Monday, March 17, 2008

Wikis As Environments For Mitigating/Reducing Plagiarism?


In a report of a presentation on "Using Wikipedia to Reenvision the Term Paper" by Andreas Brockhau and Martha Groom of University of Washington Bothell, mention is made of many benefits that arise as a result of writing for/in Wikipedia.

Among these are the following:

Groom’s first attempt at incorporating Wikipedia into a class came in the fall of 2006, when she required her students to make a major revision required her students to make a major revision to an existing article or to create one of their own, with a minimum of 1,500 words, for 60 percent of the grade. The assignment, for her course on environmental history and globalization, encompassed an initial proposal, a first draft, revisions and [internal] peer review ...

"The shift to thinking about placing the term paper as a Wikipedia encyclopedia entry allows for another level of peer review," Groom said. Such entries have references and citations; allow for a process of repeated, continual editing; and encourage collaborations between authors.

They also reach a much wider audience, through the Wikipedia site and search engines. "How do you motivate students to do their best work?" she asked — implying that the answer lies in the possibility of others viewing it. The public nature of Wikipedia content also means that, in theory, students would be less likely to reuse others’ material as their own.

"[The Wikipedia guidelines] very clearly state that ... the onus is on you, not on them, so you’ll be the one who catches anything if you [post] any copyrighted material," said Andreas Brockhaus, the manager of learning technologies at the university.

There was another positive effect on her students’ work, Groom said: their assignments were generally better written.


Question Of The Day: To What Degree and By What Means Can Wiki-Based Writing Mitigate/Reduce PLAGIARISM in the Writing of Students / Researchers / Scholars?


>>I'm Particularly Interested in **Non-Wikipedia** Wiki-Writing Environments<<






Canadian Dave said...

I'm familiar only with Wiki Wetpaint and PBWiki. They are free sites that have different encoding than Wikipedia, but allow for the creation of Wikis. I've noticed, however, that wiki sites (other than wikipedia) are often inundated with hacker businesses who put advertisements all over unprotected wikis.

Melora Ranney Norman said...

I've been piloting a one-credit course in Spring '08 that is intended to support the development of research skills via the creationg of a class wiki on an environmental topic. Students are encouraged to pick a topic that integrates with another class they are taking. We have been creating it in a wiki within what is basically a demo Moodle environment I got access to as part of a state-funded project.

Running this as a regular f2f class has not been entirely satisfactory, and I have increasingly begun scheduling one-on-one meetings with each student either in addition to or as an alternative to the weekly session. Each student seems to be in a very different place in terms of their approach to the work, hence individual consultations work better than lecture. I think that this course would actually have worked better as a more structured course in a completely online environment; however, my college doesn't yet have a full-featured courseware environment, so this semester has been quite a patchwork of different tools.

We are about to migrate over to a new environment in WikiSpaces:

I am also considering having them make an edit or post to Wikipedia as part of their wiki project grade.

Todd said...

Not to down play this assignment, was a similar "cutting-edge" assignment created 10 years ago by asking student to write their term papers on a web page? I guess the question is how does placing something online motivate students to do better work? Does it make the students feel they are scholars or that they have added to the knowledge?