Monday, April 24, 2006

Using a Wiki to Study for a Final Exam

From the University of California San Diego Newspaper (via Vicki Davis):

Political science professor Thad Kousser is generally seen by his students as one of the more tech-savvy faculty members: Each lecture is accompanied by PowerPoint slides, which he posts on his Web site, along with other interesting links and updates. However, as they prepared for his California politics final last quarter, the students turned to a technological innovation of their own.

As they began studying, some classmates received a mysterious e-mail directing them to a Web site on Wikipedia, the well-known user-edited online encyclopedia.

“Let[’]s compile our answers,” the site began. “The ultimate goal is to add to each other[’s] answers — cram with as much detail as possible.”

We haven't talked about wikis yet, but I think they have potential to foster collaboration - and possibly even some alternative assessment. As with blogging, it would be helpful to have in-house wiki software that was tied to student logins - that would offer some built-in accountability. So far the district has not had the resources (or the interest?) into looking into something like that.



  1. We used free wikis at wikispaces (you can get a free no-ad version online) to do our online classrooms.

    They are GREAT and it is even better to have them on the Internet so they can edit them at home. You can have a private wiki for only your students and you may be able to get that with wikispaces. I know you can get it for $5 per month.

    I have done their semester assessments using wikis. It is a great authentic assessment tool. Look at my blog (as it seems you're already doing) for tricks on how we use it.

    I think these college kids show that whether teachers use it or not, they see it as a useful collaboration tool.

    It has been great in my classroom and thank you for the reference here!

  2. Vicki - in case you check back, thanks for commenting! Yes, I'm a regular reader of your blog - although sometimes I'm a few days behind in my Bloglines account. In fact, if you look at The Fischbowl, you'll see several "features" that I implemented after reading your posts. I really enjoy your post and have learned a ton.

    We've experimented some with pbwiki in our staff development group, but I'm hoping to have more time this summer to evaluate wikispaces (and others) to see which one would be our "preferred" choice at this point to use with students.

  3. I have been wondering about how to do the wiki thing "in-house". This would be especially helpful for an idea I have for AP government that I have never been able to bring to the table as all of my other "methods" face problems that I don't see overcming. Blogging might start what I'm thinking of trying, but I want to hear more about the in-house wiki idea!!!