Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wikis Used for Educational Purposes

As a person who had no idea what a wiki was before this week's classes,I decided to look into them more on my own. I was surprised to find a few articles concerning the use of wikis for educational purposes. It is understandable that the problem with this could be that the information is unreliable because it can be edited by anyone rather than only experts on the subject; however, I think that they could be very beneficial in college classes.

Take, for instance, a test review that a teacher puts on Blackboard. What I usually do is team up with my friends in the class, split the review up between us, and then we each email our parts to one another. Then once we have compiled the whole review we study and review for the test together. I do not really consider this cheating or cutting corners because it is really just a way to collaborate and get notes that your friends may have that you didn't get, etc. This idea could be adapted on a greater scale into a wiki.

If the test review was uploaded as a wiki in which all of the class members could edit it by adding the notes that they had or parts that they had looked up, it would be a great way to collaborate with the class, and there might be a higher success rate on the test. The only problem with this would be that even classmates that did not contribute anything to the review would have access to the information that others had actually taken the time to add or look up. This could be addressed by the professor actually noting the students who added information and giving extra credit or taking a grade. I am not sure how well it would work but it might be worth a try.

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