Wikipedia and EBP in academia and speech and language therapy/pathology

When you tell your students that they should not be citing Wikipedia in their essays, or even just using Wikipedia as a search tool, are the reasons you giveĀ evidence based?

Wikipedia = Reliable?After completing my first week of teaching at my new University I was led to do some research into ‘accuracy of Wikipedia’ after it has become clear that the students here seem to make use of technology within classes to a greater extent that I had previously experienced back in the UK. In one particular session where the students were working in groups it was not long before I heard reference made to Wikipedia as a source of information and then not long after this I saw another student actively scrolling through some information on the web-based “anyone can edit” encyclopaedia. Now, students (the vast majority anyway) so appear to be aware that their lecturers don’t like them to be citing Wikipedia in essays and such – I have explicitly dissuaded students from doing so myself. The reason I, and I’m sure many others give is generally along the lines of ‘you can’t trust the information to be reliable as it’s not written by ‘experts’ – anyone who wishes to do so can write anything about anything and so how can it be accurate to the level required at University?’

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Back to school / The reach and impact of Twitter and Blogging

First day at new school is comingAs a number of my regular readers and Twitter contacts already know I’ve started a new lecturing job at a University in Australia. Having taken the last 3 weeks or so to get familiar with new surroundings, work out how things are done in my new workplace, and prepare for my teaching responsibilities, tomorrow is the first day of the new teaching semester. For anyone back in the UK this is going to sound a bit weird as they are now firmly in the middle of summer vacation. But yes, in Australia the teaching semesters are ‘the wrong way around’ – so I’ve started in July ready to begin teaching for the second semester (i.e. in the middle of the calendar AND academic years). So this is all very exciting and of course a little nerve-racking given that this is my first full-time teaching position. In addition to the lecturing, I will also be picking up some clinical education responsibilities as the semester progresses, which at this moment in time is probably my stronger area simply because this is where the bulk of my teaching experience lies.

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