Learning with Wikis

This is a resource that I use with first-year students, new to the idea of working in wiki’s – with others.

It gives an outline of wiki spirit and suggested approaches to how to begin working with others, whom perhaps you have no association previously. I suggests some ways to engage others, and how to approach group work, beginning with the use of a wiki as individual workshops to research and collect ideas; then to move these to a group space for further discussion.

Students often find it difficult to populate the blank page (to be the ice-breaker) or to identify early-leaders in academic pursuit of the solution. We have to remember, that much of their informal use of technology is friend-based; not academic need based.

It uses some obvious project based learning approaches – and focuses on the metaphor of not having the group’s efforts stagnate or get stuck on the esculator. It is particularly important to break down the barriers between those who are natural leaders in such learning methods; and those who settle to follow.

Other references/resources that are of use: WoW Wiki’s statement about conduct. Wikipedia entry for [spirit].

I run a 40 minute lectorial around this handout. Most students are not prepared in this class for ‘tech’ learning; so paper gives them a common baseline. We talk about using mobile devices, third spaces and the importance of ensuring people ‘off the grid’ are included in inter-group discussions.

I use it to test for prior experience; and to draw out those in the class who like to lead, or perhaps will mentor others initially – and those who seem stunned at working in this way. There are always a few or each. You might find it of use; it is not particularly higher-education specific. The above video is the wake-up event; and I refer to it as a metaphor during the presentation and discussion of how to go about negotiation, collaboration and individual effort to achieve the aims of the group.

Thanks to @robynjay for her inspiration on including wiki-spirit over wiki-skills.

2 thoughts on “Learning with Wikis

  1. Thanks for sharing this idea. It has given me a great start on how I can introduce the concept of collaborative work in my class. I think the idea of “not getting stuck on the learning ladder” is a great metaphor.

  2. Pingback: Talkin' 'bout my cerebration. » Blog Archive » Learning together

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