About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2193-2202
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain

RE-ENGINEERING WIKI USE IN HIGHER EDUCATION: PROCESS OR PRODUCT?

I. Karasavvidis

University of Thessaly (GREECE)
The present paper focuses on Wikis, one of the most popular social software tools, for enhancing student learning in university settings. While wikis are considered important for advancing new forms of student learning, harnessing their potential of Wikis in education has turned out to be very challenging. Existing research suggests that there is a theory-practice gap regarding how to best use Wikis in higher education. Wikis may support new learning practices, but new learning tasks and activities are required to actualize such practices. The present work focuses on developing new, leaner-centered pedagogical approaches for Wiki-based learning in higher education by exploring the design of Wiki tasks. More specifically, the progressive refinement of a Wiki task in undergraduate education is examined, discussing both failures and successes.

This paper describes an ongoing research project which focuses on Wiki uses in higher education. It details a longitudinal design-experiment that investigates the effective incorporation of Wikis in university settings. The progressive refinement of a Wiki task through five design-cycles conducted over a five-year period is outlined. The Wiki tasks involved in the first four design-cycles are briefly presented and the rationale for their design and redesign in the context of the course is documented. The successes and failures of the Wiki tasks in each design-cycle are evaluated using many types of quantitative (log files) and qualitative (surveys and interviews) measures.

The design of the fifth design-cycle is presented in some detail and the main findings from its implementation are reported. What differentiated the fifth design cycle from the former ones was that the Wiki task was transformed from a meaning-making and shared-thinking tool to a sharing and a communal repository tool. The fifth Wiki implementation involved a new design of the Wiki task which placed more emphasis on the Wiki as a shared repository of software presentations and software-based instructional scenaria. The emphasis shifted from using the Wiki for thinking about and discussing concepts (i.e. a meaning-making and a shared-thinking tool) to sharing educational software presentations and educational software-based instructional scenaria (i.e. shared knowledge base). This Wiki redesign led to significant improvements when it came students' perceived learning value of the Wiki. Unlike previous Wiki implementations, the overwhelming majority of students favored the Wiki.
The findings of the fifth design experiment run clearly indicate that the Wiki was a stellar success. The students enjoyed the Wiki and considered it to be very instrumental to their learning. For the first time in the history of the project, the Wiki pros significantly outweighed the cons.

The final section of the chapter discusses the findings of the last design-cycle in terms of both theory and empirical research.
@InProceedings{KARASAVVIDIS2012REE,
author = {Karasavvidis, I.},
title = {RE-ENGINEERING WIKI USE IN HIGHER EDUCATION: PROCESS OR PRODUCT?},
series = {4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN12 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-695-3491-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {2193-2202}}
TY - CONF
AU - I. Karasavvidis
TI - RE-ENGINEERING WIKI USE IN HIGHER EDUCATION: PROCESS OR PRODUCT?
SN - 978-84-695-3491-5/2340-1117
PY - 2012
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2012
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN12 Proceedings
SP - 2193
EP - 2202
ER -
I. Karasavvidis (2012) RE-ENGINEERING WIKI USE IN HIGHER EDUCATION: PROCESS OR PRODUCT?, EDULEARN12 Proceedings, pp. 2193-2202.
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