Wikis are an effective and useful collaboration tool and are becoming more popular within educational purposes each day. Wikis can be described as a web page primarily constructed for the use of online collaboration and authoring (Peterson, 2009). They are easily accessible for all individuals/groups and can be an effective pedagogical strategy. Wikis open up several avenues for students to gain success within their educational journey and can provide an appropriate space for students and teachers to work collaboratively and actively together. Wikis allow students to actively participate within their learning through activity based experiences while taking responsibility for their own learning (ACU,2000). There are many different ways to incorporate this effective etool within the classroom through creating and completing assessment items, classroom discussions and sharing ideas while evaluating and reflecting their own and others work/performance. Through collaboration with some other students within another subject we shared some useful and effective ways to help students enhance their knowledge base and skills through active hands on and meaningful activities (ACU,2000).
One idea conveyed within the group was students interacting and creating their own text book via a wiki website created by the teacher. The students would be given a topic and would discuss what they would write about within their text books e.g. whose point of view that would look at, what information they would include, how they would write the information (include journals, videos & other forms of text). From this the educator can assess what the students have collaborated and created, so they would be creating their own means of authentic assessment. Another idea is students can collaborate and gain skills via each year level e.g. grade 4 might create ideas for a story, grade 5 might write the story based on the collaboration of ideas and year 6/7 can edit and correct mistakes and finalise the book. Looking at these uses for wikis within the classroom it becomes evident that it follows the frame work of the Active Learning Processes ( ACU,2000). These steps within the active learning framework follows the Input, where students are accessing a multiple of sources through various senses such as visual materials (text, pictures, videos), audio (recordings, videos etc) and many more (ACU, 2000). The process is then followed where these students are interacting with these resources e.g. creating a text book with videos, diary entries etc stimulating multiple areas of the brain. Finally the students produce the output which would be the assessable item in which they have collaborated on and shown evidence of the active learning that has taken place (ACU, 2000). This according to Dales Cone (as cited in ACU ,2000) provides direct and purposeful experiences which is an effective and successful form of ensuring student success within the classroom.
ACU. (2000). What is Active Learning? Retrieved July 27, 2009, from http://www.acu.edu/cte/activelearning/whatisal.htm
Peterson, E. (2009). Using a Wiki to Enhance Cooperative Learning in a Real Analysis Course 19 (1). Retrieved July 27, 2009, from Proquest Database