Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 5605-5613
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Traditionally, innovative learning experiences have almost always consisted of in-class-based learning, which was usually complemented by additional out-class tasks, where students work in groups developing a collaborative learning environment. Nowadays, an online scenario provides different learning settings through network technologies, which support communication and collaboration between instructors and students, overcoming the difficulties generated by rigid and constraint timetables and providing immediate feedback during learning activities. An Asynchronous Learning Network (ALN)-based course enhances educational activities by the combination of self-study with asynchronous interactions among learning entities and creating environments, which ultimately provide self-pacing learning, peer-to-peer collaborative scenarios and communications improvements. Therefore, this alternative learning style combines a technology-mediated instruction with a traditional face-to-face learning approach that still retains an important role for the teacher in the learning process. This new learning format is usually referred to as both blended and hybrid learning, and capitalizes on the strengths of both approaches, providing a more effective and efficient learning environment. In this sense, the employment of Wikis in Higher Education has emerged as an excellent online resource to support communication, collaboration and knowledge building capacities, and combines perfectly with the traditional face-to-face contact in a blended learning approach.
This article describes the use of a Wiki platform as an additional educational tool for first-year learners in a General Chemistry course included in a Biology degree at the Rey Juan Carlos University. The purpose of the study is to determine if the employment of Wiki Technology improve collaborative learning, writing skills, consensus building and ultimately increase knowledge management skills. The study has shown that Wikis can be used as convenient pedagogical techniques, which adequately support the learners’ collaborative work, apart from engaging students in the learning process. This matter is obviously reflected in the level of students’ success at the end of the course. Finally, a satisfaction questionnaire also reveals that students highly value the Wiki flexibility, ease of use as well as estimating this innovative experience more satisfactory than a paper-team assignment.
Asynchronous Learning Network (ALN), Blended learning, Wiki platforms in Higher Education.