Lesson 4 Response: Wikis and other collaboration tools

This is my response to this week’s lesson on Wikis and other collaboration tools. As in the past couple weeks, I again find this topic to be interesting and I can relate to the topic of Wikis and using other such tools to collaborate with other users.

My personal experience with Wikis themselves in the past has only been with Wikipedia. Before this lesson, I did not know that there were other “Wikis” out there and had not even considered that there was anything similar to Wikipedia out there. I have only used Wikipedia as a means to find information quickly and easily. What I normally do, if I have a question in mind, is go into Google, type in my inquiry and choose the Wikipedia article as it is most commonly in the first couple results and it is the source that I trust the most when I am not looking at databases. However, this being said, I only use Wikipedia as a starting source and if I want to be sure that the information is credible I then go and find peer-reviewed articles on the topic. All throughout my undergrad, my professors have warned me and my classmates to never use Wikipedia in our papers as main sources. I never really questioned this “rule” of theirs but just went with it and trusted their advice.

My incomplete trust of Wikipedia was supported by this week’s reading, “How and why do college students use Wikipedia” by Soom Lim. Lim did a study of undergraduate students on why, how and what motivated them to use Wikipedia. The results found that most of these students used Wikipedia to find quick information but they did not have a large amount of trust in the credibility (as is the same for myself) of the information in the articles. Furthermore, this study found that these students used Wikipedia more than they used their own libraries database. This and the lack of trust in the information were addressed as problems and possible solutions included having more credible sources included in the articles and to include library information in the articles to promote the use of the library.

The second article called “A Wiki Way of Communication” by Carol McGeehon discussed how the Douglas County Library system used wiki software for their employees to “disseminate information, create and store electronic documents, track problem tickets for technology and cataloging questions, host staff discussions around various topics, summarize conferences and workshops and track usage of equipment, vehicles, and meeting rooms” (2010). This sounds like a very good method to run a library and I like this idea in working together with co-workers. I have a little bit of similar experience with working together, not with co-workers, but with other students in using Google Drive to create papers and handouts for specific classes. These are extremely useful and I wish I had discovered them earlier as they allow me to work from home or even on my Smartphone. This way I am much more productive and it cuts down on meeting time.

Overall, my experience with reading about Wiki’s and editing Wiki’s online was very informative and I look forward to hopefully using these skills in the workplace in the future.

Those are my thoughts for the week! Thanks for taking the time to read!

Rebekah

McGeehon, Carol. (2010). A Wiki way of communication. OLA Quarterly, 16(3), 7-10.

Sook, L. (2009). How and why do college students use Wikipedia? Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(11), 2189-2202.

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