Blogs and Wikis

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					PLC: Blogs and Wikis
       Otterbein College
          OLN Meeting
  Marsha Huber and Shirine Mafi
         Jan. 26, 2009
  Classes that used blogs/wikis
• Accounting (Huber) – used for constructing
  chapter outlines, recording group meeting
  minutes, & checklist.

• Accounting (Huber) – used to construct agency
  web pages for philanthropy project and to write
  collaborative documents.

• Communication (Kelley) – used for public review
  of public relations media and peer editing.
  Classes that used blogs/wikis
• Life Science (Gahbauer) – used to build case
  studies, the publication of rubrics, and peer

• Health Education (Wilson) – used for
  collaboration and the development of lesson

• Nursing (Vogt) – used to discuss possible
  diagnoses of diseases.
          Student respondents
• 73 of 100 students responded to the survey

• 12% used blogs; 70% used wikis; 18% used both
• Mostly juniors and seniors (54% juniors; 36% seniors)
• 15% worked full-time; 66% worked part-time

• 83% were between 20-24 years old

• 68% were female
         Amount of interaction
Overall, the use of blogs/wikis increased the
 amount of interaction between the
 students and other students and faculty.

• 61% felt that interaction between students with
  other students increased; 6% felt it decreased

• 42% felt that interaction with the instructor
  increased; 9% felt it decreased
         Quality of interaction
A third of the students thought the quality of
  interaction increased with other students
  and faculty.

• 33% felt that quality between students with other
  students increased; 6% felt it decreased

• 38% felt that interaction with the instructor
  increased; 14% felt it decreased
   Observations on interaction
• The amount of interaction increased at a
  greater level than perceived improvement
  in quality of interaction.
         Impact on learning
• The majority of students (65%) agreed that
  blogs/wikis were easy to learn.

• 42% felt it enhanced their learning; 32%
  felt it did not.

• 41% were satisfied with their use in their
  courses; 34% were not.
    Students comments regarding
Although most students felt wikis were easy to
  learn, student satisfaction was split and was
  dependent on how blogs/wikis were used.

  – Negative comments centered around issues of clutter, time
    spent, busy work, did not tie to course objectives.

  – Student ease of use depended on which wiki system was used.
    PBWiki was easiest to use; Moodle broke down during the
   Qualitative: Continued Use
• 53% supported the continued use of wikis

• 22% supported the continued use, but with
  changes (i.e. add more structure; use
  sparingly; strictly for communication and

• 18% thought the wikis were a waste of
 Qualitative: Benefits of blogs/wikis

• 37% cited increased interaction.

• 7% mentioned students teaching students.

• Individual students mentioned that wikis
  helped with research, critical thinking,
  group work, and certain applications (i.e.
     Qualitative: Effectiveness of
• 25% said they increased communications with
  other students; asking and answering questions.

• 17% said feedback and editing helped them
  improve their work (i.e. improving lesson plans,
  diagnosis, think outside the box).

• 14% stated provided easier access to
        Qualitative: Problems with
• 12% stated they were not effective.

• 12% struggled with the technology

• 10% thought they were time consuming

• 10% cited they didn’t like specific tasks that the wikis
  were used for (i.e. checklist project)

• 5% didn’t like the repetitive work

• 5% said the technology stopped working during the term
 Faculty Observations on Learning
• Provided a public, shared platform for students
  to work on a sustained assignment that could be
  revisited and improved over time.

• Enthusiasm was high once the student learned
  the technology.

• Faculty (and students) could review and
  comment on student work on a timely basis
  (lesson plans, agency pages, projects).
 Faculty Observations on Learning
• Benefits of peer-to-peer learning from looking at
  each others’ work as well as commenting/editing
  each others’ work.

• Students learned how to use technology to
  improve communication (i.e. adding tags,
  hyperlinks, plug-ins, etc.).

• Exposure to an easy-to-use communication tool
  with diverse uses.
           Benefits of PLC
• Courage and encouragement

• Spurs on scholarly research

• Bounce ideas off of each other

• Learning from each other (and from our
         Summary comments
Initial use of wikis:
• Overall positive response from students.
• Improved communication between and among
   students and instructors.

Other benefits:
• Can use class time more efficiently.
• Takes class to a higher level with students being
  able to learn from each other.
• Giving students more of a voice in the class.
        Summary comments
Biggest lessons learned:
• Important to link the use of technology to
  the class objectives.

• The community is working well together,
  supportive, and having fun while doing it.

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