Thursday, May 5, 2011
How classroom wiki projects may change your course
Creating a wiki as classroom activity may change the nature of the course. It is no longer the case that all the information flows from the teacher to the students. Rather, the students teach one another. It is peer-to-peer learning. In addition, the students discover knowledge through the exercise and, of course, under the guidance of the teacher. The teacher may become more of a manager of collaborative knowledge acquisition rather than the source of all classroom knowledge.
Diverse groups are best for most types of learning. Students guide each other, which is the main benefit of collaborative learning. Information flow among students is a student-centered approach to learning which de-emphasizes teachers presenting information and tends to increase learning.
Collaborative learning increases "interdependence". Students soon recognize that the group succeeds or fails as a unit which causes group members to help others and to feel a responsibility to other group members. This feeling often results in better effort and performance by group members.
It also teaches that the content of the course, any course, is not fixed. It is open-ended. It demonstrates the methods and necessity of lifelong learning. And one of the responsibilities of the teacher is to emphasize the relative importance of different elements of the learning.
Another lesson that can be taught with wikis is the processes for working in collaborative teams. In hierarchical teams students can be given the responsibility for the familiar steps of collaborative work:
- Identify team members
- Define project scope
- Assign individual and shared responsibilities
- Work together to refine the final product.
Posted at 12:00 AM (permalink)
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wikis, collaborative learning