Education/Newsletter/December 2015/Education students in Uruguay reflect on Wikipedia as a learning tool
By Roxana Sordo
Snippet: Wikipedia Education Program helps as both, a learning tool and an evaluation tool as well.
Every year in late October, the second semester tests take place as part of a formal assessment tool at Instituto de Profesores Artigas in Montevideo, Uruguay. Once again, we can see students struggling to graduate. They would sit for several semester tests, they hand in the paper and hopefully, make a grade. Most of the tests are content-based and there is little room for metacognitive strategies, discussions or reflections on the course. Can we make a change as teacher trainers? How can we include e-assessment in a creative way?
Bottom-up innovations seem to be the answer. It´s been the second year in a row that senior education students attending English as a Foreign Language classes at Instituto de Profesores Artigas have used alternative assessment. Professors Beatriz Teijeira and Roxana Sordo have been using Wikipedia as a teaching tool and as an evaluation tool, as well.
Once students have learned about Wikipedia and some edition tools by means of workshops, they work on an article on their minors or majors that needs improvements or they create an article on their own in the Spanish Wikipedia based on an article in the English Wikipedia. They use self-evaluation forms, peer evaluation and at the end of the process, they make a presentation of the article which includes a reflection on their learning process. They create a pdf presentation as a visual aid to develop their speech. Moreover, Education students are given some guiding questions in advance so that they can organize their presentation and reflect on the article search and criteria selection, their reading strategies, their collaborative work, their learning processes and Wikipedia in education:
1. Article search and selection criteria
What search and selection criteria have you used in order to find and select the Wikipedia article?
Describe the article. Include how and why you have selected it.
2. Reading strategies
What reading strategies have you used when doing the task? Mention how you have approached the texts, the actions you have taken and the resources you have used to understand the text.
3. Collaborative work organization
How have you organized your work when writing the article? Why have you decided to do so?
How do you evaluate your work? What have you learned? What do you need to improve?
Reflect on your learning process and the goals you have achieved by using Wikipedia.
Reflect on Wikipedia in education. Would you use Wikipedia in your classes?
The author would like to thank Professor Fernando Da Rosa for his leading role in the Education Program in Uruguay, his commitment and his positive feedback.