Created October 15, 2018
What are wikis? Should we use them in educational settings? How do they benefit learning? What is the proper use of wikis?
A #Wiki can be defined as an online collaborative tool that allows multiple people to create content as a set of linked web pages, using a process of adding, deleting, and modifying. The best known example of Wiki website is Wikipedia. Most Learning Management Systems (LMS) have wiki activity as an option to be used in online courses.
Wikis can enhance teaching and learning by facilitating collaboration in online classroom. Collaboration is an important part of education, and many think that online classrooms lack options. Wikis can be used to engage students in learning with each other, as well as help to provide timely feedback from instructor. By working collaboratively on wiki assignments we allow students to build a community. We are also changing perception from students as consumers of information to students as producers of learning content. This reversal of roles allows students to master the content because they must become experts on a topic, put information in a language acceptable to peers, while being creative.
Why wikis are useful?
enable collaborative and active learning;
can improve writing skills;
create interactive learning environments;
encourage community building;
develop digital literacy skills.
There are many uses for wikis in online classrooms, and although most of them will require pace classrooms, with some creativity you can use them for one on one instructions.
When to use wiki?
Wikis can be used for
collaborative paper writing;
allowing students collaboratively find and edit incorrect information;
creating examples of e-portfolios content;
creation of the structured website examples on topic;
research project communication/collaboration tool;
creation of topic/class summaries, stories;
creating a space for the debates;
allowing peer/instructor feedback;
creating resource repository;
creating a space for collaborative fact checking;
creating sign-up sheets of any complexity;
publishing instructional materials.
The same rules for writing assignments applies to wikis, if you are considering using them in your classes: know how they work, set clear rules and expectations, include instructions, be creative, chose authentic assignments, define roles and activities, use comment abilities to encourage interactions, monitor the process.
#Moodle LMS has two types of wikis in its set of activities. It allows to set wiki as individual (one per student) or collaborative (one per group). Wiki also can be set as visible (to other groups/students) and separate (each group will not share their work with other groups/students). They support comments or annotations, multiple page creation, file uploading, and locking option to stop editing. This features vary depending on what type of wiki you are using. All activities within Moodle wiki are logged.
Hope you found this quick wiki overview helpful.