous authorship, and the fact that students often use it as an easy way to cut and paste material for their coursework.

In recent years, however, universities’ perception of Wikipedia has changed significantly: it is seen as a useful teaching resource as well as a promising environment for learning and collaborative knowledge building: it can be used for teaching purposes by assigning students to create and edit encyclopedia articles.

Such assignments can have many benefits: in addition to improving students’ understanding of content, they have been shown to increase their intrinsic motivation to learn, develop digital competences and build cross-cutting skills in online communication and interaction. Lastly, in connection with universities’ institutional role, editing Wikipedia can be an interesting channel for the public communication of science.