Changes in college students' perceptions of use of web-based resources for academic tasks with Wikipedia projects: A preliminary exploration

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Changes in college students' perceptions of use of web-based resources for academic tasks with Wikipedia projects: A preliminary exploration is a 2014 journal article written in English by Traphagan T., Traphagan J., Neavel Dickens L., Resta P. and published in Interactive Learning Environments.

[edit] Abstract

Motivated by the need to facilitate Net Generation students' information literacy (IL), or more specifically, to promote student understanding of legitimate, effective use of Web-based resources, this exploratory study investigated how analyzing, writing, posting, and monitoring Wikipedia entries might help students develop critical perspectives related to the legitimacy of Wikipedia and other publicly accessible Web-based resources for academic tasks. Results of survey and interview data analyses from two undergraduate courses indicated that undergraduate students typically prefer using publicly accessible Web-based resources to traditional academic resources, such as scholarly journal articles and books both in print and digital form; furthermore, they view the former as helpful academic tools with various utilities. Results also suggest that the Wikipedia activity, integrated into regular course curriculum, led students to gain knowledge about processes of Web-based information creation, become more critical of information on the Web, and evaluate the use of publicly accessible Web-based resources for academic purposes. Such changes appear more conspicuous with first year than with upper division students. The findings suggest that experiential opportunities to grapple with the validity of publicly accessible Web-based resources may prepare students better for their college and professional careers. The study results also indicate the need for integrating multiple existing frameworks for IL into one comprehensive framework to better understand various aspects of students' knowledge, use, and production of information from cognitive and technical perspectives and for a variety of purposes.

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