Wikis to support the “collaborative” part of collaborative learning

  • Johann Ari LarussonEmail author
  • Richard Alterman


Prior research has highlighted the value of using wikis to support learning. This paper makes the case that the wiki has several properties that are particularly amenable for constructing applications that support the “collaborative” part of a variety and range of different time/different place student collaborations. In support of the argument, the paper presents the WikiDesignPlatform (WDP). The WDP supplies a suite of awareness, navigation, communication, transcription, and analysis components that provide additional functionality beyond the standard wiki feature set. Two case studies are presented, which have different coordination, communication, and awareness requirements for the “collaborative” part of the students’ collaborative learning activities. The evidence shows that under both conditions, a prefabricated wiki provides a sufficiently rich intersubjective space that adequately supports the students’ collaborative work.


Wikis Asynchronous non-collocated collaborative learning Coordination 



Special thanks go to Marina Virnik for her work on the WDP and to the students in our classes for providing data and feedback on the design of the WDP.


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Copyright information

© International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.; Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science, Volen National Center for Complex SystemsBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA

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