Are Great Wikis Born or Made? Are Students Just Posting in the Same Place?

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A pair of papers for AERA #2012 derived from research from the DCLC project (edtechresearcher.org).

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  • We took all 179,851 publicly viewable education related wikis created on the Pbworks platform from the start of the company in June 2005 through August of 2008.
  • We randomly sampled from these wikis to get a 1% sample of 1,799, and then we separated out all of the wikis used in other countries, or in higher education, or that were unidentifiable and we ended up with 411 wikis used in U.S. K-12 settings. We then focused in on a subsample of 255 wikis used in specific, identifiable public schools. What’s exciting about this random sample is that we have both detail usage statistics from Pbworks, we can example the entire historical content of each wiki, and since these wikis are linked to specific public schools we can obtain school level SES data from the Common Core of Data. We were very happy to see that these 255 wikis come from 41 US states, which provides strong evidence that our random sample can be used to characterize the state of wiki usage across the U.S.
  • The wiki quality instrument is a coding instrument used by trained researcher, and it consists of 24 questions about different kinds of behaviors typically encountered on wikis in five different categories. REVIEW BRIEFLY. So you can imagine that our research assts sit down in front of a computer, they pull up a special browser interface that allows them to easily navigate the historical record of wikis, and the look at the revision history and evaluate which of these 24 behaviors are present. The items ask questions LIKE. So from these 24 dichotomous questions, we can assemble a Composite Wiki Quality Score that ranges from 0 to 24.
  • So from these empirical analyses and from a comprehensive modeling strategy we ended up selecting a multi-level Poisson regression model as our final model. And I want to put this model up here to signal methodological competence, to let you know that we did some pretty sophisticated, thorough, careful modeling, but actually I’m not going to take the time unpack this, and at the end of it all we convinced ourselves that you could very responsibly summarize these wiki quality trajectories not with complicated models by simply reporting the wiki quality score on day 14
  • Let’s go back to these plots, and pull up one exampleEssentially, since wiki quality growth is logarithmic, rapid early on, leveling afterwards, so for most purposes rather than using a complex multilevel statistical machinery to represent the whole wiki quality trajectory, for many purposes you can use just use wiki quality scores at day 14 as a single number, comparable across wikis that persist for different lengths of time, that summarizes wiki quality trajectories. It’s a little bit like using median lifetime as a summary statistic for a survivor function. So we’ve tried to find the simplicity on the far side of complexity.
  • Are Great Wikis Born or Made? Are Students Just Posting in the Same Place?

    1. 1. Are Great Wikis Born or Made?Evaluating Quality Trajectories in Wiki Learning EnvironmentsJust Posting in the Same Place?Evaluating Student Collaboration in Wiki Learning Environments Justin Reich @bjfr Richard Murnane edtechresearcher.org John Willett
    2. 2. Distributed Collaborative Learning Communities Project: Web 2.0 in K-12 Settings• Excellence: How do we make them good?• Equity: Do only certain kids get the good ones?• Analytics: What can we learn about learning from real-time usage data from online learning environments 2
    3. 3. Path Diagram of Wiki Research Classroom Observations and Teacher Interviews toUnderstand Wiki Practices Correlate wiki Develop Wiki Measure Wiki quality with Quality Literature Quality school level TrajectoriesReview of CSCL SESand 21st C. Skill Scholarship Initial Quantitative Analysis to Develop Sampling Strategy 3
    4. 4. Path Diagram of Wiki Research Classroom Observations and Teacher Interviews toUnderstand Wiki Practices Correlate wiki Develop Wiki Measure Wiki quality with Quality Literature Quality school level TrajectoriesReview of CSCL SESand 21st C. Skill Scholarship Initial Quantitative Analysis to Develop Sampling Strategy 4
    5. 5. Low Income Mid to High Schools Income Schools (n=117) (n=133)Failed or Trial Wiki 50% 30%Teacher-Content Wiki 34% 35%Individual Student-Owned 15% 35%WikiCollaborative Student-Owned 2% 1%WikiMedian Lifetime 6 days 33 days
    6. 6. Path Diagram of Wiki Research Classroom Observations and Teacher Interviews toUnderstand Wiki Practices Correlate wiki Develop Wiki Measure Wiki quality with Quality Literature Quality school level TrajectoriesReview of CSCL SESand 21st C. Skill Scholarship Initial Quantitative Analysis to Develop Are great wikis Sampling Strategy born or made? 6
    7. 7. “Time is Precious”• Reimann (2009) – Collaborative learning unfolds over time • Substantive need – Online learning environments track data in real time • Methodological opportunity
    8. 8. Path Diagram of Wiki Research Classroom Observations and Teacher Interviews toUnderstand Wiki Practices Correlate wiki Develop Wiki Measure Wiki quality with Quality Literature Quality school level TrajectoriesReview of CSCL SESand 21st C. Skill Scholarship Initial Quantitative How did we measure Analysis to Develop collaborative behaviors on Sampling Strategy wikis, and what did we find? 8
    9. 9. Theoretical debates in wikis and collaboration (IJCSCL) Are students meaningfully Or just posting in the collaborating? same place? Glassman and Kang (2011): Dohn (2009): Web 2.0 tools wikis not only enable are theoretically well-suited students to participate in for collaborative knowledge knowledge building, but production practices, but the allow the enactment of educational logics of Dewey’s vision individual assessment prevent these practices from being realized.
    10. 10. The Plan• Explain our research design• Explain how we model wiki quality over time – Answer the question: Are Great Wikis Born or Made?• Explain in detail how we measure collaboration – Answer the question: Who’s right: Dohn or Glassman & Kang?
    11. 11. RESEARCH DESIGN
    12. 12. Which wikis are in my dataset?• All 179,851 publicly-viewable education-related wikis started on the PBworks platform between June 2005 and August of 2008.• Does not include “private” wikis (~70,000) 179,851 PBWorks Wikis 12
    13. 13. Which wikis are in my sample?• Randomly sampled 1,799 wikis (1%)• Coded to identify 406 U.S. based, K-12 wikis• 255 from specific, identifiable public schools – Detailed usage statistics provided by PBworks.com – School level SES data from the Common Core of Data (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007-2008) – 255 wikis are from 41 U.S. states 179,851 PBWorks Wikis 1,799 406 255 1% U.S. K-12 Public Random Wikis School Sample 13
    14. 14. How should we measure wiki quality?
    15. 15. Wiki quality as opportunities for21st Century Skill Development Complex Expert Communi- Thinking cation New Media Literacy
    16. 16. Wiki Quality Instrument• Information Consumption (2 items): – Do students use wikis to get information? links?• Participation (4 items): 24 Questions – Do they contribute? Do they own pages? Wiki Quality Scale• Expert thinking (5 items): of 0-24 – Do students use academic content knowledge in wiki activities? – Do students reflect on the process/product?• Complex Communication/Collaboration (7 items): – Do students concatenate text on pages? – Do they substantively edit each others work and co-create pages?• New Media Literacy (6 items): – Do students use formatting? – Do they hyperlink? Embed media?
    17. 17. How did we measure wiki quality?• Sample wiki quality at 7, 14, 30, 60, 100, and 400 days• Two raters independently apply wiki quality instrument – All raters must code “training set” of wikis within 1.5 points of master coders – Weekly meetings while coding to discuss categories, difficult cases, etc.• Third rater reconciles disagreements 17
    18. 18. Data Analytic Strategy: Multilevel Model for Change• We should have time nested within wikis and use the MMFC to model quality trajectories• What functional form should we use to represent time?• The decision that we make in setting a functional form will answer the research question about time!
    19. 19. Data Analytic Strategy:Multilevel Model for Change
    20. 20. Selected Empirical Growth Plots
    21. 21. Empirical Velocity Plot of Wiki Quality Mean Difference in Score/Days 0.40.35 0.30.25 0.20.15 0.10.05 0 0 100 200 300 400 500
    22. 22. Data Analytic Strategy:Multilevel Model for Change
    23. 23. Comparing Fit Statistics Linear Quadratic LogIntercept 2.8371*** 2.5647*** 1.2073***Time 0.005629*** 0.02078***Time2 -0.00004***Ln(Time) 0.6614***-2LL 5542.2 5468.7 5263.0AIC 5554.2 5482.7 5275.0BIC 5578.3 5510.9 5299.1
    24. 24. Data Analytic Strategy: Multi-level Poisson RegressionSinger and Willett (2008); Rabe-Hesketh and Skrondal (2008)
    25. 25. Prototypical wiki quality trajectory (n=406)Composite Wiki Quality Score 20 15 10 5 0 0 100 200 300 400 Days
    26. 26. Implications• Early wiki quality is a strong predictor of later wiki quality- Great Wikis are Born – Hypothesis: Norms developed early on in wiki learning communities are powerful in shaping later use – FOR TEACHERS: Therefore, wiki design deserves critical attention – FOR RESEARCHERS: Further qualitative studies of wiki using communities should ensure that observers can study wikis from the start of the process
    27. 27. BACK TO COLLABORATION
    28. 28. Theoretical debates in wikis and collaboration (IJCSCL) Are students meaningfully Or just posting in the collaborating? same place? Glassman and Kang (2011): Dohn (2009): Web 2.0 tools wikis not only enable are theoretically well-suited students to participate in for collaborative knowledge knowledge building, but production practices, but the allow the enactment of educational logics of Dewey’s vision individual assessment prevent these practices from being realized.
    29. 29. Path Diagram of Wiki Research Classroom Observations and Teacher Interviews toUnderstand Wiki Practices Measure Wiki Literature QualityReview of CSCLand 21st C. Skill Scholarship Initial Quantitative Analysis to Develop Sampling Strategy 29
    30. 30. Complex CommunicationConcatenation Do multiple students add discrete sections of text to the same page?Copyediting Does at least one student copyedit text created by another student?Co-Construction Does at least one student substantively edit text created by another student?Commenting Does at least one student comment upon another student’s work on the wiki?Discussion Do students respond to each others’ comments for at least four conversational turns?Scheduling Do students schedule meetings or tasks?Planning Do students plan for future work?
    31. 31. ConcatenationConcatenation Do multiple students add discrete sections of text to the same page?Copyediting Does at least one student copyedit text created by another student?Co-Construction Does at least one student substantively edit text created by another student?Commenting Does at least one student comment upon another student’s work on the wiki?Discussion Do students respond to each others’ comments for at least four conversational turns?Scheduling Do students schedule meetings or tasks?Planning Do students plan for future work?
    32. 32. Complex CommunicationConcatenation Do multiple students add discrete sections of text to the same page?Copyediting Does at least one student copyedit text created by another student?Co-Construction Does at least one student substantively edit text created by another student?Commenting Does at least one student comment upon another student’s work on the wiki?Discussion Do students respond to each others’ comments for at least four conversational turns?Scheduling Do students schedule meetings or tasks?Planning Do students plan for future work?
    33. 33. Co-ConstructionConcatenation Do multiple students add discrete sections of text to the same page?Copyediting Does at least one student copyedit text created by another student?Co-Construction Does at least one student substantively edit text created by another student?Commenting Does at least one student comment upon another student’s work on the wiki?Discussion Do students respond to each others’ comments for at least four conversational turns?Scheduling Do students schedule meetings or tasks?Planning Do students plan for future work?
    34. 34. Complex CommunicationConcatenation Do multiple students add discrete sections of text to the same page?Copyediting Does at least one student copyedit text created by another student?Co-Construction Does at least one student substantively edit text created by another student?Commenting Does at least one student comment upon another student’s work on the wiki?Discussion Do students respond to each others’ comments for at least four conversational turns?Scheduling Do students schedule meetings or tasks?Planning Do students plan for future work?
    35. 35. Prototypical wiki trajectory for Complex 20 Communication WQI subdomain (n=406)Complex Communication Score 15 10 5 0 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 Days
    36. 36. Selected Empirical Growth PlotsComposite Wiki Quality Score Rate Day
    37. 37. Distribution of Complex Communication subdomain score in 406 U.S., K-12 wikis on final occasion of measurementComplex Percentage Frequency CountCommunication Score0 88.92 3611 6.40 262 1.48 63 .25 14 1.48 65 .74 36 0 07 .74 3
    38. 38. Distribution of collaborative behaviors in 406 U.S., K-12 wikis on final occasion of measurement. Percentage Frequency CountConcatenation 5.91 24Copyedit 1.72 7Co-construction 4.43 18Comment 6.4 26Discussion 2.22 9Planning 2.46 10Scheduling 1.72 7
    39. 39. Wiki Quality Subdomain Scores7.0 (Averages for each WQI Level) (n=255)6.0 5.0 4.0 3.0 2.0 Information Consumption Participation 1.0 Expert Thinking 0.0 NewMedia Literacy 0 Complex Communication 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
    40. 40. SourceForge• 70% of projects have only 1 developer,• 14% of projects have 2 developers• 14% of projects have 3-9 developers• 2% of projects have more than 10 developers
    41. 41. Theoretical debates in wikis and collaboration (IJCSCL) Are students meaningfully Or just posting in the collaborating? same place? Glassman and Kang (2011): Dohn (2009): Web 2.0 tools wikis not only enable are theoretically well-suited students to participate in for collaborative knowledge knowledge building, but production practices, but the allow the enactment of educational logics of Dewey’s vision individual assessment prevent these practices from being realized.
    42. 42. Implications• Empirical: Few wikis provide opportunities for student collaborative writing – Very little copyediting or rich discussion – “I DON’T CARE DO UR OWN PAGE!,” (Grant, 2009).
    43. 43. Implications• Hopeful: Research to develop strategies for scaffolding online student collaboration is really important• Despairing: What does it mean if Dohn is right? What if the institutional structures of schooling limit collaborative learning?
    44. 44. blogs.edweek.org/edweek/edtechresearcher
    45. 45. Back Deck
    46. 46. What subjects are wikis used for? (n=411) English / Language Arts 120 Social Studies 70 Science 61Computer Science/ Technology 60 Math 45 Library 26 Art 22 Contained Elementary 20 Modern FL 10 Health/PE 8 Business 6 ESL 5 Classics 4 Education 2 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140
    47. 47. # of Time/Scale Web 2.0 ResearchCases State Space Modeling1,000K Usage Simulations Statistics100K Semantic Analysis 10K Surveys1,000 Content Interviews Analysis 100 Discursive 10 Analysis Biometric Design Observational 1 Analysis Research Research Seconds Days Weeks Months Years 49 Duration of data collection and capture
    48. 48. Prototypical wiki quality trajectories in subject areas, controlling for SES (n=259) 25 20Wiki Quality Score 15 10 Social Studies English 5 Computer Science Science Math 0 0 100 200 300 400 500 Days
    49. 49. MrBoyersClass.Pbworks.com Page Saves by Day100 90 80 70 60 50 Page Saves 40 30 20 10 0 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 Days
    50. 50. Moving average of wiki development measured in page savesALLPS 30 20 10 0 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 day

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