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Title: An Empirical Study on Faculty Perceptions and Teaching Practices of Wikipedia
Author: Lladós Masllorens, Josep
Aibar, Eduard  
Lerga Felip, Maura
Meseguer Artola, Antoni
Minguillón, Julià  
Keywords: wikipedia
higher education
Issue Date: Oct-2013
Citation: Lladós, J.;Aibar, E.; Lerga, M.;Meseguer, A.; Minguillón, J. (2013)."An Empirical Study on Faculty Perceptions and Teaching Practices of Wikipedia". A: 12th European conference on e-Learning. academic conferences & publishing international. Sophia Antipolis. 30 de octubre.
Abstract: Some faculty members from different universities around the world have begun to use Wikipedia as a teaching tool in recent years. These experiences show, in most cases, very satisfactory results and a substantial improvement in various basic skills, as well as a positive influence on the students' motivation. Nevertheless and despite the growing importance of e-learning methodologies based on the use of the Internet for higher education, the use of Wikipedia as a teaching resource remains scarce among university faculty. Our investigation tries to identify which are the main factors that determine acceptance or resistance to that use. We approach the decision to use Wikipedia as a teaching tool by analyzing both the individual attributes of faculty members and the characteristics of the environment where they develop their teaching activity. From a specific survey sent to all faculty of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), pioneer and leader in online education in Spain, we have tried to infer the influence of these internal and external elements. The questionnaire was designed to measure different constructs: perceived quality of Wikipedia, teaching practices involving Wikipedia, use experience, perceived usefulness and use of 2.0 tools. Control items were also included for gathering information on gender, age, teaching experience, academic rank, and area of expertise. Our results reveal that academic rank, teaching experience, age or gender, are not decisive factors in explaining the educational use of Wikipedia. Instead, the decision to use it is closely linked to the perception of Wikipedia's quality, the use of other collaborative learning tools, an active attitude towards web 2.0 applications, and connections with the professional non-academic world. Situational context is also very important, since the use is higher when faculty members have got reference models in their close environment and when they perceive it is positively valued by their colleagues. As far as these attitudes, practices and cultural norms diverge in different scientific disciplines, we have also detected clear differences in the use of Wikipedia among areas of academic expertise. As a consequence, a greater application of Wikipedia both as a teaching resource and as a driver for teaching innovation would require much more active institutional policies and some changes in the dominant academic culture among faculty members.
Language: English
Appears in Collections:Conference lectures

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