Submissions:2016/The Online Writing Classroom and Wikipedia

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Title
The Online Writing Classroom and Wikipedia
Theme
Education
Academic Peer Review option
y
Type of submission
presentation
Author
Amy Carleton
E-mail address
amycarleton@mac.com
Username
Amyc29
Affiliation
MIT
Abstract

Between 2002-2010, there was a 25% increase in students seeking online instruction to satisfy their course requirements (Allen and Seaman). Further, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (nces.ed.gov), recent data shows that in Fall 2013, there were nearly 19 million students enrolled in online courses at public and private nonprofit degree-granting institutions. Of this growing segment of higher education curriculum, a large number of the courses offered are from writing programs. However, replicating the traditional model of writing classroom culture supported by proponents of active and cooperative learning (Meyers and Jones; Hake; Sokoloff and Thornton) can seem daunting when instructors are faced with a classroom that is 100% online.

Further, when instructors are already using a university-provided Course Management System (e.g. Blackboard, Moodle, etc.), they may feel hesitant to add two more online interfaces (the WikiEd dashboard and Wikipedia itself). This was my biggest concern—how would students manage multiple online communities and still produce high quality work—especially when any troubleshooting and instructor conferencing had to occur online? The short answer is this: very well.

While students initially had some challenges with learning how to navigate the technological idiosyncrasies of Wikipedia, they overcame them quickly and found that their shared experience fostered a unique learning community. Further, as instructor, I learned where the gaps in instruction fell on my end—and arrived at a better understanding of how to anticipate and address student challenges in the online classroom when teaching with Wikipedia.

Using outcomes from a six-week accelerated summer course supported by WikiEd, I argue that integrating Wikipedia assignments into the online writing classroom can cultivate and sustain community amongst its members through their engagement with one another as well as the Wikipedia community as they learn to become active contributors to this large scale knowledge-based project—within the constraints and possibilities of the online classroom.


Length of presentation
15 min.
Special schedule requests
can only present on Sunday afternoon or Monday
Preferred room size
25
Will you attend WikiConference North America if your submission is not accepted?
yes

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