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U2020-Norsk utdanningsforskning 2009-2018

Writing a Wikipedia article as course assignment

Awarded: NOK 62,999

The basic idea of the proposed project consists in asking students to create quality-assured Wikipedia articles in Norwegian as part of their course assignments in higher education. The quality will be assessed and improved by the lecturers before the art icle is uploaded to Wikipedia. Writing quality-assured Wikipedia articles as student assignments pursues three goals: (1) to give students assignments that are meaningful and relevant beyond the course and thus increase student interest in the course cont ent; (2) the revisions by lecturers are relevant beyond the individual student because the final text will be publicly available and are predicted to increase lecturer motivation; (3) finally, this scheme benefits society at large by having access to comp rehensive high-quality information about academic topics. The funds of the pre-project will be used to prepare a proposal for the main project that will be include a fellowship for a PhD student. This preparations include pilot-testing (120 hours), liter ature search (30 hours), both by a research assistant (RA) and attendance of a conference by the principal investigator (PI). In the main project, we plan to assess student motivation by using an experimental design and built on our earlier research, the role of the lecturer, and the quality of the Norwegian Wikipedia. The implications of writing Wikipedia articles as course assignments are far-reaching. It provides lecturers in higher education with the opportunity to give course assignments whose releva nce goes beyond the educational context. If successful and copied by others, this scheme may provide Norway with a powerful knowledge base that is free for all. Importantly, the quality assurance could improve the quality of scientific Wikipedia contents. This will benefit all those who have to rely on scientific information without having access to scientific sources, such as middle and high school students, teachers, or students in continuing education.

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U2020-Norsk utdanningsforskning 2009-2018