Earlier this month I attended the launch event for Open Educational Resources university, a consortium that is tying together the best of formal and informal education. I’m really excited about what this means for the future of higher ed, and I think that Wikipedia can be used as a teaching tool in ways that unlock great opportunities. I explain why in this 5 minute video from the event:
To add to what I said in the video, which focuses on the open, online Wikipedia class I will be teaching at the University of Mississippi in the spring, I remain very optimistic about the benefits of using Wikipedia as a teaching tool. Having students use Wikipedia can promote a variety of worthwhile learning outcomes, including:
- Building competence in collaborating in an online peer production community, an increasingly valuable skill in many fields;
- Developing literacy in online media; learning to evaluate the quality and appropriate use of a given online resource;
- Learning to write from a neutral point of view, skill which complements the persuasive style usually encouraged in essay writing.
For a more complete list of learning outcomes, see this page on Wikimedia’s Outreach Wiki.
I am looking forward to teaching the class, and to working more closely with those in the OERu network. I think we will find ways to use Wikipedia to help achieve the goals of the project.
Be sure to check out the other interviews in the video series — great stuff from Paul Stacey, Joyce McKnight, and others!