Wikipedia: Free Knowledge and Learning Innovation




José Felipe Ortega Soto (URJC)


Wikipedia has become a global success, with more than 400 million unique visitors per month and nearly 20 million articles in more than 270 languages. However, despite this impressive coverage there are still many chances for contributing and improving its content in many areas of knowledge. This represents an great opportunity for Higher Education students who are in an excellent situation to create new articles and leverage the quality of existing ones. At the same time, they can get involved in a lively debate with other editors interested in similar topics and learn useful skills and social aptitudes like summarization, writing style, reaching consensus, contrasting information sources, etc. Targeting a wide audience is yet another factor that brings in extra motivation for students to take their participation seriously. This presentation introduces some alternatives for integrating Wikipedia in university classes, along with the main advantages and challenges perceived from both students and instructors.



Author's Biography

José Felipe Ortega Soto

Felipe Ortega is a researcher at the Libresoft Group of the Rey Juan Carlos University (Madrid). He developes and applies methods and tools for the analysis of collaborative projects and virtual communities (Wikipedia, free software projects), in order to understand its dynamics and evolution. Until now, he has especially focused in the analysis of the Wikipedia and its community, so he has created tools and data collections to facilitate the extension and replicability of the empirical research about this project. R is one of his favourite applications for the data analysis, so that he often gives seminars, courses and talks about this statistical environment.

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