Lamb states, "To truly empower students within collaborative or coconstructional activities requires the teacher to relinquish some degree of control over those activities . . . the medium works most effectively when students can assert meaningful autonomy over the process. It's not that authority can't be imposed on a wiki, but doing so undermines the effectiveness of the tool."

Instructors' Roles

When using WikisInEducation, to what extent should instructors be involved? Are they just there to set it up and make sure that their students are contributing, or do they take an active role in its growth? Should they delete or edit content that they believe is inappropriate or off-topic, or do they let their students govern themselves?

Keeping Wikis Appropriate

It seems necessary that educators put some limits on wikis used for classes, such as having students sign their entries or having access to edit the wiki available only to students. Allowing only students to edit the wiki gives them a place of their own outside of the classroom to work together. Having them sign their entries lets everyone else involved, and others who stop by, know who is writing what.

Allowing only users who have a password to edit the wiki and having students sign their contributions does put limitations on things, but it should help in keeping the content appropriate for the project. This should also keep the instructor out of trouble if parents were to read the content and find it questionable.

I would like to think that if I was still teaching, the use of wikis would be on the top of my agenda. But there is still that old tradition of 'being in control' as the teacher. SharonSimpson

I think the whole concept of school is changing drastically. In a world were there was once only one teacher teaching thirty students, there is now a complete role reversal. Students are now being able to bring their knowledge out into an accepting environment. Students teaching themselves, teaching others, teaching teachers. There is no way of limiting wikis anymore. If a teacher, if a school, if anyone wants to get anywhere, they are going to have to eventually use/implement wikis. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Contributors: SharonSimpson and JessicaBohmbach
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