WikiEd Tutorial Development/Pedagogy of the wiki

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A new way of learning

Dear reader,

If you want to get started here with us in WikiEducator, you probably would like to know, why we use a wiki to produce and present open educational resources (OER).
And then how you can make best use of it for your personal purposes.
This tutorial will give you some general outlines for this; tell you something about the philosophy and spirit of our work.

WikiEducator is a learning community, e.g. a community of learners. Don’t worry if you are a teacher like me (smile); we are all engaged in lifelong learning.
If you get unhappy now, because your idea of learning is to read texts and afterwards memorize the facts for an exam, and this is not exactly what you want do do now, don’t worry. For us learning is something much more colourful, lively and entertaining: it is the increasingly skilled participation in the WikiEducator learning environment. In special it is not something passive or receptive but rather something active and productive.

What we want to do is building knowledge, first knowledge about how to produce OER here in our wiki, because this is a fairly new science, and second content.
Of course we are looking how the Wikipedians did it, but a wiki for educational materials is still something much more complex than simply an online encyclopaedia. The main and revolutionary point in this is that we will be authoring collectively, e.g. a great variety of people from many countries will contribute.
And therefore we are using a wiki, software that provides a comfortable surface with a powerful database under the hood that makes the database publicly accessible.

As you will have remarked, we are using the computer for our learning. No, not the computer is teaching us! If you’re not so sure I can surely tell you: computers are not really intelligent themselves, but only obey the rules, their creators have implemented in them. The computer is helping us; it is an instrument of support for our learning community. As this it has two roles.

Together this equals to socio-technical support.
But I also should tell you that our knowledge about the best socio-technical support for us is still very limited, and we are constantly developing new ideas.

The background of all this is called web 2.0, the new computational infrastructure including new internet-based communication media (like email, blog or wiki) who really bring the world together, and new web applications like networks, social software, databases and powerful search engines.

Behaviour and Information Technology
"Computer support for learning communities"
Vol. 26, No. 1, January-February 2007
Taylor and Francis, Oxon, UK
facts extracted from the editorial

What is a wiki, and what is WikiEducator?

If you are a teacher, what makes participation attractive for you?

Publishing your personal educational materials in the Internet can add new dimensions to your teaching:

A Vision for the Use of WikiEducator in Education in the Developing World

Further material for this tutorial (work in progress)

Views on a wiki for open educational resources

Learner’s view on the wiki:
The wiki is a tool for a learner centred process of acquiring knowledge: The leaner uses it to quickly get the needed information for his learning process (“wiki-wiki“, rapid information source).

Thus the content has to be

Authors view on the wiki:

Meta view on the wiki:

This collection of ideas is still very incomplete. Please feel free to add your own experiences!

Pedagogy of the Wiki These are examples of the kinds of questions we receive at WikiEducator on a regular basis. While there are no simple answers to these questions, this tutorial will shed some light on these issues from the perspective the values which underpin our community.


Have you ever wondered about the following issues:
  • What is the pedagogy behind using a wiki in the educational setting?
  • What pedagogical theories apply to collaborative wiki use?

Wiki Pedagogy


In your view, what pedagogical practices are applied when collaboratively building a wiki?
  • Go to Google Scholar and search for a number of different terms associated with pedagogy and the Web 2.0. This list can include; elearning, pedagogy, web 2.0, blogging, wiki, podcasting, tagging and others. Be creative, download documents, be prepared to do a little reading.
  • Do the same search at Google, Yahoo
  • You should now have a small collection of references to pedagogy and the Web 2.0, in particular wikis. Create a list of the pedagogical theories that you believe relate to wiki use. Add to each item listed why you believe the theory applies to wiki use.
  • Be prepared to share this list in the discussion group.

Wiki Design patterns The use of patterns within technology development has grown grown considerably since the idea of architectural design patterns were first introduced by Christopher Alexander. For a brief history on design patterns visit the wikipatterns web page. How do patterns apply to educational wikis? The wikipatterns site does an excellent job of identifying the different wiki patterns. How they can be used within an educational context is the goal of this learning activity.


In your view, what are the different ways that a wiki can be used? What wiki patterns are best suited as learner roles? How could the aforementioned wiki "patterns" be used in educational settings?
  • Be prepared to identify and rationalize the wiki patterns most conducive to learning in the discussion group.

Create a book