Wikipedia: tying together formal & informal education

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!

About Pete Forsyth

Pete Forsyth is the principal of Wiki Strategies, and a Wikipedia expert. Full bio here:
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