Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I've never paid as much attention to wikis as I have to blogs. In part that's because I'm always looking for a way to actually use the technology in my own teaching. Because of the totally asynchronous nature of AU courses, I've had difficulty seeing the applicability. I've also noticed that when it comes to using wikis, most of us prefer to write comments than actually change or add to something someone else has written.

Nevertheless, as part of the Becoming a Webhead course, I decided I had to develop a wiki. I gave it a title as though I were going to use it with one of my classes. I put two exercises there and linked to the wiki tutorial that comes with pbwiki. One of the exercises is designed to try to show students the way to actually use a wiki--they are required to add information.

There are also some other recommended wiki hosting sites:
It would be good to hear from someone who has more experience of developing wikis.


  1. There is some research on wikis for L2 learning...much of it theoretical. A colleague of mine is researching levels of engagement and learner impressions of the wikis she's set up. Collaborative writing is often cited as an activity well suited to wikis. I have only experimented a few times on the teaching end - I've used wikis several times as a student...they usually end up looking very messy and chaotic to all but the users - as a collaborator I find wikis are quite effective - when the users have a common goal. That is the key :-)

  2. It will be interesting to see what your colleague finds out. My own experience with working on wikis is that people tend to comment rather than actually change/edit things--much as we did with the wiki you developed for the sig last year. Right now, I have a collaborative writing option available using a discussion forum, but the students seem reluctant to try that option ... I'll just have to make it compulsory;-)

  3. current research is in interaction analysis of conversation between students working collaborative writing tasks. I've also seen some interaction analysis research on the electronic side - in a discussion forum as you say.

    I'll ask my colleague if she would mind fwd. her paper - it focusses on wikis but I notice some very familiar comments from both of you...a familiar discussion - why don't they use it (the wiki, the forum etc)?