Friday, January 26, 2007

Inside Higher Ed: A Stand Against Wikipedia

From Inside Higher Ed:

"While plenty of professors have complained about the lack of accuracy or completeness of entries, and some have discouraged or tried to bar students from using it, the history department at Middlebury College is trying to take a stronger, collective stand. It voted this month to bar students from citing the Web site as a source in papers or other academic work. All faculty members will be telling students about the policy and explaining why material on Wikipedia — while convenient — may not be trustworthy."

Comment: I completely disagree with Middlebury's approach. At least the reporter for this piece, Scott Jaschik, included perspectives that make more sense. Roy Rozenzweig from George Mason University found that Wikipedia is "as accurate or more accurate than more traditional encyclopedias." And Steven Bell from Temple University made the best argument -- students should be taught how to evaluate the quality of information, regardless of the source.