University of Agder (NORWAY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 3841-3846
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
The use of wikis as collaborative learning tools can provide teachers with a wide range of new and exciting experiences that are difficult to achieve with traditional web-based learning resources. Wikis can provide teachers with potentially significant opportunities for creating socially engaged tasks, such as using project development with peer review, as a group authoring tool, to track a group project, to collect data for a class project, for class and teacher evaluation, and for tracking research groups (Parker & Chao, 2007). Teachers can also use wikis for collaborative curriculum design and course content authoring (Leung & Wah Chu, 2009; Matthew & Callaway, 2009; Mindel & Verma, 2006). Wikis are supposed to be easy to use, but the added value of wikis in terms of collaborative learning will come from a better understanding of pedagogical issues and not automatically from improved technology (Govindasamy, 2002; Hamid, 2002; Watson, 2001). As for any digital technology, technical usability is a self-evident requirement, but the use of wikis in teacher education must include issues that are pertinent to learning and pedagogy.

This paper proposes a theoretical framework to explore technical and pedagogical factors that may influence wiki-based collaborative learning in teacher education. The framework is used to evaluate students’ perceptions of collaborative learning by means of survey questionnaires with open-ended questions. The units of study are wiki applications that group of students developed collaboratively using the WikiMedia technology. This paper also reports on technical and pedagogical implications for the use of wikis as collaborative learning tools in teacher education.

The work focuses on the following research questions:
1. What are the technical usability issues that are pertinent to collaborative learning with wikis?
2. What are the pedagogical usability issues that are pertinent to collaborative learning with wikis?
3. What are the students’ perceptions of technical and pedagogical issues of collaborative learning with wikis?
4. What are the implications that can be drawn for wiki-based collaborative learning in teacher education?

The paper is structured as follows. First, the research questions are described. Then, a literature review is undertaken. This is followed by the theoretical framework that is used to evaluate collaborative learning with wikis. The article continues with the research methodology. Then, the results are presented. Finally, the paper ends with a discussion of the results and implications for the use of wikis in teacher education courses.
Collaborative learning, collaborative writing, MediaWiki, pedagogical usability, technical usability, wiki.