Press release August 30, 2009
Tomorrow, at Mid Sweden University, the world's probably first full university course solely devoted to Wikipedia as phenomenon will take off.
- I found that recurrent factual errors in my students' essays often stemmed from articles on Wikipedia, says Magnus Eriksson, Lecturer in Computer Science at Mid Sweden University. We do not want to prohibit them from using Wikipedia as a source. It is more constructive to give students the task to fix the problems and contribute to the encyclopaedia. Wikipedia is growing fast and is increasingly used in academia as well as professionally. We want to prepare students for this by providing a sound critical awareness rather than to ignore the phenomenon.
The distance course "Wikipedia - writing, reliability and technology, 7.5 ECTS-credits" is addressed to students, teachers, librarians, journalists, web developers and Wikipedia authors and administrators. But also others who want to discuss how to relate to Wikipedia as source, or who want to build and use their own wiki are the target group. Wikipedia have been a small part in university courses before, but this is probably the first time in the world where a course is entirely dedicated to Wikipedia.
- Initiatives like this from universities and colleges are encouraging, says Lennart Guldbrandsson, president of Wikimedia Sverige, and author of "Så fungerar Wikipedia" (How Wikipedia works) which is used as text book for the course. To disseminate understanding of Wikipedia is an important part in our efforts to improve the quality of Wikipedia. Both beginners and experienced Wikipedia writers and administrators need to deepen their knowledge about Wikipedia.
The course is given as a web-based course, requiring 20 weeks of 25% part-time studies during the autumn 2009. The language of instruction is Swedish. Several experienced Swedish Wikipedia writers have registered for the course in view to receive academic credits for their knowledge.
Wikimedia Sverige is the Swedish local chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation who runs Wikipedia. The chapter was founded in 2007 and aims to make knowledge free for all persons. Wikimedia Sverige's website is http://wikimedia.se
- Lennart Guldbrandsson, chair of Wikimedia Sverige, phone +46-70-207 80 05. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Johanna Sefyrin, ph.d. student in sociology and informatics, phone +46-60-14 89 53. E-mail: email@example.com
- Magnus Eriksson, lecturer in computer engineering, phone +46-60-14 87 40. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org