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The paper presents the results of the “Learning with Wikipedia” project which involved 1200 students and 30 faculty members at the University of Padova in creating and expanding encyclopedia articles on various subject-specific topics. Teaching activities were developed which considered Wikipedia not so much as a container for Open Educational Resources, but as a true learning environment, well organized with precise rules that can stimulate instructors to adopt Open Educational Practices. Students attended workshops where they were introduced to the project’s aims, the competences expected of them, and the procedures for contributing to the encyclopedia. One of the most significant points that emerged during the project was the importance of stimulating the full set of digital competences (for example finding and evaluating information). Gaining these competences is essential for the activities’ success and for participating, now and in the future in an extended community based on OER. That's why we investigated students’ and instructors’ perceptions regarding a set of digital competences gained by working with Wikipedia. The project was also able to make students and instructors understand that writing encyclopedia articles is not a mere academic exercise, but is a Service Learning activity that benefits the entire community, and that Wikipedia should be considered as a participatory social process and not just as a means of learning subject-specific content.
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