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WIKI: The
complexity
of online
collaborative
work
Vera Paiva
Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG)
National Counsel of...
A wiki is a Web page that
users can modify.
(Cummings, 2008: 5)
“Collaborative practices are increasingly
seen as keys to going beyond what we
know and developing the capacity to solve
c...
Wiki writing as a complex system
People writing together in a
A wiki platform make up a
complex adaptive learning
system a...
Some characteristics of a complex
system
ynamic
daptive
pen
onlinear
elf-organizing
ensitive to feedback
Dynamic
The writing process through dynamic interactions
is always in flux.
Wiki is “…an environment that to a great exten...
Open
The system is far from
equilibrium because
new content comes and
others are deleted.
The system keeps
adapting.
Adaptive
“It would probably be wrong to ever see a wiki
implementation as "finished", because the
contexts in which it is ...
Non-linear
ystems change and the
emergent behavior is not
proportional do the causes.
mall contributions can lead
Self-organizing
• The system evolves and adapts
in different ways and in
different paces.
• According to the sociocultural...
Sensitive to feedback
• Members learn from each other.
• They react to feedback. They change and adapt.
“However, the broader, collective assignment requires that learners seek to link
individual production to the dynamic and ...
But do students collaborate as
expected?
Participants: five groups of six undergraduate students enrolled in an online
cou...
“When working collaboratively, learners
realized that the analysis and critique of their ideas
enhanced not only the conte...
• The wiki tools did not attract the expected
collaboration.
• Although students had two weeks to develop a good
text, mos...
• In spite of using a tool that affords interaction
and collaboration, most groups just produced
patchworks as a result of...
• Expertise did not emerge as a feature of the
other groups.
• Visual representations of the pages showed a
sequence of pa...
Example 1
Example 2
Example 2 (p. 1 & 2)
Example 2 (p.3 & 4)
Example
3
Example 3 (p.1 & 2)
Example 3 (p.2 & 3)
“It is essential to state here that while
the use of social technology tools can
reinforce student learning, they do not
a...
Human complex adaptive systems can
exhibit unexpected behaviors and the wiki
technology was not enough to change habitual
...
Some students do not like to
work in groups.
Some students do not want to have their
contributions edited, deleted or corr...
Limitation of the study
One limitation of the study was that, after
feedback, the students did not write
another essay in ...
Referências
Bo, Leuf and Ward Cunningham. The Wiki Way: Collaboration and Sharing on the Internet.
London: Addison Wesley,...
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WIKI: The complexity of online collaborative work

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Transcript of "WIKI: The complexity of online collaborative work"

  1. 1. WIKI: The complexity of online collaborative work Vera Paiva Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq) Minas Gerais State Research Foundation (FAPEMIG)
  2. 2. A wiki is a Web page that users can modify. (Cummings, 2008: 5)
  3. 3. “Collaborative practices are increasingly seen as keys to going beyond what we know and developing the capacity to solve complex problems that are typical of the knowledge society but beyond the capacity of the individual.” (Lund, 2008:36)
  4. 4. Wiki writing as a complex system People writing together in a A wiki platform make up a complex adaptive learning system and their joint interactions produce texts of higher qualities than the sum of their individual texts because of the emergence of a “collective intelligence”.
  5. 5. Some characteristics of a complex system ynamic daptive pen onlinear elf-organizing ensitive to feedback
  6. 6. Dynamic The writing process through dynamic interactions is always in flux. Wiki is “…an environment that to a great extent relies on learner interdependence.” (Lund, 2008: 36)
  7. 7. Open The system is far from equilibrium because new content comes and others are deleted. The system keeps adapting.
  8. 8. Adaptive “It would probably be wrong to ever see a wiki implementation as "finished", because the contexts in which it is used are always prone to change. People adapt. Wiki adapts.” (Bo and Cunningham, 2001: 392)
  9. 9. Non-linear ystems change and the emergent behavior is not proportional do the causes. mall contributions can lead
  10. 10. Self-organizing • The system evolves and adapts in different ways and in different paces. • According to the sociocultural theory, “people working jointly are able to co-construct contexts in which expertise emerges as a feature of the group” (Lantolf, 2000:17)
  11. 11. Sensitive to feedback • Members learn from each other. • They react to feedback. They change and adapt.
  12. 12. “However, the broader, collective assignment requires that learners seek to link individual production to the dynamic and collective potential of the wiki. This involves trusting others to contribute productively and developing sensitivity towards the totality by relating one’s own contribution to those of others, that is, we see the emergence of a collective ZPD.” (Lund, 2008:47)
  13. 13. But do students collaborate as expected? Participants: five groups of six undergraduate students enrolled in an online course - Introduction to digital tools for language teaching – in a Brazilian university in 2011. Task: write essays in English about “the integration of technology in the English Language classroom” using any wiki tool. Each student should use a different color for his/her contribution so that the teacher could identify the dynamicity of each group. Duration: 2 weeks Instructions: It was emphasized that they should not only add content, but also edit their classmates’ contributions by correcting mistakes and adding further information, exemplifications and new references. Evaluation: content, quality of collaboration and participation.
  14. 14. “When working collaboratively, learners realized that the analysis and critique of their ideas enhanced not only the content but also the overall quality of their essays. Learners became aware that everybody brought to the projects a unique set of skills and that often they could learn more from correcting their partner’s grammar and critiquing their ideas than from their own work. In addition, structure and organization improved because the discussions allowed learners to concentrate on a thesis for their essays and support that thesis in a more organized manner.” (Elola and Oskos, 2010) My expectation
  15. 15. • The wiki tools did not attract the expected collaboration. • Although students had two weeks to develop a good text, most of them did not invest enough time to write a real collaborative essay. • Most students limited themselves to their individual contributions without any commitment to the final product. • One student sent her part by email, without revising what others had written. • Content was usually poor. RESULTS
  16. 16. • In spite of using a tool that affords interaction and collaboration, most groups just produced patchworks as a result of juxtaposition of individual texts. • Real collaboration by means of editing, corrections, and addition of relevant information was detected in one group only. RESULTS
  17. 17. • Expertise did not emerge as a feature of the other groups. • Visual representations of the pages showed a sequence of paragraphs in different colors instead of multi-colored paragraphs which would represent real collaboration. RESULTS
  18. 18. Example 1
  19. 19. Example 2
  20. 20. Example 2 (p. 1 & 2)
  21. 21. Example 2 (p.3 & 4)
  22. 22. Example 3
  23. 23. Example 3 (p.1 & 2)
  24. 24. Example 3 (p.2 & 3)
  25. 25. “It is essential to state here that while the use of social technology tools can reinforce student learning, they do not always lead to positive learning results (Lindblom-Ylänne & Pihlajamäki, 2003). In any educational setting it is important to evaluate carefully the relationship between the properties of these tools and how they are used to assist learners (Kirschner, 2002).” (Elola & Oskoz, 2010: 64) Conclusions
  26. 26. Human complex adaptive systems can exhibit unexpected behaviors and the wiki technology was not enough to change habitual group behaviors or enable the emergence of a collective intelligence. Wiki tools may mislead one into thinking that they facilitate the emergence of wholes which are greater than the sum of the individual productions. Conclusions
  27. 27. Some students do not like to work in groups. Some students do not want to have their contributions edited, deleted or corrected. Digital tools alone do not change students’ behavior Mindsets must also change. Conclusions
  28. 28. Limitation of the study One limitation of the study was that, after feedback, the students did not write another essay in a wiki platform. Therefore, we could not evaluate if the group, viewed as a complex system, had learned through teacher feedback.
  29. 29. Referências Bo, Leuf and Ward Cunningham. The Wiki Way: Collaboration and Sharing on the Internet. London: Addison Wesley, 2001. Cummings, Robert E., and Matt Barton, eds. Wiki Writing: Collaborative Writing in the College Classroom. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan P, 2008. Cummings, Robert E. What Was a Wiki, and Why Do I Care? A Short and Usable History of Wikis. In: Cummings, Robert E., and Matt Barton, eds. Wiki Writing: Collaborative Writing in the College Classroom. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan P, 2008. p.1-16 Cunningham, Ward. Wiki Design Principles. Available at http://c2.com/cgi/wiki? WikiDesignPrinciples. Access 04 May 2012. Elola, Idoia, and Ana Oskoz. Collaborative Writing: Fostering Foreign Language and Writing Conventions Development. Language Learning & Technology. v.14, n. 3. p.51-71. Oct, 2010. Available at http://llt.msu.edu/issues/october2010/elolaoskoz.pdf . Access 15 May 2012 Lakeman, Will. Content and Commentary: Parallel Structures of Organization and Interaction on Wikis. In: Cummings, Robert E., and Matt Barton, eds. Wiki Writing: Collaborative Writing in the College Classroom. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan P, 2008. p.144-159
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