SCIT Wiki A year in the Wiki wilderness

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SCIT Wiki
a year in the Wiki wilderness
“A presentation of findings
from the SCIT Wiki project”
Matthew Green
School of Computing and IT
University of Wolverhampton
[email protected]
definitions

What is a wiki?

a collaborative online document
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any users can add content

any users can edit content

any users can delete content
inspirations
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Prensky, M (2007) – “How to teach with technology: keeping both teachers and
students comfortable in an era of exponential change”


“Some… (teachers) …have mastered on their own the technologies they use, but the
smartest among them have partnered with their students, who are eager to teach
them.”
Bryant, L (2007) – “Emerging trends in social software for education”

“In an educational context, wikis have an extremely practical role to play in allowing
students and teachers to quickly and easily explore an area of knowledge…”
SOURCES: Emerging Technologies for Learning, Volumes 1 and 2
http://publications.becta.org.uk/

William Glasser

“We Learn 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of
what we see and hear, 70% of what we discuss, 80% of what we experience,
and 95% of what we teach others.”
the project


initial motivation

A practical solution to an administrative problem

“the trouble with a workbook is...”
evolved motivation

“does this engage the unmotivated?”

“will students help one another to learn?”

2 semesters – 2 modules

Web Development – familiarity with concepts
the framework

MediaWiki?
the framework



MediaWiki
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the tool of the “native”

instant recognition

little/no training required
standards & open source

maintained through community

frequent updates and fixes
functionality

RSS/watchlist/auditing/formatting/history/versioning/user
management/and so on..
thoughts on getting started

“seeding” vs “nurturing”

to seed


to create a very simple start and allow students
to create the first “branches”
to nurture

more mature content to be “pruned”, “weeded”,
extended...
my initial hopes

interaction

contribution

engaging

enlightenment?
my fears


unused

lack of interest

preference for the tangible
vandalism


undesirable adds/edits/deletes
criticism

a wiki can be used as a “soapbox”
safeguards

registration

validated university accounts

must be registered to view

must be registered to edit

challenges in forced registration

lack of anonymity

accountability vs. big brother
findings (October 2006 -> March 2007)

interaction

above expectations

helped by directed sessions


corrections to content

fast and numerous


11,500 hits
15 error corrections in 2 weeks
contributions

higher quality than expected, numerous

400 separate contributions

currently 83 pages

10 new pages (12%) created by students in one academic year
problems


minor

location/relocation of contributions

format/presentation of contributions

off-topic – basic/advanced

copyright – copy & paste
other staff users

used more “seeds” than “seedlings”

not as positive an experience
from module evaluation

“the best thing about the module is the wiki”

“I've enjoyed learning from the wiki”

“I've enjoyed contributing to the wiki”

these are not isolated responses!
where next


WOLF 2.0 – October 2008

(pilots in 2007/8)

wiki functionality built-in
advantages

no setup, no framework selection, integration,
user account management, similar functionality
to MediaWiki framework, familiarity of WOLF
environment
my humble recommendations

content

maturity



balance
students will contribute, if…

contribution has value

value is to individual and group

the experience is self-rewarding
students will not contribute, if the wiki is…

an undefined gathering of facts/research

intellectual puzzles or challenges
more recommendations

administration

"the gardener"

not to be underestimated

not a passive role

facilitator/contributor not observer
my conclusions

students want to help each other learn



their motivations for doing so are diverse
the quantity and quality of student
contribution should not be underestimated
students prefer to learn through their
preferred communication channels, not ours
follow-on projects…

pebblewiki

Linsey Duncan-Pitt

a support facility for pebblepad users

currently 46 pages in about 5 weeks
follow-on projects…

pebblewiki


Linsey Duncan-Pitt

a support facility for pebblepad users

currently 46 pages in about 5 weeks
more Web 2.0 projects

and you?
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