Purpose
To give you an overview of how wikis can be used in the educational setting, and to make you aware of some of the issues involved in using wikis in class.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this workshop, you should be able to
  1. Identify different models of educational wikiing
  2. Assess the educational potential of using wikis in your course

Program
  1. What is a wiki?
  2. Educational focus
  3. Analysis
  4. Three main models
  5. Ideas for practice
  6. Benefits
  7. Assessment and feedback
  8. Considerations
  9. Class plan
  10. Blog and wiki comparision tables
  11. Reflection
  12. Evaluation
  13. Useful links

1. What is a wiki?
Find out on our own page on this site and Web 2 survival guide wiki pages/

Wiki characteristics
Wikis can be on any topic: travel, hobbies, current affairs, pets, astronomy, plants, adult education, family ... anything!
  • A wiki is a website that anyone can edit — in theory. You can set things up so that only you or a select team can edit pages.
  • Wikis can be public or private.
  • Each wiki page comes with a discussion forum where you can start up numerous threads about the page you have created or are working on.
  • Wikis have a ‘history’ function attached to each page you create, meaning that you can track what edits were made when and by whom.
  • Wiki pages can be restored to an earlier version if you don’t like the current version.
  • Wikis are all about the contributors

If you're still not sure, watch a video about wikis on YouTube

2. Educational focus
  • Collaboration
  • Communication and knowledge sharing
  • Knowledge building
  • Analysis, synthesis, evaluation
  • Storing and managing information
  • Presentation and dissemination

3. Analysis
In pairs, analyse some wikis.
Go to Education Innovators and explore at least three ANU teachers' sites. Use the table below to help you compare the sites.


Site 1:
Site 2:
Site 3:
How is the site being used in class? Class management? Learning focus? Communication (by whom and for what purpose)?



Who is contributing to the site? Teacher only? Or students, too?



What are pages and discussions about? What sorts of information is included?



Are pages focused?



Are the students engaged? Why/why not?



What is the quality of the writing, thinking, pages, etc., like?



What is the use of media (i.e., videos, images, slideshows, etc.) like?



Is the site easy to navigate? Any problems?



What can you tell by looking at the 'history' of various pages?



Why do you think the teacher has decided to use a wiki in class?



4. Main models
  1. Class management (teacher-only site): communication tool, announcements, links, lecture notes and powerpoints, advice to students, resource repository.
  2. Educational: students collaborate in groups to create their own wikis or wikispaces around class themes or topics.


5. Ideas for practice
  • Class management: resource repository, glossaries, advice pages, videos, graphs, links to articles, announcements, communication tool with students, etc.
  • Group wikis on ideas, theories, research, opinion, synthesis of topics
  • Use a wiki as a class management tool: create areas for course details (e.g., syllabus, assignments, course guide), class topics (topic 1, topic 2, etc.), study guide, resources.
  • Ask students to form into small groups and to build a wiki space around a set topic. Use the history function to check individual stsudents’ progress — for example, you can see who has been making substantive contributions to the wiki, and who has just been adding commas. Have students present their wiki to the rest of the class.
  • Ask students to use the discussion forum part of a wiki to justify their selection of page content.
  • Get your class to write a Wikipedia page on a topic that doesn’t have an article yet.
  • Send students to Wikipedia and have them analyse the development of an article on a controversial topic (e.g., Israeli-Palestinian conflict, George W. Bush). Ask them to look through the discussions that sit behind the article and have them trace major sticking-points, or the ways in which consensus was achieved. Get them to write a report on the issue.


6. Benefits
Intellectual
· Writing, reading
· Integration of scholarly opinion, research, diverse perspectives
· Track developments in thinking
· Creativity and sharing
· Higher-order thinking especially synthesis
· Engagement with key course concepts and themes
· Construction of knowledge is up front
· Validation, assessment, analysis, synthesis

Motivation
· Control and ownership
· Organisation of thoughts, notes, info
· Students try harder when others can see their work
· Easy self-publication
· Wider audience
· More authentic
· Common goal
· Personally valuable

Communication
· Community and socialisation
· Connection with experts
· Engagement with new audiences
· Easy sharing of ideas
· Appropriate online behaviour
· Participation, communication, socialisation, teamwork, collaboration




Management
· Ease of feedback
· Track student progress
· Communication tool
· Easy assignment submission
· Formative and summative feedback
· Accessible anywhere
· Easy to use
· Notifications of changes (RSS and email)

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7. Assessment and feedback

What are you assessing?
Some suggestions
· Intellectual engagement, comprehension
· Focus
· Relevant information sharing and development
· Development of understanding of a topic over time
· Links to course themes
· Usefulness of material added to the site
· Quality of writing
· Frequency and quality of discussion posts
· Relevance of media or links
· Use of enhancements (e.g., widgets)
· Organisation and structure
· Appearance

Good assessment practice

· Give clear assessment instructions and guidelines
· Set clear goals
· Set concrete tasks
· Provide examples
· Develop and distribute assessment rubrics
· Make regular comments on student pages and discussions
· Allow room for questions/advice
· Set community rules, if necessary

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8. Considerations

· Time and tech factors: assistance, moderation, implementation
· Audience, expectations
· Trust and appropriate online behaviour
· Privacy
· Legal compliance
· Mitigating liability
· Copyright and Intellectual Property
· Institutional policy and guidelines

Sign up for the 'Online considerations' workshop before you use a blog in class.

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9. Class plan
Make sure you have one!

10. Blog and wiki comparison tables
General

BLOGS: PROCESS
WIKIS: PRODUCT
Personal
Public
Static text
Creation of documents
Long scrolls
Relationship of pages
Monological
Topic/content focus
Temporal
Atemporal
Show change in thinking
Show change in writing
One-to-many
Many-to-many
Knowledge at top
Knowledge is webbed
Immediate, in the moment
Mediated

Benefits
BLOGS
WIKIS
Track developments in thinking
Collaboration, teamwork
Reflection
Easy sharing of info
Control and ownership
Synthesis of research, scholarship
Allows for creativity
Construction of knowledge up front
Writing skills, integration of diverse perspectives, communication, appropriate online behaviour, motivation, engagement in the community, higher order thinking, audience, students try harder
Writing skills, integration of diverse perspectives, communication, appropriate online behaviour, motivation, engagement in the community, higher order thinking, audience, students try harder

... by students
BLOGS
WIKIS
Individual student blogs
Group wikis
Reflection on course content
Sharing info, resources, links
Learning journey
Resource collections
Reflective journal
FAQ
Writing journal
Synthesis of research
E-portfolio
Pages on course topics

... by you for students
BLOGS
WIKIS
Prompts for reflection
Resource collections
Synthesis of class topics
Glossaries
Further discussion of class topics
Advice pages (grammar, study skills)
Group blog: owned by you, but students can comment and post
Demonstration videos, graphs, equations, articles, labs
News/RSS feeds
News/RSS feeds



Considerations
BLOGS
WIKIS
Why a blog?
Why a wiki?
Privacy options? Comment rules?
Who owns what? Provenance, collegiality, group work problems
Time and tech factors: assistance? moderating? implementation?
Time and tech factors: assistance? moderating? implementation?
Purpose, objectives, audience, expectations
Purpose, objectives, audience, expectations
Concepts, connections and engagement
Concepts, connections and engagement
Assessment, instructions, guidelines
Assessment, instructions, guidelines
Trust, personally valuable, common goal
Trust, personally valuable, common goal

Assessment
BLOGS
WIKIS
Encourage student feedback on posts
Encourage editing of pages
Make regular comments
Visit the wiki/s regularly
Concrete tasks, lots of links
Concrete tasks, lots of links
Develop and distribute rubric/s; provide examples
Develop and distribute rubric/s; provide examples
Provide a space for questions and advice
Provide a space for questions and advice
Development of thinking
Content development
Links
Data gathering
Frequency/quality of posts
Frequency/quality of page edits
Comments/visits
Discussion topics
Reflection, critique
Analysis, evaluation
Content: ideas, comprehension, intellectual engagement, focus, info sharing
Content: ideas, comprehension, intellectual engagement, focus, info sharing
Pages: writing quality; relevance of media, links
Pages: writing quality; relevance of media, links
Design: organisation, appearance, enhancements, management
Design: organisation, appearance, enhancements, management

11. Reflection
What do you think or know now? What is still confusing? What do you need to follow up on?

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12. Evaluation
Helpful or not? Let us know your thoughts.

13. Useful links
Web 2.0 survival guide: http://web2survivalguide.wordpress.com/

Wiki basics: http://web2survivalguide.wordpress.com/web-20-tools/wikis/

YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a_KF7TYKVc