Learning Effectiveness and Perceived Value of Wikipedia as a Primary Course Resource
From Ewan McAndrew
Although Wikipedia is frequently used by higher education students as a source of information (Wannemacher & Schulenburg, 2010), there are a few courses in which it plays an actual ‘active’ role within the learning process (Aibar & Lerga, 2015).
A pilot developed in 2013 offered the first evidence about the effects of the use of Wikipedia in a course in Statistics (Meseguer-Artola, 2014). However, and contrary to expectations, it showed that Wikipedia had a weak positive effect on the student’s academic performance.
In this presentation by the Open University of Catalonia's Antoni Meseguer-Artola, he outlines a more comprehensive study they performed which analysed four introductory courses taken by a total of 1,220 students. Each of these courses situated in a specific knowledge area: human resources, statistics, marketing, or consumer behaviour. In all these cases, Wikipedia was used as a primary learning resource, and it was appropriately integrated with the existing learning materials. Participants in the courses were asked to compare these standard materials with Wikipedia and to provide their perceptions on the basis of four quality facets: completeness, reliability, currentness and usefulness.
In order to adequately assess the influence of Wikipedia on the student’s final mark, the student’s marks have also been considered in the previous academic semester – when Wikipedia was not used as a primary course resource.
The study sought to explore the student’s perceptions about the quality of Wikipedia, to show the potential positive impact of the active use of Wikipedia on the student’s academic performance, and to explore whether its influence depends on the knowledge area or not.
A range of multivariate statistical techniques has been used to assess the validity of the hypotheses, including contrasts of means, discriminant analysis, and multiple linear regression analysis.
Results support the idea that the student’s perceptions about Wikipedia change across knowledge areas, and also depend on the student’s academic profile. Added to this, we have found evidence confirming the hypotheses that Wikipedia has a positive effect on the student’s academic performance, and that the magnitude of this influence ranges from one course to another.
OER16: Open Culture
19th & 20th April 2016, University of Edinburgh, UK
The 7th Open Educational Resources Conference, OER16: Open Culture, was held on the 19th-20th April 2016 at the University of Edinburgh.