Advisor

Gall, James E.

Committee Member

Williams, Mia K.

Committee Member

Bauer, Jeffery W.

Committee Member

Shellito, Lucinda J.

Department

Educational Technology

Institution

University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources

Text

Place of Publication

Greeley (Colo.)

Publisher

University of Northern Colorado

Date Created

12-1-2011

Genre

Thesis

Extent

206 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital

Description

This study involved an analysis of 147 Wikipedia science articles using content and social network analysis to explore authorial relationships between articles and test a theoretical approach to using accidental collaboration as a tool to legitimize collaboratively constructed knowledge. Contrary to Wikipedia's tagline of "anyone can edit," this study found that articles had a small number of prolific contributors and that these contributors had educational background and edit history suggesting they were knowledgeable about the topics to which they contributed. Results also showed that articles found via accidental collaboration tended to be scientific in nature and often had direct subject matter relationships to their corresponding seed article. Taken together, these results suggest that Wikipedia science articles are at least partially written by knowledgeable individuals. Implications include rethinking how Wikipedia is used by teachers and students; its potential as a tool for developing critical literacy and 21st century skills; and the need for continued research to further explore the issues of legitimacy and reliability of Wikipedia in various subject areas. Due to the limitations of this study, generalizations beyond the science articles studied cannot be made.

Degree type

PhD

Degree Name

Doctoral

Language

English

Local Identifiers

Hutchinson_unco_0161D_10116.pdf

Rights Statement

Copyright is held by author.

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