SCAFFOLDING TEACHER COMMUNITIES FOR COLLABORATION USING WIKIS WITHIN SECONDARY SCHOOL
Learning, collaboration and knowledge sharing can be enabled by the use of many ICT tools. A wiki which is an easily accessible and editable website, is one such tool that provides the opportunity for both teachers and students to work together without geographical barriers. A wiki may contribute to a collaborative learning environment for students. From the teachers’ perspective it is challenging to designing the content within a wiki, where the content should be aligned with the pedagogy. The content as well as the appropriate pedagogy for the curricula should be taken into account and have to be designed within the affordances of a wiki. A wiki can be used as a learning management system, contributing to a collaborating arena independent of geographical location of the teachers. Collaborating teachers are able to design their wiki according to their needs within a limited teaching area. It is possible for each teacher to asynchronously plan the content within a collaborative teaching curriculum community. Moreover, the wiki give the opportunity to document agreements within the teacher community.
This study is reported from a collaborative teacher community within a cross-border project involving Danish, Norwegian and Swedish teachers, students and researchers. The project is aimed to promote the students in their Scandinavian inter-comprehension skills using their own native languages when the students are collaborating in different joint projects. This specific teaching project was aimed to learn about Scandinavian literature. The aim of the paper is to analyze the characteristics of the teachers’ use of wikis in order to plan and conduct the collaborative teaching. The researcher has taken active part within the communication and collaboration between the teachers, and also participated in the teaching occasions when the Swedish students were conducting their tasks related to this joint project. The wiki was subsequently analyzed, based on the structure, the content and the pedagogy of the joint project.
The wiki is used in order to document common agreements on how to conduct the teaching. This included the agreements on how to plan the joint project as well as the schedule for the project. Also the content of the joint project, how the project should be conducted, as well as the learning outcomes were discussed. The teachers had e-meetings in order to meet agreements, and those meetings were recorded, and the links to the meetings were also included on the wiki. The wiki includes descriptions of the curricula, the specific project, as well as details on how the collaboration between the students should be conducted. The pedagogical planning was documented, together with short descriptions of the literature from each of the including countries, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, as well as links to the specific texts. The teachers have also designed a wiki for the students in the secondary schools in the Scandinavian countries in order for them to collaborate in smaller and mixed groups to conduct the assignments.