LLU #19: the Great Wikipedia Debate (podcast now available!)

Middlebury College’s Department of History made headlines at the end of January when they announced a ban on the use of Wikipedia as a reference. Later in February, a Classics course at Oberlin College was required to use Wikipedia for a research assignment. These stories are but two of many that have prompted educators across the country to debate the value of Wikipedia as an educational tool. What are it strengths, its limits? When, if ever, is it appropriate to use Wikipedia for research? Should we be using it in the classroom at all?

On Thursday, 29 March 2007, we welcomed Don Wyatt (chair of the Department of History at Middlebury College), Elizabeth Colantoni (Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics at Oberlin College), Robert Berkman (Visiting Associate Professor at The New School), and Bryan Alexander (Director of Research at NITLE) for what started out as a discussion about Wikipedia in the classroom, but which took a couple of very interesting turns to touch on “malicious misinformation,” student and professor motivation, and other collaborative knowledge-gathering tools.

Access the downloadable file, or stream this episode using the built-in player:

Ryan has been proudly maintaining and contributing to Language Lab Unleashed since 2005, and is the current President of SWALLT. Since the summer of 2013 he's been causing trouble with his all-star colleagues in the UMW DTLT; when not wrangling websites Ryan can be found doing strange things with heavy objects.


  1. The Intern » The Great Wikipedia Debate - Podcast · April 2, 2007 Reply

    […] The Language Lab has released a podcast of the Wikipedia Debate they hosted online recently.  Find it here. […]

  2. Sage · April 4, 2007 Reply

    Where is this “how to waste time at Penn State” video that is mentioned? I haven’t been able to find it via Google.

  3. Ragesoss 2.02 · April 5, 2007 Reply

    […]There’s an extremely, superbly, awesomely good Wikipedia debate podcast at Language Lab Unleashed! It’s not good because it’s so correct (there are a number of misunderstandings, clichés, and analog wine in digital bottles) or insightful (Wikipedians have hashed out most of discussion many times over), but it gives a great cross-section of the ways academic humanists view Wikipedia[…]

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