Page:Wikipedia and Academic Libraries.djvu/19

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

6

Bekbalaeva, Namasbek kyzy, Tumenbaeva, and Askhatbekova

Introduction

Wikipedia is a global, open-source encyclopedia of information that engages users around the world in the creation, storage, and dissemination of knowledge. It has become an established starting point for preliminary research on the web. Over the last nineteen years, the encyclopedia has grown to 54 million articles in over 312 languages (Wikipedia, 2020). Consistently ranking as one of the most popular sites on the web, Wikipedia has over 200,000 volunteer contributors around the world who help to improve free access to knowledge in their languages (Wikimedia Foundation, 2020).

The use of Wikipedia as a teaching and learning tool has been increasingly implemented in a significant number of educational contexts and has become a common practice in many countries (Wikimedia Education, 2020). e platform has drawn the attention of faculty, librarians, instructional technologists, students, and other stakeholders in the academic community, and many have come to see it as a useful tool in fulfilling their mission. Librarians welcome Wikipedia as an open resource that aims to expand access to information, while faculty have become interested in how they can use Wikipedia in teaching and in the achievement of their pedagogical goals. Wikipedia is among the most popular open sources that students consult to gain an initial grounding in a topic before delving further for study or research purposes. Despite variation in the perception and acceptability of usage of Wikipedia, people in academia consult, edit, and contribute to the online encyclopedia.

The pedagogical use of Wikipedia is often limited to certain activities such as the critical analysis of existing articles, the editing of these, and/or the creation of new ones. However, even these limited practices are believed to improve students’ basic skills in reading comprehension, writing, research, and motivation (Lerga & Aibar, 2015). Faculty members who use Wikipedia have a positive perception of the online resource when it comes to using it as a teaching tool. Nevertheless, conflicts can arise with regards to standard knowledge-building procedures habitual in the academic setting and the open collaborative model common to Wikipedia (Aibar et al., 2015)