The present study investigates on the learning impact of utilizing Wikipedia’s community in education. Today, many instructors assign their students editing Wikipedia’s articles as part of their coursework. Participation in a cyber-community during an educational assignment exposes students to a brand new culture and netiquette, to a set of explicit and tacit rules and cultural norms. This requires students to internalize the embedded online culture in order to join the community — a form of acculturation which may cause stress, but which can lead to opportunities for growth, learning and development. By taking advantage of a virtual community, educators can literally bring a whole thriving community into their classrooms. The acculturation of the educational group into the culture of a hosting virtual community, through collaborative actions, conflicts and disturbances, results to the formation of a collective zone of proximal development: what the students’ group manages to perform today with the aid of the community’s members will be performed independently tomorrow. The formation of a virtual learning community through the procedural and structural coupling of two discrete activity systems opens a new space for participatory learning.
Giorgio BertiniResearch on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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