Wikis have great potential for Learning and Teaching. The use of Wikis for learning appears to be gaining ground with many examples being available (Bruns and Humphreys, 2005; Ruth and Ruutz, 2007). Wikis allow both product of learning and process of learning to be seen.
The objectives of using a wiki range from open collaboration to community of practice development. It is important to determine why a wiki is best for a particular scenario and build this purpose into the wiki environment. Students are more likely to engage if the purpose of the wiki is openly stated and less likely to see this as busy work.
Assessing wiki work in the classroom
- Be clear about your purpose for using the wiki
- Link it closely with the objectives
- Ensure adequate rewards for learning the basics
- Build in milestones on editing skills where possible
- Reward both product (pages produced) and process (edits, messages and other features where available)
- Be prepared to be overwhelmed by some students
- Be clear about the assessment criteria and that it may shift as some classes evolve more quickly than others.
- Trust the wiki to keep the information available to you.
Wiki learning objectives need to be tied closely to both the learning environment and course material. When the course material is tied closely to the environment, students will benefit from meta-connections. For example, Bruns and Humphreys use a (media)wiki to develop M/Cyclopedia on new media in creative industries. Ruth and Ruutz used (tiki)wiki and TeamsLX (Blackboard embedded wiki) for courses on Mobile Workforce Technologies, Human Resources Management and Business Informatics. Ruth and Ruutz found more discussion of purpose was required for the HRM and the BI Wiki (TeamsLX) than for the MWT wiki (Tiki Wiki). Thus purpose/objective of using a wiki needs to be clear for teachers prior to determining the mode of assessment.
The development of consistent Rubrics for assessing participation is an ongoing research area for a course in Mobile Workforce Technologies at Griffith University. This process is documented here. The current form of the Rubric (updated each year) will be below.
Bruns, A. and Humpreys, S., 2005, 'Wikis in Teaching and Assessment: The M/Cyclopedia Project' WikiSym '05, October 16-18, San Diego, CA, U.S.A.
Ruth, A. and Ruutz, A., 2007, 'Four Vignettes of Learning: Wiki Wiki Web or What Went Wrong', E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education Quebec City, Canada, October 15-19, 2007