Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Wikis and Emergent Roles for Teaching and Learning

I was really pleased at the turn-out for this presentation. Wikis are being used for a wide variety of educational applications in many different kinds of educational settings.

Gail Burns and David Reed are using Blackboard, Moodle, and along with Moodle they are using Atlassian's Confluence wiki software. They use it for:
1. Building knowledge bases
2. Event planning
3. Collaboration on documents
4. Meeting minutes
5. Student collaboration

David Reed trains and manages Student Technology Assistants. The STA program is a year long program. Students are paid to participate. They spend semester in training learning about:
1. Web design
2. Office productivity
3. Graphic design
4. Software training
5. LMS support

They then spend the next semester helping faculty with projects, supporting the lab, and training the next generation of STAs in STA workshops. It is a brilliant idea.

At this point, the wiki was used to post meeting minutes and announcements.

They lost their workspace and to replace it, David divided their time between face-to-face meetings and posting on to a wiki. He decided that they needed some wiki projects to bring them together. These projects included:
1. An STA mission statement (an informal document)
2. An "Open House" project where they created posters, signs, and slogans.
3. The STA workshop wiki

STAs began to post to the wiki things they wished they knew about or wanted to learn. Other STAs began to post skills they had and this began to inform the direction of formal and informal workshops.

I think our eLearning Dept. at TCC could really learn from this program. I would love for those STAs to meet some of our student workers.

Next came Barbara Shroeder, the head of the Academic Technologies dept. She came up with a "best practices" list for wikis in education:
1. Create a culture of trust - students have to learn the risk-taking involved with writing and editing online.
2. Set up guidlines (http://wikipatterns.com)
3. Create a common goal for the wiki
4. Create meaningful assignments
5. Include explicit instructions
6. Remind students of deadlines
7. Define roles
8. Examples and models of collaborative activities should be modeled
9. Clear expectations should be provided
10. Patience - students may take a while to get the hang of new tech.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008
11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Room of the Dons, Lobby Level

* Gayle Burns, Manager of Academic Technologies, Occidental College
* David Reed, Academic Technologist, Occidental College
* Barbara Schroeder, Instructional Designer, Boise State University
* Session convener: Crista Copp, Senior Director, Educational Technology, Art Center College of Design


Institutions increasingly encourage students to take an active role in their own learning. Wikis can facilitate this process by offering many ways for faculty and students to collaborate and create content. This panel of wiki experts from Boise State University and Occidental College will discuss their experiences in using wikis, including emergent roles in the teaching and learning process, critical to the effective use of this new technology.

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