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Breaking Down Barriers And Celebrating Diversity A Collaborative Wiki Writing Project University Of Waikato Hazel Owen Clayton Young V1
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Breaking Down Barriers And Celebrating Diversity A Collaborative Wiki Writing Project University Of Waikato Hazel Owen Clayton Young V1


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This is a presentation that Clayton Young and I gave at the LED conference at the University of Waikato, NZ in 2007. If you would like to listen to just the audio too it's hosted at: …

This is a presentation that Clayton Young and I gave at the LED conference at the University of Waikato, NZ in 2007. If you would like to listen to just the audio too it's hosted at:

PLEASE NOTE: Due to a technical glitch the audio stops half way through the presentation. Apologies :-(

Please cite as: Owen, H., & Young, C. (2007, November 21-24). Breaking down the barriers and celebrating diversity: A collaborative Wiki-based writing project. Paper presented at the Language, Education and Diversity Conference, The University of Waikato, Hamilton.

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  • Hazel Good afternoon – my name is Hazel Owen and this is my colleague, Clayton Young Wiki-wiki is the Hawaiian word for quick. Wiki Wiki Web sites are sites designed for users to be able to make additions or edit any page of the site. They often have a common vocabulary, and consider themselves a "Wiki" community.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Breaking Down Barriers & Celebrating Diversity: Hazel Owen and Clayton Young A Collaborative Intercultural Wiki- based Writing Project
    • 2. Overview of Presentation
      • College Prep Programs: Purposes
      • Writing in a tertiary environment
      • ICT: enhancing learning?
      • Wiki-based writing project
      • Educational setting
      • Experiences / Future Recommendations
      • Conclusion / Questions
    • 3. Academic skills (e.g. researching and organizing) Higher order L2 skills Cognitive & reasoning skills Information Communication Technology & collaborative skills Preparatory tertiary education programs
    • 4. Research and Study Skills Assimilation of ideas Communication of ideas Academic writing conventions WRITING
    • 5. Does ICT work?
      • ICT / technology enhanced learning
      • Blended learning
        • “… knowledge is viewed as a social construct, facilitated by peer interaction, evaluation and cooperation”
        • (Hiltz, 1998)
      • Achievement of goals
    • 6. Use the tool that best fits your purpose
      • Email - asynchronous communication
      • MSN chat - synchronous communication
      • Blog - journal/reflection
      • WebKF - threaded discussions
      • Wiki - collaboration
    • 7. A famous Wiki
    • 8. The PB Wiki environment
      • Not software
      • Don’t download it; it is set up on the PB Wiki server
      • Owner has the ability to control the environment
    • 9. The PB Wiki environment
      • Asynchronous multi user collaboration
      • Basic Features
        • 10 MB storage
        • Limited backup features
        • Limited wallpaper selection
    • 10. The PB Wiki environment
    • 11. The PB Wiki environment
    • 12. The PB Wiki environment
    • 13. The PB Wiki environment
    • 14. The PB Wiki environment
    • 15. The PB Wiki environment
    • 16. The PB Wiki environment
      • History feature
    • 17. The PB Wiki environment
      • The history feature:
      • Comparing history ‘versions’
    • 18. Background to research project
      • Cross-cultural communication
      • Opportunity for learners to use contemporary communication tool
      • Enhancement of writing proficiency
      • “… democratic, respectful, open to challenges…” (Wegerif, 1998, p.15).
      • Data collection tools
    • 19. Hypothesis
      • The medium of the asynchronous Internet based collaborative environment (wikis), because of its semi-public nature, will facilitate greater attention to academic writing processes and conventions, while also motivating learners’ general interest in writing and awareness of the world.
    • 20. Awareness register genre purpose Mechanics grammar syntax revision/editing semantics vocabulary Structure & Organization summarizing / paraphrasing arguing applying support synthesizing describing Referencing & Avoiding Plagiarism search selection techniques conventions ethics Academic Writing Conventions
    • 21. The UAE Educational Setting
      • Dubai Men’s College (DMC)
      • Students
        • Educational background
        • Expectations & experience
        • Intermediate level
    • 22. The Canadian Educational Setting
      • University of Toronto
      • English Language Program
      • International Students
        • Educational background
        • Expectations & experience
        • Upper Intermediate level
    • 23. Wiki-based Writing Project
    • 24. Wiki-based Writing Project
    • 25. Wiki-based Writing Project
    • 26. Wiki-based Writing Project
    • 27. Teacher Feedback
      • Terry
        • Most of the Toronto students were initially thrilled that they would have a chance to “meet” someone from Dubai: many were not sure where it was and … none knew anything about the culture.
        • The students are so enthusiastic and taking this so seriously that several decided that their profiles weren't good enough: they are revamping them and we'll get them posted over the next 2 days.
        • Students thought it fantastic that a WIKI had been tailor-made to meet their unique purposes, and I emphasized that their participation will … provide much-needed practice in editing their own and others' work …: there's nothing like an audience.
    • 28. Teacher Feedback
      • Clayton
      • Wow, what a hectic two days it has been … the best part is that the students remained focused on task and helpful throughout. They are really taking to this environment.
      • Initial feedback from class was overwhelmingly positive:
        • Students liked:
            • the opportunity to make use of their new computers in an authentic online environment
            • the opportunity to interact with students from other countries
      • These fellows quickly saw the benefit to their writing and to enhancing their cultural awareness of other peoples in other lands
    • 29. Teacher Recommendations
      • Terry
        • no one reads instructions ... [therefore] … we need to make much more effort next time to review … [instructions] with students ... and not just say 'the instructions are here, read them for homework’
        • Students need to be reminded of where to find things and to use the Side Bar. Many initially perceived the platform as confusing and unfriendly.
    • 30. Teacher Recommendations
      • Clayton
        • … we tried to do too much in the time we allotted. Both students and teachers need time to get their head into this online platform ... and to feel comfortable.
        • … we should have spent more time up front familiarizing students with the Wiki and allowing time for students to get to know one another online. 'Buy-in' by all concerned can only be fostered through this break in process.
    • 31. Student Feedback
      • DMC
        • cross cultural awareness: … and it's a really good experience to meet people from other countries and different cultures.
        • interaction preference: … having a partner to work with makes it nicer when we have a hard time finding some information because the partner can give us some idea.
        • tools: … the Wiki website was really useful for me, and I like the idea of being able to control your own page.
    • 32. Student Feedback
      • UT
        • Recognition skills / purpose: … having done this research, I have learned many skills about researches that will assist me … in my academic journey at the university.
        • Purpose / interaction preferences: … this project is useful … as it give me a chance to practice cooperating …; cooperation will act a very important part in my studying or working life.
    • 33. Student Recommendations
      • UT
        • inter-group communication / TM: ... make mandatory communication times or deadlines when we have to talk.
        • scaffolding / instructions: Teachers should set time limit for each step so that each partner will answer same amount of questions.
        • time management: To make it better, we should decide the partners who don't have a big different time.
    • 34. Student Recommendations
      • DMC
        • appearance / tools: run the Wiki project again, but … [in]form the administrator … to add some pictures or some flash or even new look for the website so the student get more interset
        • time management: … I wanted … [the teacher] to slow down and give me more time to add my research.
    • 35. Results / Experiences
      • Promotes global awareness
      • Encourages writing productivity
      • Accuracy focus promoted/self-reflection
      • Intercultural communication encouraged, but some misunderstandings
      • Enhances writing proficiency?
    • 36. Results / Experiences
      • Student interest initially high
      • Subsequent motivation not guaranteed
      • Disparate proficiency levels problematic
      • MSN feature underused
    • 37. Implications / Recommendations
      • Prior focus on intercultural communication
      • ‘ Icebreaker’ phase indispensable
      • Extensive initial student scaffolding
      • Peer editing / feedback
      • Prior teacher familiarity with tech important
      • Further teacher collaboration proj design
      • Teachers / facilitators must retain a presence - motivation & momentum
    • 38. Conclusion
      • Research ongoing
      • Writing proficiency?
      • Authentic cross-cultural collaboration / stimulating
      • The process not the technology
    • 39. Thank you for listening
      • hazel. owen nz
      • clayton .young@ hct .ac. ae
      • (reference list is attached to the back of your handout)
      • Are there any questions?