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Old 05-09-2009, 01:10 AM   #16
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i've caught (and usually fixed) plenty of innaccurate info on wikipedia, as i'm sure most people here have. any time i find something that is important to me on wiki, i check on it elsewhere. alas. many people i know take what they read on wikipedia as gospel.

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Originally Posted by thibaulthalpern View Post
I teach at the college level and I tell my students that Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information for citing or quoting. Yes you could rely on it for some general information when you don't need a strong basis for research. But, it's a horrible source to do solid research and learning.
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:18 AM   #17
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Anybody else wondering if they're looking at a way to save a pile of money, put a sugar coating on it(look we're understanding technology) Without really understanding what's involved?
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Old 05-09-2009, 02:27 AM   #18
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Well, they could just print out the textbooks in addition to distributing them digitally.
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:47 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thibaulthalpern View Post
I teach at the college level and I tell my students that Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information for citing or quoting. Yes you could rely on it for some general information when you don't need a strong basis for research. But, it's a horrible source to do solid research and learning.
Well, that makes you a bad teacher, who is part of the problem and not part of the solution. No text is a "reliable source of information", and you need to be teaching people critical thinking skills and how to apply what they've learned, not simply regurgitate it was gospel.
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:14 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by sirbruce View Post
Well, that makes you a bad teacher, who is part of the problem and not part of the solution. No text is a "reliable source of information", and you need to be teaching people critical thinking skills and how to apply what they've learned, not simply regurgitate it was gospel.
How exactly does telling a group of students that Wikipedia isn't reliable for quoting or citing make someone a bad teacher? All the teachers that I know tell their students exactly the same thing.

I also don't see where thibaulthalpern makes the claim that there are reliable sources that should be just believed without using any backup sources either. There's no reference in the post to regurgitating read info too. I'm sure any good teacher teaches critical thinking.

To call someone a bad teacher and accuse them of being part of the problem just because they understand the problems of citing from wikipedia (an opinion that is fully justified) is awfully judgmental and could easily be seen as offensive.

Last edited by deltop; 05-09-2009 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:56 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltop View Post
How exactly does telling a group of students that Wikipedia isn't reliable for quoting or citing make someone a bad teacher?
Because it's no more or less try than any other source.

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Originally Posted by deltop View Post
All the teachers that I know tell their students exactly the same thing.
That doesn't make it right. All the teachers used to say that humans had 48 chromosones, but it turns out it was only 46.

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Originally Posted by deltop View Post
I also don't see where thibaulthalpern makes the claim that there are reliable sources that should be just believed without using any backup sources either. There's no reference in the post to regurgitating read info too. I'm sure any good teacher teaches critical thinking.
The fact he singled out Wikipedia specifically indicates, by inference, that he doesn't have a problem with said students citing from regular encyclopedias, which could be even more innacurate. The fact he trusts the info written down in dusty old books, but not on Wikipedia, indicates a propensity for accepting regurgitated read info without thoughtful analysis as to the source. His inability to accept Wikipedia as a source indicates a weakness in critical thinking.

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Originally Posted by deltop View Post
To call someone a bad teacher and accuse them of being part of the problem just because they understand the problems of citing from wikipedia (an opinion that is fully justified) is awfully judgmental and could easily be seen as offensive.
The issue is not that he fully understands the problems of Wikipedia; I doubt he even does, but I'll grant it for the sake of argument. The issue is that he doesn't equivalently understand the problems of other cited sources, and yet accepts those sources while marginalizing Wikipedia. He furthermore foists this attitude off on students, which is bad teaching, especially in a digital age where people who do not know how to properly use tools like Wikipedia will be at a disadvantage in adulthood.

People should not be offended when they are informed they hold a poorly reasoned opinion; they should be thankful that someone is trying to correct their belief for their own benefit as well as the benefit of others.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:37 AM   #22
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FYI - Some very large Universities do not allow the referencing of Wikipedia in formal documents such as research papers and diploma thesis. I assume they have some rationale.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:46 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by sirbruce View Post
Because it's no more or less try than any other source.
In my experience it certainly is less reliable than other sources of information that are accepted in academic circles. Journals, text books and the like. Wikipedia needs to evolve more before it's accepted as a serious source of information. Information on wikipedia just isn't reviewed enough by people who are qualified to do so. Anyone can edit it regardless of whether they know what they are talking about. You can't say the same for academic journals which are peer reviewed or course text books.

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Originally Posted by sirbruce
The fact he singled out Wikipedia specifically indicates, by inference, that he doesn't have a problem with said students citing from regular encyclopedias, which could be even more innacurate. The fact he trusts the info written down in dusty old books, but not on Wikipedia, indicates a propensity for accepting regurgitated read info without thoughtful analysis as to the source. His inability to accept Wikipedia as a source indicates a weakness in critical thinking.
He didn't bring up Wikipedia, another poster did so he's hardly singling it out. And yes encyclopedias and the like can be inaccurate too, but mostly due to out of date information. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone. The amount of just plain wrong information on wiki far outstrips the amount of inaccurate information you will find in text books.

And by using words like "inferring" and "indicates" shows that you really have no idea what his thoughts are on printed media as reference sources. Your just guessing based on one widely held opinion he happens holds on wikipedia. Hardly a bases for saying he's bad at his job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirbruce
The issue is not that he fully understands the problems of Wikipedia; I doubt he even does, but I'll grant it for the sake of argument. The issue is that he doesn't equivalently understand the problems of other cited sources, and yet accepts those sources while marginalizing Wikipedia. He furthermore foists this attitude off on students, which is bad teaching, especially in a digital age where people who do not know how to properly use tools like Wikipedia will be at a disadvantage in adulthood.
Again you've no idea if he understands the problems of other cited sources, since he's yet to post an opinion of these. His opinion of Wikipedia was posted due to another poster bringing it up. I didn't see it as marginalizing Wikipedia at all. He's also a teacher at college level and has therefore probably had to deal with this very issue for a few years now, he's probably far more qualified to form an opinion on it than either of us.

I know that my father in law who teaches high school here in the uk is always complaining about the issue. His students are always trying to use wiki as a reference and therefore the number of inaccuracies that pop up in their essays and course work has increased dramatically.

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Originally Posted by sirbruce
People should not be offended when they are informed they hold a poorly reasoned opinion; they should be thankful that someone is trying to correct their belief for their own benefit as well as the benefit of others.
I doubt very much that his opinion is poorly reasoned, although it could be, since he's yet to explain to us how he came to it. Although since he's a teacher I can guess that he's probably had quite abit of experience at dealing with inaccurate info on wiki. I certainly would be offended if someone took a three line post by me on a forum, inferred far too much from it and then proceeded not only to tell me that I was bad at my job but also proceeded to tell me how I should be doing my job.

Last edited by deltop; 05-09-2009 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:57 AM   #24
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I've a question about "open-source". It's something like Wikipedia or it's about the format : EPUB for example ? An open format solve the problem to know what reader to buy. A free reader is some money no spent.

If its an open format, the "experts" could write the books and the editors win their money.

An "open-source" book could be read with many devices. I read some PDF files with XPDF for free. The "ereader" is a way to read, you can use a computer and have two or more pages on the screen or print some pages - all pages aren't always needed when you study for an exam.

May be there is some interests : economical for the Gov., pratical for the students and the scholl, and also for the nature - less printed book, less cutted trees ... ?

Last edited by Randy11; 05-09-2009 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:01 AM   #25
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Also profs would require texts written by colleagues from other schools in return for them doing the same. That was often a way to deflect the complaints. Once the collusion was abstracted by more than 3-levels it was really hard to figure out. It was a great way to keep the income flowing collectively.
Are just starting to make up stories here and there?

I teach at the college level and professors do not make that much money from books they write. It's not really any source of meaningful income at all!
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:03 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by basschick View Post
i've caught (and usually fixed) plenty of innaccurate info on wikipedia, as i'm sure most people here have. any time i find something that is important to me on wiki, i check on it elsewhere. alas. many people i know take what they read on wikipedia as gospel.
This is one reason why the citing of Wikipedia for academic writing is not supported, except perhaps of an example of something but not as a source of credible information because one cannot trace who wrote what easily and one doesn't know the expertise of who wrote what.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:05 AM   #27
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Well, they could just print out the textbooks in addition to distributing them digitally.
This, I do support--to have both print and digital versions available.

At this point, if we were to offer digital versions to the EXCLUSION of print, then I'm totally against it.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:08 AM   #28
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Well, that makes you a bad teacher, who is part of the problem and not part of the solution. No text is a "reliable source of information", and you need to be teaching people critical thinking skills and how to apply what they've learned, not simply regurgitate it was gospel.
Of course no text is a reliable source of information just because it's printed. You're the one making that leap of logic from my statement that I tell my students not to cite Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is never a credible source of information for writing academic papers because we don't know the expertise of the persons writing the entry and it is not easily traceable where certain information in Wikipedia comes from. In addition, one generally doesn't cite a general encyclopedia (which Wikipedia is) for academic writing whether it is printed or not.

By the way, if I'm part of the problem, what "problem" would this be?
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:10 AM   #29
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Cool

Lot of leaps of logic and logic fallicies below which I now see there is no need to engage in. Whew! Some folks! ;-)

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Because it's no more or less try than any other source.



That doesn't make it right. All the teachers used to say that humans had 48 chromosones, but it turns out it was only 46.



The fact he singled out Wikipedia specifically indicates, by inference, that he doesn't have a problem with said students citing from regular encyclopedias, which could be even more innacurate. The fact he trusts the info written down in dusty old books, but not on Wikipedia, indicates a propensity for accepting regurgitated read info without thoughtful analysis as to the source. His inability to accept Wikipedia as a source indicates a weakness in critical thinking.



The issue is not that he fully understands the problems of Wikipedia; I doubt he even does, but I'll grant it for the sake of argument. The issue is that he doesn't equivalently understand the problems of other cited sources, and yet accepts those sources while marginalizing Wikipedia. He furthermore foists this attitude off on students, which is bad teaching, especially in a digital age where people who do not know how to properly use tools like Wikipedia will be at a disadvantage in adulthood.

People should not be offended when they are informed they hold a poorly reasoned opinion; they should be thankful that someone is trying to correct their belief for their own benefit as well as the benefit of others.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:49 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltop View Post
In my experience it certainly is less reliable than other sources of information that are accepted in academic circles. Journals, text books and the like. Wikipedia needs to evolve more before it's accepted as a serious source of information. Information on wikipedia just isn't reviewed enough by people who are qualified to do so. Anyone can edit it regardless of whether they know what they are talking about. You can't say the same for academic journals which are peer reviewed or course text books.
You're making a judgement based upon an adherence to a particular procedure that you think will help achieve a certain level of reliability. This is a prior prejudice; anything that does not follow said procedure must be less reliable in your mind. But numerous studies have shown Wikipedia to be just as if not more reliable than those sources of information, despite following a different procedure to ensure that reliability.

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He didn't bring up Wikipedia, another poster did so he's hardly singling it out.
Now you're just playing word games. Who brought it up is irrelevant; he's singling it out from other encyclopedias, which one can infer are acceptable to him. If not, he's free to clarify, but pretending like this isn't a Wikipedia-centric issue is just muddying the waters.

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And yes encyclopedias and the like can be inaccurate too, but mostly due to out of date information. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone. The amount of just plain wrong information on wiki far outstrips the amount of inaccurate information you will find in text books.
The total amount of information on Wikipedia may far outstrip the total amount of information you will find in text books, depending on how you define it. There's little evidence to support your claim that on a percentage basis Wikipedia is more innacurate.

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And by using words like "inferring" and "indicates" shows that you really have no idea what his thoughts are on printed media as reference sources. Your just guessing based on one widely held opinion he happens holds on wikipedia. Hardly a bases for saying he's bad at his job.
It's a perfectly acceptable basis, and we make such judgements every day of our lives. He's free to defend himself; beyond that this is not a court of law.

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Again you've no idea if he understands the problems of other cited sources, since he's yet to post an opinion of these. His opinion of Wikipedia was posted due to another poster bringing it up. I didn't see it as marginalizing Wikipedia at all. He's also a teacher at college level and has therefore probably had to deal with this very issue for a few years now, he's probably far more qualified to form an opinion on it than either of us.
I disagree; I have an idea based on what he's already said, the fact someone else brought it up doesn't change what he said, and the fact that you don't feel qualified to form an opinion is not my problem.

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I know that my father in law who teaches high school here in the uk is always complaining about the issue. His students are always trying to use wiki as a reference and therefore the number of inaccuracies that pop up in their essays and course work has increased dramatically.
Oh, well, anectdotal evidence from your father-in-law surely trumps any systematic study of the issue. In the future we'll consult your father-in-law for the answers to all important questions.

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I doubt very much that his opinion is poorly reasoned, although it could be, since he's yet to explain to us how he came to it. Although since he's a teacher I can guess that he's probably had quite abit of experience at dealing with inaccurate info on wiki. I certainly would be offended if someone took a three line post by me on a forum, inferred far too much from it and then proceeded not only to tell me that I was bad at my job but also proceeded to tell me how I should be doing my job.
Then you should be careful what three lines you post, lest you provide evidence to make you appear so.
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