Facilitate Group Projects with Wikis

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As we look at wikis in higher education, we can see several possible strategies – informal, formal, and using wikis as a topical resource. The video below highlights UCF faculty and student’s experience using a wiki in the classroom: https://vimeo.com/cdlvideo/review/114565907/4ed9459cb3

Wikis can be used for group projects to foster collaboration and organize content.

Instructor Testimony I

  • Instructor: UCF’s Dr. Rebecca Hines
  • Course Title: EEX 4003 – Teaching Exceptional Students

“Give choices in how they use the wiki in the beginning. Create documentation about how to use the wiki. Make sure what students have an understanding of what you want to see on the wiki, if you do have an idea yourself.”

Instructor Testimony II

  • Instructor: UCF’s Dr. Haiyan Bai
  • Course Title: EDF 6481 Foundations of Graduate Research in Education

“Organize the wiki for the students through a template. Encourage the students to help each other. Some students might have a phobia in the beginning using that particular technology even though it is not that difficult.”

Link to example artifact(s)

Instructor Testimony III

  • Instructor: UCF’s Dr. Annabelle Conroy
  • Course Title: INR4075 Human Rights Policy

Dr. Annabelle Conroy uses a wiki for a group of students to collaborate and create a wiki based off of one human rights violation. The students must include a resource files explaining the violation and then create a campaign to rid of this violation.

Dr. Conroy’s advice on using wikis for teaching:
“Be very specific on your expectations for a full grade. Have a training session at the beginning for those students. Make using a wiki optional. Wikis are good for most students, but not everyone was excited about it. Perhaps use a different type of assessment.”

Instructor Testimony IV

Example of a wiki page
Dr. Ramirez’s wiki page
  • Instructor: UCF’s Dr. Bernardo Ramirez
  • Course Title: HSA6112 International Health Systems

Dr. Bernardo Ramirez, who teaches Health Informatics, has students use a wiki for a simulation/role-playing project where students worked as the Ministry of Health for a specific country or as a consultant in Healthcare Reform. These wikis provided authentic learning opportunities for students, allowed students to apply their knowledge of course material and use higher order thinking skills to create the wiki pages.

Dr. Bernardo Ramirez’s recommendation for using wikis in teaching:
“Go for it! There is a small price to pay. Make sure you go in, monitor it closely, get involved, and make sure everyone has a good understanding of what it’s suppose to be used for.”

Instructor Testimony V

Example 2 of a wiki page
Dr. Hasanat’s wiki page
  • Instructor: UCF’s Dr. Fayeza Hasanat
  • Course Title: ENL4303 British Authors

Dr. Fayeza Hasanat, who teaches English Literature, has students use a wiki to create a final project on literature genres and authors.

Link to scholarly reference(s)

CommonCraft.com (2005). Wikis in plain English [Video File]. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dnL00TdmLY

Lamb, B. (2004). Wide open spaces: Wikis, ready or not. EDUCAUSE Review, 39(5) 36–48. http://er.educause.edu/articles/2004/1/wide-open-spaces-wikis-ready-or-not

WikiSchool (2004). http://www.communitywiki.org/cw/WikiSchool


Chen, B. (2015). Facilitate group projects with wikis. In B. Chen & K. Thompson (Eds.), Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository. Orlando, FL: University of Central Florida Center for Distributed Learning. https://topr.online.ucf.edu/wiki-to-facilitate-group-projects/.

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