Wikipedia: the difference between information acquisition and learning knowledge


  • J. Evans Ochola University of Iowa
  • Dorothy M. Persson College of Education University of Iowa
  • Mitchell D. Lingo College of Education University of Iowa



Information acquisition, learning knowledge, Wikipedia, credibility and technology


This paper attempts to define Wikipedia in an information literacy context by providing an analysis of learning knowledge and Wikipedia’s structure. The distribution of learning in the digital information age is a core topic for scholarly communication. It is highly relevant to students, citizens and instructors in their roles as users of content and as creators of content. Even though it appears to be far removed from traditional publishing in the print world, many students, citizens and instructors use digital information tools to share aspects of their works in a way that is defined as publishing. Understanding the difference between information acquisition and learning knowledge are essential in educational settings.

Author Biographies

J. Evans Ochola, University of Iowa

Evans Ochola is Instructional Designer in the College of Education and a lecturer in the department of Teaching and Learning. He oversees Technology in the Classroom and ePortfolio production courses. My areas of research interest are social informatics, high school students’ aspirations and mobility rates among faculty members. I am also researching the role of information technology in social and organizational change, the use of information technologies in social contexts, and the way that the social organization of information technologies is influenced by social forces and educational practices.

Dorothy M. Persson, College of Education University of Iowa

Dorothy Persson is Adjunct Assistant Professor/Librarian at University of Iowa.

College of Education


Lisa A. P. Schumacher is an Assistant Professor of Recreation Therapy.  Her research interests focus the intersection of health and education and programs that enhance learning outcomes for nontraditional students.

Mitchell D. Lingo, College of Education University of Iowa

Mitchell D. Lingo is a Ph.D. student in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies with an emphasis in Schools, Culture, and Society at the University of Iowa. His research interests include systems surrounding extracurricular activities at the secondary level and perspectives of homeschooled students on their academic experience in the home.




How to Cite

Ochola, J. E., Persson, D. M., Schumacher, L. A., & Lingo, M. D. (2015). Wikipedia: the difference between information acquisition and learning knowledge. First Monday, 20(12).