The use of Wikipedia for quizzes

Very often when writing quiz questions we need to resort to the internet for confirmation that a question is factually correct.  We all know that when searching for this through Google, you’re most likely to be presented with a Wikipedia site about the subject matter. Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia which can be updated, altered and added to by anyone.  It is verified but not everything on there can be justified as factually correct all of the time. Due to this, quiz masters will often get criticised as using Wikipedia as their source of information.

Whilst we understand that Wikipedia cannot always be factually correct it can easily be used under your own discretion whether to use any of the information on the pages.  It could also be used in conjunction with other websites to confirm that the given information is correct.

Fast forward from writing quiz questions to hosting a quiz and up pops that all familiar moment when 1 team disputes the answer to a certain question.  They whip out their phone, head to Google and scour it for proof.  As they head over to you and show you the screen outlining you were wrong, but what website is it that they are using to prove you wrong? That’s right, 9 times out of 10, on that screen will be Wikipedia.

So even though question writers can be criticised for taking their info from Wikipedia, it seems it is acceptable to use when it comes to proving answers the rest of the time. So what is actually wrong with using Wikipedia?  The answer really is nothing, Wikipedia is just as resourceful as using any other website on the internet.  The purpose of its creation was to create a data page on any given subject.  Should any other website pop up with information on the same subject there is no more of a guarantee that that site will be anymore factual. If anything Wikipedia is likely to be more accurate in the basis that it does have people verifying all the information, everywhere else doesn’t often have that.

If question writers can’t use Wikipedia, it is probably better to ask where is the best source of information?  It would never be convenient to have to head to a Library and get all your data from there every time you wanted to write questions.  We all know really that the internet is always going to be the best place.

So, although it does come under a lot of criticism, we are all for using Wikipedia to research answers, should we come across anything that didn’t sound right at all, we would always hunt for back up that it’s correct.  For now, we will happily admit that we think Wikipedia is a great tool to have and will be happy to continue to use it in future, as long as everyone else is.

Tags: Author, Learn, Quiz, Quiz host, Quiz Writer, Research, software, Wikipedia, Writer