Module 3 Summary

In this weeks module we discussed the validity of using Wikipedia as a legitimate source of information. As university students, everyone seemed to have the same experiences with Wikipedia. Mostly everyone discussed that professors did not allow them to use Wikipedia as a source of information for writing their essays or research papers, due to the fact that anyone can go in and edit Wikipedia pages, and the people monitoring these pages are not qualified enough. It seems as though most people somewhat agree with this, however have found Wikipedia to be useful for gaining a good base knowledge and then further investigating their topic and finding evidence elsewhere, such as places that professors and Brock University deems acceptable. I don’t think I have yet read a comment where someone has said they are completely against Wikipedia. For the most part every student has said they use Wikipedia to gather quick facts, or answers to questions they have because Wikipedia is a fast and organized way of gathering information. Most comments agree that with information sharing, we have to be careful and double check what information we use, but being able to share information within a community like Wikipedia comes with many advantages, seemingly more so then disadvantages. Overall, everyone seems to understand the risks and weaknesses of having complete trust in Wikipedia, but feel the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, especially since it is almost comparable to the Encyclopedia Britannica. I think that it is good mostly all students recognize the fact that Wikipedia cannot be used as a sole source of information, and are aware of other ways to back up their research through scholarly sources and peer-reviewed articles. I still believe that as stated in Giles’ article Internet Encyclopedias go head to head, creating ways for Wikipedia articles to show their legitimacy by introducing a stable version of each entry would help to eliminate the ban on using Wikipedia as a source for students. If this were to happen, then we as students will have the liberty and convenience of using Wikipedia’s fast paced and organized manner of information to our benefit, which is what the majority of the students stated they found useful about Wikipedia in the first place. 

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