Wikiversity; or education meets the free culture movement: An ethnographic investigation

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Wikiversity; or education meets the free culture movement: An ethnographic investigation
Authors: Norm Friesen, Janet Hopkins [edit item]
Citation: First Monday 13 (10): . 2008 October.
Publication type: Journal article
Peer-reviewed: Yes
DOI: Define doi.
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Link(s): Paper link
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Wikiversity; or education meets the free culture movement: An ethnographic investigation is a publication by Norm Friesen, Janet Hopkins.

[edit] Abstract

Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, has challenged the way that reference works are used and understood, and even the way that the collective enterprise of knowledge construction and circulation is itself conceptualized. The article presents an ethnographic study of Wikiversity, an educationally–oriented sister project to Wikipedia. It begins by providing an overview of the orientations and aims of Wikiversity, which seeks to provide for participants both open educational contents and an open educational community. It then undertakes a detailed examination of this project’s emerging, overlapping communities and cultures by providing descriptions produced through a combination of ethnographic techniques. These descriptions focus on the experiences of a participant–observer in the context of an 11–week course developed and delivered via Wikiversity, titled Composing Free and Open Online Educational Resources. These descriptions are discussed and interpreted through reference to qualitative studies of the more developed dynamics of the Wikipedia effort — allowing this study to trace the possible trajectories for the future development of the fledgling Wikiversity project. In this way, this paper investigates the communal and cultural dynamics of an undertaking that — should it meet only with a fraction of Wikipedia’s success — will be of obvious significance to education generally.

[edit] Research questions

"This article begins by introducing the aims and priorities of Wikiversity overall. It then provides a more detailed but selective examination of this project’s emerging community and culture by adapting the investigative methods and descriptive techniques of ethnography. Specifically, the article provides “thick” descriptions developed through a combination of techniques of online ethnography, educational micro–ethnography and auto–ethnography, focusing on a number of particular events and characteristics associated with a single course offering on Wikiversity. By documenting or describing a number of incidents in the course, the study sheds some light on the culture and collaborative dynamics of the overlapping open communities of the course itself and of the Wikiversity project more generally."

Research details

Topics: Culture and values of Wikipedia [edit item]
Domains: Education [edit item]
Theory type: Analysis [edit item]
Wikipedia coverage: Case [edit item]
Theories: [edit item]
Research design: Ethnography [edit item]
Data source: Websites [edit item]
Collected data time dimension: N/A [edit item]
Unit of analysis: N/A [edit item]
Wikipedia data extraction: N/A [edit item]
Wikipedia page type: N/A [edit item]
Wikipedia language: N/A [edit item]

[edit] Conclusion

[edit] Comments

Further notes[edit]