Academics and students alike should be making better use of Wikipedia, said a major study of digital technology use in Higher Education.
The Australia-UK study led by Professor Neil Selwyn from Monash University found that while Wikipedia was a popular background resource with students, it had not replaced traditional sources of intellectual scholarship.
The study of more than 1,600 students found that while Wikipedia was used by seven in eight students, the world’s sixth most visited website wasn’t seen as the most useful education resource.
Google and other internet search engines, library websites, learning management systems and Facebook all ranked higher. Most students used Wikipedia for background research, it said.
The researchers suggest that given the important but relatively background role Wikipedia plays in student life, universities should integrate it into their accepted modes of learning.
“There are clearly many ways in which universities need to engage more directly in supporting and enhancing the role that Wikipedia is now playing in students’ scholarship,” Professor Selwyn said.
CREDIT: GREG FORD