Wikis: Learning and Collaborating in a Virtual Space

May 11th, 2011 | Posted by

Educators for several years have placed a strong emphasis on social networking as well as technology-enhanced interactional and collaboration tools as facilitators in learning. As such, collaboration and group interaction should be highly valued in higher education environments. Enter the Wiki.

Wikis are one of the most powerful and accessible Web 2.0 tools. Wiki actually means “quick.” The name refers to the fact that you can quickly get one set up and use it to foster collaboration. They easily provide a quick web presence for an educator without any skills, knowledge or experience in web design. The product can be a powerfully interactive tool for online collaboration, knowledge creation and publishing. Wikis may be edited by one person, a controlled group of people, such as a class, or open to the worldwide community. It still provides for the ability to recover historical versions and monitor individual edits by users in case of inappropriate use.

By exposing students to new technologies, like wikis, instructors will change the way students participate with one another. Using Wikis allows both student- and instructor-created materials to be shared and to improve the learning experience through collaboration that is often more difficult in rigid learning platforms. The use of wikis will provide accessibility to extend authentic learning and enhance collaboration both within the classroom and beyond.

This wiki (Welcome to Wikis: Learning and Collaborating in a Virtual Space) is designed as an instructional guide to walk you through the basics of creating and editing a wiki housed on the Wikispaces site. In it you will find instructions on creating and editing your wiki as well as instructions for embedding select Web 2.0 tools, graphics, videos, podcasts and other technologies into a wiki.

For further information about using wikis to foster collaboration in your classes contact your local Faculty Instructional Technologist.

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