Project

Wikipedia Primary School

Goal: Providing on Wikipedia the information necessary to complete the cycle of primary education in the languages used by the different education systems.

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Iolanda Pensa
added 3 research items
In order to counter systemic bias in peer production projects like Wikipedia, a variety of strategies have been used to fill gaps and improve the completeness of the archive. We test a number of these strategies in a project aimed at improving articles relating to South Africa’s primary school curriculum and find that many of the predominant strategies are insufficient for filling Wikipedia’s gaps. Notifications that alert users to the existence of gaps including incomplete or missing articles, in particular, are found to be ineffective at improving articles. Only through the process of trust-building and the development of negotiated boundary objects, potential allies (institutional academics in this case) can be enrolled in the task of editing the encyclopaedia. Rather than a simple process of enrolment via notification, this project demonstrated the principles of negotiation required for engaging with new editor groups in the long-term project of filling Wikipedia’s gaps.
In order to counter systemic bias in peer production projects like Wikipedia, a variety of strategies have been used to fill gaps and improve the completeness of the archive. We test a number of these strategies in a project aimed at improving articles relating to South Africa’s primary school curriculum and find that many of the predominant strategies are insufficient for filling Wikipedia’s gaps. Notifications that alert users to the existence of gaps including incomplete or missing articles, in particular, are found to be ineffective at improving articles. Only through the process of trust-building and the development of negotiated boundary objects, potential allies (institutional academics in this case) can be enrolled in the task of editing the encyclopaedia. Rather than a simple process of enrolment via notification, this project demonstrated the principles of negotiation required for engaging with new editor groups in the long-term project of filling Wikipedia’s gaps
Wikipedia is a major source of information, and is known for its wealth of content, its openness and accessibility. Wikipedia could be a powerful educational tool, especially in countries with little access to educational materials. But is it already so? On the one hand, many educational projects reference Wikipedia for both content learning and information literacy education; on the other, Wikipedia is regarded as a source of uncontrolled misinformation. In this study, we investigated how primary school teachers use and integrate Wikipedia in their practice in a multilingual country like South Africa. Do teachers use Wikipedia and how? What are its perceived affordances and drawbacks? What features or situations influence the integration of Wikipedia in teaching practices? What topics are relevant in relation to national curriculum statements? We surveyed 32 primary education teachers in community schools in the Cape Town area, focusing on their use of Wikipedia in terms of both planning and in-class application. According to the teachers we interviewed, Wikipedia is a promising teaching and learning instrument. The data provide insights about differences between in-service and pre-service teachers, between teachers with different levels of ICT skills, and between teachers that have different home languages. Despite being based on a small sample, the results help to identify pathways for the development and integration of Wikipedia as an educational tool.
Iolanda Pensa
added a project goal
Providing on Wikipedia the information necessary to complete the cycle of primary education in the languages used by the different education systems.