Wiki Panel: Editing Each Other

Great comments and questions during the wiki panel this morning. One topic that came up was students’ comfort levels with editing each other’s work in the wiki. I’m intrigued by this, because while I find the idea of collaborative authorship fascinating (and I’m always dreaming about what the perfect collaborative writing tool would be), I myself have difficulty editing other people’s words in the wikis I participate in. One thing that occurs to me (which is probably pretty obvious, but only just now came to me) is how social relationships outside of the technology affect the ways in which people work in wikis.  Relationships among students probably play out in the wiki–and we have no way of knowing or controlling those relationships. Just another reminder to me that while the technology can augment and alter the ways we communicate, there are essential “human” hurdles that technology cannot flatten.

3 Responses to “Wiki Panel: Editing Each Other”

  1. 1 Lee Carleton

    Though my “Miranda” hypertext may not be a *full* wiki in that it’s not open to the general public and I’m the gatekeeper, I do attach student work to the hypertext. The project I’ve been assigning is a group research paper that uses the hypertext as a starting point for exploration & development of a narrowly focused thesis. While a few students dislike the project, most like it and often several are surprised at how much they enjoyed it and felt it challenged them.

    In the past I had assigned the traditional, individual research paper, I am convinced that these collaborative papers challenge and take students to a higher level of learning. Obviously stucents have to deploy their group skills like scheduling, task assignment and accountability, they also have to help invent and develop the thesis, research their own contribution and revise it according to the editor chosen by the group.

    Some students expressed difficulty in giving up some of their writing, but most saw the value of editing and group collaboration. This collaboration naturally develops student social skills for those ‘human hurdles’ and this is important.
    I’m of the opinion that the obsessive cell-phone use among students has contributed to the erosion of their social skills – another good reason to foreground our discussion of how we use these tools and the impact they have on us.

  2. 2 Lee Carleton

    This is the link to the latest version of my “Miranda” hypertext of Huxley’s Brave New World.
    If you click on ‘writing space’ and then ‘submissions’ you can see two student papers – one produced by a senior who had just graduated and the second by a group in one of my comp classes.

  3. 3 Lee Carleton
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