My dissertation research both examines new … My dissertation research both examines new participatory publishing models and
explores how participation in creating user-generated content can serve as a learning
experience. My classroom work is both a technology design project and a study of how
young people learn and become critical information consumers by producing media
themselves. In a read/write world, information literacy means more than knowing where
to find information or how to interpret messages from advertisers, government agencies,
educational institutions and other publishers. Literacy involves both becoming able to
interpret information and becoming an adept participant in the construction of new
knowledge. Information literacy skills are inextricably bound to the socio-technical
systems in which media are constructed and consumed. In order to explore opportunities
for young people to participate in and reflect on these systems, I have designed
specialized tools to support high school students as they learn to be both media critics and
producers.rn to be both media critics and
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|Collected data time dimension
What applies to Wikipedia does not necessa … What applies to Wikipedia does not necessarily apply to other wiki projects such as Wikiversity. For instance, when anonymous contribution makes sense in the case of Wikipedia, transparency of authorship is recommended in the case of Wikiversity. Strict Wikipedia policies such as NPOV should not be a limitation of WIkiversity.should not be a limitation of WIkiversity.
Learning how to produce traditional schola … Learning how to produce traditional scholastic genres well can be an excellent learning
experience for students; however, school genres can also shield students from important
intellectual work. I have demonstrated here how popularization of participatory media
signals an unprecedented opportunity to engage young people in real intellectual work
that matters outside the classroom. Introducing new media can be a genre breaker;
moreover, it can lead to critical engagement with content in particular when students need
to invoke unknown audiences and reflect on how to present material in order to inform
their readership. Producing an information resource for others can provide a vantage
point from which to reflect on where information comes from. When orchestrated
carefully, with the right technological supports, school work can become rich with new
opportunities for reflection and impact when learning goes public. I have presented here a
vision of wiki not as a staging ground for producing texts for the edification of students,
but as a canvas on which students themselves can engage in the intellectual work of
publication and knowledge production.
Genre and Information Literacy:
From interview data and observations I reconstructed students’
process for constructing their “research papers”/wiki articles and found that their
performance of genre was revealed in three sets of tasks: finding, sourcing and crafting
content; all of these performances were influenced by their understanding of audience
and communicative purpose, and shaped by the tools they had at their disposal.
Students’ strategies for finding and
assessing the information they encountered as they constructed their wiki articles
sometimes included heuristics drawn from their own experiences as information
producers. Some students also used their experiences as consumers to invoke an audience
and guide their selection of information as they assessed search results (I would want to
see information like this). Others explained properties of information sources they found
online in relationship to the one they were building themselves (I guess Wikipedia is like
As students crafted the content of their research papers, they naturally took into account
the purpose their papers would serve. On the one hand, they needed to meet the standards
set out by their teacher. Because they imagined that they would need to hold readers’
attention, explain things to younger or potentially less educated readers, and meet
readers’ information needs, they also found themselves writing to mediate between a
scientific community and a lay community.
I also found that the dual rhetorical goals of satisfying assessment requirements and
creating a public information resource created different reasons for citation. Citation as a
school exercise meant fulfilling a set of pre-defined requirements: I used the sources my
teacher told me to use. Citation as a part of writing an information resource meant
something altogether different: If I cite this, then people will know that the information is
The wiki writing environment itself played an important role in defining the ways that
students made sense of the publishing assignment.
In both of my high school classroom studies, I observed ways that the openness and
transparency of wiki as a collaborative medium ran counter to the culture of individual
assessment that is common in American education.
My work suggests that taking
responsibility for information production activities in online environments is a valuable
addition to our standards for information literacy and can give young people a starting
point for reflecting on where information comes from. Moreover, it provides
opportunities for learning both information literacy skills and reflecting on content
The question of how editing experiences affect participants in the wild remains open.
Certainly it is difficult to imagine that Wikipedians engage in the kind of work that they
do without developing more sophisticated skills and knowledge about issues like
intellectual property and heuristics for identifying credible sources; however, it is also
possible that without the guidance of a formal classroom environment, opportunities for
such reflection come too seldom to be considered part and parcel of the Wikipedia
experience.rt and parcel of the Wikipedia
Computer usage logs +
, Direct observation +
, Interview responses +
|Google scholar url
Andrea Forte +
Computer science +
, Information science +
, Education +
Culture and values of Wikipedia +
Georgia Institute of Technology +
Grounded theory +
Understanding new publication systems – th … Understanding new publication systems – the case of Wikipedia:
How do newcomers to the Wikipedia community learn to write an encyclopedia?
What role do social relationships and technology play in that process?
How is Wikipedia governed and why has governance evolved in the way that it has?
Using wiki in formal education – pilot study:
1. How does interacting with peers in a public wiki influence the content and tone of students’ writing?
2. How does publishing an information resource for others affect the ways that students think about their written assignments?
3. What features do wikis need to support writing and publication activities in the context of formal education?
Using wiki in formal education – high school studies:
What strategies do students use when they encounter information sources on the web?
1. How do students write and reason about information when constructing an information resource for a broad audience?
2. What role does the wiki medium play in shaping their writing and information use?shaping their writing and information use?
In my early studies, I used
Legitimate Per … In my early studies, I used
Legitimate Peripheral Participation (Lave and Wenger 1991) and Activity Theory
(Engestrom, Miettinen et al. 1999) as frameworks for understanding how editors learn to
write an encyclopedia and the roles that tools, identity/goals, and community play in
encouraging sustained participation. I showed the trajectory that newcomers take as they
become enculturated in the community and how their goals, roles, and use of wiki
software change as their participation changes over time (Bryant, Forte et al. 2005). More
recently, I investigated Wikipedia governance in order to understand how the community
has dealt with its rapid growth. I found that governance mechanisms are becoming
increasingly decentralized as the community scales and that the form of governance has
largely followed social structures predicted by Lin Ostrom’s theories of self-organizing
communities (Forte, Larco et al. 2009). These studies (presented in detail in Chapter 3)
provide a foundation for understanding Wikipedia as a new system of publication;
however, they also yielded an inspiration.
I discuss a theoretical
framework for understanding wiki publishing as a learning activity that emphasizes the
roles of genre and audience in constructing meaningful practice.ience in constructing meaningful practice.
Design and action +
Learning in public: information literacy and participatory media
|Unit of analysis
|Wikipedia data extraction
|Wikipedia page type
|Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki.
15 March 2012 20:29:27 +
Culture and values of Wikipedia +
, Computer science +
, Information science +
, Education +
, Publications +
|Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki.
30 January 2014 20:29:23 +