Writing With Wikis, Changing the Collaborative Learning Environment
Andes, L., & Claggett, E. (2011). Wiki writers: Students and teachers making connections across communities. Reading Teacher, 64(5), 345-350. doi:10.1598/RT.64.5.5
Description: This article looks at a school wide writing program designed by special education teachers in America. This year long program was to develop language skills and vocabulary in sixteen special education grade two students. Students were to participate in a writing project utilising wikis to facilitate collaboration among peers, parents, teachers and university students. Each month the students had a new focus utilising the wiki from journal writing to researching animals for publishing on Photo Story. Students communicated daily with their e-pals with teachers observing that students were actively engaged and motivated through this new technology. All students at the beginning of the year were below their reading level, only two were below their expected level by the end of the year. University students provided feedback on the students' writing and invited them to write back weekly. This made the second graders eager to check for feedback. Parents also began to read the students' work. This change of pedagogy also allowed for collaboration between teachers from different countries.
Evaluation: This article was published by the International Reading Association and has been peer reviewed. Although the academic progress was shown through reading assessment it is important to note that reading and writing are integrated disciplines. This article will be important for my case study as it highlights the fact that the students valued feedback from the wider audience and that this was a factor in their enthusiasm towards the tasks. This will help to support my idea about using a wiki to support, motivate and create meaning through collaboration. The authors used many references to strengthen their ideas and findings.
Davis, N. (2008) How may teacher learning be promoted for educational renewal with IT? In J. Voogt and G. Knezek (Ed.), International Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education': 507-520. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Description: This book chapter was written by Niki Davis who is the course leader for this paper. The chapter looks at the ecosystem and identifies the importance the role of the teacher as leaders of renewal of education systems with IT. It identifies the various different models of change through each layer of the “arena” and highlights the benefits of these changes as well as the struggles that come with the implantation of the change for the stakeholders. She goes onto identify the role of the teacher as the innovator using IT and dissects a variety of models looking at the various frameworks. Challenges of simultaneous renewal when overlapping ecologies in teacher education was reported on, finding that if modelling of appropriate pedagogy, participation within the education field and available resources can speed up the educational renewal.
Evaluation: Strengths of this article are clear to see, not only is there a wide range of supporting references used but also utilises scenarios to put ideas in context. As the author moved through the ecosystem it became clear how each system can be affected by change. It was well layered in the sense it started with the global perspective down to the simultaneous renewal where the overlapping of ecologies identified the possible flow on effect of educational renewal and how the speed and adoption of the innovation can be affected. This is useful in the sense that as I go through the process of my topic and it evolves, I can see that the ecologies in my stadium will be affected and need to change. This highlights for me the need to work with these ecologies to increase the chance of adoption on the wider scale.
Morgan, B., & Smith, R. D. (2008). A wiki for classroom writing. Reading Teacher, 62(1), 80-82.
Description: This journal article focuses on a project involving college students, classroom students (no year given) and the classroom teacher using wiki technology to enhance collaboration between all stakeholders. The project involved classroom students choosing their own topic and through the use of wikis they were to present online reports in the form of compositions about their topic. Writers set up pages to ask questions of their readers focused around grammar and revision of their published pages. College students offered comments and suggestions. Feedback from students was positive as they found that not only was the wiki easy to use but also they found that the feedback they received from a wider audience strengthened the purpose and structure of their writing. Students identified they were more engaged with the writing task.
Evaluation: This article has been peer reviewed and comes from a reputable source. However, referencing ideas and findings from other research studies would have made the findings stronger and more reliable. Although it is not an in-depth article and only touches on aspects of the project and the change that occurred due to the implementation of using a wiki it has a lot of positive findings from the feedback of the classroom students. Using references from other research articles would have strengthened this article. This is important for my research as it is the students attitude to purpose and collaboration that needs to improve in my context. An important finding that will help in my environment is that students felt there was less emphasis on error, enabling them to write more freely without that initial worry of being incorrect.
Richardson, J. W. (2011). Challenges of adopting the use of technology in less developed countries: The case of
. Comparative Education Review, 55(1), 008-029. doi:10.1086/656430 Cambodia
’ diffusion of innovation theory this article identifies the barriers, challenges and success of adopting technology in Rogers . Although focused on the adoption by teacher trainers, this is transferable for any educator looking to adopt technology especially in a less developed country. Findings from data revealed that there were many challenges for these trainers to adopting new technologies; hardware incompatibility, complexity, language barriers, lack of electricity and internet access, computers, minimal to no practice opportunities and little understanding of the advantages of the new technologies. Cambodia
By referring findings and examples to the five attributes of
’ theory the author identifies the struggles that developing countries face when adopting new technologies, struggles that developed countries such as Rogers can not identify with. Six categories were used to place participants in regards to their adoption of new technology, these being; early adopters, late adopters, reinventors, discontinuers, rejecters, undetermined. It was found that “different adoption groups were uniquely influenced by the five innovation characteristics” (p.27). Using New Zealand ’ (2003) model captured the voice of the end user which as the author notes, has had less voice in past research. Rogers
Evaluation: This article highlights challenges that come with adopting new technologies in less developed countries. Qualitative data provided a voice for people on the ground not just figures, but a personal voice into their struggle. Detailed findings are supported throughout with examples from data to support a more holistic approach. These findings were analysed against the diffusion of innovation theory which the author identified as being an effective theory for framing success and barriers in the adoption of new technology.
’s struggle is a struggle that is shared in many ways by the Bruneain people. Cambodia has many barriers to overcome and by using Brunei ’ model similar to this study I will be able to frame my own success and barriers to the adoption of the wiki in my own research. Rogers
Sahin, I. (2006). Detailed review of Rogers' diffusion of innovation theory and educational technology-related studies based on Rogers' theory. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology. 5(2): 14-23
Description: This article reviews Rogers’ “Diffusion of Innovation” theory. The author discusses what Rogers (2003) describes as the innovation- diffusion process, a process in which uncertainty is reduced. He summarises the five attributes of innovation that Rogers believes “decrease uncertainty” (p.17). These being relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability and observability. Rogers believes that innovation that offers these five attributes will be adopted quicker. Examples of studies that used Rogers theory are also provided. The article also identifies “The Innovation – Decision Process”. This process as Rogers describes is a five stage process; knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation, confirmation. This process seeks out and processes information reducing uncertainty of the advantages and disadvantages of the technology for the user.
Evaluation: Ismail Sahin is a well published author in this field. His article has been helpful in identifying how Rogers’ theory will play a role in the introduction of the the innovation itself (the wiki approach). Looking through the change lens and using the attributes that Rogers identifies that are needed for the quicker adoption of an innovation the wiki meets them all within my context. These attributes will be visible for all stakeholders within my arena to see. The innovation- decision process is also an important aspect for my topic. I will be going down this path and it is important for me, that by introducing this change I am analytical in my decision to reject or adopt this technology. My understanding of the innovation could have a bearing on the adoption from others within my arena.
Description: This paper analyses the Technology Acceptance Model and examines students’ behavioural intention of using new technology (e-portfolio) by analysing the relationship between the intention of a student to use this technology with the student’s perceived usefulness (PU), perceived ease of use (PEOU) and the student’s attitude towards using it (
ATU). Key findings suggest that these
perceived thoughts can have an influence on a students intention to use
technology. The paper acknowledges there are limitations with the study
highlighting that students come to the classroom with their own beliefs and values which may affect their perceived
ideas. It looks at the value of students influence in a technology being
adopted and having sustained use.
Evaluation: This paper comes from a reliable source. The authors have identified there are limitations in their study thus providing it seems open honest evaluation of their findings. A strength of the findings is the fact that they have identified the significance between the perceived usefulness and the perceived ease of use and how these to factors strongly influence the students attitude to using new technology. This is important for my topic as previous attempts for adopting technology into the classroom have not been as successful as I would have liked. Technology in Brunei is limited as is the exposure that not only teachers have but, students as well. This theory may strengthen the chance of adoption of technology within my classroom and enhance the continued use by students of the wiki.
Wheeler, S. (nd). Open content, open learning 2.0: using wikis and blogs in higher education. In Ehlers, U., & Schneckenberg, D. (2010). Changing cultures in higher education: Moving ahead to future learning (pp. 103-114). Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-03582-1
Description: This chapter looks at the benefits and limitations of utilising wikis and blogs in higher education. The chapter focus on the pedagogical change where the self directed, open learning style is challenging the traditional roles of both student and teacher. The author identifies factors such as globalization and economic stringency as having an impact on the use of technology in education. Focusing on wikis, it highlights the fact that students are reluctant to edit content by their peers and that student’s fear causing offence if they do this. The author also identifies that students struggle to keep up with the engagement needed for truly working collaboratively and often the enthusiasm wears off. He also calls into question how teachers are not changing to meet these new technologies and there sense of needing to be an expert is holding technology in education back.
Evaluation: The reliability of this chapter is strengthened by the authors use of supporting references from other research articles. Conclusions have been backed up with supporting evidence from information written under each subheading. This source is useful as it highlights not only the change needed by the student but also that of the teacher and how these changes can create difficulties for both parties. In closing he suggests there are many factors working against the successful use of Web 2.0 tools such as wikis but believes the main reason is the resistance to change. This is very relevant in
where it is the teachers holding technology back as they are scared of losing
face in front of their peers. Brunei
Wheeler, S., Yeomans, P., & Wheeler, D. (2008). The good, the bad and the wiki: Evaluating student-generated content for collaborative learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(6), 987-987. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2007.00799.x
Description: This article identifies the positives and negatives for using a wiki to support a collaborative student centred learning environment highlighting the change in pedagogy that teachers and students need to address. It proposes that the use of a wiki should be integrated in the normal classroom routine as findings showed that if used as an out of school task only, participation from students was limited to a minority. Revealing that to create an effective wiki community, students need to be confident to participate and have the skills to evaluate information, be creative and to work independently and as a team. The authors emphasised that educators and students should have the understanding that wiki based activities are for collaboration, not competition. Students aware of the unseen audience placed more emphasis to write accurately while being considerate of others. Wikis they found, transforms the learning environment, providing meaningful deeper engagement and encouraging a higher level of thoughtful writing.
Evaluation: The authors of this article are well respected in their field. Supporting references were used throughout the background to the article and data adding strength to ideas and findings. By identifying both, the positives and negatives of implementing a wiki it added a balance to their findings and recommendations. This article benefits my topic as it highlights that by changing my pedagogy, I have to show and model how students need to change theirs. Many of the negative findings from the use of wikis in this article have been similar to the adoption of the blog in my current classroom so I need to ensure the participants on my playing field are educated on the use and reasoning of the change so that they have the opportunity to participate and take ownership of the task while I remain as a moderator in the background.