Getting a “quick fix”: First-year college students’ use of Wikipedia
College students use Wikipedia frequently, despite educators’ highly divided opinions about it, and so it is important to understand how and why they are using it. This study followed a first-year class of undergraduate, liberal arts students over the course of their first semester to see how they used, were influenced about, and rated Wikipedia. Data was collected via two surveys of the first-year class, as well as focus groups and a survey of college faculty. This study found that first-year students are uncertain about the variety of ways to use information sources like Wikipedia, and that a direct and balanced approach to this area from instructors may lead to better outcomes than strict prohibition or silence.
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