by Mike Masnick
Thu, Nov 1st 2007 1:13pm
There are plenty of Wikipedia haters out there -- but they often seem to miss the point of the site. We've certainly heard of plenty of students who are told that they're not allowed to cite Wikipedia, which seems silly. As long as people recognize what the source is and how it's written, there's nothing wrong with using Wikipedia as one source among many. It appears that at least a few professors are figuring this out -- and one has taken the typical Wikipedian response to charges of incorrect data (that response being: well, if it's wrong, fix it!) to the next level. Rather than having students just research something using Wikipedia, University of Washington-Bothell professor Martha Groom has them write up a totally new Wikipedia article or substantially improve an old one. In other words, if you think that Wikipedia isn't very good, why not improve it? Not only is it probably a valuable exercise in learning how to present certain types of information, it helps the students have a better understanding of how Wikipedia content comes to be.
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