Wikis: A Powerful Administrative and Academic Resource Joshua Belknap, Director, ESL Lab Director Cynthia S. Wiseman, Ed.D BMCC CUNY TESOL 2012 Philadelphia
Wiki (from www.wikipedia.com ) Wiki" (/wiki/) is a Hawaiian word for "fast". "Wiki" can be expanded as "What I Know Is", but this is a backronym. A wiki is a page or collection of Web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language. Collaborative websites and to power community websites. The collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia is one of the best- known wikis. Knowledge Management systems. Ward Cunningham, the developer of the first wiki software, WikiWikiWeb, originally described it as "the simplest online database that could possibly work".
www.wikispaces.comwww.wetpaint.com Wikispaces is a wiki hosting service (sometimes called a wiki farm) based in San Francisco, California. Launched in March 2005, Wikispaces is owned by Tangient LLC and is among the largest wiki hosts, competing with PBWiki, Wetpaint, and Google Sites (formerly JotSpot). Wikispaces provides free basic wikis with WYSIWYG editing to the general public under a Wikispaces subdomain. Private wikis with advanced features for businesses, non- profits and educators are available for an annual fee. As of March 2008, they had more than 920,000 registered members and hosted more than 390,000 wikis. Wikispaces has also given away more than 100,000 premium wikis to K-12 educators.
Wikis in Language Learning Wikis to support teacher-student learning in the classroom Student-authored collaborative wikis Wikis in a language lab setting
learning Interactive syllabus Discussion Student portfolios Repository for materials Related links (videos, audio, documents, online resources) Online resourceESOL EVO: “Exploring the Big Apple, Byte-by-Byte”MCC CUNY, ESL 094
Vocabulary Development & Grammar Online access to authentic language Vocabulary development Decoding vocabulary in context Connection to grammar: Explore grammar in-depth Parts of speech Morphemes (prefixes and suffixes—both those that change the meaning/part of speech of a word—and those that do not) Word Roots
Steps to vocabulary development Vocabulary Learning the vocabulary Creating vocabulary study cards in class (as we go) Card will include permutations of the word with related links e.g. for term constitution, tion would be linked to the noun page Other versions of that word will also be included on the card such as: constitutional (al would be linked to the adjective page) Students will then transfer the information on those cards to wiki pages and LINK relevant prefixes and suffixes to grammatical category pages.
Steps to vocabulary development Grammatical steps Learning the tests for major grammatical categories Learning major suffixes that change a word from one grammatical category to another. Learning roots and prefixes Related quizzes and assignments
ESL Lab Wiki: Updatable Information Lab Announcements BMCC Academic Calendar ESL Course Sections and Schedule Weekly Lab Calendar, Schedule of ESL Class Appointments Visiting the Lab Dev. Skills Departmental Announcements
ESL Lab Wiki: Tutoring/SupplementalInstruction Tutor information: meet the tutors Description of ESL Lab tutoring services (level specific tutoring sections, walk-in and conversation groups, etc) Schedule of tutoring sections Information about intensive immersion tutoring programs in January and June
ESL Lab Wiki: Instructor-Lab Interactivity Links to department web page, BMCC website, instructors’ Blackboard and wiki pages Instructor-created grammar, writing, reading, vocabulary activities Interactive writing exam preparation activities for ESL classes visiting the Lab
Challenges Usability (Ease of Use) Importing data forms other than text, e.g., graphics multimedia Formatting – standardizing & compatibility, e.g., anchoring in WetPaint vs. Wikispaces Retrieving lost data in collaborative projects Standardizing directions and training faculty/students Aggregation, not Collaboration Students tend to aggregate or collect information rather than collaborate Faculty and student perceptions of Wikis Usefulness in achieving learning outcomes Privacy Maintenance
Solutions Usability (Ease of Use) Solving formatting issues by interfacing Wetpaint and Wikispaces pages Standardizing directions and training: Including step-by-step how-to page on the ESL Lab Wiki site Use Word for creation, watch notice of others editing and wait, copy and paste final document into wikipage Careful instruction BEFORE independent work begins Fostering Collaboration Structure and scaffold group projects with increments, specific roles, and accountability Faculty and student perceptions Grades, rubrics, peer feedback, and competition Privacy options: Public vs. private, locking pages, parameters of content, anonymous posts Maintenance Shared, collective faculty and/or student site maintenance Regularly scheduled monitoring of Wiki