Academic journal article Journal of Information Systems Education

Investigating Pedagogical Value of Wiki Technology

Academic journal article Journal of Information Systems Education

Investigating Pedagogical Value of Wiki Technology

Article excerpt


Use of Web 2.0 tools (such as Blogs, Podcasts, and Wikis) is increasing in academia. Since the earliest use of the World Wide Web for teaching and learning, one of the most powerful elements has been the ability to engage learners in an interactive format (Hazari & Schnorr, 1999; Chandra & Lloyd, 2008). As technology continues to become commonly used for global communication and productivity, technology skills must be incorporated by educators in the delivery of curriculum content. Schrand (2008) suggests the use of technology in education has several benefits for motivating students. Schrand further states that technology can facilitate more active student learning in the classroom, and appeal to multiple intelligences, and different learning styles. Wikis are one such tool in the Web 2.0 arsenal that have shown promise for social computing as part of the Read/Write Web (also known as Web 2.0). Web 2.0 tools have changed the way in which users interact with web content. No longer are users' passive recipients of information which can only be read or printed; now the same users can add information to the web environment in which they interact with other interested members. Previously, discussion/bulletin board tools were used to foster group collaboration in course management systems (Ansorge & Bendus, 2004). Now with social computing platforms being widely available, several Wiki tools have emerged, and research is needed to determine pedagogical efficacy of these tools for teaching and learning.

1.1 Web-Based Learning

E-learning in education has made rapid progress with commercialization and adoption of enterprise web course management tools (such as WebCT, Blackboard, eCollege, and Moodle) that permit schools, colleges, and universities to offer a standard platform for courses which can support collaborative learning (Leslie, 2003). Course components within these tools allow for presentation of material in text and multimedia format, synchronous and asynchronous discussion tools, library access, and the ability for an instructor to monitor student progress, and provide online assessments. Course materials can also be accessed on mobile platforms such as laptop computers, wireless phones, and other handheld devices. To promote student participation in group settings, the most commonly used course component has been the discussion board. Student involvement in the discussion board includes group work, community building, and shared student portfolios. Traditional features of first generation course environments are now giving way to a new generation of Web 2.0 components which have been developed due to technological advancements that integrate mobile learning, collaboration, and social interaction. Although most course development platforms have not yet integrated all these features in a seamless environment, instructors have taken individual components of Web 2.0 tools and tried to determine efficacy of these for teaching and learning (Turban, Leidner, McLean, & Wetherbe, 2007). Since the Web 2.0 technology is in its initial stage, more empirical research is needed to explore benefits offered by such tools.

1.2 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate pedagogical value of Wiki technology by identifying its relationship with factors that may have the potential for improving learner outcomes. For the purpose of this study, pedagogical value was defined as the capacity of students to be engaged in learning by exhibiting interest in course assignments, retaining more material, participating actively, being motivated learners, and collaborating using constructivist learning principles (such as group interaction). A scale comprised of four factors (Learning/Pedagogy, Motivation, Group Interaction, and Technical features) was developed from extant literature and examined for reliability and validity.

The paper is organized as follows: Review of research on Web 2. …

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