It’s no secret that higher education is facing unprecedented challenges in the post-pandemic era in engaging and motivating students who have spent a long period of time studying in isolation during lockdowns. And now, the rapid development of AI throws an additional curveball into the mix for instructors seeking to help students master subject matter from reliable sources. Thanks to continued support from the Guru Krupa Foundation (GKF), 1,500 students studying STEM in higher education classrooms will complete a Wikipedia assignment, which provides a powerful incentive for students to bring high-quality knowledge to millions of people.
“Wikipedia articles represent one of the most accurate sources of STEM-related information that are widely accessed. The accuracy of Wikipedia articles is maintained by a near-continuous process of peer review and checks by members of the participating community. The Wikipedia Student Program helps college students review articles on Wikipedia related to their course of study, curate sources, and check articles for accuracy. Not only does this aid student learning, the process adds new members to the pool of Wikipedia reviewers for the future. The twin goals of maintaining sources of knowledge, and supporting youth in using these sources is very much in line with the mandates of GKF, and we are happy to be able to provide support for this project.” –Mukund Padmanabhan, President of Guru Krupa Foundation.
We know that Wikipedia continues to be a top source for health information on the web; it gets more traffic on medical articles than the NIH, WebMD, Mayo Clinic, NHO, or WHO. The Wikipedia readership of science articles is several times larger than the readership of all scientific publications combined. Wikipedia has more links from search engines than any other website, and is often the first search result listed when people look for scientific information.
Because tools like ChaptGPT are far from 100% accurate and can generate false sources, it’s imperative that Wikipedia articles on topics in STEM are devoid of misinformation. Understanding Wikipedia’s strict sourcing rules and policies forces students to discern what is real and fake as they edit an article. We consistently find improvement in students’ skills in digital media literacy, project management, research, and more after finishing the assignment.
A key result from this project will be the addition of 145,000 words of trustworthy information to hundreds of Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia enables free, open access to the latest research and discoveries for greater education of the general public and practitioners in the STEM fields.
The Guru Krupa Foundation’s grant will boost Wiki Education’s Communicating Science initiative, a staple of the organization’s strategy since the 2016 Year of Science. We are extremely proud of the pedagogical work that more than 52,000 students have undertaken in this area to date, expanding the coverage of science in 46,000 Wikipedia articles collectively viewed over a billion times and counting. This tremendous impact would not have been possible without the generosity of Wiki Education’s committed partners. We express our sincerest gratitude to the Guru Krupa Foundation for valuing a deep learning experience for all.