The Elephant in the Room: A Place for Wikipedia in Higher Education?


  • Hilde Brox University of Tromsø



Wikipedia, web 2.0 tools, higher education, Teacher Education, digital literacy, information literacy


The article departs from a pilot survey among Norwegian teacher students that maps their usage, skills and attitudes in relation to the web based encyclopedia Wikipedia. The survey shows that the students are heavy users of Wikipedia content yet show a low  level  of knowledge as  to  how content  is  constructed  or  the  ways  in  which Wikipedia differs  from traditional,  paper-based  encyclopedias.  The  students also express little interest in parttaking in creating content or maintaining the site. The second part of the article argues that a way to remedy both lack of knowledge and interest  among  students  is  to  bring  Wikipedia  actively  into  the classrooms and enable students to take part in creating and maintaining Wikipedia content. This way, Wikipedia may serve as an effective tool with which to address and enhance a range of central 21st century skills. 

Author Biography

Hilde Brox, University of Tromsø

Hilde Brox, Cand. Philol., works as an English lecturer at the Department of Teacher Education and Pedagogy at Tromsø University. She is presently working on a PhD project concerning uses of wikis and Wikipedia in Teacher Education. Her research interests include collaborative writing, visual literacy, multimodal texts and the use of web 2.0 tools in teaching and learning.




How to Cite

Brox, Hilde. 2012. “The Elephant in the Room: A Place for Wikipedia in Higher Education?”. Nordlit, no. 30 (October):143-55.

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