2007年02月23日

ウィキペディア頼み、誤答続々 米大学が試験で引用禁止

ウィキペディア頼み、誤答続々 米大学が試験で引用禁止
【gooニュースより転載】
米バーモント州にある名門ミドルベリー大学の史学部が、オンラインで一定の利用者が書き込んだり修正したりできる百科事典「ウィキペディア」を学生がテストやリポートで引用することを認めない措置を1月に決めた。日本史の講義をもつ同大教授がテストでの共通の間違いをたどったところ、ウィキペディア(英語版)の「島原の乱」(1637~38)をめぐる記述にたどり着いたことが措置導入の一つのきっかけになった。

 日本史を教えるニール・ウオーターズ教授(61)は昨年12月の学期末テストで、二十数人のクラスで数人が島原の乱について「イエズス会が反乱勢力を支援した」と記述したことに気づいた。「イエズス会が九州でおおっぴらに活動できる状態になかった」と不思議に思って間違いのもとをたどったところ、ウィキペディアの「島原の乱」の項目に行き着いた。

 ウィキペディアに基づいて答案を書いたと思われる例は以前からあったという。「大変便利で、調べごとの導入に使うことに全く異存はないが、一部の学生は書いてあることをそのまま信じてしまう」と教授は言う。

 同大史学部では1月、「学生は自らの提供する情報の正確さに責任をもつべきで、ウィキペディアや同様の情報源を誤りの言い逃れにできない」として引用禁止を通知した。ドン・ワイアット学部長によると、「同様の情報源」とはウェブ上にあって多数の人間が編集することができ、記述の正確さが担保できない情報源を指すという。

 学生の多くは納得したが、「教員が知識を限定しようとしている」との不満も出た。他学部には広まっていないという。

 島原の乱をめぐる記述はニューヨーク・タイムズ紙がこの問題を取り上げた21日、修正された。

 ウィキペディアの創始者のジミー・ウェルズさん(40)は「慈善的に人間の知識を集める事業であり、ブリタニカと同様以上の質をめざして努力している。ただ、百科事典の引用は学術研究の文書には適切でないと言い続けてきた」と話す。
以前、どっかの記事でwikipediaとブリタニカ百科事典との内容の正確さを比較したものがあったが、普通に出版されているものでも間違っていることは多々あるし、新聞やTVでもそれこそ何個でも間違いに気付くことがある。

大学生にもなってネット上にあるwikipedeiaの内容をそのまんま引用するなんて、既に論外のような気がするのは私だけでしょうか?子供じゃないんだから、自分で確認しろよ~と心底思う。それともみんな人が良くて疑うことを知らない善人なのだろうか???

うちのブログも、本やネット上の記事からの引用は多いが、可能な限り、後で内容の検証可能なように引用先を明示し、ネット上のものなら参照リンクも張っていたりする。

また、私個人の考えと引用したものとを識別しやすく意識して書いているつもりですが、このテストでネット上の内容をそのまま引用する学生には、どれも同じに見えるんでしょうね。

ネットは確かに便利だけど、所詮は道具でしかない。先日、読んだ本の「十二世紀ルネサンス」を書かれた歴史学者さんの真摯な姿勢の爪の垢でも飲んでもらいたい気がしてならない。

もっともそういう硬い話は抜きにして、島原の乱をイエスズ会が支援したっていうのは、思わず爆笑しちゃったんですけど・・・(オイオイ、それが『真相』?)

関連ブログ
ブリタニカ、「ウィキペディア過大評価」とネイチャー誌に抗議

ついでにNYtimesの原典は以下の通り
A History Department Bans Citing Wikipedia as a Research Source
When half a dozen students in Neil Waters’s Japanese history class at Middlebury College asserted on exams that the Jesuits supported the Shimabara Rebellion in 17th-century Japan, he knew something was wrong. The Jesuits were in “no position to aid a revolution,” he said; the few of them in Japan were in hiding.

He figured out the problem soon enough. The obscure, though incorrect, information was from Wikipedia, the collaborative online encyclopedia, and the students had picked it up cramming for his exam.

Dr. Waters and other professors in the history department had begun noticing about a year ago that students were citing Wikipedia as a source in their papers. When confronted, many would say that their high school teachers had allowed the practice.

But the errors on the Japanese history test last semester were the last straw. At Dr. Waters’s urging, the Middlebury history department notified its students this month that Wikipedia could not be cited in papers or exams, and that students could not “point to Wikipedia or any similar source that may appear in the future to escape the consequences of errors.”

With the move, Middlebury, in Vermont, jumped into a growing debate within journalism, the law and academia over what respect, if any, to give Wikipedia articles, written by hundreds of volunteers and subject to mistakes and sometimes deliberate falsehoods. Wikipedia itself has restricted the editing of some subjects, mostly because of repeated vandalism or disputes over what should be said.

Although Middlebury’s history department has banned Wikipedia in citations, it has not banned its use. Don Wyatt, the chairman of the department, said a total ban on Wikipedia would have been impractical, not to mention close-minded, because Wikipedia is simply too handy to expect students never to consult it.

At Middlebury, a discussion about the new policy is scheduled on campus on Monday, with speakers poised to defend and criticize using the site in research.

Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia and chairman emeritus of its foundation, said of the Middlebury policy, “I don’t consider it as a negative thing at all.”

He continued: “Basically, they are recommending exactly what we suggested — students shouldn’t be citing encyclopedias. I would hope they wouldn’t be citing Encyclopaedia Britannica, either.

“If they had put out a statement not to read Wikipedia at all, I would be laughing. They might as well say don’t listen to rock ’n’ roll either.”

Indeed, the English-language version of the site had an estimated 38 million users in the United States in December, and can be hard to avoid while on the Internet. Google searches on such diverse subjects as historical figures like Confucius and concepts like torture give the Wikipedia entry the first listing.

In some colleges, it has become common for professors to assign students to create work that appears on Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia’s list of school and university projects, this spring the University of East Anglia in England and Oberlin College in Ohio will have students edit articles on topics being taught in courses on the Middle East and ancient Rome.

In December 2005, a Columbia professor, Henry Smith, had the graduate students in his seminar create a Japanese bibliography project, posted on Wikipedia, to describe and analyze resources like libraries, reference books and newspapers. With 16 contributors, including the professor, the project comprises dozens of articles, including 13 on different Japanese dictionaries and encyclopedias.

In evaluations after the class, the students said that creating an encyclopedia taught them discipline in writing and put them in contact with experts who improved their work and whom, in some cases, they were later able to interview.

“Most were positive about the experience, especially the training in writing encyclopedia articles, which all of them came to realize is not an easy matter,” Professor Smith wrote in an e-mail message. “Many also retained their initial ambivalence about Wikipedia itself.”

The discussion raised by the Middlebury policy has been covered by student newspapers at the University of Pennsylvania and Tufts, among others. The Middlebury Campus, the student weekly, included an opinion article last week by Chandler Koglmeier that accused the history department of introducing “the beginnings of censorship.”

Other students call the move unnecessary. Keith Williams, a senior majoring in economics, said students “understand that Wikipedia is not a responsible source, that it hasn’t been thoroughly vetted.” Yet he said, “I personally use it all the time.”

Jason Mittell, an assistant professor of American studies and film and media culture at Middlebury, said he planned to take the pro-Wikipedia side in the campus debate. “The message that is being sent is that ultimately they see it as a threat to traditional knowledge,” he said. “I see it as an opportunity. What does that mean for traditional scholarship? Does traditional scholarship lose value?”

For his course “Media Technology and Cultural Change,” which began this month, Professor Mittell said he would require his students to create a Wikipedia entry as well as post a video on YouTube, create a podcast and produce a blog for the course.

Another Middlebury professor, Thomas Beyer, of the Russian department, said, “I guess I am not terribly impressed by anyone citing an encyclopedia as a reference point, but I am not against using it as a starting point.”

And yes, back at Wikipedia, the Jesuits are still credited as supporting the Shimabara Rebellion.


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