Why Wikis? Student Perceptions of Using Wikis in Online Learning Coursework

by Faye Deters, Kristen Cuthrell & Joy Stapleton, JOLT

In recent years, Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, and podcasts have skyrocketed in the number of users. These applications have led to new innovations for teaching and learning. Elementary education professors at a large southeastern College of Education conducted a study for the purpose of exploring student perceptions regarding the use of wikis in online instruction and potential uses for wikis in the K-12 classroom as perceived by respondents. Participants in the study were 40 students enrolled in 1 of 3 graduate level social studies methods courses. Data were collected using surveys and written reflections. Though students reported initial hesitation at learning a new technology, their overall experience using the wikis was positive. The students felt that wikis were a great collaboration tool. Principle themes that emerged from the data were the potential uses of wikis as instructional tools, potential uses for information dissemination, benefits or advantages to using wikis, and limitations regarding the use of wikis. The authors provide a list of questions developed as a result of the study that, when used prior to implementing wikis as a learning tool, will minimize the limitations associated with their use.
http://jolt.merlot.org/vol6no1/deters_0310.htm
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