WIKIS AS LEARNING ARENAS
1 Isla (PORTUGAL)
2 Open University of Lisbon and Instituto Lusíada de Investigação e Desenvolvimento Lisbon (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Wikis are one of the new and powerful forms of web 2.0 tools capable of supporting a range of collaborative ventures and learning activities.
This paper addresses the potential uses of a wiki as a learning tool for master degree students in the Innovation and Organization course. It places wikis in the context of relevant literature about collaborative learning and knowledge-building in networked groups and also presents a case study about a learning process using wikis potentialities.
Wikis are simple websites that allow their users to create and edit contents. Different wiki services offer different features, although they commonly include the ability to compare previous versions of a page, discuss issues prior to making changes and track who edited what and when.
The Innovation Wiki – our wiki – was created with the main idea that the knowledge of a group is greater than that of an individual and that in a collaborative way the learning process could be easier and powerful.
The empiric methodology
The case study was the methodological approach in which we used of a wiki in the discipline Innovation and Organization that is transversal to Human Resources Management and Innovation and Entrepreuneship Master Degree Course.
To support the learning process in the Innovation and Organization course we had created and design a wiki made available to all students from both degrees.
This study helped us to reflect on the potential of the wikis on the learning process and balanced some experiences with students.
Arguments and findings
Wikis are one way in which technology can help groups come together to share and create new knowledge and so may be a useful way of learning skills important to participation in a knowledge economy.
Knowing how to learn and how to participate in creating new knowledge are increasingly essential life skills. In recent years we have also seen the growth of what has been termed “social networks”, to describe technologies that facilitate group communication – for instance, Internet discussion forums, and social networking allow people to represent and create social relationships.
To understand the learning process using the wiki potentialities it’s important to summarize the main activities developed during the Innovation and Organization discipline:
- The group assumed responsibility for creating their own contents, learning from and collaborating with one another and building upon each others’ contributions.
- New entries were created when necessary and through collaborative editing.
- The wiki was transformed as a knowledge repository where students published their work and where they store all papers that they had found, organizing them by themes.
We have perceived the wiki as a source of value to the students learning process and a space where the group could create and share knowledge. This was nuclear for the success of the discipline and especially for the conclusion of the evaluation work on innovation.
The experiences in working in a collaborative way, preparing the materials for the groups work on Innovation, and also the goal to publish online their work was an exciting goal that we had in our mind to achieve successfully and the wiki arena became a natural space to accomplish it.
Keywords: Wikis, collaborative learning, knowledge repository, master degree students.