A Student of History

February 21, 2007

Wikipedia smacked again

Filed under: The Academy — John Maass @ 10:34 am

Back in August I posted on some troubles Wikipedia has had, mainly regarding their accuracy.  Well, actually lack of it.  This is in the news again (hat tip: HNN).

Middlebury College in VT has now banned the use of this on-line “resource” by its students in their assignments because of continued complaints by faculty.   In a NYT article, we read:

When half a dozen students in Neil Waters’s Japanese history class at Middlebury College asserted on exams that the Jesuits supported the Shimabara Rebellion in 17th-century Japan, he knew something was wrong. The Jesuits were in “no position to aid a revolution,” he said; the few of them in Japan were in hiding.

He figured out the problem soon enough. The obscure, though incorrect, information was from Wikipedia, the collaborative online encyclopedia, and the students had picked it up cramming for his exam.

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