When we search for something on line, Wikipedia often offers the top result. We are happy to receive the answer so quickly and are likely to believe Wikipedia over other sites on the Internet. Yet all articles on Wikipedia are not of equal quality. How can we assess the quality of an article that we are reading? In this course, we will explore how Wikipedia works, what are the principles on which it operates, and how to understand the quality of what we are reading.
Class members may identify topics that interest them, assess the quality of what’s currently onWikipedia, and identify what could be done to make improvements. Participants will derive the most benefit, if they bring their own laptop or tablet to the course.
This course is for those who enjoy the pursuit of knowledge, who rely on Wikipedia, who wish to know the reliability of what they are reading and who may wish to leave the state of knowledge in Wikipedia better than they found it.
STEPHEN FLANDERS: B.S. M.Arch M.I.T. School of Architecture, M.E. Dartmouth Thayer School of Engineering. Flanders is a retired research supervisory engineer from the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory. Among his interests, is editing and creating articles in Wikipedia. He has created or substantially expanded biographical articles pertaining to people in science, technology, politics, academics and the arts.