Thursday, February 12, 2009

We Shouldn't Ignore the Wiki Challenges

I wanted to share an article from Campus Technology, “3 Challenges to Wiki Use in Instruction”. I was impressed that they narrowed it down to three! (smile). I’ve been using and teaching the use of wikis in the classroom for several years now. I knew when I started developing classes using Web 2.0 tools that we were perhaps ahead of the curve – and we may still be – but not surprisingly, being ahead of the curve is part of our mission. I’ve been sharing the benefits of wikis for some time, things like collaborative environment, shared construction of knowledge, self-directed teams, facilitates higher level thinking, etc. I’m not so sure I always share the challenges. And I should!

The author, Ruth Reynard, gives it to us something like this:

Create meaningful assignments. Often teachers are unfamiliar with the potential of the tool. That’s okay, that comes with experience, but we need to keep in mind creating a connection to the overall purpose.

Grades reflect the process along with the product. I’m not sure this isn’t more of a “Boomer” need than a “Net Gen” need, but never the less, a great deal of work and learning happens in order to get a result in this sort of collaborative environment. It’s much easier to grade a product, don’t I know, but the process is actually just as important here.

Collective knowledge use. How will this be used to reinforce learning? Reynard says, “rather than simply an argument or debate, a paper, or a project, a wiki-based assignment can illustrate stages of development in thinking, collaboration, synthesis, and application. This helps to contextualize the learning that has taken place for immediate benefit to students and for future use in learning.” Is this project relevant?

I like this discussion of challenges. It’s relevant!

Just Sharin’
Lee Anne

Eighth Floor Class on Wikis:
Wiki When You Wanna
Feb 17th from 1:00-4:00 pm
April 1st from 8:30 -11:30 am

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