Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

The Comparison of the Opinions of the University Students on the Usage of Blog and Wiki for Their Courses

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

The Comparison of the Opinions of the University Students on the Usage of Blog and Wiki for Their Courses

Article excerpt

Introduction

In the recent years, the rapid changes of information and communication technologies have brought the innovations in communication and information sharing. These innovations have contributed to further enhance the teaching and learning process in higher education. Time and space problems have eleminated through these changes and communication, interaction and information sharing between individuals have also become easier.

Along with the emergence of the virtual classrooms concept, the prevalence of distance education and increasing use of electronic elements in the traditional classroom, educators are realizing that the interaction have gained importance. Therefore, the new studies that are commonly called social software are needed to improve the student- teacher and student-student interaction. Social software supports the desire of individuals to be pulled into groups to achieve goals (Connell, 2006). Social software refers to applications such as wikis, blogs and social networks, used for sharing multimedia, audio or visual content, as well as text. Social software tools support learning in a variety of ways: sharing of resources, collaborative learning and peer-to-peer learning, also facilitate communication and collaboration between participants by providing awareness. Also it is possible to share the information resources of other users and get feedback. In addition each member's contribution to the work within the group could be shared (Anderson, 2005; Minocha, 2008; Conole & Culver, 2010).

Web 2.0 technologies, such as blog, wiki, podcast, facebook, flickr, RSS are called social software tools in respect to their features. Web 2.0 is a set of internet services which encourage internet users to participate in various communities of knowledge building and knowledge sharing. Web 2.0 also beter supports group interaction and fosters a greater sense of community. Web 2.0 encourages more active learning and enables feedback from tutors to learners, this tutor-student interaction leads to further increasing of student motivation (Crook, 2008). Minocha (2008) stated that Web 2.0 seems to match well with modern thinking on educational practice. In particular, it promises learners of new opportunities to be independent in their study and research. Web 2.0 technologies encourage a wider range of expressive capability. They facilitate more collaborative ways of working.

Web 2.0 technologies are part of the changes in information and communication technology. Web literacy improves the base of individuals' skills and it can reach a wider range of users with these applications. Blog and wiki applications improve the teacher and learner's social interaction, their creativity, their ability to express themselves and their high-level thinking skills. They also enable them to configure the information. At the same time weblog and wiki applications allow users to communicate synchronously and work collaboratively. Students can participate actively in the learning process. Because of these student-centered new technologies, students can work at their own pace and at any time. These applications provide the opportunity to re-use always and everywhere. They also allow peer evaluations (Godwin-Jones, 2003; Huffaker, 2005; Aronsson, 2002).

Many instructors and learners start using Web 2.0 technologies for effective teaching and learning process. The social aspects of Web 2.0 technologies provide a framework for collaborative group learning. The possibilities of Web 2.0 environments, which enable learners to work with evolving content online through reading, writing, editing and communicating require teachers to reshape their approaches. However, according to Dron (2007) there are many ways that social software can fail to address the needs of learners. Therefore he assessed the potential of social software (blogs, wikis, social networking) in educational contexts and focused on the use of these tools for learners. …

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