Chemical information media in the chemistry lecture hall: a comparative assessment of two online encyclopedias
|Chemical information media in the chemistry lecture hall: a comparative assessment of two online encyclopedias|
|Authors:||Lukas Korosec, Peter Andreas Limacher, Hans Peter Lüthi, Martin Paul Brändle|
|Citation:||CHIMIA 64 (5): 309-314. 2010 May.|
|Publication type:||Journal article|
|Google Scholar cites:||Citations|
|Added by Wikilit team:||Yes|
|Article:||Google Scholar BASE PubMed|
|Other scholarly wikis:||AcaWiki Brede Wiki WikiPapers|
|Web search:||Bing Google Yahoo! — Google PDF|
The chemistry encyclopedia Roempp Online and the German universal encyclopedia Wikipedia were assessed by first-year university students on the basis of a set of 30 articles about chemical thermodynamics. Criteria with regard to both content and form were applied in the comparison; 619 ratings (48\% participation rate) were returned. While both encyclopedias obtained very good marks and performed nearly equally with regard to their accuracy, the average overall mark for Wikipedia was better than for Roempp Online, which obtained lower marks with regard to completeness and length. Analysis of the results and participants' comments shows that students attach importance to completeness, length and comprehensibility rather than accuracy, and also attribute less value to the availability of sources which validate an encyclopedia article. Both encyclopedias can be promoted as a starting reference to access a topic in chemistry. However, it is recommended that instructors should insist that students do not rely solely on encyclopedia texts, but use and cite primary literature in their reports.
"the focus of this article is to assess Rompp online and Wikipedia with a focus on a single discipline (chemical thermodynamics). The objectives are the following: Expected students would actively apply and learn the subject matter and become better prepared for the exam We hoped that students would learn to critically judge the quality of reference works. We also expected to obtain recommendations for use of the chemistry encyclopedias as instructional materials in chemistry lectures. also we wanted to know to what extent the two encyclopedias are able to support the learning process? which criteria do chemistry students regard as relevant to assess the quality and utility of an encyclopedia article? which terget groups the encyclopedia articles are suited for?"
|Topics:||Comprehensiveness, Readability and style, Reader perceptions of credibility, Domain-specific student readership|
|Research design:||Statistical analysis|
|Data source:||Survey responses|
|Collected data time dimension:||Cross-sectional|
|Unit of analysis:||Website|
|Wikipedia data extraction:||Live Wikipedia|
|Wikipedia page type:||Article|
"Both encyclopedias obtained very good ratings. However, in the overall rating, Roempp Online became victim of its terse and concise scientific writing style, because in their learning process students attach importance rather to completeness and comprehensibility than to exactness and accuracy. Neither Roempp nor Wikipedia were designed with the student in mind and to support teaching and learning. Both encyclopedias are written by peers for peers, Wikipedia mostly by non-experts for students, scholars, and the general public, Roempp online by experts for experts. Wikipedia articles are easier to understand because their content and language are more textbook-like. GIven the survey results, it is remarkable that students do not pay more attention to number, type, and quality of sources cited in encyclopedia articles, and have a fuzzy understanding of their importance to support and validate the statements made. This is especially important in the case of Wikipedia where anyone can edit articles. Frequent use of Wikipedia articles by students is a fact; students do trust this information. Both Roempp and Wikipedia can be recommended as a starting reference...but should be informed to use primary literature and secondary references ( handbooks, databases) in their reports so that students become acquainted with the system of peer-reviewed chemistry literature as early as possible."
"Frequent use of Wikipedia articles by students is a fact; students do trust this information since Wikipedia articles are easier to understand because their content and language are more textbook-like and students usually attach importance rather to completeness and comprehensibility than to exactness and accuracy.
Both Roempp and Wikipedia can be recommended as a starting reference...but should be informed to use primary literature and secondary references ( handbooks, databases) in their reports so that students become acquainted with the system of peer-reviewed chemistry literature as early as possible."