Wikis can be a very powerful learning tool when employed in the online classroom.
What is a wiki? “A wiki is a website that lets any visitor become a participant,” (Teachers First, 2015). Basically, a wiki allows all users to be authors, editors, and readers. The most famous example of a wiki is Wikipedia, but this in only one example.
They are very similar to blogs in that they can be used to promote student interaction with the course material, interaction between students, and interaction between students and the instructor.
See my previous post on using blogs as a learning tool for more information: https://travisthompsonotl542.wordpress.com/2015/11/09/exploring-learning-technologies-using-blogs-as-a-learning-tool/.
Where wikis add to blogs is in the area of collaboration.
As you see in the above infographic, collaboration through wiki is very streamlined when compared to email. This is also true for wiki versus blogs.
As you can see collaboration with a blog is much easier than through email, but it is still much more complicated than with a wiki.
According to Lo (2015), wikis can be used in education to expand student knowledge in a field, build research skills, develop critical thinking skills, create learning communities, and work collaboratively with one another.
Some possible uses for wikis in a classroom environment include: posting and answering frequently asked questions, establishing a knowledge base, developing standards, and providing technical help (Malamed, 2015).
Getting started with wikis can be fairly easy. There are numerous websites that incorporate what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) wiki development platforms. Some learning management systems also incorporate wiki technology.
Wikis also allow for the incorporation of video and imagery to augment the text.
The advantage of collaboration makes the wiki ideal for group work and other activities where shared knowledge is essential.
For more information about wikis, check out:
Richard Buckland, University of New South Wales, Wikis in University Teaching and Learning – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1-8OOrBi0o
College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales,Teaching with web 2.0 technologies: Twitter, wikis & blogs – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5tSSgBJq2s
Lo, C. (2015). What are Wikis? Why use them as assignments? Retrieved from: https://academictech.uchicago.edu/news/teach-smart-technology-using-wikis-collaborative-learning.
Malamed, C. (2015). Using wikis for learning and collaboration. Retrieved from: http://theelearningcoach.com/elearning2-0/using-wikis-for-elearning/.
Teachers First. (2015). Wiki Walk-Through. Retrieved from: http://www.teachersfirst.com/content/wiki/.