WEB101 – Research and Wikipedia (readings)

RE: Official Thread: Research and Wikipedia (readings)

There’s also been an interesting discussion around Wikipedia’s contributors of late which is helpful in thinking about its biases. Recent discussion around Chelsea Manning’s entry demonstrated some of the ways in which systematic bias can limit the reliability of articles, because important perspectives aren’t represented well. It’s good to see more conversations opening up about how to increase the diversity of participation in Wikipedia editing.

MY RESPONSE:

Yes, I saw this article when it was published in The Guardian some months ago. It raises some interesting questions when it comes to approaching bias and remaining neutral in Wikipedia’s pages.

I’ve always wanted to check and see how Wikipedia handles other controversial issues that are subject to intense debate, bias and opinions. Pages that I have looked up – Holocaust and God – take into account a variety of opinions and research around Holocaust denialism and anti-Semitism, and various stances on global/cultural opinions of God as a deity – monotheism, atheism, agnosticism, etc.

Good food for thought. Smile

RESPONSE TO ANOTHER STUDENT’S POST:

F – A great analysis of the readings.

I also find the idea of teaching students new media literacies appealing, as referred to by Jenkins. Students can be on auto-pilot and refer to Wikipedia immediately when trying to find information. I have also witnessed them turning to Google as a first port of call, assuming that information that appears on the first page of their results are accurate and trustworthy simply because Google lists them first. So, I have started my information literacy classes on providing them with the know-how, tools and syntax around Google searching as a precursor to teaching them how to access electronic databases and other online sources of information.

As one who has taught such cohorts of students in the TAFE sector, I recognise the need for education and heightened awareness around this issue. I have never taken the approach to automatically dismissing Wikipedia as an information resource, but have guided them on, at least, triangulating their research, and arming them with skills on verifying all the information  they do see on a Wikipedia page, whilst reinforcing the necessity for finding other sources that would be accepted by their teachers in a reference list or in their citations.

I enjoyed reading your post.

Maha…  Smile

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About Maha @ Uni

Studying online, and want to keep a record of my progress and experiences...
This entry was posted in Information Bias, Online Research, Wikipedia and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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