Using Wikis in Education Essay

Using Wikis in Education Essay

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The diffusion of online tools in education is increasing exponentially. Sener (2010) cites an increase of online class enrollees from 1.6 million in 2002 to 5.6 million in 2009. Moloney and Oakley (2010) predict an annual increase of 20% over the next few years of participants in online education. In order to meet the needs of a changing student population, educators must be aware of the myriad of tools available to enhance learning. This paper presents the use of wikis in education and evaluates the wiki’s effectiveness according to Chickering and Gamson’s Seven Principles of Good Practice (as cited in Hoskins, 2010).

Introduction to Wikis
The wiki is a browser based editing program which allows multiple users to contribute and edit text. It includes editing tools similar to a word processor that allow the user to control text size and color, make the text bold or italicized, and enter web links and pictures. Changes are tracked by the software and successive edits can be monitored or even rolled back to a previous version. The program allows email notification of changes made as chosen by the user in the settings of their account (Cunningham, 2002; Crocker, Hutchings, Nussey, Park, & Springate, 2010).
In education, wikis are useful in that they allow open editing of a document. If one student sees an error, they can simply change the text. Crocker et al. (2010) mention limited knowledge of wikis by graduate students, but point out that interaction on the wiki creates dialogue between students which enhances their learning. The activity on the wiki is useful to educators because it promotes contact and cooperation between students, encourages active learning, and ensures prompt feedback from other users. The col...


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...igher education: exploring barriers to successful implementation. Interactive Learning Environments, 18(3), 219-231.
Kardong-Edgren, S., Ha, Y., Hallmark, E., Hurd, D., Oermann, M., Snelson, C., & Tennant, M. (2009).Using a wiki in nursing education and research. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship 6(1), 1-10. Doi: 10.2202/1548-923X.1787
Kleine-Staarman, J., & Pifarre, M. (2011). Wiki-supported collaborative learning in primary education: How a dialogic space is created for thinking together. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 6, 187-205.
Moloney, J. F., & Oakley, B.,II. (2010). Scaling online education: Increasing access to higher education. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 14, 55-70.
Sener, J. (2010). Why online education will attain full scale. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 14, 3-16.

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