Wiki Ways of Knowing: Using Wikis to Facilitate Collaborative Group Learning Anthony De Jesús Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College February 21, 2013 Course Objectives To build students’ capacity to acquire, appraise, analyze and integrate multiple sources of knowledge and communicate both orally and in writing through mastery of the substantive course content. In addition, the course is an introduction to key theoretical frameworks within the sociology of education and issues in the field of social work practice in schools. Retrieval and Information Assesment Skills Boolean Searches Peer review journals Books of various presses (University, Trade, etc) Reports (research, advocacy, etc.) Periodicals Websites (.com, .org, .gov, etc.) WOK Paradigms (Lincoln & Guba, 2003) Positivism/Post Positivism Constructivism/Interpretivism Critical Theory/Social Science Participatory Social Science BB Site Demonstration Student Feedback We all liked the group experience in that we were able to explore a topic picked by the group. This kind of independent learning was useful. Our group size proved to be most challenging aspect of the process. We had 6 people in the group and scheduling was virtually impossible. The process of completing the bibliography prepared us for other academic work and we were better able to understand the topics that we were researching and find credible sources. Ultimately, we found the annotated bibliography to be a useful component of the course and it proved very helpful to have done significant research on our chosen topic well prior to the presentation. We all agreed that we needed a better sense of expectations and direction from the outset. The timeline was challenging during the semester because of the mini breaks. It was also the first time we all were completing a wiki, so we weren’t exposed to it prior to this class. With regard to the WIKI, no one in the group found it useful or effective. It was hard to edit so we used Microsoft Word and then uploaded. The discussion board component was not interactive, and time consuming. Some observations The annotated bibliography assignment was successful in facilitating collaborative learning and preparing groups for their final presentations. All students contributed to the assignment - but not equally. The wiki is a useful resource for collaborative student work – but it has limitations (especially formatting). Students have access to more user friendly platforms (Google) and use them, this both facilitated and undermined some of the goals I had with the assignment. There was too much online/blackboard work and the this created additional pressure for students. Group work creates additional scheduling and time demands on students and this needs to be considered in overall workload.