P. Caignon

Concordia University (CANADA)
These days, professors can use tools derived from information and communication technologies (ICT), such as blogs, wikis and microblogs, to pass on their knowledge in an electronic form that is more adapted to the way of life of recent generations of students.

When such pedagogical tools are used in a university environment, they promote quality and creativity. The quality of work presented by the students is naturally enhanced when they discover that it will be seen not only by their professor, but also by their classmates and, potentially, by the whole world. The creative process increases originality, imagination and innovation among students when they realize that these tools allow them to post various forms of content - videos, for example.

Of course, traditional teaching practices must be adapted: pedagogical objectives, assessment methods and class dynamics have to take into account the use of ICTs inside and outside the classroom. Pedagogical objectives must include how to create and manage a blog and a wiki, how to write constructive comments on such sites (netiquette), and how to present pertinent research results. Since blogs and wikis evolve with time, assessment methods can take advantage of this characteristic and measure not only the final results, but the progress made to attain these results. Furthermore, there seems to be a positive effect on class dynamics: students are more comfortable encouraging one another openly in class, discussing problems and coming up with group solutions that a student working alone (and sometimes the professor) would not have been able to find on his or her own. Thus, online and in-class group discussions are important and should be encouraged, with respect to (n)etiquette.

This presentation will show how pedagogical objectives, assessment methods and class dynamics have been adapted to the use of blogs and wikis for a terminology course (Terminology and Globalisation). The reasons these tools were utilized will be explained, and their impact on quality as well as creativity will be detailed. Moreover, the positive and negative aspects of these new pedagogical tools will be discussed from the students’ and professor’s points of view.