Improving science education and understanding through editing Wikipedia

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Improving science education and understanding through editing Wikipedia
Authors: Cheryl L. Moy, Jonas R. Locke, Brian P. Coppola, Anne J. McNeil [edit item]
Citation: Journal of Chemical Education 87 (11): 1159-1162. 2010 November.
Publication type: Journal article
Peer-reviewed: Yes
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Link(s): Paper link
Added by Wikilit team: Added on initial load
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Improving science education and understanding through editing Wikipedia is a publication by Cheryl L. Moy, Jonas R. Locke, Brian P. Coppola, Anne J. McNeil.


[edit] Abstract

This paper describes a graduate-level class project centered on editing chemistry-related entries in Wikipedia. This project enables students to work collaboratively, explore advanced concepts in chemistry, and learn how to communicate science to a diverse audience, including the general public. The format and structure of the project is outlined and assessment metrics are discussed. A panel survey of current students provided an evaluation of the effectiveness of this project in contributing to the learning objectives of the course. Last, a discussion of the challenges involved in implementing this project is provided.

[edit] Research questions

"This paper describes a class project that enables students to explore advanced concepts in chemistry and learn how to communicate science to a diverse audience by collaboratively editing an entry inWikipedia.org (5). This project has been implemented in two different graduate-level chemistry courses at the University of Michigan: (i) In Fall 2008 and 2009, the project was used in Organic Principles (Chem 540), a graduate course focusing on physical organic chemistry; and (ii) In Winter 2009, the project was used inMacromolecules (Chem 538), a graduate course on the synthesis and properties of organic polymers."

Research details

Topics: Student contribution [edit item]
Domains: Chemistry, Education [edit item]
Theory type: Analysis [edit item]
Wikipedia coverage: Main topic [edit item]
Theories: "Undetermined" [edit item]
Research design: Action research [edit item]
Data source: Survey responses, Wikipedia pages [edit item]
Collected data time dimension: Longitudinal [edit item]
Unit of analysis: Article [edit item]
Wikipedia data extraction: Live Wikipedia [edit item]
Wikipedia page type: Article [edit item]
Wikipedia language: Not specified [edit item]

[edit] Conclusion

"This project provides students with both the opportunity and platform to communicate advanced topics in science to the general public. One observation we made was that students appeared to assess the material they added to the chosen entry more critically compared to when they were simply studying for the class, perhaps because of the visible nature of Wikipedia. In general, this observation is consistent with Coleman's notion of students' developing a higher level of explanatory knowledge when they are explicitly aware of the need to engage in teaching (9). Although Coleman studied direct instruction, it is reasonable to think that editing a Wikipedia entry carries a comparable, if not higher, awareness about a future teaching event while learning is taking place. While implementing this project, we became aware of several aspects of the Wikipedia platform that should be specifically discussed with the students: • Wikipedia has articulated style guidelines (10); students should be given information on these at the start of the project to facilitate their planning of the Wikipedia entry. • Students need to create their own figures and use a free license when uploading (11). • The references should come from a broad range of sources, not solely the primary scientific literature. In addition, if applicable, the digital object identifier (DOI) number should be included. • Group accounts are not formally allowed in Wikipedia. However, the guidelines state that “If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it” (12). Therefore, we created group accounts only for this project and terminated them at the conclusion of the project. • A group of frequent contributors to the WikiProject Chemistry (13) seeks to improve the quality of chemistry-related articles on Wikipedia (14). We found it helpful to correspond with these expert Wikipedians during the class project. There is also a WikiProject for educators to discuss how"

[edit] Comments


Further notes[edit]

Facts about "Improving science education and understanding through editing Wikipedia"RDF feed
AbstractThis paper describes a graduate-level clasThis paper describes a graduate-level class project centered on editing chemistry-related entries in Wikipedia. This project enables students to work collaboratively, explore advanced concepts in chemistry, and learn how to communicate science to a diverse audience, including the general public. The format and structure of the project is outlined and assessment metrics are discussed. A panel survey of current students provided an evaluation of the effectiveness of this project in contributing to the learning objectives of the course. Last, a discussion of the challenges involved in implementing this project is provided. in implementing this project is provided.
Added by wikilit teamAdded on initial load +
Collected data time dimensionLongitudinal +
ConclusionThis project provides students with both tThis project provides students with both the opportunity

and platform to communicate advanced topics in science to the general public. One observation we made was that students appeared to assess the material they added to the chosen entry more critically compared to when they were simply studying for the class, perhaps because of the visible nature of Wikipedia. In general, this observation is consistent with Coleman's notion of students' developing a higher level of explanatory knowledge when they are explicitly aware of the need to engage in teaching (9). Although Coleman studied direct instruction, it is reasonable to think that editing a Wikipedia entry carries a comparable, if not higher, awareness about a future teaching event while learning is taking place. While implementing this project, we became aware of several aspects of the Wikipedia platform that should be specifically discussed with the students: • Wikipedia has articulated style guidelines (10); students should be given information on these at the start of the project to facilitate their planning of the Wikipedia entry. • Students need to create their own figures and use a free license when uploading (11). • The references should come from a broad range of sources, not solely the primary scientific literature. In addition, if applicable, the digital object identifier (DOI) number should be included. • Group accounts are not formally allowed in Wikipedia. However, the guidelines state that “If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it” (12). Therefore, we created group accounts only for this project and terminated them at the conclusion of the project. • A group of frequent contributors to the WikiProject Chemistry (13) seeks to improve the quality of chemistry-related articles on Wikipedia (14). We found it helpful to correspond with these expert Wikipedians during the class project. There is also a WikiProject for educators to discuss howa

WikiProject for educators to discuss how
Data sourceSurvey responses + and Wikipedia pages +
Google scholar urlhttp://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Improving%2Bscience%2Beducation%2Band%2Bunderstanding%2Bthrough%2Bediting%2BWikipedia%22 +
Has authorCheryl L. Moy +, Jonas R. Locke +, Brian P. Coppola + and Anne J. McNeil +
Has domainChemistry + and Education +
Has topicStudent contribution +
Issue11 +
MonthNovember +
Pages1159-1162 +
Peer reviewedYes +
Publication typeJournal article +
Published inJournal of Chemical Education +
Research designAction research +
Research questionsThis paper describes a class project that This paper describes a class project that enables students to

explore advanced concepts in chemistry and learn how to communicate science to a diverse audience by collaboratively editing an entry inWikipedia.org (5). This project has been implemented in two different graduate-level chemistry courses at the University of Michigan: (i) In Fall 2008 and 2009, the project was used in Organic Principles (Chem 540), a graduate course focusing on physical organic chemistry; and (ii) In Winter 2009, the project was used inMacromolecules (Chem 538), a graduate course on the

synthesis and properties of organic polymers.
thesis and properties of organic polymers.
Revid10,817 +
TheoriesUndetermined
Theory typeAnalysis +
TitleImproving science education and understanding through editing Wikipedia
Unit of analysisArticle +
Urlhttp://www-personal.umich.edu/~bcoppola/publications/68.JCEWiki.pdf +
Volume87 +
Wikipedia coverageMain topic +
Wikipedia data extractionLive Wikipedia +
Wikipedia languageNot specified +
Wikipedia page typeArticle +
Year2010 +