Title of project

Teaching Writing with Wikis: Resources and Implications for Use

Your email address and URL for the project

http://teaching-writing-wikis.wikidot.com/
ahamann@bemidjistate.edu

Executive description

This project will be a collection, that is heavily linked and annotated, of materials related to the theory and pedagogy of using wikis in the writing classroom. This collection will be housed on a wiki so that it can be easily organized with pages linked together and easily used by writing instructors looking for more information and resources to inform their teaching practices.

Narrative

Throughout the course of this project I will be collecting and curating resources currently available online for writing instructors either thinking about or currently using wikis in their writing courses. My intent is to collect materials that will address primarily expository writing courses and address the instructional needs of students in secondary through higher education. In addition to collecting these materials I will create my own content drawing on my experience using wikis in both the Composition and the Argument and Exposition courses at Bemidji State University.

Although there are blog posts and wiki books dedicated to this topic, I have not yet found a wiki dedicated to a collection of materials to assist instructors interested in implementing wiki use in their classes. This will be a place to access those materials, as well as theory and pedagogy as to their effective use and possible pitfalls.

I hope to find as I progress through this project that there is more out there than I previously assumed. I also want to learn more about the theory behind the use of wikis in teaching writing. I have my own ideas as to the benefits of using them, but want to find out more about what others have found, and to share that knowledge with others. I have also encountered some seriously skeptical individuals in regards to their use, and I would like to find more data and research to help answer the qualms of anyone considering this type of instruction. There are a number of English Ed majors in class, and I believe this project will be of use to them as they progress through their program of study and start their careers. High schools, as well as colleges are moving more towards blended online and flipped classes, and wikis are one way of addressing this.

To accomplish this I will begin by finding writings, lectures, videos, or other materials related to any existing theory behind the use of wikis in the writing classroom. From there, I will extensively search for information about practical ideas for the use of wikis in the writing classroom (pedagogy). There are several sources that I consulted when I started to implement wikis in my own teaching, and this will be a place for me to collect and share those resources, as well as expand my collection and then start to annotate and curate them. Finally, I will collect any reflections and discussions written by writing instructors that have used wikis to teach writing. These I will link to and annotate as well.

The organization of the wiki will evolve as I collect links, information, and materials. I will be using the wikidot.com platform, which allows for internal page tagging. Tagging pages with a category word will lead to its own type of organization. The tags show up in a right-hand side bar, and clicking on the tag will bring the user to a page containing links to each page tagged with that word. The wiki is a useful medium for this work because of the ability to link easily to other internal pages and external sources within the text of the page. As theory connects to pedagogy, so to will the pages link to each other. There is also a 'search' field that can be used to find pages containing specific words, which will assist users in finding the content for which they are looking. At this time the site will be public but closed, meaning that anyone can see the site, but anyone wanting to edit it will need to contact me and be added to the site. As this is a class project, the closed nature of the site is to insure that the content is mine. After the end of the project and grading cycle I will most likely change permissions and make it a completely open site.

My project report will be a wiki essay linked on my Ongoing Project Reports page. In that report I will be writing about what I discovered as a result of this project. I am hoping that in doing this project I add to my knowledge and use of wikis, and that I can relay that information to the class. I know from the little bit of research I have already done that there is much more going on with wikis in writing classrooms, and many different ways of using them, than I was previously aware. I am always looking for different ways of instructing and engaging students, and the focus of my report will be what I discovered about this subject as a result of this project.

Readings

In no particular order:
This is start -- I will add readings as I discover them.

Weekly Reports

http://teaching-writing-wikis.wikidot.com/ongoing-project-reports

Contract for Grade

I will be contracting for 250 points. To earn those points I will be adding material 3 times per week, with that material to include new links and annotations and at least two new nodes per week. At least one of those nodes will be an essay or reflection on my own teaching materials and practices, as they relate to wiki use. In this way I will not just be aggregating information, but adding to the store of knowledge on the web in regards to this topic. These essay nodes will be in the range of 700-1000 words per node. It is extremely difficult to estimate the length of the content of the other nodes, but they will be focused, well-linked and organized, and deeply developed and analyzed.
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