Jump to content

Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Research Fund/Using Wikipedia for educational purposes in Estonia: The students′ and teachers′ perspective

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Using Wikipedia for educational purposes in Estonia: The students′ and teachers′ perspective
start and end datesJune 1, 2022 - May 31, 2023
budget (USD)30,000-39,999 USD
applicant(s)• R & R



Applicant's Wikimedia username. If one is not provided, then the applicant's name will be provided for community review.

R & R

Project title

Using Wikipedia for educational purposes in Estonia: The students′ and teachers′ perspective

Entity Receiving Funds

Provide the name of the individual or organization that would receive the funds.

Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics, University of Tartu

Research proposal[edit]


Description of the proposed project, including aims and approach. Be sure to clearly state the problem, why it is important, why previous approaches (if any) have been insufficient, and your methods to address it.

Previous studies have been focusing on usage of Wikipedia for educational purposes in different countries, but so far only little is known about the context of Estonia. In the academic year of 2020/2011 Wikimedia Eesti questioned the students and teachers of 15 general schools (the project “Vikipeedia koolides”), but the results were not published. In 2019, Riina Reinsalu and her colleagues published a scientific article in which they analysed how to develop students’ writing skills at the university, using Wikipedia-based writing tasks. The lack of studies indicates that very little attention has been paid to the educational potential of Wikipedia – both at the universities and the general education schools.

According to Statistics Estonia, 99% of 16-24 year olds in Estonia use internet every day, e.g. searching for information. As Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world, it is expected that Estonian students use Wikipedia even while doing their homework. However, it is not known what kind of information and how the students use it and how the teachers perceive Wikipedia's strengths and weaknesses in the educational context. Considering that general education schools determine the attitude towards Wikipedia and willingness to contribute to its development, it is important to study how Wikipedia is used in general education schools. The purpose of this research is to find out why and how the students and teachers of general education schools use Wikipedia for educational purposes.

In the first part of the study we will compile a multi-part questionnaire to examine quantitatively the usage of Wikipedia from the perspective of students (in grades 6, 9 and 12) and their teachers, representing different regions and schools. The aim is to explore students' and teachers' motivation and perceptions for using Wikipedia in the educational context.

In the second part of the study we will conduct the focus group interviews with students and teachers to address issues in depth that weren’t possible to cover earlier by the questionnaire and quantitative analysis. The aim is to highlight more clearly what educational opportunities are offered by Wikipedia and to find out the difficulties involved in usage of Wikipedia for educational purposes.

A combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches allows to broaden understanding how Wikipedia is incorporated to the learning and teaching process in the general education schools.


Approximate amount requested in USD.


Budget Description

Briefly describe what you expect to spend money on (specific budgets and details are not necessary at this time).

35,000 USD = 30,779 €
  • Salary or stipend: 22.586 USD = 19.863 €
  • Open access publishing costs: 6207 USD = 5300 €
  • Institutional overhead (up to 15% of total budget requested): 5248 USD = 4616 €
  • Other (as specified): transportation (for conducting the interviews): 1137 USD = 1000 €


Address the impact and relevance to the Wikimedia projects, including the degree to which the research will address the 2030 Wikimedia Strategic Direction and/or support the work of Wikimedia user groups, affiliates, and developer communities. If your work relates to knowledge gaps, please directly relate it to the knowledge gaps taxonomy.

From Wikimedia 2030 strategy it deals mostly with Identify Topics for Impact as it helps to understand how content is used, how much public trust there is for it in schools, and what impact it has in education.

English Wikipedia is the most viewed language version in Estonia and is closely followed by Estonian Wikipedia. It is similar to many non-English speaking countries, where there are two dominantly used language versions. It is reasonable to assume that the results of this study would apply to many countries.

This research project is one of the great interests to Wikimedia Eesti and could support the expansion of its educational activities.


Plans for dissemination.

  • June-August 2022: preparations for the first and second part of the study + a pilot study/interview
  • September 2022: contacting with the schools
  • October 2022: sending the questionnaire to the schools
  • November-December 2022: conducting the focus group interviews at schools
  • January-February 2023: analysing data
  • March-May 2023: writing and submitting two articles for publishing them in the open access journals (e.g. Classroom Discourse)

Past Contributions[edit]

Prior contributions to related academic and/or research projects and/or the Wikimedia and free culture communities. If you do not have prior experience, please explain your planned contributions.

All contributors have an academic position at the University of Tartu. Four of them have a PhD degree in humanities or educational science (https://www.etis.ee/Portal/Persons/Index?lang=ENG).

Riina Reinsalu has published an article ""Developing students’ academic literacies via Wikipedia-based tasks"" (2019) and she has made several presentations, incl. ""Wikipedia as a tool for developing academic literacies: The case of Estonia"" at Wikimedia+Education Conference 2019 in Donostia.

Riina Reinsalu (R & R) and Ann Siiman (Annn) have been the contributors (copy-editors) to Vikipeedia. They have carried out workshops at general education schools and universities. Ann Siiman is the main organizer of the Vikipeedia copy-editing competition.

I agree to license the information I entered in this form excluding the pronouns, countries of residence, and email addresses under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0. I understand that the decision to fund this Research Fund application, the application itself along with all the information entered by my in this form excluding the pronouns, country of residences, and email addresses of the personnel will be published on Wikimedia Foundation Funds pages on Meta-Wiki and will be made available to the public in perpetuity. To make the results of your research actionable and reusable by the Wikimedia volunteer communities, affiliates and Foundation, I agree that any output of my research will comply with the WMF Open Access Policy. I also confirm that I have read the privacy statement and agree to abide by the WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.