WIKIS, IDENTITY, AND THE FIRST YEAR STUDENT: HARNESSING THE WIKI, LIBERATING THE STUDENT
Edge Hill University (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
Abstract:This paper will critique and reflect upon a small research project that was designed to explore the effectiveness, for both students and lecturers alike, of employing wikis as learning tools in first year seminars.
It will begin by very briefly outlining the project, the participants, the module content, the assessment strategy, and the way in which wikis were employed. It will then summarise the data collected and will indicate how the data might be interpreted. The remainder of the paper will reflect upon the impact of the employment of wikis in this instance, and will suggest ways in which they might more fruitfully be employed in the future.
What will be seen is that there is a direct correlation between student engagement with the technology and student performance in the final, traditional assessments. Whilst it cannot be assumed that the wikis directly contributed to the students’ performance, it seems reasonable to suggest that student propensity for engagement with the technology is a contributory factor towards success on the final assessment. With this in mind, it seems that, through engaging students in work on the wiki pages, their assessment performance might be enhanced.
It will thus be argued that engagement in an online collaborative writing/creative project is conducive towards heightened student achievement. The final section of this paper will hypothesise as to why such a correlation exists between wiki activity and assessment performance. In moving towards a conclusion, reference will be made to various theories of identity, including Communities of Practice, and Cultural-Historical Activity Theory.
Keywords: wiki, education, assessment, engagement, academic writing.