Professor replaces term papers with Wikipedia entries

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Higher Education, Technology, Web | Posted on 10-30-2007

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This article struck me as amazing.

[ArsTechnica: Prof replaces term papers with Wikipedia Contributions, suffering ensues]

Professor Martha Groom from the University of Washington-Bothell is having her students write entries on Wikipedia rather than write term papers. It might sound ridiculous, but think about it.

If you are writing a Wikipedia entry, you can’t really quote Wikipedia, which has been debated as a bad source by professors for many years. Now the student writing the entry must get out there and actually do research to find the information about the page they are creating, all while contributing to one of the largest resources in the world. Here are some of the entries, and I have to say they are well done and conform to the Wikipedia standards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation_during_the_Roman_period
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americanization_%28of_Native_Americans%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1491:_New_Revelations_of_the_Americas_Before_Columbus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communal_Wildlife_Conservancies_in_Namibia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akosombo_Dam
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_Africa

Anyone else think this is a good idea? Bad idea? As ridiculous as SecondLife? Feel free to comment.

Comments posted (4)

Excellent idea!!! They also appear to be adding information to some pretty underdeveloped areas. The only problem is that the entries are susceptible to immediate alterations, for better or worse. Could you provide a link to the article this info was taken from?

Whoops, I forgot to add the link! There you go, Alberto. You’ll notice in the article that some entries got deleted by the Wikipedians within 24 hours…. wonder if that affected their grade??

Appreciate it. Great post!

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