An encyclopedia of dubious reliability

Submitted 9 months ago
Richard K.
Richard K.
Teacher
State department of education
My Rating
Pedagogy
Supports

My Take

The topics are undeniably interesting. However, the activities proposed are overly simplistic, based on multiple choice options and the articles are at times overly simplistic for teenagers. The encyclopedia is written by writers that are not qualified in their field to write (i.e. not historians, writers or language teachers), meaning that articles often include lots of repetition, lengthy quotes et al. Interestingly, the few that are qualified in their field have no formal background in teaching or writing and their contributions are overly complex. We know of a qualified and experienced author who wrote for them and stopped because they were told their article lacked essential information when it had much more than all other articles on the topics online. In other words, the editors do not seem to make well-informed and wise decisions based on readers' needs when it comes to publications.

How I Use It

Students were able to access the quizzes on the site and read the definitions and articles. We have also created tasks based on the texts provided to enhance the students' learning. Their quality, however, is dubious, and writing style of the authors is on many occasions overly simplistic and repetition abounds, making it boring for them. The videos could also be more stimulating for our students. Most of them currently just show a person speaking, whereas more movement would enhance learners' experience.