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Multiple Texts as a Limiting Factor in Online Learning: Quantifying (Dis-)similarities of Knowledge Networks across Languages

Author: A. Mehler, W. Hemati, P. Welke, M. Konca, T. Uslu
Journal: Frontiers in Education
Year: 2020

Citation information

A. Mehler, W. Hemati, P. Welke, M. Konca, T. Uslu,
Frontiers in Education,
2020,
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2020.562670

We test the hypothesis that the extent to which one obtains information on a given topic through Wikipedia depends on the language in which it is consulted. Controlling the size factor, we investigate this hypothesis for a number of 25 subject areas. Since Wikipedia is a central part of the web-based information landscape, this indicates a language-related bias or a sort of linguistic relativity. The article therefore deals with the question of whether Wikipedia exhibits this kind of linguistic relativity or not. From the perspective of educational science, the article develops a computational model of the information landscape from which multiple texts are drawn as typical input of web-based reading. For this purpose, it develops a hybrid model of intra- and intertextual similarity of different parts of the information landscape and tests this model on the example of 35 languages and corresponding Wikipedias. In this way the article builds a bridge between reading research, educational science, Wikipedia research and computational linguistics.