Exploiting The Potential Of Wikis
Discussion group B1: Supporting The Needs of the User

Discussion Group B1: Wiki Strategies to Support the Needs of the User


Based on your previous discussion and related points from the other discussion groups you should now seek to identify a Wiki strategy for your institution. Possible strategies for providing Wiki services include:

  1. A large-scale enterprise Wiki service for use within your institution.
  2. A distributed and decentralised approach, in which departments, ad hoc groups, individuals, etc. may choose their own preferred Wiki tools, which could be installed locally or use of free or licensed externally-hosted services.
  3. Use of Wiki functionality provided in other enterprise tools, such as VLEs, Blogs, etc.
  4. In-house development of a Wiki service.
  5. Doing nothing, either because effort is limited and prioritisation is given to other areas or a view that Wikis are of marginal relevance to the institution.

Please address the following issues:

Based on your preferred approaches to the provision of a Wiki service:

For Your Notes

Strategies for Using Wikis

Conversion tool useful. Not feasible to ask IT services to support multiple wikis services.

Do you have to force your own pedagogical designs on the wiki?
Does it give people space to play. What design baggage comes with the tool?

Want something completely flexible.

If you want flexibiltiy then must have IT support to develop it.

Most people are still at experimental stage so tool needs to be flexible.

VLE's can be too prescriptive.

External hosted : pbwiki, jotspot, wetpaint.Being used "under the radar".
But may need wiki farm at later stage when institution sees the need.

Standards would be seem now more important as more enterprise wikis become required.Other tools could provide some of the support.

It's difficult to be a pioneer. Scalability could be an issue.

Some instituions are waiting to see what MS are building into Sharepoint. They are building in more blogs/ wikis.

Where do we find out about these different issues with wikis? No source about caveats.
Should we be asking JISC to set up an advisory service?

Wiki functionality inside other enterprise tools? Will open-source community help?

Different sites for different tools? With more tools is it becoming harder for students for manage?

But students are comfortable in a social context navigating between this but no so in their learning spaces.

I f wikis are behind the walls of an institution how do students/staff talk to their peers in other institutions - even internationally.

Leaving these tools outside the institution makes them more open and allows for information to come into the institution.

Identifying user requirements?
Is it a bit of chicken and egg situation.

Some trials starting and identify requirements. Made up a large cross-spectrum, including students.

CETL for useable learning objects. You need everybody involved in looking at these technologies and should be an iterative process. Should be able to re-evaluate.

What are the key aspects of evaluation?

Selection -

deployment - outsource or pushing IT srvice to host wiki farm. Wait to see how things emerge and evolve. Learn by your mistakes.

Little sucesses can be tried in a bigger arena.

Need different pedagogical ideas for use. May get some of this from HEA subject centers. Find more case studies. There's a discpline approach, pedagogical approach. Looking through different lenses at these tools.

Do the institutions have to adapt the way students are comfortable using. Need to keep learning relevant.

The success or failure of technologies depends on how embedded they are in the learning and teaching.

Always will have the champions but need to get the rest involved.

Are wikis that easy to use? Are we happy collaborating?