ERIC Number: EJ1022062
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
Using the Internet for Gerontology Education: Assessing and Improving Wikipedia
Infeld, Donna Lind; Adams, William C.
Educational Gerontology, v39 n10 p707-716 2013
Older adults, students, professionals, and the general public increasingly turn to the Internet and to Wikipedia for information. Wikipedia, the world's sixth most used website, is by far the most widely used open-source information site. Among its nearly four million English-language encyclopedia articles, how thorough is coverage of key gerontology topics? Focusing on 315 important terms found across four leading gerontology sources, almost 3 out of 10 terms had no Wikipedia article at all, including some surprising omissions. And another 3 out of 10 terms had articles that treated the topic without any specific mention of aging. Only about 4 out of 10 terms had articles with content focusing on aging; however, using various measures, the articles that were relevant rated comparatively high overall. This popular encyclopedia is a work in progress and was found to have considerable room for improvement in its coverage of gerontology. Interested parties can upgrade its content by working as individuals, as organized WikiProjects, or in academic courses. This paper describes how faculty can incorporate assignments where students expand and improve Wikipedia pages based on course research about specific aging topics. While educating their students, they can simultaneously help educate older adults as well as the general public about gerontology.
Descriptors: Educational Gerontology, Technology Uses in Education, Web 2.0 Technologies, Internet, Web Sites, Content Analysis, Electronic Publishing, Open Source Technology, Aging (Individuals), Literature Reviews, Educational Quality, Metadata, Usability
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A