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Update 3/13/14. The Wikipedia blog at eNotes has closed its doors (for now!), but if...

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted July 17, 2008 at 10:59 AM via web

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Update 3/13/14. The Wikipedia blog at eNotes has closed its doors (for now!), but if you are interested in seeing it or other education-related blogs return, please let us know in the comments. Our main blog for site and education news can be found here.

Hi Guys. We have a new blog which covers Wikipedia. It's located at http://www.enotes.com/blogs/wikipedia

We'll be covering Wikipedia and also educating people on what's going on with the site, how it works, etc. We hope teachers will start to read and be able to both learn and contribute comments to the blog. Check it out!

http://www.enotes.com/blogs/wikipedia/

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted July 17, 2008 at 3:33 PM (Answer #2)

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This is so neat!  Thanks so much for setting this up.  I'll definitely check it out.

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted July 17, 2008 at 4:37 PM (Answer #3)

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Interesting that you should choose to set up a Wikipedia blog at this time. The site came under fire not long ago for its often fraudulent and libelous content, but more recently, academics in various fields have been citing research found there as valid. I'll be anxious to see just which is more accurate -- Is it really still just "Fake-a-pedia," or has it come up in the world?

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted July 17, 2008 at 4:47 PM (Answer #4)

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Our English dept. doesn't allow Wikipedia research in our research papers because of the controversy surrounding the site.

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jsmckenna | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted July 17, 2008 at 6:32 PM (Answer #5)

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I don't allow my students to use Wikipedia as a source and my college freshman are quick to battle me on this rule.  I tell them that ANY source they use has to be verifiable and legit and if they have to spend so much time validating what they find on Wikipedia, just use the sources they went to in order to prove my opinion about Wikipedia being wrong or incomplete.

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 18, 2008 at 7:08 AM (Answer #6)

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My district doesn't accept Wikipedia as a source either. I have read that there are teachers who give an assignment to write and post articles on the site, but does anybody check facts and details?

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timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted July 18, 2008 at 6:38 PM (Answer #7)

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I allow students to start at Wikipedia.  Many/most of the texts that we read are by authors that have very little "controversary" about them, and I find the background information to be a great place to start ... it beats sitting there wondering or depending on me to kick start it for them. 

And I actually like the fact that the information may have to be verified (although I am told that many of the "posters" take care of this for you and monitor the materials they post carefully to avoid misinformation.  I teach Research Writing (a strange course), and I like the idea that students have to verify ideas ... Wikipedia as well as almost any other non-journal source they use ... and even some of the journals.  The skills they learn through this process are very useful for the rest of their lives, academic or otherwise.

My general rule for a research paper is 1 (one) Wikipedia source allowed, and they are responsible for make sure it is credible (as they are for any source they use).  They are often able to use the sources on a Wikipedia page to expand their search.

And how much less reliable is Wikipedia than a lot of other "stuff" on the Internet ....

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timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted July 18, 2008 at 6:39 PM (Answer #8)

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I allow students to start at Wikipedia.  Many/most of the texts that we read are by authors that have very little "controversary" about them, and I find the background information to be a great place to start ... it beats sitting there wondering or depending on me to kick start it for them. 

And I actually like the fact that the information may have to be verified (although I am told that many of the "posters" take care of this for you and monitor the materials they post carefully to avoid misinformation).  I teach Research Writing (a strange course), and I like the idea that students have to verify ideas ... Wikipedia as well as almost any other non-journal source they use ... and even some of the journals.  The skills they learn through this process are very useful for the rest of their lives, academic or otherwise.

My general rule for a research paper is 1 (one) Wikipedia source allowed, and they are responsible for make sure it is credible (as they are for any source they use).  They are often able to use the sources on a Wikipedia page to expand their search.

And how much less reliable is Wikipedia than a lot of other "stuff" on the Internet ....

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted July 23, 2008 at 5:55 AM (Answer #9)

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I allow students to start at Wikipedia.  Many/most of the texts that we read are by authors that have very little "controversary" about them, and I find the background information to be a great place to start ... it beats sitting there wondering or depending on me to kick start it for them. 

And I actually like the fact that the information may have to be verified (although I am told that many of the "posters" take care of this for you and monitor the materials they post carefully to avoid misinformation).  I teach Research Writing (a strange course), and I like the idea that students have to verify ideas ... Wikipedia as well as almost any other non-journal source they use ... and even some of the journals.  The skills they learn through this process are very useful for the rest of their lives, academic or otherwise.

My general rule for a research paper is 1 (one) Wikipedia source allowed, and they are responsible for make sure it is credible (as they are for any source they use).  They are often able to use the sources on a Wikipedia page to expand their search.

And how much less reliable is Wikipedia than a lot of other "stuff" on the Internet ....

This sounds a lot like what I've heard some professors say -- If students use the footnotes on certain Wiki articles and they can verify the information themselves, then the resource is perfectly fine. If it's just a bunch of rambling hogwash, then that isn't considered legitimate or reliable, and as such, cannot make it onto a works cited page.

I'm still pretty uncertain regarding classroom use of Wiki, however. It smacks of the days when I was in high school, and my friends and I would just "make up" references to include, knowing full well that the teacher would never check the validity of them. If the resource never existed, it wasn't considered plagiarism or libel, just some form of elementary fraud, or as I convinced my friends, "creative writing."

Modern-day students don't want to have to think so hard as to make up sources, so they go techno with their cheating... same difference in the end, however. Dishonesty is dishonesty. 

 

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted July 23, 2008 at 9:56 AM (Answer #10)

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I allow students to start at Wikipedia.  Many/most of the texts that we read are by authors that have very little "controversary" about them, and I find the background information to be a great place to start ... it beats sitting there wondering or depending on me to kick start it for them. 

And I actually like the fact that the information may have to be verified (although I am told that many of the "posters" take care of this for you and monitor the materials they post carefully to avoid misinformation).  I teach Research Writing (a strange course), and I like the idea that students have to verify ideas ... Wikipedia as well as almost any other non-journal source they use ... and even some of the journals.  The skills they learn through this process are very useful for the rest of their lives, academic or otherwise.

My general rule for a research paper is 1 (one) Wikipedia source allowed, and they are responsible for make sure it is credible (as they are for any source they use).  They are often able to use the sources on a Wikipedia page to expand their search.

And how much less reliable is Wikipedia than a lot of other "stuff" on the Internet ....

This sounds a lot like what I've heard some professors say -- If students use the footnotes on certain Wiki articles and they can verify the information themselves, then the resource is perfectly fine. If it's just a bunch of rambling hogwash, then that isn't considered legitimate or reliable, and as such, cannot make it onto a works cited page.

I'm still pretty uncertain regarding classroom use of Wiki, however. It smacks of the days when I was in high school, and my friends and I would just "make up" references to include, knowing full well that the teacher would never check the validity of them. If the resource never existed, it wasn't considered plagiarism or libel, just some form of elementary fraud, or as I convinced my friends, "creative writing."

Modern-day students don't want to have to think so hard as to make up sources, so they go techno with their cheating... same difference in the end, however. Dishonesty is dishonesty. 

 

One good thing about the citations on Wikipedia is that most of them are linked to the actual source. Of course, those links are only as good as the sources they link to!

We want to cover Wikipedia because although it's not an acceptable scholarly site, it's definitely very interesting and something we should all be more educated about.

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urthona | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted July 23, 2008 at 11:01 AM (Answer #11)

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Will there be more discussion of citizendium.org as it builds out?

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted July 23, 2008 at 11:41 AM (Answer #12)

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#11: Yes, there will be and in fact Larry Sanger (co-founder of both Wikipedia and Citizendium) has commented on the blog a few times in the past.

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timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted July 23, 2008 at 1:37 PM (Answer #13)

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In discusson with engtchr5:  it seems that the dishonesty position applies not to Wikipedia, but to the entire Internet.  It's something we have to deal with.  It has always seemed much more difficult to me to verify the accuracy of book sources which were not available to me during the evaluation process.  This is especially true if you have 20 or more reseach papers to do in a week at the end of a term ... along with whatever else there is to complete.  I use a simple procedure.  I tell the students (College freshmen) that I will select 3 of their sources at random (usually from the beginning, middle and end of their paper).  Any "dishonesty" in these three leads me to presume dishonesty in the rest.  Since we do some process work, which includes sharing their sources with all of us, this has not been a big problem.  And since the papers are short (6-8 pages), there aren't that many sources to worry about.

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