Using wikis to build communities

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Some questions

  • Is it a good idea to create discipline-specific wiki pages or more generic content about online communities?
Some people like to plan around the content they have to get students to learn.
Others start with stepping stones to guide people on how to get started communicating online.
Start with loose activities and get them to relate to the content/topic.
  • What activities does a community need to exist and how can wikis support those activities?
  • What processes when using a wiki make it easier to do those activities?

A very good question came up from one of the barn building sessions:

  • If people in a community are all doing individual tasks e.g. building their own pages on a wiki, how can they be part of a community?

One thing people can do is make a point of inviting others in the community to view their wiki pages and give comment. Also people can be proactive and go and look at the wiki pages others are working on and provide constructive feedback.

    Imagine if you were all building a house together (or barn). You might meet together at the start of the day to chat about 
    things in general and also to make decisions about the work for the day. Then you go off to your various tasks - allocated by 
    consensus in this community - and check in with each other during the day - ask for help, show each other what you have done, 
    help with techniques, skills. Some people might work in pairs as the need arises. At then end of the day you report in about 
    what you have been doing.

The following are different types of communities:

  1. Synchronous and asynchronous
  2. Closed and open
  3. Discussion forums
  4. Email groups/forums
  5. Blogs and RSS
  6. Wikis
  7. Virtual Worlds
  8. Social networking sites (facebook)
  9. Strategic games
  10. Video sharing communities
  11. Photo sharing communities
  12. Music sharing communities
  13. Trade me

Strategies employed by different online learning communities. Human interest helps people learn to work the online environment subconsciously.

  • What is it about a video sharing community that gets people involved - the motivation?