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No more classwork, go to Wikipedia



No more classwork, go to Wikipedia


Raise your hand to the professors who had thought of it in Italy: few? Nobody? Instead, Professor Martha Groom, of the University of Washington-Bothell had just this idea : why still insist on sterile, outdated and, above all, hermetic means of didactic verification? So many efforts, except for cases of extreme skill, today remain confined within the walls of the educational institute, whatever it is. Why not think of Wikipedia which, in its various international versions, is so thirsty for serious, safe, reliable, academically valid pages? Let’s use it and let’s transfer the knowledge acquired during the study, with diligence and with all the necessary checks.

This, in a nutshell, the idea of ​​the teacher, also committed to the environment and ecology. The Groom has included the novelty within the Educause 2007 project, in which she, together with her colleague Andreas Brockhaus, was the curator of an interesting slideshow.

And the results, as Inside Higher Ed tells us, are already visible : launching this search on Google (“deforestation roman”, deforestation in Roman times), one of the first results is this Wikipedia page, more than eloquent result of the initiative.

However, it does not seem that the idea was received with blind enthusiasm by Wikipedia, warns ArsTechnica: one of the pages inserted seems to have lasted only 24 hours. Another four, after heated squabbles, have been removed and their content “added” to other pre-existing ones. The question, Ars explains, also lies in the fact that Wikipedia already includes a great deal of human knowledge: the space for commendable initiatives such as that of Professor Groom must consider yourself limited . Therefore, the path of adopting such a long-term solution as a tasty, evolved alternative to periodic verification tests seems impractical.

The brilliance of the invention remains undoubted, which, with all the best wishes, could also be approached by Italian educational institutes and universities. Maybe choosing the themes to deal with more accurately.

Marco Valerio Principality