As someone who uses technology all the time in my classroom when teaching, surprisingly it was not until recently that I realized the full collaborative power of using a Wiki. For my grad class we had a huge collaborative project. We were just going to use the resources on Moodle, but there was a huge delay between posts and notification. Someone in my group set up a wiki for our project using Wikispaces. It remained relatively untouched for a couple weeks. Then there was an explosion of activity. Each of us created pages and pages to match what we were working on. Similar topics were covered on multiple pages. After a few weeks of chaos, we combined information on related pages and re-did the navigation. This made using the wiki practical and painless.
One of the best decisions we made ahead of time was the communication method. It would have been impossible to track and follow the Discussion tabs of each page. Instead, we established that all communication and questions would be done through the Discussion tab of the Home page. Wikispaces makes it on-click easy to track changes and comments.
How to make collaboration easier on a wiki:
- Agree on communication method. Track discussions and/or changes
- Don’t delete each others work, ask clarifying questions
- Once a lot of pages have been created, copy relevant information into existing pages and delete repeats
- Customize the navigation – alphabetized is not always the best option
- Give credit to sources or people when necessary
- Link to appropriate pages & sources
- Upload resources so everyone in the group has access to the same items
- Give and accept feedback