Kids Are Failing, It's All Wikipedia's Fault!

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by HardOCP News, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. hegulator

    hegulator Limp Gawd

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    There are two problems with citing wikipedia.

    1) The fluidity of it. When you reference a published book (along with the edition and year, of course), that reference will pretty much always exist. If somebody looks at your paper in 10 years, they could still find the exact text you referenced. When you try to cite something like a wikipedia article, the text you're citing could be gone the next day (as somebody mentioned before). It's like trying to build a castle in the swamp. With most websites worth citing, they archive all of their articles so, like with a book, you could likely find the exact same text in 10 years.

    2) Lack of "formal" peer editing. With most books or websites you'd want to cite for a research paper, they are formally editied/reviewed by a peer in the field before they are published. This is typically what gives a source a lot of credability, because it basically means at least two people have agreed that what is being published is correct.

    Wikipedia has the double sin of being both an encyclopedia source (which is already a no-no for research) AND a website that can be changed pretty much on a dime.
     
  2. Rydawg5143

    Rydawg5143 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I haven't read everyones posts, but I must say this as a few people have said stuff along the lines of ' omg use books'
    Why? when the same information is available online as in your local library. You can sit in your house drinking your kool-aid eatting a hot pocket while looking up WW2 facts.
    Granted not every site out there gives perfect information but if you research correctly ( use many sites) you can't go wrong
     
  3. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster [H]ard|Gawd

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    It's Dewey Decimal to the rescue!

    *what the hell is that they wisper!*
     
  4. SPARTAN VI

    SPARTAN VI [H]ardness Supreme

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    I didn't get an internet connection until my junior year in high school, which was 2003. So lucky me actually got to use my father's encyclopedia collections for my research papers. I often refered to my 2000 Microsoft Encarta, but usually couldn't find what I needed in that crap CD.
     
  5. xBanzai89

    xBanzai89 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I always used wikipedia to get background info. I went on from there to gather actual sources. Worked EVERY time. Made everything so much easier too.
     
  6. Ste

    Ste Gawd

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    wikipedia is the closet thing to a god..
     
  7. SexTreX

    SexTreX Limp Gawd

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    Of course the internet is much better for casual reading/fact finding, but these are students who are writing research papers for class, and from the article (which since that's what this thread is about, I assume EVERYONE read) a lot of students are having a hard time distinguishing good source material on World War II from some yahoo's view on how the Holocaust was a hoax.
    Okay, that was a pretty far-fetched example, but you catch my drift.
    Bottom line, students should be taught how to distinguish between a good and bad source, when to use the internet, and when to go and pull a book off the shelf.
     
  8. PornoSatan

    PornoSatan 2[H]4U

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    Wikipedia isn't as bad as some of you make it out to be. It's highly effective and reliable on most things. And even if you don't like it, it's still useful for finding sources on subjects. There's far far worse things that have happened to the internet than Wikipedia.

    I rank it among my top 5 favorite sites. If you don't think a subject you're educated on is accurate on Wikipedia, then feel free to change it, but be prepared to list your sources and have it scrutinized by other like minded and educated individuals.

    It's funny how if a kid has a full volume of Encyclopedia Britannica, and uses it for all his information that's OK, but if he uses an online source, such as Wikipedia, where literally thousands of times more people are able to access and contribute, it's frowned upon.

    Yeah it's not perfect. Sometimes the grammar is a little out of whack, but it's infinitely times better than no Wikipedia.
     
  9. Retronym

    Retronym Something big is coming.

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  10. Narisatu

    Narisatu Limp Gawd

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    PornoSatan, most people are not saying wikipedia in and of itself is bad, but using the article AS A SOURCE, is bad. Sure, use it as a starting point, check the sources it links to , and go from there, but if your using Wikipedia articles themselves as a source, then your just being lazy.
     
  11. NKDietrich

    NKDietrich [H]ardness Supreme

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    While Wikipedia is crap as a source, online researching when used properly is faster and covers a lot more ground than what you can find in most local libraries.

    There are plenty of peer-reviewed sources on the internet, which are no worse than their paper counterparts.
     
  12. e2g

    e2g Limp Gawd

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    Excuse me?!?!? I know most of my teachers normally said x amount of online sources but common sense (to me) that one should have several sources, be it all online or a mix to compare. Isn't that's what research is about, searching and trying to understand?
     
  13. e2g

    e2g Limp Gawd

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    Along with Google
     
  14. Rydawg5143

    Rydawg5143 [H]ardness Supreme

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    wikiality ftw! There is some truthiness in the replies here
     
  15. Trimlock

    Trimlock [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The teachers are definetly to blame here.

    Where I went to school, high school and college, I was forced to site multiple sources, not more then 2 could be from the internet and not more then 4 could be from books and I had to have at least 7 sources. We had to state where our main facts were derived from, what page on the site, what page in the book, what the newspaper was, sometimes even bring in copies of our stuff to prove this stuff, the funny thing is none of us thought it was very hard and very few failed our classes. If we lied about it and the teacher checked the source out it was automatic failure of the project. This was from my experience the common practice in the school system for San Diego.


    Our teachers would tell us where good places are to look for our material and if we had problems coming up with certain items for objectivity all we had to do was go over to them and explain our case, never was a big deal.

    So yea, blaming a site for the failing youth ... instead of blaming the teachers for not instilling good practices for their study is definetly the way to go!! :rolleyes:
     
  16. TechBoy

    TechBoy 2[H]4U

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    Idk I care little about wiki but what they are saying is that internet research is bad. I disagree totally. I dont always have time to drag myself to the library and search for books. When I can do it online in a few minutes. Books and written sources are NOT always accurate and some are just bull. Everything is biased even if it is just a little bit. Books and sources at a library are not an exception. What makes wiki any different? Its the people that choose how to use them not the source's fault. So I say this the council can go research why the hell are they wasting time on researching why online sources are faulty and more on what to do to change and adapt to the current state of the students environment.
     
  17. Wshmaster0

    Wshmaster0 2[H]4U

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    Why blame anyone but the person who wrote the damn paper?

    If the teacher said don't give me any cited materials from Wikipedia, those are the instructions... if the student does not follow instructions then they deserve a failing grade.

    Wiki doesn't make people stupid, it's people who choose to believe everything that Wiki says that are stupid.
     
  18. obs

    obs 2[H]4U

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    Solution: put books online

    problem solved.
     
  19. Wshmaster0

    Wshmaster0 2[H]4U

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    if it's to further education.. it costs to much and no one cares enough to fund it.

    offer a gas incentive with the deal and im sure that everyone will be all for it.
     
  20. Narisatu

    Narisatu Limp Gawd

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    There is a project at the library of Congress to digitize that entire collection.
     
  21. BallerX

    BallerX [H]ard|Gawd

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    Like the crap in the library is more true. LOL, hillarious. If these teachers think that everything on wiki is wrong, then why don't they spend some time and correct it?
    What is dark matter?
    It's matter that they have to add to their computer models to make the universe work right.
    I.E. They don't know shit about the universe or much else. I learned that the civil war was fought to end slavery. The truth is it was fought to win federal power over the states. Slavery was used as a bargaining chip for totalitarian rule.
    Slavery is wrong. Support the federal government and relinquish your rights to self govern.
    Kiddie Porn is wrong. Support the federal government and relinquish your rights against unlawful search.
    Terrorism is wrong. Support the federal government and relinquish your rights to a fair and speedy trial(among other things).
    Next thing you know we are right back into slavery and this time it's not wrong. Go figure.
     
  22. Jaerb4

    Jaerb4 Gawd

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    I think you are a fine example of why people should not take Wikipedia entries to heart.
     
  23. Narisatu

    Narisatu Limp Gawd

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    I think you should pay a bit more attention to history.
     
  24. Shlomo

    Shlomo 2[H]4U

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    Jesus christ people, Wikipedia ISN'T a resource! It's a goddamn easy to find index for your topic. Oh, I need to write a paper on Global Warming... omgomgomg watamigonnadoliektheresnothingonitatmylibrary! Oh, wikipedia, thanks! Hai look, its even got references on the bottom of the page that are from scientific experiments by various colleges! Yay! Easy to find references on the topic at hand, thank you wikipedia!
     
  25. Jaerb4

    Jaerb4 Gawd

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    I'm pretty well studied with American history, and that includes more than just muckrakers like Zinn. Slavery was at the heart of the reason that the South became a colony for the North and Lincoln's decision wasn't simply about gaining more federal power, it was about retaining any federal power at all. I'm sure BallerX would love it if the US went back to a confederation, or worse, but most thoughtful people do not.
     
  26. Jaerb4

    Jaerb4 Gawd

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    God I wish there was an edit. If the issue were as centralized around Federal power and States' rights as some people believe, then the Civil War would've happened after Jackson told SC to stfu.
     
  27. dochmbi

    dochmbi Limp Gawd

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    Ok this is utter bullshit. Wikipedia is as accurate as Encyclopedia Britannica, this was recently tested. google it
     
  28. BallerX

    BallerX [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm sure you don't know me or what I believe or would like. What color do you think my skin is? Apparently, to you it matters. I'm sure your the kind of person who would attack someone personally to elicit a response. Other than that, I don't know much else nor do I care to. I'm sure your gonna tell us though.:rolleyes:
     
  29. GJSNeptune

    GJSNeptune [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Sure, but...

    The study makes you trust Nature's designated "field experts," which could be just as credible as the people who edit Wikipedia.

    Still interesting though.
     
  30. bexamous

    bexamous [H]ard|Gawd

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    http://news.scotsman.com/education/Falling-exam--passes-blamed.4209408.jp

    Yeah lets blame every problem on the Internet, that'll surely fix it.

    So wait, is the Internet the problem or is the problem plagiarism? Plagiarism is problem, not Internet.

    There is also more good information available to someone online than in a library? Maybe the problem is identifying good information from bad? Maybe someone should, I dunno, teach someone how to research? Or maybe not, Internet is just bad.

    Great. Using this awesome logic we can ban the use of books in general. Or are they implying books never have errors?

    Are they unable to even identify what they are blaming? Are the blaming the Internet because it has false information, or are they blaming pupils for believing what they read? They seem to get this idea to ban information from the Internet so people have to get it from a book... :SKLDHGSD? Wouldn't they then be believing what they read from the book?

    Guess what, blaming Internet for problems is going to get NOTHING done... its not going anywhere. Maybe give kids the assignment of looking fact checking some Wikipedia article. Learn to research and learn not to blindly trust information. Teachers / school system is the problem. Or the kids. Or the parents. Lets just blame everyone. Internet is the problem too. So is lack of funding. So is TV and video games. Don't people get sick of placing blame? Identifying a problem and solving it is one thing... just wildly placing blame is retarded.
     
  31. Jaerb4

    Jaerb4 Gawd

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    I don't care what your personality or beliefs are. All I care is that "If these teachers think that everything on wiki is wrong, then why don't they spend some time and correct it?" was the most ludicrous statement I'd heard all day, and the rest of your post seemed to make it better.
     
  32. lucky777

    lucky777 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Wow, play the blame game would you. I can't believe they're using Wikipedia as a scape goat for this. The problem isn't Wikipedia, it's the majority of the school systems here (especially the universities).
    [​IMG]
     
  33. BallerX

    BallerX [H]ard|Gawd

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    What? ????
    I don't know about you but that sounds perfectly reasonable to me. I use wiki to find the information I should be reading. Thats all its good for and thats all it should be used for.
     
  34. hegulator

    hegulator Limp Gawd

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    It really seems pretty simple to me.

    1) Encyclopedias in general are not good sources for research papers.

    2) A source which can be edited (without clear editions/revision levels) is troublesome to cite because you can never be sure it will always refer back to the same text.

    These are the two reasons why wikipedia is a bad source to cite directly.
     
  35. //[T.0.P]//

    //[T.0.P]// Limp Gawd

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    Has anyone mentioned why kids are really failing? (I didn't want to read all 4 pages of this thread, but this isn't my homework either)

    You know why? Because the kids are only using one source.You gotta look at the children in mind. They are doing the simplest task in completing an assignment. Kind of what we did back when we were getting free education: Copying off one another or half-ass reading the books. At least the teacher's go by the books, so it works the old way.

    And this isn't the kids' fault. It's always the parents and teachers!

    But don't blame Wiki, you "think of the children" mom bitches!
     
  36. bob

    bob 2[H]4U

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    I wonder what people blamed failing grades on, before the internet. Drugs? Nixon? Rock-n-Roll music?

    Anyways, it is not because of wiki, like many school teachers and college professors seem to hinge blame on. Its because children, students, adults... Humans in general, are opportunists. Sure, doing it the right way helps you learn... but visiting wiki and having everything already done is the easy, A-grade earning way of doing it. Only a person with a solid sense of arrogant pride, or a person too stoned to use the internet, would do otherwise.

    *WARNING* The following may contain sarcasm:

    Current acedemic research process:
    1. Assign kids essay/report, due 1-2 weeks or more from now.
    2. Kids go to library to use the internet, visit ebaumsworld, look up yo-mama jokes, etc until the class-period is over.
    3. 20 minutes before the assignment is due, quickly Google the topic, & make copypasta, edit sentances and paragraphs so it doesnt look like plagerism. 5 minutes of work, 10 tops. Hit spellcheck, then print, staple together.
    4. Hand in assignment, school checks with lame automated anti-plagerism sites that just google half of what you hand in, word-for-word verbatim.
    5. Receive high grade for said assignment, while knowing you did absolutley no actual work.

    Possible old-school method:
    1. Assign kids essay/report/long-assed assignment involving reading a book or two
    2. No internet use, no laptops. Pen, paper, and the wonderful moldy books.
    3. Make assignment due at the end of class... or whenever, so kids cant go home and use their internet, or use the internet while on break/lunch.
    4. Turn in said assignment, painfully hand-written out in ink, no spellcheck, no google, no wiki, with complete "works cited". (One of my teachers made us actually book-mark the pages in the books we used for references, and we had to point out where we got our info, or it was a zero. This filtered out copypasta, and made-up BS).
    5. Receive a grade for actually learning something, or at least appearing to learn something.
     
  37. acidic

    acidic Gawd

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    College level papers should not be citing wikipedia. Any university should have access to an Academic database. I know the UCs do, and it provide far richer, educated, relevant and legitmate resource than wiki.

    However, as a CS major, I think wikipedia + google = the best handbook ever. Not for papers though.
     
  38. Kog12

    Kog12 Limp Gawd

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    When getting info from wiki I check if the paper link is provided, review it and cite THAT, not wiki.
     
  39. alexyang

    alexyang Limp Gawd

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    Strictly speaking, citing primary sources when one has only read the secondary source is plagiarism. Why do secondary sources exist in the first place? Basically, the primary source may contain a lot of information that is not relevant to future researchers. The secondary source is a condensation of key information from primary sources. It is important to understand that the author of the secondary source has actually read the primary sources. That was his research, and his book is his findings.

    If you cite a primary source even though it was the secondary source that you read, then you are telling your audience, “I actually read that primary source and found that piece of information amidst all the statistics, experimental procedures, and so forth.”

    Of course, there is a cheap way to circumvent this aspect of plagiarism: just pick up a physical or electronic copy of the primary source and go to that specific page.
     
  40. krupted

    krupted 2[H]4U

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    i never understood why people compare books to the internet. books are a source, the internet is a medium. the internet can carry books. books cannot carry the internet.