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Davida ScharfJames Lipuma Dir. of Reference, LibraryProfessor, Humanities Dept. New Jersey Institute of Technology Mythbusting:

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Presentation on theme: "Davida ScharfJames Lipuma Dir. of Reference, LibraryProfessor, Humanities Dept. New Jersey Institute of Technology Mythbusting:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Davida ScharfJames Lipuma Dir. of Reference, LibraryProfessor, Humanities Dept. New Jersey Institute of Technology Mythbusting: College students as Wikipedia editors, a surprising new pathway to information literacy

2 Colbert on ‘Wikiality’ “On Wikipedia, we can create a reality that we can all agree on - - the reality we just agreed on. “ videos/72347/july-31-2006/the-word---wikiality

3 How I got started... “Can We Make Peace with Wikipedia?” Editorial by Chris Harris School Library Journal. June 1, 2007

4 NJIT at a Glance Undergrads @ 5400 Graduate students @ 2800 NJ’s public sci-tech university 125 year history in engineering ed 92 programs – 45% engineering Diverse faculty & student body Tech savvy

5 Overview What we did / why it worked curriculum assignments instruction assessment benefits and pitfalls, examples of student work Q and A

6 About research papers Student thinks: Usually Boring, Difficult, Irrelevant Professor’s challenge: Need Motivation for Engagement Librarian’s challenge: Need to encourage self-reflection about research skills and sources

7 W hy Wikipedia? It’s Authentic 1.Motivation and engagement high 2.The world is the audience

8 Opportunities for learning See Wikipedia from the point of view of a writer Deepen critical thinking about Wikipedia as a source, and all sources Communicate in mode appropriate to the medium

9 Technical Communications @NJIT Meeting two goals Tech communications + information literacy through use of Wikipedia

10 Wikipedia Assignments 1.Evaluate web pages 2.Write Wikipedia Proposal 3.Edit Wikipedia 4.Create online multimedia report documenting your work 5.Make a case for your grade

11 # 1 – Web page critique Assess sources, judge tone Answer questions using evaluation criteria UNC handout on print sources NJIT Criteria for Evaluation Librarian ’ s ExamplesLibrarian ’ s Examples

12 #2 - Proposal Improve Wikipedia (green topic) Follow Wikipedia and Assignment guidelines Use sources of good quality, appropriate, tone, scope Page must stay active until the end of the semester

13 More on The Proposal Why is your topic worthwhile? What research will you conduct to verify or document your information? See our assessment rubricassessment rubric

14 Our Wikipedia Rubric* Substantive content Well documented Well connected Suited to target Demonstrates Info literacy *

15 Advice from a Librarian Intro to Wikipedia editing Picking a topic Finding sources Examples

16 A bit about Wikipedia Launched in 2001 Many guidelines (Five pillars, what it is not, perfect article) Back end not transparent It has become a subject of study (thousands of scholarly articles)

17 The Five Pillars* Wikipedia is: encyclopedia 2.has a neutral point of view content that anyone can edit 4.has a code of conduct 5.does not have firm rules *


19 Wikipedia: The perfect article Fills a gap Has a good title Starts with a clear description Is not a dictionary article Is understandable Is nearly self-contained Branches in and out Is unbiased and more... *

20 Librarian’s suggestions Review the Librarian’s pptLibrarian’s ppt Watch the Merlot Video Wikipedia: Beneath the Surface Read carefully Wikipedia Welcome pageWikipedia Welcome page Explore” structure, scope, guidelines, navigating, registration, editing, etc. What makes a perfect article

21 Weaknesses are Strengths Mutability Reliability Anonymity of authors Neutrality

22 #3 - Wiki Forum Post proposed topic Get feedback Share information

23 # 4 – Report - Format Face to face oral presentation Online capture using Camtasia relay

24 # 4 - Oral Report-Content WHAT: Before / After WHO: Target Audience WHY: Reasoning HOW: Execution Details Q&A Performance critique

25 Examples BMW Central Building Specific Weight Sustainable Architecture Vortex Power Lillian Gilbreth

26 #5 - Student Self-reflection Make an argument for the grade you feel you deserve in the class Discuss what you feel you have learned in the class and what you feel the class has provided you as a student. Also, give any other comments or criticisms you wish to share with the professor about the value of the course, its assignments or ways it might be improved.

27 Why do this? Student engagement ! Authentic peer review process Demonstrates the research process Evaluation of information sources Deeper understanding of documentation Understanding context, audience, tone Different ways info may be organized

28 More Success ! Students work hard Enjoy the assignment Most do a very good job Acknowledge learning a lot Some continue to edit Wikipedia Creates a highly collaborative environment among students Research skills well-integrated

29 Pitfalls Choice of Topics Time management Neutrality Cut & paste still at work Evaluation of sources Audience & tone


31 More information Broughton, John. Wikipedia: The Missing Manual (2008): Cambridge: O’Reilly Bruns, Axel. (2008) “Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage. NY: Peter Lang.

32 More information Deitering, Anne-Marie. (2008) Using Wikipedia to eavesdrop on the scholarly conversation, pp. 87-93. in Godwin, P and J. Parker (2008). Information Literacy Meets Library 2.0. London: Facet. “Wikipedia: School and University projects.” Wikipedia, The free Encyclopedia. 5 Aug. 2009. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. niversities_project niversities_project

33 Find this presentation & accompanying learning materials at

34 Q and A

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