I read an article on wikis in education that said they were marvellous
because unlike an email exchange which is difficult to assess, a wiki
normally shows the contribution of each and every participant, so even
though it was a joint work, it is possible to see which participants
actively participated and which just sat back and let the others do work.
Just to summarise here is what I think the pros are:
1. A wiki has a very flexible format, so most people (lecturers and
students) can edit and maintain the wiki and organise the information
without the need for assistance from the web people in "IT". That means
you can present the information in an online format in a flow you like,
when you want to, rather than as & when IT are available and as they
tell you it has to be done to fit in with the main website.
3. New material can be quickly added (including documents, pdf,
presentations) and errors can be quickly corrected
4. It is relatively easy to create a "one stop" site with lecture notes,
links to web resources, follow up material post lecture, and with
suitable passwords: the posting and marking of classwork either by
individuals or groups. You can even incorporate a forum, have
discussion/question space on particular lectures, create student
initiated pages including social pages.
5. Depending on the wiki, it is possible to add a diary, photo album,
RSS news feeds and many other features.
1. A wiki seems to work well on collaborative course work.
2. The wiki history should allow a lecturer to assess individual
contributions on a collaborative project.
1. People are often reluctant to edit "other people's" work.
2. Wikis can easily be dominated by a few people and/or there can be
3. Running the wiki is more than just adding course material, it is also
checking edits, answering questions posting follow up material and that
is an additional task in itself.
4. The very ease of editing can lead to poor material being added before
it is checked and the inclusion of ill thought out changes leading to a
messy and difficult to follow flow.
5. Wikis often have strange "markup" languages that need to be learnt
(although some now have WYSIWYG/word processor like editing panels).
6. Unlike A4 word processor pages, wiki pages are usually viewed on a
range of screen sizes so the page layout has to be able to flow to fit
smaller and larger screens. This makes it difficult to format pages that
contain a high ratio of pictures to text.
7. In my experience, IT don't like projects that bypass IT and
complicate their support load. Wikis empower their users to do what IT
might see as "their job", but to gain the full benefit will need IT
support. Instead IT prefer everyone to use one central system
(controlled by them) with a clear demarcation between the responsibility
of IT and "the user" which minimises their work in maintaining it.
On 21/10/2010 07:51, Roger Hill wrote:
> Isn't that the drawback of teams.
>> Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2010 15:37:10 +1030
>> From: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Wiki: anyone any experience for courses?
>> To: [log in to unmask]
> If you want your students to create
>> something jointly you need to find a way to make sure everyone pulls
>> their weight in contributing. For a joint project it can be useful.
>> At 08:54 PM 18/10/2010, you wrote:
>>> Does anyone have any experience of using a wiki** to support
>>> students on a course - whether archaeological or not (but the
>>> current wiki is supporting an archaeological course)?
>>> If so, can you share any lessons learnt: what works, what doesn't.
>>> ** Wiki: A wiki is a form of on line application which supports
>>> collaborative editing of interlinked webpages. They support basic
>>> formatting of text (bold, italic, tables) and provide a page history
>>> of who has added what and when. The best known wiki is wikipedia
>> Dr Susan Piddock
>> Department of Archaeology
>> Flinders University
>> GPO Box 2100
>> Adelaide, 5001
>> South Australia
>> Adjunct Associate Lecturer, Flinders University, South Australia.
>> ASHA General Committee Member