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Learning by comparing with Wikipedia: the value to students’ learning

Aprendiendo mediante la comparación con Wikipedia: su importancia en el aprendizaje de los estudiantes


The main purpose of this research work is to describe and evaluate a learning technique that actively uses Wikipedia in an online master’s degree course in Statistics. It is based on the comparison between Wikipedia content and standard academic learning materials. We define this technique as ‘learning by comparing’. In order to evaluate the performance of this learning technique, data from different academic semesters was collected. Through different hypothesis tests, the academic performance of the students following a learning-by-comparing strategy is compared with the case where Wikipedia is not used.

Additionally, during the course the students are asked about the reliability, currentness, completeness and usefulness of Wikipedia, as rated on a 5-point Likert scale. This data is used to analyse the perceived quality of Wikipedia, for each statistical concept of the course, and to discover its relationship with academic performance. To that end, descriptive statistics, dependence tests, and contrasts of means have been performed.


El objetivo principal de este trabajo de investigación es describiry evaluar una técnica de aprendizaje que utiliza activamente Wikipedia, en el marco de una asignatura de Estadística de un máster en línea. Esta técnica se fundamenta en la comparación entre el contenido de Wikipedia y materiales académicos de aprendizaje estándar. Definimos esta técnica como «aprendizaje mediante la comparación». Con el fin de evaluar el rendimiento de esta técnica de aprendizaje, se han recogido datos de diferentes semestres académicos. Por medio de varias pruebas de hipótesis, se compara el desempeño académico de los estudiantes que han seguido esta estrategia de aprendizaje mediante la comparación con el de los que no la han utilizado.

Durante el curso se pregunta a los estudiantes sobre la fiabilidad, la actualización, la completitud y la utilidad de Wikipedia, mediante una escala Likert de 5 puntos. Estos datos son utilizados en este artículo para analizar la calidad percibida de Wikipedia, para cada concepto estadístico de la asignatura, y para descubrir su relación con el rendimiento académico. Para ello, se han utilizado estadística descriptiva, pruebas de dependencia y contrastes de medias.


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Correspondence to Antoni Meseguer-Artola.

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Meseguer-Artola, A. Learning by comparing with Wikipedia: the value to students’ learning. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 11, 57–65 (2014).

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  • e-Learning
  • higher education
  • Wikipedia
  • academic performance
  • quality

Palabras clave

  • e-learning
  • enseñanza superior
  • Wikipedia
  • rendimiento académico
  • calidad