- See more at Wikipedia article on Wikipedia.
Wikipedia is a multilingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia project. The name is a portmanteau of the words wiki, the Hawaiian word meaning quick, and encyclopedia. Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers, allowing most of its articles to be edited by almost anyone with access to the website and is a free site for all types of ages. Its main servers are in Tampa, Florida, with additional servers in Amsterdam and Seoul.
Wikipedia was launched as an English language project on January 15, 2001, as a complement to the expert-written and now defunct Nupedia, and is now operated by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. It was created by Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales; Sanger resigned from both Nupedia and Wikipedia on March 1, 2002. Wales has described Wikipedia as "an effort to create and distribute a multilingual free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language".
Wikipedia has more than six million articles in many languages, including more than 1.5 million articles in the English-language version and more than half a million in the German-language version. There are 250 language editions of Wikipedia, and 18 of them have more than 50,000 articles. The German-language edition has been distributed on DVD-ROM, and there have been proposals for an English DVD or print edition. Since its inception, Wikipedia has steadily risen in popularity, and has spawned several sister projects. According to Alexa, Wikipedia ranks among the top fifteen most visited sites, and many of its pages have been mirrored or forked by other sites, such as Answers.com.
There has been controversy over Wikipedia's reliability and accuracy, with the site receiving criticism for its susceptibility to vandalism, uneven quality and inconsistency, systemic bias, and preference for consensus or popularity over credentials. Information is sometimes unconfirmed and questionable, lacking the proper sources that, in the eyes of most "Wikipedians" (as Wikipedia's contributors call themselves), are necessary for an article to be considered "high quality". However, a 2005 comparison performed by the science journal Nature of sections of Wikipedia and the Encyclopædia Britannica found that the two were close in terms of the accuracy of their articles on the natural sciences. This study was challenged by Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., who described it as "fatally flawed".
Wikipedia and the Neutrality Principle
A precis of key ideas from Jose Van Dijck, who wrote a chapter on Wikipedia and the neutrality principle in her 2013 book, The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media (Oxford University Press).
The following is a list of learning resources that may be useful as course material on courses about Wikis and Wikipedia. The list is organized after resource type, and includes resources developed within this project and related Wikiversity projects as well as external links.
- Suggested syllabus for a university level course named Wikis and Wikipedia - Authoring, Reliability and Technology
- /Writing an article on Wikipedia: a course to take a new user through the process of writing or editing their first article.
Assignments and exercises
- Wikipedia/Quizzes - Multiple choice questions about Wikipedia policies and Wikipedia criticism.
- Wikipedia pop quiz - at Fanpop.com - Multiple choice questions about Wikipedia history and Wikipedia statistics
- Inside_Wikipedia#Discussion - Suggested discussion topics about Wikipedia policies and Wikipedia criticism.
- Wikipedia/Discussion topics - Suggested discussion forum assignments related to the videos and other course materials below
- Wikimedia Ethics/Suggested essays
- Wikipedia/Suggested essays
- Wikipedia/Practical exercises
- Generating dynamic content with MediaWiki - Practical exercises
- Wikipedia/Lab assignments
- Wikipedia/Exam questions
- Wikipedia/Course evaluation form
These are recorded seminars, lectures, webinars and instructions videos related to Wikipedia:
- Jimmy Wales, "The Intelligence of Wikipedia", Oxford Internet Institute webcast (54 minutes Real Media or MPEG4) Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales explains the history and growth of Wikipedia with a particular focus on the internal community process which ensure a constant growth in quality.
- Wikia training videos
- Youtube search: Wikipedia
These are slide show presentations, lecture notes and handouts related to Wikipedia:
- Anne Pemberton, Rachel Radom, "Wikipedia 360° - The Good, The Bad, and the Anonymous", Randall Library, University of North Carolina Wilmington, September 2007
- Phoebe S. Ayers, "Wikipedia 101 - or, how I learned to stop worrying and trust the Internet", UC Davis University Library, California Library Association Annual Meeting, February 2007
- Aubri Keleman, "Teaching in Wikiland - An introduction to using Wikis in the classroom, January 2006
- Martha Groom, Andreas Brockhaus, "Using Wikipedia to Re-envision the Term Paper", University of Washington Bothell, October 2007
- Ken Winter, "Wiki, the Web and WorldCat: Open Editing and Research In Action" Committee on Library and Information Science for Transportation Annual meeting, January 2006
- Dirk Riehle, "Learning from Wikipedia: Open collaboration within organisations", Talk the Future - the Future of Work and Business Conference, September 2008
- Irwin King, "The what & why of Wikis", The Chinese University of Hongkong, February 2008
These are peer-reviwed acedemic papers related to Wikipedia, that students may review and use as references:
- Academic studies about Wikipedia A review of some research publications related to Wikipedia
- List of academic studies on Wikipedia (w:WP:ACST) List of academic conference presentations, peer-reviewed papers and other types of academic writing which focus on Wikipedia
- Wiki Research Bibliography - meta list article
- Wikimedia research - Wikiversity category
- Google scholar search: Wikipedia
These text books may be used as course literature:
- John Broughton, Wikipedia: The Missing Manual, O'Reilly, 2008 - Preview
- Phoebe Ayers, Charles Matthews, and Ben Yates (September 2008). How Wikipedia Works - And How You Can Be a Part of It. San Francisco: No Starch Press. ISBN 978-1-59327-176-3.
- Dan Woods, Peter Thoeny, Ward Cunningham, Wikis For Dummies, 2007 - Preview
- Wiki Science - wikibook
- Starting and Running a Wiki Website - wikibook
- MediaWiki Administrator's Handbook - wikibook
- MediaWiki User Guide - wikibook
- List of books which have discussed Wikipedia
- Google books search for "Wikipedia"
These glossares may serve as lists of terms that a student should understand after a course about Wikipedia:
These are articles, essays and help pages available at en.wikipedia.org, that may be useful as course materials on a course about Wikipedia:
- Welcome to Wikipedia
- Help pages
- Criticism of Wikipedia
- Reliability of Wikipedia
- Citing Wikipedia
- Researching with Wikipedia
- History of Wikipedia
- Why Wikipedia is not so great
- School and university projects
- Wikipedia statistics
- Wikipedia article traffic statistics - Comparison of invidual articles
- Wikimedia official statistics - Comparison of wiki language versions
- Wikistats by S23 - Statistics about Mediawikis - Comparison of wiki language versions
- List of Wikipedias - Comparison of wiki language versions
- Poll of Wikimedians by religion
University level courses
- Informatics BA (A), Wikipedia – Authoring, Reliability and Technology, 7.5 higher education credits, Swedish distance course offered from fall 2009.
Other courses, workshops, conferences and events
- Wikipedia academies
- Elective part of the Australian Higher School Certificate syllabus English stage 6, Standard Module C, Elective 1: The Global Village, 2009-2012 (Board of Studies, New South Wales). See media coverage: Wikipedia Signpost, www.brisbanetimes.com.
Other lists of learning resources
- Government of Western Austarialian, Department of education & training, Resourcing the Curriculum: Wikis in te classroom
- Government of Western Austarialian, Department of education & training, Resourcing the Curriculum: Wikipedia
- K-12 wiki resources
- Utah State University list of resources: Wiki
- Utah State University list of resources: Web2.0: Wikis
See also other wikiversity resources and pages:
- How to be a Wikimedia sysop
- Wikimedia studies portal - a Wikiversity portal
- School of WikiService
- Wikimedia Ethics