How Today's College Students Use Wikipedia for Course-Related Research

First Monday, Vol. 15, No. 3, March 1, 2010

15 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2013

See all articles by Alison Head

Alison Head

Project Information Literacy; Harvard University - Harvard Graduate School of Education; MetaLAB at Harvard

Michael Eisenberg

University of Washington - The Information School

Date Written: March 1, 2010

Abstract

Findings are reported from student focus groups and a large-scale survey about how and why students, (enrolled at six different U.S. colleges), use Wikipedia during the course-related research process. A majority of respondents frequently used Wikipedia for background information, but less often than they used other common resources, such as course readings and Google. Architecture, engineering, and science majors were more likely to use Wikipedia for course-related research than respondents in other majors. The findings suggest Wikipedia is used in combination with other information resources. Wikipedia meets the needs of college students because it offers a mixture of coverage, currency, convenience, and comprehensibility in a world where credibility is less of a given or an expectation from today’s students.

Keywords: college students, information-seeking behavior, college readiness, research, Wikipedia, wikis, lifelong learning

Suggested Citation

Head, Alison and Eisenberg, Michael, How Today's College Students Use Wikipedia for Course-Related Research (March 1, 2010). First Monday, Vol. 15, No. 3, March 1, 2010 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2281527

Alison Head (Contact Author)

Project Information Literacy ( email )

4760 Montecito Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA CA 95404
United States
7078007590 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://projectinfolit.org

Harvard University - Harvard Graduate School of Education ( email )

456 Gutman Library
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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

MetaLAB at Harvard ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 012138
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HOME PAGE: http://alison_head@gse.harvard.edu

Michael Eisenberg

University of Washington - The Information School ( email )

Box 353350
Seattle, WA 98195
United States

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