Wiki Writing: Collaborative Learning in the College Classroom

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His research interests are rhetoric, new media, and computers and writing. About the Book When most people think of wikis, the first—and usually the only—thing that comes to mind is Wikipedia.

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About the Editors Robert E. Wikis also provide discussion boards for every page, enabling users to engage in ongoing conversations about their developing project. So how do you choose? For instance, are you wanting your students to write collaboratively or do you want submissions by a single author? For the former use a wiki, and the latter a blog. The possibilities for using wikis to engage students both inside and outside of the classroom are immense. Wikis Print Version Wikis A wiki is a collaborative tool that allows students to contribute and modify one or more pages of course related materials.

What is collaborative learning - Collaborative learning strategies --

Some common uses include: Mini research projects in which the wiki serves as documentation of student work Collaborative annotated bibliographies where students add summaries and critiques about course-related readings Compiling a manual or glossary of useful terms or concepts related to the course, or even a guide to a major course concept Maintaining a collection of links where the instructor and students can post, comment, group or classify links relevant to the course Building an online repository of course documents where instructors and students can post relevant documents Creating e-portfolios of student work Wikis work best when individual authorship is less important than the outcome that is created.

Curious about how other instructors are using wikis? See more about his wiki use here. Lou Rossi, Professor at the University of Delaware, used wikis in his Calculus undergraduate course and his Applied Mathematics graduate course.

Wikis in Education: How Wikis are Being Used in the Classroom - Educational Technology

Using a wiki helps students spend time on solving problems outside of the classroom in a motivating collaborative environment. Publishing in a wiki gets students aware of the fact that they are writing for an audience, which usually results in using common mathematical language and formulas instead of plain English. Hear more about his work on this podcast.

Columbia University Lecturer Jutta Schmiers-Heller created two separate wikis one in the fall semester and one in the spring semester to help the same set of Intermediate I German language students practice and recycle vocabulary and grammar, and learn culture in a fun, interactive way. Both wikis were embedded in the course curriculum and used for specific projects. Associate professor of English at Barnard, Derrick Higginbotham, used his course wiki as a presentation space and tool for text analysis for students.

His course assignments included a close reading of texts within the wiki followed by student discussion in the discuss section of the wiki page.

Wiki Writing: Collaborative Learning in the College Classroom

In the discussion section of each page, students responded to each others thoughts and analysis of the text, thus creating discourse outside of class and fueling the discussion in class. Professor Patricia Shapley of the University of Illinois Chemistry Department created a wiki with content developed from her undergraduate chemistry students. Middle School Chemistry highlights a very public, outreach website use of a wiki system.

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Why use a wiki? How to get started with wikis There are a variety of free and easy to use wikis that make it quick and easy to get started using wikis. Share content and files, capture knowledge and manage processes. The idea seems to be that customers will buy more products if they are better informed. Wikis have also attracted the interest of many professional educators all over the world. These educators not only are motivated to analyze wikis from a theoretical perspective but also want to understand how and why their students should invest in them.

What can writing in a wiki teach students about the composition process? What kind of rhetoric is needed to successfully enter and actively participate in a wiki community? What are the different stages of collaboration, and how do they foster course outcomes?

And, on a more pragmatic level, what kind of wiki-related writing assignments will truly benefit students? If wikis are good for anything in a writing classroom, it is their ability to open up issues that may have seemed hopelessly abstract before. Postmodern theory has, for example, been waxing on for decades about how we should question our Romantic notions of authors and authority. Wikis demonstrate the problem quite concretely by conflating the roles of author and audience. The essays are grouped into three main sections, based on how their authors have envisioned their audiences: Wikis and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; Wikis in Composition and Communication Classrooms; and, most generally, Wikis and the Higher Education Classroom.

In all cases, the writers explore approaches to using wikis in the classroom that reveal their strengths and weaknesses, not only conveying to readers how wikis might apply to their college classroom but also gesturing toward the potential of these platforms.

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In the introductory essay, coeditor Robert E. Cummings provides a brief historical introduction for readers who might want more background on wikis. Much of the essay traces the cultural history of Wikipedia, but the main theme is epistemology and concerns the extent to which wikis have permanently shifted how we create and evaluate knowledge.

Cummings concludes by noting that, while the impact of wikis seems to be widely appreciated, their long-term effects on productivity, knowledge creation, and authority are in need of serious and sustained study. He reminds us that, although Wikipedia is likely the first wiki that springs to mind when thinking about their potential classroom use, it is not necessarily the most apt. The truly collaborative nature of this software tool becomes most apparent when a wiki is designed specifically for the course in question.

How To Use Wiki In The Classroom

Going one step further, the team also entertains the question, What is the point of a wiki? This essay completes the circle between a technology design team and teacher with a statement by Kelley on teaching with the wiki. Chen, and Jeremy Sabol collaborate to explore and document the different stages in which learning communities evolve as a result of their deployment of wiki technology in the classroom. Maxwell and Michael Felczak, both of Simon Fraser University, recount their experience of teaching large undergraduate courses using wikis.

Authors Stephanie Vie and Jennifer deWinter are teachers of writing, and their examination of wiki writing is well grounded in theories of collaborative authoring including the work of Kenneth Bruffee and explores materialist questions of textual property and ownership. Wikis certainly do challenge the traditional notion of the author in question, and Vie and deWinter clarify this challenge by exploring the currency of intellectual property in the university setting. Caeton writes of his experience teaching writing with Wikipedia.

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Caeton is certainly not the only teacher in this collection to focus on this topic. The next essay also focuses on the student experience with wikis but in the communication classroom. The wiki proved a great tool for one class but was not well used in another. The authors tell us why and in so doing discover some of the barometers of a healthy wiki community.