Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Wikipedia and College students

This entry discusses last week's seminar session and Head and Eisenberg's study on how college student use Wikipedia for course-related research.

The results show that many students who participated in the study use wikipedia in combination with other resources to gather background information on certain subject areas. The article further explains that though Wikipedia meets the needs of many college students because of its varied mix of coverage, currency, convenience and comprehensive , it is not solely relied upon as it only helps at the research phase. It states that students recourse to other reliable sources afterwards including scholarly articles.

Many students who use the tool, are very aware of its many limitations, and as such, have learned not to rely upon it completely. However, it is recognized as a good starting point.

Personally, my wikipedia use is never intentional. Each time I make a general search, I do so via Google search engine. Incidentally, Wikipedia always appears amongst the top 5 results on every search made probably because of the PageRank algorithm used by Google. In any case, this always forces me to subconsciously click on the Wikipedia link.

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