The 2005-2006 academic year has seen the use of Wikis growing in popularity in courses where collaboration and flexibility are in demand. A wiki is basically a web page that multiple users can easily edit, so it is a place that groups of students and faculty can work to create documents together. Wikis also provide a way to easily perform common tasks like allowing students to sign up for presentation topics, or create a common class bibliography on a research topic. Here are how a few faculty members at UMW have used wikis to enrich the teaching and learning in their courses.
- Dave MacEwen – PSYC 491: Individual Research
Independent study students are collaborating on a research topic utilizing MediaWiki (the wiki software used by Wikipedia) and the Skype internet telephone system. This allows students to hold real time meetings virtually while working on drafts from a distance using the wiki. More information about this project can be seen here: http://smoothelephant.org/2005/11/18/the-current-state-of-online-collaboration/
- Gregg Stull – THEA 435: Ideas in Performance
This upper level theatre research course has made extensive use of many online tools, including a class wiki. Students used the Wikka Wiki application as the anchor of their online world. They used it to coordinate the class trip to Florida and New York during Spring Break, as well as to create a central storehouse for the many reference materials used during the course. You can see the course wiki here: http://thea435.umwtheatre.org/wiki/HomePage and get a detailed diary of the entire project here: http://smoothelephant.org/category/projects/thea435/
- Gardner Campbell – ENGL 447j: Seminar in John Donne
In this course, students used the MediaWiki application to create the Donne Wiki. This wiki included discussions on class lectures, presentation areas for student writings, and sign-up lists for topics and podcast recording times. You can take a look at the wiki here: http://www.elsweb.org/engl447jf05/index.php?title=Main_Page
- Steven Greenlaw – ECON 405: Contemporary Economic Issues
Students in this economics course used MediaWiki to provide a place where student groups collaborated to write articles on specific course topics. The wiki even allowed class to be held when Dr. Greenlaw could not be present. You can view the class wiki here: http://www.jerryslezak.net/greenlaw/wiki/index.php?title=ECON_405:_Contemporary_Economic_Issues_-_Spring_2006 Dr. Greenlaw has also been blogging about his use of wikis in teaching and learning. You can see his posts on this topic here: http://jerryslezak.net/pedablogy/?cat=25. Dr, Greenlaw took two of his students with him to San Diego earlier this year to present on their class wiki at the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative’s annual meeting: http://www.educause.edu/eli.