EVALUATING THE USE OF WIKIS
IN STUDENT GROUP WORK
WITHIN BLACKBOARD VLE
Dr Nadia Amin, Clive Vassell
and Stanka Winch
Harr...
Project Aims
• To provide a technologically innovative approach to
group coursework delivery and assessment
• To increase ...
Wikis
• Growing popularity of web 2.0 and social
networking sites, blogs, wikis and tagging
• Wiki is a new generation of ...
Wikis within Blackboard VLE
Blackboard VLE
Lecturer

Module Portal

Student
groups

Wiki tool

manage
& monitor
wiki usage...
Project Description
•
•

The wiki used was Teams LX™ add-on learning object integrated
within Blackboard
Three modules wit...
Methodology
Quantitative and qualitative analysis was applied to verify
project results:
• Students Survey : all students ...
Survey Questions
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Have you used wikis before?
To what extent do you agree that the wiki was...
A p n i A S m ayo t esu e t ’ s r e
p e dx . u m r
f h
t d ns uv y

8
Survey Results Summary
•
•

Over 70% of students reported that they had never participated in wiki activity
prior to this ...
Wiki Usage tool
Participation for Group A

Participation for Group B

User Total Page Saves Total Lines
Modified

User Tot...
Students Reflective Statements
•
•

•
•
•
•

“The convenience of being able to work from home and not having to physically...
Focus Group Comments
•
•
•

•

•

Students found the use of the wiki valuable and interesting and were pleasantly
surprise...
Conclusions
• The project has helped to achieve the following key
outcomes:
– Improved collaborative interaction between s...
Acknowledgement
• We wish to thank the Higher Education
Academy, Information and Computer
Science subject network for supp...
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Evaluating the use of wikis in student group work within Blackboard VLE

  1. 1. EVALUATING THE USE OF WIKIS IN STUDENT GROUP WORK WITHIN BLACKBOARD VLE Dr Nadia Amin, Clive Vassell and Stanka Winch Harrow Business School HEA ICS Conference 2008, Liverpool 1
  2. 2. Project Aims • To provide a technologically innovative approach to group coursework delivery and assessment • To increase integration and usage of the university’s existing Blackboard VLE to deliver and assess module content • To evaluate the effectiveness and use of wikis as a group work tool in comparison to traditional teaching and assessment methods 2
  3. 3. Wikis • Growing popularity of web 2.0 and social networking sites, blogs, wikis and tagging • Wiki is a new generation of collaborative tool enabling people to work simultaneously on the same documents in a timely manner. • Turban defines wiki as a “website that enables visitors to add, remove, edit and change content without the need for registration”. 3
  4. 4. Wikis within Blackboard VLE Blackboard VLE Lecturer Module Portal Student groups Wiki tool manage & monitor wiki usage Student Record System (SRS) Groups’ wikis 4
  5. 5. Project Description • • The wiki used was Teams LX™ add-on learning object integrated within Blackboard Three modules with 30 students in total were selected : – Undergraduate • 2EBU501 EBusiness Fundamentals • 2BUS501 Managing Business Resources – Postgraduate • 2BCO7H4 Managing Ecommerce • • • A wiki was created for each group of students, with editing rights set up for each group, where members were allowed to change the wiki content. All students had read-only access to other groups’ wikis. Lecturers monitored the wikis’ usage over one semester 5
  6. 6. Methodology Quantitative and qualitative analysis was applied to verify project results: • Students Survey : all students were asked to complete questionnaire at the end of the project • Monitoring of wiki usage statistics, which showed individual student participation • Focus group meeting between students and tutors • Reflective statements were sought from one student group 6
  7. 7. Survey Questions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Have you used wikis before? To what extent do you agree that the wiki was useful? To what extent do you agree that the wiki was easy to use? To what extent to you agree that access to the wiki was convenient and reliable? To what extent do you agree that the supporting material on the use of the wiki was useful? To what extent do you agree that he use of the wiki assisted with the assignment? To what extent do you agree that the use of the wiki facilitated group collaboration? To what extent do you agree that the use of the wiki was a useful learning experience? To what extent do you agree that the wiki was a useful communication tool? Would you like to see the use of wikis extended to other modules? 7
  8. 8. A p n i A S m ayo t esu e t ’ s r e p e dx . u m r f h t d ns uv y 8
  9. 9. Survey Results Summary • • Over 70% of students reported that they had never participated in wiki activity prior to this pilot project. Student sentiment about the use of the wiki was clearly positive: – – • • • • When asked if wikis were useful and easy to use, over 75% replied ‘Agree/Strongly Agree’ and Over 60% of students agreed that the use of the wiki helped in their coursework assignment Students felt that the wiki facilitates group collaboration, a view held by over 65% of the students. Students spoke almost unanimously of the ‘convenience factor’ that the wiki generated by enabling students to work in an asynchronous way from different locations, e.g. homes, university, etc. Most students seemed to feel that there was room for improvement, for e.g. inconsistencies in text/picture formatting, the lack of a spell checker, etc. 75% of students reported that they would like to see more use made of wikis on other modules 9
  10. 10. Wiki Usage tool Participation for Group A Participation for Group B User Total Page Saves Total Lines Modified User Total Page Saves Total Lines Modified 1 30% (112/377) 41% (809/1991) 2 22% (82/377) 28% (563/1991) 3 31% (116/377) 24% (487/1991) 4 18% (67/377) 7% (132/1991) 1 2 3 4 83% (360/433) 89% (1532/1714) 8% (36/433) 7% (116/1714) 4% (17/433) 2% (35/1714) 5% (20/433) 2% (31/1714) 10
  11. 11. Students Reflective Statements • • • • • • “The convenience of being able to work from home and not having to physically meet up as a group”. “..Being able to communicate with your group members, and leaving comments whilst doing your work. So every time someone else logged on they could see the comments and take the work from there. Another one was it [was] easy to access and easy to update anytime you wanted. It was easy to use and you didn’t need to have many skills to use the wiki.” “My personal experience of using the wiki was excellent”. “The use of wikis will help groups to see who is performing well and which individual is not participating and maybe looking for a ‘free ride’ in the assignment”. “...I was surprised to learn how this could be both an exciting and beneficial method of doing coursework and group work in particular”. “I think that the use of wikis within groups benefits both the group members and the tutors alike”. 11
  12. 12. Focus Group Comments • • • • • Students found the use of the wiki valuable and interesting and were pleasantly surprised by the benefits it offered It was really convenient for group members to communicate with each and leave messages through the “comments” facility provided by the wiki. Students felt that while the wiki reduces the need (and frequency of) group meetings, it does not eliminate the need for face-to-face meetings. Group meetings and personal contacts are still needed especially at the onset of the coursework assignment. Students also commented that wiki participation statistics do not necessarily reflect the actual contribution that an individual makes to the group work. Nevertheless, it was felt that it can be used to identify free-riders. From a technical point of view wikis were seen as being easy to use, although some formatting problems were reported. 12
  13. 13. Conclusions • The project has helped to achieve the following key outcomes: – Improved collaborative interaction between students in a group setting; – Increased module content awareness, participation and performance by the students; – Improved ability of staff to assess individual student contribution to group work; – Improved student team working skills that are essential in the workplace; – Improved assessment evaluation and feedback from course staff. • The university needs to ensure that the wiki software works reliably and that the software is kept up-to-date. 13
  14. 14. Acknowledgement • We wish to thank the Higher Education Academy, Information and Computer Science subject network for supporting this project under the General Development Fund 2007/8 and all students at Harrow Business School who participated in this project 14

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