Wikipedia and the University, a case study

Charles Knight, Sam Pryke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses the use of Wikipedia by academics and students for learning and teaching activities at Liverpool Hope University. Hope has distinctive aspects but we consider the findings to be indicative of Wikipedia use at other British universities. First we discuss general issues of Wikipedia use within the university. Second, we examine existing research on Wikipedia use amongst students and academics. Based upon a sample of 133 academics and 1222 students, our principal findings were: (1) 75% of academics and students use Wikipedia; (2) student use is typically confined to the initial stages of assessments; (3) a quarter of academics provide guidance on how to use Wikipedia and (4) 70% of academics use Wikipedia for background information for teaching purposes, something that it is not influenced by whether student use is tolerated or not. Our conclusion is that whilst Wikipedia is now unofficially integrated into universities, it is not ‘the’ information resource as feared by many and that an enlightened minority of academics have attempted to assimilate it into their teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-659
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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