AM08 2008 START Conference Manager    

College Students’ Perceptions, Motivations and Uses of Wikipedia

Sook Lim

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


The purpose of this study is to understand college students’ information behavior in using Wikipedia by exploring the following questions: 1) How do college students use Wikipeida? 2) Why do college students accept and use Wikipedia 3) How do college students perceive the information quality of Wikipedia? 4) Finally, to what extent are college students confident in evaluating the information quality of Wikipedia?

This study employs multiple theoretical frameworks, including Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), the Uses and Gratifications (U&G) approach and certain models for credibility of information. The study’s significance lies in the following: first, it provides new knowledge of user perceptions, motivations and uses concerning Wikipedia, which may enhance our understanding of human information behavior in the anonymous digital environment. Second, this study’s findings may help librarians develop effective information literacy programs that may benefit students using Web resources.

A pilot study using a web survey regarding students’ information behavior using Wikipedia was conducted in the summer of 2007. The population consisted of undergraduate students at a large public university in the mid-western United States. The study sample consisted of students who took any of eight summer courses whose instructors agreed with the use of their students for a study sample. A total of 103 students participated in the study. The measurements of the study were developed or modified based on the literature of SCT, U&G and credibility. This poster session will present the major findings of the study.

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