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Comunicar Journal 49: Media Education around the World: Curriculum and Citizenship (Vol. 24 - 2016)

The Wiki learning project: Wikipedia as an open learning environment


Traditional educational models limit learning possibilities to formal and closed environments. However, mobile technologies and digital platforms are changing this paradigm, expanding learning opportunities. Based on the principles of peer knowledge production, we argue that Wikipedia can be used as an open learning environment that serves several purposes: a) it allows the acquisition of basic skills; b) it contributes to collective intelligence; c) it shortens the global knowledge gap; and, d) it enables the creation of global learning networks. The aim of this study is to introduce the process, strategies, and results of the implementation of the Wiki Learning project at a Mexican university, as an open learning model for the use of Wikipedia as a learning tool. This project included a variety of activities, from article production to workshops by and for students and teachers; 115 students and 57 teachers were surveyed to identify their perception about Wikipedia, its use and potential as educational tool. The results showed that, although the majority are Wikipedia users, there is still a lack of knowledge about its functioning, structure and communities, and a negative perception of the Wikipedia. This poses a great challenge to overcome this stigma and recover the value of collective knowledge production, the purpose of the encyclopedia and its place as a relevant product of collective intelligence.