Working with Wikis: Learning & Collaboration in a Virtual Space Nathan Whitley-Grassi State University of New York, Empire State College, Niagara Frontier Center
Why are we here? Recent surveys of top companies found that collaboration was one of the most highly valued skills in new college graduates. How do we facilitate collaboration & collaborative learning to support this statement in a blended or hybrid format?
Why not a CMS? It is best to choose a tool that fits your needs rather than creating a need to fit the tool. Course Management System expansion can be expensive, time consuming, and often does not usually allow for student co-created content development Third party software provides users with additional free and flexible tools
What is a Wiki?
What is a Wiki? Wikis are editable websites Require very little technical “know how” to edit Ward Cunningham – Wiki Wiki Web (1991) “The simplest online database that could possibly work” Wiki – Hawaiian word for “fast”
Why a Wiki? No HTML knowledge required Share knowledge quickly Easy way to collaborate Revert back to old versions Follow who’s done what, when, & where
How does it work? A Wiki page starts more or less blank Wiki pages are connected by internal hyperlinks Every page should be connected
Where to find a free Wiki
Guide to Creating Wikispaces Wikis: http://ISTE2011wiki.wikispaces.com/
Collaboration: Creates communities of practice Collaborative learning communities The cooperative learning paradigm: Positive interdependence of members Individual accountability Peer-to-peer interaction Use of communication skills
Learning & Engagement: Constructivist Theory – Individual Unit of Instruction Collaboration is at the heart of learning Deeper level of knowledge generation Active and manipulative learning Initiative, creativity, and critical thinking skills Learning communities Shared goal for learning
Collaboration With Wikis Collaboration does not just happen Requires planning on the instructors part And don’t forget to Scream…. Set the stage Create the environment Release of responsibility Encourage collaboration Assess regularly Motivate learners
Learning Communities: Are not just group assignments: Learning communities require a higher level collaboration This is usually brought about by creating: A shared sense of community A group value system A common community goal Habituation
Learning Communities (cont.): This paradigm has become the template for many cohort-based programs in higher ed. Learning Communities Linked Courses Freshman focus groups Multi-part Group Assignments?
Forming Learning Communities: A shared sense of community The Assignment Requires interaction Students depend on one another A common community goal Create a scoring system that examines both individual and group efforts. A group value system As students depend... Feel a responsibility to each other Obligation Make it FUN??? Habituation Icebreaker Students need to feel confortable with each other A Place to call home The Wiki!
Mediation Models: How can we use Wikis in Collaborative learning? Student Control? Group Control? Instructor Control? Self Mediated Each student has own wiki Students visit other wikis of group members Group Mediated Each group has their own space Student each have a page linked together from a community home Shared Space The group participates in collective activities on one page. Instructor/Class Mediated Each group has a page as part of a larger class wide wiki
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