Wikis in learning - more thoughts
Matt responded to my mention
of Wikis as a possible tool for an online collaborative learning project:
Wikis are excellent for collaborating towards a single version of what is being worked on, but not so good for everyone expressing opinions. They also tend to stagnate once the content gets to the "good enough" point, unless new topics are continually added.
What I am envisaging is a group of people whose task is to prepare an assignment together. That is the goal is a commonly agreed final "text". But I take the point about Wikis themselves not being a good way to discuss. Perhaps part of the answer is to combine:
- a Wiki - where the writing gets done and polished with
- an email list - where the discussing gets done.
My guess, from experience of students is that if the final result gets marked then most students try for better than "good enough", and I think that the Wikipedia also suggests that better than "good enough" is a possible outcome. Though I must admit that the fate of the Wikipedia article on sausages
does not support this claim! (Despite Stephen C's research.
For ideas on using a Wiki there is a great report "A Catalog of CoWeb Uses
" (From way back in 2000!) and the Critical Methods article on "Wikis
" is full of good links and cautionary tales to add to Matt's warnings before I let my enthusiasm run away with me!