Utilizing Wiki-Systems in higher education classes: a chance for universal access?

  • Martin Ebner
  • Michael Kickmeier-Rust
  • Andreas Holzinger
Long Paper

Abstract

Wikis are a website technology for mass collaborative authoring. Today, wikis are increasingly used for educational purposes. Basically, the most important asset of wikis is free and easy access for end users: everybody can contribute, comment and edit—following the principles of Universal access. Consequently, wikis are ideally suited for collaborative learning and a number of studies reported a great success of wikis in terms of active participation, collaboration, and a rapidly growing content. However, the wikis success in education was often linked either to direct incentives or even pressure. This paper strongly argues that this contradicts the original intentions of wikis and, furthermore, weakens the psycho-pedagogical impact. A study is presented which focuses on investigating the success of wikis in higher education, when students are neither enforced to contribute nor directly rewarded similar to the principles of Wikipedia. Amazingly, the results show that, in total, none of the N = 287 students created new articles or edited existing ones during a whole semester. It is concluded that the use of Wiki-Systems in educational settings is much more complicated, and it needs more time to develop a kind of “give-and-take” generation.

Keywords

Technology enhanced learning Wiki Wikipedia Higher education Civil engineering Collaborative learning 

References

  1. 1.
    Augar, N., Raitman, R., Zhou, W.: Teaching, learning online with wikis. In: Atkinson, R., McBeath, C., Jonas-Dwyer, D., Phillips, R., (eds.) Beyond the Comfort Zone: proceedings of the 21st ASCILITE conference, 5–8 December 2004, Perth, pp. 95–104 (2004)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barnett, R.: Towards a Higher Education for a New Century. Institute of Education, University of London (1997)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Boekaerts, M.: Self-regulated learning: a new concept embraced by researchers, policy makers, educators, teachers, and students. Learn. Instr. 7(2), 161–186 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bolhuis, S.: Towards process-oriented teaching for self-directed lifelong learning: a multidimensional perspective. Learn. Instr. 13(3), 327–347 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Boyer, E.L.: Campus Life: In Search of Community, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, San Francisco (1990)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bruner, J.: Acts of Meaning. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1990)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bruns, A., Humphreys, S.: Wikis in teaching and assessment: The M/Cyclopedia project. In: Proceedings of the ACM WikiSym 05: International Symposium on Wikis, 16–18 October 2005, San Diego, USA (2005)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Caddick, S.: Wiki, other ways to share learning online. Nature 442(7104), 744–744 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chau, T., Maurer, F.: A case study of Wiki-based experience repository at a medium-sized software company. In: Proceedings of Knowledge Capture, 2–5 October 2005, Banff, Canada (2005)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    DeMarco, T., Lister, T.: Peopleware: productive projects and teams. Dorset House, New York (1999)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Denning, P., Horning, J., Parnas, D., Weinstein, L.: Inside risks: wikipedia risks. Comm. A.C.M 48(12), 152 (2005)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dominus, M-J.: Perl: not just for web programming. IEEE Software 15(1), 69–74 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Elrufaie, E. A.: Wiki paradigm for use in IT Courses. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Technology: Coding and Computing (ITCC´05), 04–06 April 2005, Las Vegas, Nevada (2005)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gorman, G.E.: Is the wiki concept really so wonderful? Online Inform. Rev. 29(3), 225–226 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Guzdial, M., Hmelo, C., Hübscher, R., Nagel, K., Newstetter, W., Puntembakar, S., Shabo, A., Turns, J., Kolodner, J.L.: Integrating and guiding collaboration: lessons learned in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Research at Georgia Tech. In: Hall, R., Miyake, N., Enyedy, N. (eds.) Proceedings of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning 1997, pp. 91–100. Toronto, Canada (2000)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Guzdial, M., Rick, J., Kehoe, C.: Beyond adoption to invention: teacher-created collaborative activities in higher education. J. Learn. Sci. 10(3), 265–279 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Holzinger, A., Maurer, H.: Incidental learning, motivation and the Tamagotchi effect: VR-Friends, chances for new ways of learning with computers. Computer Assisted Learning, CAL 99, Elsevier, London, pp 70 (1999)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Holzinger, A.: Multimedia Basics, vol 2: Learning cognitive fundamentals of multimedial information systems (http://www.basiswissen-multimedia.at), Laxmi, New Delhi (2002)
  19. 19.
    Holzinger, A., Pichler, A., Maurer, H.: Multi Media e-learning software TRIANGLE case-study: experimental results and lessons learned. J. U.S.T.L. 0(0), 61–92 (2006)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kim, S.H., Han, H.S., Han , S.: The study on effective programming learning using Wiki community systems. innovative approaches for learning and knowledge sharing, proceedings, Springer, Berlin, pp 646–651 (2006)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kirschner, P.A.: Design, development, and implementation of electronic learning environments for collaborative learning. Educ Tech Res Dev 52(3), 39–46 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kirschner, P.A., van Vilsteren, P., Hummel, H., Wigman, M.: A study environment for aquiring academic and professional competence. Stud. High. Educ. 22(2), 151–171 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kussmaul, C., Howe, S., Priest, S.: Using wikis to foster team communication, cohesion, and collaboration. J.C.S.C. 21(6), 66–68 (2006)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Leidner, D., Fuller, M.: Improving student learning of conceptual information: GSS supportedcollaborative learning vs individual constructive learning. Decis. Support. Syst. 20(2), 149–163 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Leuf, B., Cunningham, W.: The Wiki Way. Quick Collaboration on the Web. Addison-Wesley, Boston (2001)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Mitchell, T.J.F., Chen, S.Y., Macredie, R.D.: Hypermedia learning and prior knowledge: domain expertise vs system expertise. J.C.A.L. 21, 53–64 (2005)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    O’Neill, M.E.: Automated use of a Wiki for collaborative lecture notes. In: Proceedings of the Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, 23–27 February 2005, St. Louis (2005)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Pappenberger, F., Harvey, H., Beven, K., Hall, J., Meadowcroft, I.: Decision tree for choosing an uncertainty analysis methodology: a wiki experiment. Hydrol.Process.20(17), 3793–3798 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Prechelt, L.: Are scripting languages any good? A validation of Perl, Python, Rexx, and Tcl against C, C++, and Java. In: Advances in Cmputers, vol 57. Academic Press, San Diego (2003)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Raitman, R., Augar, N., Zhou, W.: Employing Wikis for online collaboration in the E-learning environment: Case study. In: Proceedings of the third International Conference on Information Technology and Applications, IEEE Computer Society,pp. 142–146, 04–07 July 2005, Sydney, Australia (2005)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Reinhold, S., Aabawi, D.F.: Concepts For Extending Wiki Systems To Supplement Collaborative Learning. Technologies For e-Learning and Digital Entertainment, Proceedings. Springer, Berlin (2006)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Schellens, T., Valcke, M.: Collaborative learning in asynchronous discussion groups: what about the impact on cognitive processing? Comput. Human. Behav. 21(6), 957–975 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Schneider, D., Synteta, P., Frété, C., Girardin, F., Morand, S.: Conception and implementation of rich pedagogical scenarios through collaborative portal sites: clear focus and fuzzy edges. In Proceedings of ICOOL International Conference on Open and Online Learning, 7–13 December, 2003, Mauritius (2003)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Slavin, R.E.: Cooperative Learning. Theory, Research, and Practice. Allyn and Bacon, Boston (1995)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Souzis, A.: Building a semantic wiki. IEEE Intell. Syst. 20(5), 87–91 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Sthephanidis, C. (ed.): Universal Access in HCI: Inclusive Design in the Information Society, Erlbaum Mahway (NJ), (2003)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Sthephanidis, C., Salvendy, G., Akaumianaikis, D., Arnold, A., Bevam, N., Dardailler, D., Emiliani, P.L., Iakovidis, I., Jenkins, P., Karshmer, A., Korn, P., Marcus, A., Murphy, H., Oppermann, C., Stary, C., Tamura, H., Tscheligi, M., Ueda, H., Weber, G., Ziegler, J.: Toward an information society for all: HCI challenges and R&D recommendations. I.J.H.C.I. 11, 1–28 (1999)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Stephanidis, C., Savidis, A.: Universal access in the information society: methods, tools and interaction technologies. U.A.I.S., 1, 40–55 (2001)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Wang, C., Turner, D.: Extending the Wiki paradigm for use in classroom. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Technology: Coding and Computing, 5–7 April 2004, Las Vegas, Nevada (2004)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Weiner, B.: Human Motivation: Metaphors, Theories, Research. Sage, Newbury Park (1992)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Wittrock, M.C.: Learning as a Generative Process. Educ. Psychol. 11, 87–95 (1974)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Ebner
    • 1
  • Michael Kickmeier-Rust
    • 2
  • Andreas Holzinger
    • 3
  1. 1.WG Social Learning, Computer and Information ServicesGraz University of TechnologyGrazAustria
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GrazGrazAustria
  3. 3.Institute of Medical Informatics, Statistics and Documentation, Research Unit HCI4MEDMedical University GrazGrazAustria

Personalised recommendations