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Skills in working in teamwork are demanded from graduates, and these are ever more likely to be over the internet. Horizon (2011) calls for this need to be reflected in students’ project work. The use of Wikis has been posited as a tool for collaborative online knowledge creation, increasing engagement, and social constructivism (Wheeler and Wheeler, 2008). This study aims to contribute to the debate about the role of wikis and student group work, it should be of interest to instructors who use group work in their teaching, and those who wish to explore the application of web 2.0, tools or wikis specifically, in enhancing learning.
Wikis were adopted to support a collaborative group project in the final (fourth) year of a general Business degree for an optional Marketing Communications module. The wiki was chosen in response to some challenges experienced with the assessment, such as poor progress, last minute action, lack of meaningful collaboration, and inability of the instructor to track progress or identify problems.
The students were surveyed after completion of the project regarding: how the wiki was used (method and functionality), participation levels of the group (also measured through the wiki itself), whether they believed the wiki added value for the assessment, and finally challenges encountered.
Their responses demonstrate the enhancement of the groups’ collaboration, improved communication and social construction of knowledge. This supports findings of earlier studies (Wheeler and Wheeler, 2009, Lai and Ng, 2011). Challenges associated with using wikis are presented, and recommendations proposed.
Hughes, K. (2011). 'The Wiki Way: Supporting Collaborative Learning'. In Proceedings of the Irish Academy of Management Conference, 1-2 September, Dublin.
Irish Academy of Management, 2011