Deciphering student search behaviour – SEARCH – Research Information

Some interesting questions arise here …

Deciphering student search behaviour – SEARCH – Research Information.

… firstly – does it matter?
On the assumption that it does; why?
I certainly don’t see any problems with students discussing what they’re learning with each other; whether it’s via Facebook, MSN, over a cuppa, or whatever.
The second is something that I’d like to know more about; so, when students say they’re using Wikipedia, but citing from the items it references; are they doing something that I see as fine – using Wikipedia as a starting point, to then go and *read* the refs; or are they using Wikipedia & claiming they’ve read others?
To me, a lot of this returns to the question of assessment design; is the assessment ultimately to test whether or not facts are known, or is it how facts are used? If truly the latter; then, finding (and *verifying*) facts is only a starting point. And why not find them wherever is easy.
Oh, and have a look at ref. 1; in a bit more depth & some useful Presentations (inc. lots of refs)

Research about Wikipedia…

Students often ask about using Wikipedia for research – or, rather, some use it exclusively & then get upset when we ask for other sources. Others are too scared to use it! I often point out that it can be a legitimate source – especially if it is research about wikipedia. There’s a lot of it about … and a fair bit is, as you might expect listed on Wikipedia

Includes material that’s not in English.


I’ve heard about Citizendium a few times in the last few days. Today was, however, the first time that I went to it. It’s founded by Larry Sanger – one of the founders of Wikipedia.

The aims of the site are:

* We aim at credibility, not just quantity.
* Open to public participation—gently guided by experts.
(What a concept!)
* We write under our real names and are both collegial and congenial.
* We’re 5,700 articles (plus!) strong.
* Eduzendium participants write for academic credit.

It also claims:

The project, started by a founder of Wikipedia, feels that we can achieve this crucial improvement over Wikipedia through measures such as adding “gentle expert oversight” and requiring contributors to use their real names.

The registering process requires sending your name, preferably a work related email address, information about your interests – and for those wanting editor rights, CV and supporting publication lists etc. – clearly a lot more than Wikipedia requires. It’s probably worth watching.