Using a wiki to promote collaboration and critical thinking — from Janine Lim


This post contains resources and links for my Andrews University Faculty Institute session titled Using a Wiki to Promote Collaboration and Critical Thinking.

Also see Janine’s and Alayne Thorpe’s work at:

Resources from Learning Objects


While on their website, be sure to see information concerning Campus Pack from Learning Objects:


From Daniel Christian: Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes.

From DSC:
Immediately below is a presentation that I did for the Title II Conference at Calvin College back on August 11, 2011
It is aimed at K-12 audiences.


Daniel S. Christian presentation -- Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes (for a K-12 audience)


From DSC:
Immediately below is a presentation that I did today for the Calvin College Fall 2011 Conference.
It is aimed at higher education audiences.


 Daniel S. Christian presentation -- Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes (for a higher ed audience)


Note from DSC:

There is a great deal of overlap here, as many of the same technologies are (or will be) hitting the K-12 and higher ed spaces at the same time. However, there are some differences in the two presentations and what I stressed depended upon my audience.

Pending time, I may put some audio to accompany these presentations so that folks can hear a bit more about what I was trying to relay within these two presentations.

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Evidence of learning online: Assessment beyond the paper — from by Judith Boettcher
…learning designer Judith Boettcher examines online assessment strategies beyond the traditional end-of-term paper.


Professional Work Products

  • Written and audio communications of all types, such as press announcements, white papers, briefs, summaries, memos, project management documentation
  • Creating and planning news events, such as announcements, interviews, or regular updates of interests, such as podcasts
  • Setting up personal or group blogs within different contexts of leadership, business, etc.
  • Setting up wikis for team projects, areas for monitoring developments
  • Many more listed…

The interview medium is a very flexible communication tool and can be used by both faculty and students for demonstrating understanding and eliciting the state of concept development. Here are some possible strategies that can require research, critical thinking, and writing.

  • Learners identify an expert or a person of interest to them in a particular field germane to the course and then prepare the interview questions, do the interview, and then post the results
  • Learners identify and interview the author of a textbook or article closely related to the course, possibly updating information critical to the course
  • Many more listed…

Audio, Video, and Visual Projects
What about other media such as audio and video projects? Today’s learners live surrounded by audio and video and the tools that make it possible for everyone to create and produce audio and video products. Here are some of the possibilities with audio and video spaces.

  • Podcasting resources now are very common so learners are familiar enough with the format to embrace creating audio and video podcasts of their own
  • Video shorts and ad hoc documentaries engage learners and draw in their friends and families
  • Creating and posting short reports via VoiceThread is another “writing space” to consider as are Flickr, YouTube, and Slideshare

Blogs are a very underutilized writing space. Blogs share many characteristics with journals and thus can capture snapshots of what learners are thinking, and when; plus they often can also capture the sources of some of their thinking. Blogs help learners understand the growth cycle of learning new concepts and how and why they think the way they do. Here are some ideas on how blogs, both personal and class, might be used.

  • Personal commentary and self-reflection
  • Capturing thought processes and generating new ideas
  • Assist learners in finding their “voice”
  • Many more…


  • Collaborating on group and team projects of all kinds
  • Capturing and developing ideas for solving critical problems and case studies and simulations
  • Developing “featured” Bronze star Wikipedia articles on specific topics in particular disciplines

Some Tools for Social Learning and How they Help Learning — from Karl Kapp

Here is a table with some tools for social learning, short description of the tool, the best use for social learning for the tool and some examples…
(Blogs, Wikis, Short Text Messaging, Social Bookmarking, Podcasting others)

Top 70 eLearning Articles – Hot Topics: iPad Adobe Captivate – July 2010 — from by Tony Karrer
The following are the top items based on social signals…

Should you use a wiki for teaching (and which one?) — from Matthew Allen

Yes, we use wikis in our teaching, in two ways. First, some of the students naturally set up wikis to work on collaborative projects or similar without us telling them to – we leave that up to them! They also use other technologies, such as Ning and similar networking sites/services and, of course, simpler forms of communication and collaboration. Wikis perhaps are suited only to some kinds of people for this task?

Second, we run a unit of study in which students are required to author their first assignment in a wiki – but not collaboratively (they look at others, but don’t edit). Then, their second main assignment – a group report – must be online and while we provided an alternative publishing space ( they didn’t like it and so all, I think, ended up using a wiki. This year (semester 2) we will require them to use a wiki.

So, in short, you can and in some cases should use wikis in teaching. I think the most important affordances of wikis are as follows.

  • The fact that the process of creating and editing wiki pages is relatively simple, and yet produces a shared resource, makes this software a very powerful tool for managing knowledge work within a group whose abilities and knowledge of the content of the site varies as much as their technical skill.
  • Wikis permit (and even promote) collaborative individualism. Traditional cooperative publishing activities tend to require a lot of discussion of what to change and how to do it, before you actually make changes, create content etc. Wikis allow individuals to jump in and work relatively safely and the collaboration – the forming of the group happens in the process of editing and developing the content.
  • Plus, at a very simple level, a wiki rapidly allows us to get material online, shared, reading and writing and thinking about audiences – whether all the other students or (preferably) a real audience of web users

More here…

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The World Is Open – Now, WE ALL LEARN with Web Technology — from ELI

In this session, Curtis J. Bonk, Professor for Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University System, offers an intriguing look at 10 technology trends that he calls educational openers. When combined, the first letter of each opener spells the acronym WE ALL LEARN. This model helps make sense of the role of various technologies in open education and participatory environments, including e-books, podcasts, streamed videos, open courseware, online learning portals, social networking tools like Facebook and Ning, YouTube videos, wikis, and virtual worlds (emphasis DSC). Clearly, technology-based learning continues to open new learning pathways for all the connected learners of this planet. At the same time, thousands of organizations and individuals are sharing their course materials, expertise, and instructional ideas globally, thereby expanding learning opportunities and resources even further. As this occurs, members of the media, politicians, educators, students, parents, and others are asking important questions about the quality of such contents.

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