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Improving science education and understanding through editing Wikipedia
Abstract This 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 team Added on initial load  +
Collected data time dimension Longitudinal  +
Conclusion This 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 source Survey responses  + , Wikipedia pages  +
Google scholar url  +
Has author Cheryl L. Moy + , Jonas R. Locke + , Brian P. Coppola + , Anne J. McNeil +
Has domain Chemistry + , Education +
Has topic Student contribution +
Issue 11  +
Month November  +
Pages 1159-1162  +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Journal article  +
Published in Journal of Chemical Education +
Research design Action research  +
Research questions This 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 (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.
Revid 10,817  +
Theories Undetermined
Theory type Analysis  +
Title Improving science education and understanding through editing Wikipedia
Unit of analysis Article  +
Url  +
Volume 87  +
Wikipedia coverage Main topic  +
Wikipedia data extraction Live Wikipedia  +
Wikipedia language Not specified  +
Wikipedia page type Article  +
Year 2010  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 15 March 2012 20:28:57  +
Categories Student contribution  + , Chemistry  + , Education  + , Publications with missing comments  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:28:51  +
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