So, what did I learn this past week? The main focus this week has been wikis. Wikis can be a useful tool for online learners as long as the project is well designed and students are prepared to work in the digital commons. West & West(2009) covers setting up Wikis and project design. In addition, there are examples for projects in knowledge construction, critical thinking and contextual applications. I explored ways to avoid wiki pitfalls including unbalanced participation, a lack of progress and direction, mistrust, misunderstandings, and conflicts. There are a number of way to mitigate issues encountered by groups, most of which can be addressed through proper student preparation, good instructional design, well defined assessment measures and diligent monitoring. Student must be prepared to work and learn in the digital commons.
West J., & West M. (2009). Using Wikis for Online Collaboration. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.