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Wikis

Creating wikis

 

Blackboard guide

Showcasing wikis

Terms: wiki, collaboration

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Issue 11: WWW - Wonderful World of Wikis

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Wikis are collaborative writing spaces.  The term ‘wiki’ is from the Hawaiian language and means “quick”, and that reflects the ease and speed with which a community of writers can generate a complete text.  One of the best-known wikis is Wikipedia and it demonstrates all the features of a modern wiki – the written text, the history of its development and very often the discussion surrounding the authenticity of the knowledge claims.

In education, wikis tend to be used for collaborative learning/writing tasks.  The history function ensures the input of each author can be monitored and the overall development of the task can be assessed.  Wikis can be used as planning spaces as well as summative expressions of research and learning. Additional functions such as tagging allow entries to be categorised, easily located and associated with other entries.

Learning with wikis

Wikis can be used in a variety of ways in teaching and learning. Learning tasks that lend themselves to the development of documents and knowledge expression in textual form are particularly suitable:

  • Developing and organising a glossary of key terms;
  • Building a knowledge base around a subject;
  • Coordinating and collaborating on research;
  • Responding to sample examination questions;
  • Collaboratively creating tutorial or laboratory summaries;
  • Joint writing of papers and articles;
  • Organising events (common in conference and colloquia organisation);

(adapted from Higdon, J. Teaching, Learning, and Other Uses for Wikis in Academia: All Users Are Not Necessarily Created Equal. http://campustechnology.com/articles/2005/11/teaching-learning-and-other-uses-for-wikis-in-academia.aspx)

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Useful links:

7 things you should know about …Wikis [EDUCAUSE]
Wikis in Education [Australian Flexible Learning Framework]
Wikis in Plain English [Common Craft]

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