D3.3 - Training content

Last modified by Théo Bondolfi on 2014/03/22 09:38

D 3.3 - Training content development and publication

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0. Introduction

This handbook has been developed in the context of the WikiSkills European project, which aims to apply the benefits of wikis to promote educational lifelong learning opportunities. It consists of a practical guide for educators (trainer/teacher) at all levels interested in designing and implementing their own wiki-based learning scenarios. 

This Handbook is part of WikiSkills deliverables that you can use, as educator, to develop a customized course. We need your feedbacks to improve participatively this document. This is why if you are using this handbook to develop/adapt a course of using wiki with your beneficiaries (trainees, students), please answer to our questionnaire for the evaluation of this document. It will help improve the relevancy of its structure, clarity for efficiency about training scenarios, content, and evaluation procedures.

Wikis and the WikiSkills project

Wikis ? Web-based collaborative hypertext authoring systems. Mostly for asynchronous editing, possibly  synchronous ones. These webtools are quite simple to use, after understanding the basic features you can count on : view page, edit page, view history, discuss, revoke, and see recent changes on the site. Recently, Wikis have been widely used in various sectors and levels of education, as they can enhance  collaborative learning. In a wiki-based learning scenario, participants co-edit web pages. During such processes, peer interaction can motivate participants, who construct synergically shared knowledge. It’s more than just dialogue or peer review, it’s everybody on the same document. 

The WikiSkills project aimed to analyze and apply benefits of adopting a wiki-culture to education. Within common learning scenarios, participants from different educational sectors, cultures and ages (schools, universities, professional and adult training) learn how to use wikis for their socio-professional development. The project develops, implements and evaluates an innovative training curriculum focusing on how to make the best use of wiki environments in educational settings, so as to reach high learning objectives and foster a community of learners among Europe.
The project's goals are the following:

  • Provide opportunities for meaningful collaborative learning activities;
  • Promote digital literacy, as well as social skills, writing skills and critical thinking;
  • Develop a sustainable virtual community of practice among the different project countries;
  • Enable educational communities to contribute to the actual information society;
  • Empower civic behaviours, social inclusion, employability and cultural understanding.

WikiSkills promotes innovative pedagogical approaches that foster creativity, competitiveness, employability and entrepreneurial spirit, equity, social cohesion and active citizenship.

How to use this handbook

This handbook tries to be a practical guide to help educators of all type (teachers, trainers) bring their public in using wiki for their learning activities, independently from their domain of learning. It provides generic scenarios. This is why it can be used in various contexts, for example
- by professors of architecture sharing documentations of building planification within a private wiki space,
- for lifelong learning trainers of immigrants for social inclusion on how to understand cultural differences using wikipedia,
- for secondary teachers of languages on how to use wikis to develop translation skills
- for trainers of trainers on how to adopt innovative pedagogical methods using synergetic collaboration wiki-based or wiki-alike tools and applying socio-constructivist scenarios.

These teachers or educators may wish to be trained in WikiSkills for the following reasons:

  • they are teachers or educators at a school, university or other training / vocational education institution
  • they are considering using wikis as a learning resources with / for their students
  • they want to increase creativity in their classroom
  • they would be interested in creating an educational wiki, but need initial support

This handbook is structured in several parts.  

Part 1 introduces the main concepts around wiki culture, and specifically describes its application to learning contexts. 

Part 2 will describe the approach we propose within the WikiSkills concept

Part 3 will describe the process of developing a training curriculum using wikis, from the prerequisite of the training session till the evaluation/assessment of the session. We consider essential to focus mostly on learning while doing, since theoretical training is not successful in a sustainable way. The major challenge is that each beneficiary has a different level of ICT literacy (technical use) and ICT fluency (adopting efficient behaviour in digital environments). Therefore we try to provide concrete guidelines, based on learning wikis while using wikis, to be used within all training activities related to wiki and collaborative digital culture (alias eCulture).

Part 4 will provide some examples of detailed training scenarios

Part 5 introduces the technical environment proposed within the WikiSkills project

Part 6 provides a toolkit of useful resources, i.e. links and readings of interest for readers aiming to get a deeper understanding of the use of wikis in education, guidelines for teachers, educational video and a FAQ. The FAQ addresses questions that end-users may have depending on his/her daily context. The FAQ aims at answering on the how-to’s and also at removing fears and obstacles that users may have when they are in situation of managing change for/via wiki solutions within their organization, network or daily life. it intends to provide resources for trainers to offer to the consideration of the final trainer when facing his students. 

Part 1. Wiki culture and application to learning contexts

1.1 What is a wiki ?

A wiki is a tool enabling online-group collaboration and asynchronous communication.
It is a website whose users can add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a rich-text editor. It supports hyperlinks and has simple text syntax for creating new pages and cross-links between internal pages, allowing the emergence of a non-linear, evolving, complex, and networked environment. 
A wiki will typically afford a series of meta-features, such as the history of a page (including comparison of versions and roll-back to earlier versions), notification of revisions, and discussion spaces assigned to particular pages. In this way, producing content and structure in the wiki can be accompanied by comments, discussion, and annotations. This is where the interdependent and collective orientation of the wiki emerges. What separates the wiki from other online, distributed environments is its open architecture. The design implies that structure is not imposed or predetermined (as in an LMS) but emerges as a result of participation. It allows users to edit the overall organization of contributions as the content itself. 
Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often created collaboratively by multiple users. The essence of the wiki concept may be described as follows:

  • A wiki invites all users to edit any page or to create new pages within the wiki website, using only a web browser.
  • A wiki promotes meaningful topic associations between different pages, by making page link creation intuitive and showing whether an intended target page exists or not.
  • A wiki is not a carefully crafted site for casual visitors. Instead, it seeks to involve the visitor in an ongoing process of creation and collaboration that constantly changes the website landscape.

Wikis may serve many different purposes. Examples include community websites, corporate intranets, knowledge management systems, and note-taking. Below are some examples of uses:

  • Collecting historical data and building encyclopaedic content: purpose heavily inspired from Wikipedia, it is frequently used within companies.
  • Drafting and reviewing material: co-design of public documents, reports, books, grant requests, documentation, annotated bibliography, meeting minutes, writing assignments, etc.
  • Keeping directories updated: keep personal or collective information up to date through easy administration. A famous example is Diplopedia, the wiki of the US Diplomatic Department.
  • Project knowledge management: collaborative activities such as brainstorming, sharing of ideas, coordination of activities, etc.
  • Diffusing temporary events: as a public website, a wiki may host information about a conference program, speakers, list of talks, etc. Information can be easily updated by editors.

1.2 The Wiki Way

A defining characteristic of wiki technology is the ease with which pages can be created and updated. Generally, there is no review before modifications are accepted. Many wikis are also largely open to the public and an explicit effort has been made to lower the barrier to participation as much as possible both at the technical level and at the social level.
According to The Wiki Way, “Open editing has some profound and subtle effects on the wiki’s usage. Allowing everyday users to create and edit any page in a Web site [...] encourages democratic use of the Web and promotes content composition by non-technical users.” 
Trust people and the process is a major element in the wiki way. It has been observed that in most cases, when editors are given the freedom to stir the direction of a project in a direction or another and have developed a sense of ownership, they tend to self-organize to support the development of the project in a meaningful and positive way rather than let it all fall into chaos.
Another parameter related to the wiki way is the elevation of transparency to a central principle of leadership. Every single action made by an editor is recorded and is visible to all other editors. This transparency makes it possible for every editor to know what is going on, at the global level and at the fine-grain level, a situation that fosters a sense of ownership and trust.

1.3 Collaborative learning

Traditional learning environments are often characterized by one-way knowledge transmission processes in which the teacher, as the only source of knowledge, assigns a learning activity that is carried out autonomously by the student. Such processes strip the learning process of its social dimension.
Collaborative learning strategies can strengthen this dimension by creating the conditions for learning, or individual cognitive development, as a result of group interaction.

a) Definition and advantages

Collaboration is the process of interaction amongst people who share the same goal. It requires individuals to be jointly engaged and coordinate their efforts in order to solve a problem or produce a product together. Thus, collaborative learning is a social activity. It involves individual learning processes, but is not reducible to it. Collaborative learning is defined as an instructional method in which students at various performance levels work together in small groups toward a common goal. The expected outcome of collaborative learning is shared construction of knowledge among students, or the creation of an artifact or product of their learning. Collaborative learning activities include collaborative writing, group projects, joint problem solving, debates, study teams, and other activities.
Collaborative learning implies a change in the roles of the instructor and students. Indeed, collaborative instruction is student-centered, and knowledge is viewed as a social construct which is enhanced by both the instructor and the peers. Thus, learning shifts from instructor-oriented instruction to student-oriented collaboration, and students build a community as they are learning with and for others. Students learn by expressing their questions, pursuing lines of inquiry together, teaching each other and seeing how others are learning. As a result, collaborative learning processes put learners not only as responsible for their own learning, but also for constructing new knowledge with other learners.
Collaborative learning processes can offer numerous benefits, such as increasing student involvement with the subject matter, enhancing critical thinking skills, promoting problem-solving skills, and encouraging student learning and achievement.

b) Cooperative learning versus collaborative learning

Cooperative learning defines a teacher-structured experience where students work together with pre-assigned roles to accomplish a group task. Student success depends on each of the members of the group accomplishing their part of the work. Cooperative learning is a teacher-centric activity where the teacher determines the outcomes, assigns students’ roles, and often develops the procedures to be followed by each group.
In contrast, collaborative learning defines student-centred experiences where learners examine an assigned task to determine how the team will approach the assignment. Roles are determined by the group, providing flexible autonomy for the collaborative team. In many cases, learners self-monitor the contributions of each team to ensure quality. The instructor is brought into the process as facilitator as needed.

c) Associated theories

The following theories are associated to collaborative learning environments.

Constructivism argues that humans generate knowledge and meaning from an interaction between their experiences and their ideas. Thus, learners actively construct knowledge by interpreting new knowledge based on their prior knowledge. Constructivist teaching approaches provide students with opportunities to participate in authentic activities requiring them to interact with their environment and create their own understanding. Constructivist teaching moves students beyond the accumulation of knowledge, as it involves them in critically thinking, reflecting, and using knowledge.
In such socio-constructivism contexts, students are offered the opportunity to learn through social, collaborative activities that occur in a meaningful context and allow them to make connections between their prior experiences and their new experiences. In these learner-centered educational contexts, teachers act as facilitators who guide students who explore their environment and construct their own knowledge.

Connectivism is a contemporary theory, portrayed as a learning theory for the digital age, which provides a premise and a framework that are useful for understanding collaborative learning in an online environment. Through connectivism, learning in the digital age is no longer dependent on individual knowledge acquisition, storage, and retrieval; rather, it occurs when individuals connect with each other and with technology, through interaction with various sources of knowledge (including the Internet and learning management systems), and participation in communities of common interest, social networks, and group tasks. Thus, learning consists of retrieving information from self, others, and machines. 
From this perspective, effective learners are those who can cope with complexity, contradictions, and large quantities of information, who seek out various sources of knowledge, and who can create and sustain learning communities and networks. 
Simply put, connectivism defines a networked learning model that takes into account the massive technological and societal changes that characterize the late twentieth and early twenty first century.  On an internal level, individuals learn by the connections that are formed in their brains (neural networks), while on an external level, they learn by creating networks with other individuals and repositories of knowledge.  

Virtual Communities of Practice (VCoP)
Traditionally, communities of practice (CoPs) have been defined by Wenger as “groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly”. Wenger points out three characteristics of the relation throughout which practice becomes the source of coherence of a community:
a) The domain – the subject of interest that brings members together;
b) The community – members build relationships of mutual engagement that enable them to learn from each other;
c) The practice – the shared repertoire of resources, such as experiences, stories, tools, and ways of addressing recurring problems.In many cases, the creation and evolution of the CoP can be scattered over a broad geographical area. In such contexts, collaboration needs to be supported by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), thus forming Virtual Community of Practice (VCoP).

Computer Supported Collaborative Learning
Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) has emerged with the increased use of technologies in educational settings. CSCL takes advantages of Internet resources (online communication tools such as discussion boards, e-mail, video conferencing and chat rooms) to facilitate communication and collaboration among students. Thus, students can review their thinking, present new forms of knowledge, and are exposed to multiple views from groups.
A wide range of empirical studies have provided evidence that a CSCL environment can enhance the learning process and outcomes. Such discussions focus on how technology infrastructure affects the social nature of learning. Online collaborative learning processes can fit into different categories, according to a time-space matrix: whether the collaboration is collocated or not, and whether it is synchronous or asynchronous.
More specifically, web 2.0 technologies, such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, and RSS feeds, have the potential to complement, enhance, and add new collaborative dimensions to learning.  Web 2.0 technologies are perceived as being especially connected, allowing users to develop Web content collaboratively. In particular:

  • the communication between groups (to review each others’ actions and to allow those actions to benefit each other member of a community);
  • the communication between many people (to publish for a large audience);
  • gathering and sharing resources (gathering and making material available);
  • collaborative collecting and indexing of information (new ways of organizing and finding knowledge objects);
  • new tools for knowledge aggregation and creation  of new knowledge.

Wikis represent a powerful 2.0 technology which tend to lend themselves particularly well to collaborative learning processes.

1.4 Taxonomy of collaboration

The word collaboration encompasses several meanings. 

The taxonomy of collaboration facilitate the understanding of each of them, from an individual participation to a synergistic collaboration.
Figure 1: taxonomy of collaboration

Each step in the collaboration process requires a higher amount of trust amongst participants. This illustration may be adapted to every domain, including education.

- At the lowest level, collaboration essentially results in a dialogue, sharing of facts and opinions on a specific topic between the teacher and the students.

Teachers may set up peer-review processes among students (for example, each student reviews and grades the work done by another student).

Another type of collaboration may consist of the production of a collective project commonly agreed upon, but in which each student is in charge of a specific task (e.g. co-writing a story book, with each story being written by an individual student). The parallel collaboration does not really require any review or coordination, but a general agreement to publish together.

Sequential collaboration requires a more coherent set of work with a coordination system among participants: in such context, each student has a specific task, but this task has a prerequisite and/or an impact on the other students work.

- The true synergistic collaboration occurs when the group self-organize and co-edit the work. Ultimately, it is no more possible to say which student has written what as participation is mixed and merged.

Teaching environments frequently feature dialogue between participants (teachers and students). However, peer-review between students is far less frequently implemented though very rich in experience for all. Co-editing is quite frequent as well, in particular when 2 or 3 students are asked to work together to submit a report on a specific topic. However, when left to self-organize, most students will tend to agree on a report structure and on a list of tasks and will attribute the tasks, more frequently resulting in a parallel collaboration, than sequential or synergistic. Part of the reasons for division of tasks is that chapters are written separately on a desktop document by each student before being reunited before submission. 
Wikis may facilitate synergistic collaboration by providing a central and unique writing environment.

1.5 Pedagogical applications of wikis

Wiki software is relatively flexible, and can be adapted to a wide range of learning environments and to various educational levels.There may be four different forms of educational wikis:
a) Single-user wikis enable collecting and editing thoughts using a web-based environment.
b) Small wikis enable students keeping notes online and allow peer reviewing and edition by fellow students.
c) Collaborative writing wikis can be used by a team for joint writing.
d) Knowledge base wikis provide a knowledge repository for a group.
The four main uses of wikis may be listed as such
- Co-authoring (writing technical documentation, writing Q&A, grant requests, creative writing, annotated bibliography)
- Meetings (defining the agenda, recording participant names, writing reports, archiving reports, collaboratively drafting decisions on the go, online voting)
Brainstorming and community of practice (Gathering and publishing of good practices, discussions, summaries of thoughts)
Project management (Collaboratively listing tasks, resources, prerequisites, deadlines, completion status)

A few very specific examples are listed below :
Writing assignments
Wikis can be used for class project with an encyclopedic format (instructions, user manuals, glossaries, etc.) or a bibliographic format (that requires students to locate websites related to a topic). They can also support the creation of handbooks (e.g. students can build a guide to correct punctuation, which could be compiled and evaluated as a class, giving every student a stake in the project and benefiting each from the authoring process).  Another option may be to implement collaborative creative writing, in which students collaboratively write a story through a wiki. 
Project-based learning
Wikis represent a powerful tool for project planning and documentation. When used for collaborative class projects, they allow students to meet virtually at their convenience and work on projects together. Wikis can be useful in project knowledge management, including brainstorming and exchange of ideas, coordination of activities, coordination and records of meetings, etc.
Online / distance education
Wikis are useful tools for facilitating online learning groups.  Indeed, they can support the dissemination of information, thus enhancing the exchange of ideas and facilitating group interaction. Further, wikis can be used to create a set of documents that reflect the shared knowledge of the learning group.

1.6. Key competencies

The relevant use of wikis in educational contexts would enable to develop a set Wiki Key Competencies, which are resumed below.

Key Wiki Competences (KWC)        Description
Creativity and innovation
  • Elaborate, refine, analyse and Evaluate one's own ideas,
  • develop and communicate new ideas to others effectively,
  • Become open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives,
  • View failure as an opportunity to learn.
Critical thinking, problem solving, decision making
  • Examine, analyse and evaluate ideas, arguments, and beliefs, and compare alternative points of view,
  • Present arguments.
Learning to learn
  • Self-manage and reflect critically on learning processes, objects and purposes.
  • Express with clarity and awareness of audience and purpose,
  • Write, read and understand in mother tongue,
  • Write, read and understand in additional language,
  • Monitor the writing process (from drafting to proofreading)
  • Formulate arguments in a convincing manner.
  • Interact effectively with others,
  • Read others’ contributions with  patience and honesty,
  • Work effectively in diverse teams, respecting social and cultural differences,
  • Guide and lead others (teachers roles),
  • Find where and how to contribute, and to put abilities at the service of a common objective.
Information literacy
  • Access and evaluate information critically and effectively,
  • Manage information from a variety of sources,
  • Apply a fundamental understanding of the ethical and legal issues,
  • Know how to use the information creating or using the structure created in the wiki environment.
ICT literacy
  • Access and evaluate ICT tools critically and competently.
Citizenship, local and global
  • Display solidarity by contributing to the local or the wider community,
  • Contribute to the construction of common goods.
Life and career
  • Adapt to change, operating in varied roles and responsibilities,
  • Be flexible, incorporating feedback effectively and negotiating diverse views and beliefs to reach workable solutions.
Personal and social responsibility
  • Show interest in and respect for others,
  • Be willing to overcome stereotypes and prejudices,
  • Be open to compromise,
  • Be sensitive to cultural differences,
  • Resistance to stereotyping and positive attitude towards inter-cultural communication.

Table 1: The Wiki Key Competencies

Part 2. The WikiSkills training approach

2.1. The global vision

In order to design meaningful wiki-based activities, it is important to consider many different parameters that characterise the teaching context, such as the specific characteristics of the learning audience, the specific learning objectives, the evaluation approach, the time-space resources or the technical requirements of the games. Moreover, the step by step organization of the learning activities should be planned.  
The WikiSkills approach we propose is designed with several steps, some of which being common to all training scenarios.

The first steps in setting up a training scenario is to understand as best as possible the target audience, to establish the prerequisite of the training session, to decide how to present the training session to the target audience, and to identify arguments to motivate them as well as lower their fears and address their main criticisms.

All participants will then go through a common training session providing them with basics. Those basics will essentially aim at introducing them to the wiki culture.
Depending on the public and the goal of the training with regards to wiki uses, different scenarios will be possible. It is important to state that when we use the keyword wiki or wikis, it means "collaborative online web2.0 tools using wiki or wiki-alike co-editing environments"
The 4 main environments identified are :

  1. Wikipedia and sister project of the wikimedia foundation
  2. Other open wiki-based encyclopedias
  3. Wiki specific projects for public or private uses
  4. Collaborative wiki-alike social web tools, such as : online documents, online PAD or social bookmarking

Wiki is not only a tool but a culture.

The last step of the training session will focus on the different means that can be envisioned to evaluate students. It is also very much suggested to get feedback from participants about the training session so as to bring any improvement that might be worth it.

2.2. Prerequisite & Preparation

A typical training session will start by publishing a proposition. Whatever the target audience, the proposition needs to be appealing. There are many means to do that, but some points should be kept in mind whilst preparing the proposition.

1) There should be a pedagogical goal in mind, which is of direct interest to the trainees. Learning "what is a wiki" is interesting, but the real need of the trainee is not to "know what a wiki is and how it works", but to know what it is useful for, so that he can identify which of his problems it will solve. A frequent need amongst candidates is also to understand when it really make sense to use a wiki rather than another tool for a very specific need he has in mind. The motivation to join the training session will be much higher if from the very start, the trainee can keep in mind what he will practically get the knowledge he intends to gain.
Whenever possible, the specific learning scenario chosen for the training session should aim to be practical and immediately benefit the trainee. For example, if the participant intends to use wikis to do some co-authoring of documents, it will be best to chose a scenario that will address this need. This can be addressed with an initial questioning of the trainee.

2) The proposition should also mention side benefits of following the training session in particular when the trainee does not actually have a very specific learning goal in mind. Examples could be typically "better employability" or "improving social skills" or "improve self-recognition by peer". Benefits should be mentioned according to the target audience of course.

3) The proposition should aim at dispersing FUD amongst prospective participants (fear, uncertainty, doubts). For example, when they hear the word "wiki", many participants think "Wikipedia". Whilst many enjoy the online encyclopedia, others may experience the fear that some of the editorial specificities of Wikipedia actually be general to all wikis (for example, Wikipedia is open to editing by everyone. Some people will think all wikis are open to editing by everyone. This is not true. Wikis may be private. Or wikis may be public but with restricted editing rights). It will be important to address FUD during the training session, but this can also be partly done prior to the session. One way to do that is to invite prospective participants to watch some videos tackling some issues beforehand, or read some documents prior to the training session. In short, it is important to initiate a climate of trust from the very beginning.

4) The proposition should address the time factor. Some prospective participants will be hesitant to consider using a wiki by fear of "losing time". It is important to outline that, as for many ICT tools, the initial time and energy investment is usually very positively balanced with benefits afterwards. 

5) WikiSkills training should increase personal well-being. The proposition could also include the fact that whilst the wiki is by essence a collective tool, it is also a great mean to get rewards in terms of reputation, visibility and recognition by peers..

6) The proposition should make it clear that a prerequisite to the session should be that the participant has a certain degree of ICT skills. A participant still struggling in how to switch on his computer or to toggle between applications should be encourage to first focus on basic ICT skills as accepting him/her as trainee will only create frustration and will slow down the entire group. It may be possible to identify low-skilled people beforehand through an initial questioning and suggest them initial activities before the training session itself

7) In general, the proposition will be stronger if not presented only as the acquisition of technical skills but also as a mean to get better awareness as netizen (for example, the training will include elements related to author rights and responsibilities).

To summarize, the preparation step should include
* The creation of an appealing proposition for training courses
* The set-up of a package of resources meant to attract, inform and reassure prospective participants
* The identification of the characteristics of the target group
* The setup of a self-assessment questionnaire to provide participants prior to the training session

2.3. Common body - Introduction to wiki culture

As teacher/trainer, you might not have a lot of time to introduce the wiki-culture and related wiki skills.
But still : in order to gain time, it is useful to start introducing these issues with 10 to 120 minutes. Why ?
Mostly because using wiki means collaborating on the same documents, it is not only a technical skill but also a behavioural shift.
Secondly because we suggest you to make an global introduction to the entire wiki-culture, before focusing on specific scenarios, in order to plant a seed in the mind of your audience about the large potential of using wikis and other collaborative tools in various contexts.

The time spent in introducing should depend on how deep you intend to go in applying the wiki culture in your courses.
For example : if you plan to launch a new note-taking culture into your class, and ask your trainees/students to take notes collaboratively on a wiki at every session for the entire year, one or two hours at least will be useful.
If you plan to do a one shot use of wiki (such as a photo hunting), it might be less useful.
Finally, always remember the golden rule of digital fluency : learning by doing. It means that, even in the introduction, if you only stick to theory, you'll probably generate more questions and doubts than when you mix practice and theory.

List of useful elements as common body.
This list of possible pedagogical actions as introduction is provided as a market place. Each action is independent, you can chose to apply it or not, as is or adapted.
A) Present briefly the wiki culture in general (see the pedagogical framework). Topics such as :
- what is a wiki in 5 mn
- what wikis change in knowledge management, the changing paradigm : sharing knowledge instead of keeping it secret
- 4 types of wiki (see scheme with wikimedia sister projects)
- 4 types of uses of wiki (co-authoring, meetings, brainstorming, project management)
- how using wikis impact on employability, social skills, personal well-being
- the issue of collective author rights: the free licensing (4 fundamental freedom, 2 obligations), open licensing (some rights reserved), or exclusive/privatized information (by default when no licence is mentionned), and crossing licences options with the different types of information : functional, official statements, pieces of opinion, art & entertainment etc.

B) Facilitate a roundtable. It can be about : 
- the self-assessment of each participant level of understanding of the issues. This can be done through open comparing (everybody can see the answers of the other) or secret benchmarking (everybody can only see its position in the group, but not how the others answered namely)
- sharing practical experiences on wikis or wiki-like projects
- the fears associated with such practices
- the needs and expectations of participants facing wikiculture and practical application (thus completing the self-assessment)

C) Try to have the most experienced wiki user becoming assistant of the trainer/teacher, and involved to help those less digitally fluent to feel comfortable in the first practical steps into wiki web tools. How ? First by not forgetting to make the initial diagnostic, and then by approaching them either individually or collectively to ask for help.
NB : sometimes, self assessment can be over or under evaluating. This is why the role of the trainer is one of a facilitator.

D) Practical implementation : Get trainees to create an account and briefly present themselves as author in the user page.
Example of an author page : http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilisateur:Move
This element is quite essential. Ideally, the participants would create that their account and edit their use page BEFORE the training starts. You can send them the instructions to do so. But sometimes it's not possible, therefore this element is mentionned here.
A possible way of applying this "implementation" scenario is to make groups of 3-6 participants, with diverse levels of understanding (see preparation and initial self-assessment), and ask the group to collectively make sure each participant of the group has an account and has been through the first editing steps.

E) Deal with FUD issues. Transversally, one useful activity to reduce possible problems of beliefs and motivation afterwards, is to include in each of the activities (presentation, roundtable, practical integration...) a brief debate or simply anticipation of what participants might feel as FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubts), such as : 

- how sharing identities publicly can reinforce peoples development and not generate more problems such as those being stolen/ abused ...

Answer : wiki does not mean mandatorily public editing, in can be in rings of trust. Ŵhen public, it must empower your image/reputation, such as showing your contributions into wikipedia.

- will I lose control of quality if I use a wiki ? 
Answer : wiki culture is only a new way of managing quality, it's not better or worse. Features/functions in wikis such as historydiscussion, alertsrevoking,  and last changes must be understood, appreciated and well used, it's like any culture, it has its codes. The quality of sources is also empowered by wisdom of crowds, as long as the community is large enough, mostly for encyclopedic-oriented content (example, as story-telling : the hidden but essential feature of alerting administrators when 2 people revoke each others post repetitively)

- it will it take me more time to use a wiki.
Answer : yes, at the beginning, like any new complex technology, but then you will gain time by crowdsourcing your actions every time it is possible.

Some tips for the entire session (introduction as well as then in specific scenarios): 

1. When participants do not need to use computer, suggest them to close their screen, in order to get their entire attention. 
2. Organize the training room in circle, in order to break the image of ex cathedra training and empower the ideas of ring of trust, meritocratic approach and other wiki-related codes of conduct.
3. Alternatively, have participants team by groups of 3 at a common table
4. Use beamer also to show your own uses of wikis, instead of showing only slides. 
5. Try to make participants becoming actors of the training, have them working in groups, interview one another, review each other work etc.
6. Test various web tools, not only mediawiki or google docs.
7. Often rely and come back to basics, such as 4 types of wiki environments (and 4 circles of complexity), 4 types of scenarios, the essence of licensing, basic features of history/discussing/editing...

2.4. Planning a wiki-based learning scenario

Below is a guide that can be followed by teachers and trainers, to consider all before designing their wiki-based activities. It aims at facilitating teachers’ process of designing their own wiki-based learning activities. It provides them with guidance and stimulates reflections on the necessary elements to be defined.  

Keywords describing the topic of the scenario
Targeted educational sector:
  1. primary and secondary education
  2. higher education
  3. professional training
  4. adult training

Learners' special characteristicse.g. students:

  • with information accessibility specific needs (deaf, blind...)
  • from rural areas
  • detached from the labor market
  • with exquisite digital skills

Learning subject/ fielde.g.

  • Wikipedia
  • English
  • Physics

Specific educational objectivese.g. make students acquire:

  • writing skills
  • basic knowledge on Roman toponyms and the Celtic culture
  • source criticism
  • cooperation skills

Narrative/sequential description of the learning activities

(Important! Could be a long text)

Learning resourcesinvolvede.g.

  • books
  • online resource like wiki site to acquire knowledge from, e.g.


    • Wikimedia Commons
    • Ekopedia  
    • JurisPedia
  • search engines

Wiki applicationto create content (not to confuse with "Learning resources involved")Which wiki software do the students use to create content, that is, writing and collaborating? Wiki software could for example mean:

  • Stand-alone wiki application like:

MediaWiki (which is used for Wikimedia projects like Wikipedia, Wiktionary etc)

    • DokuWiki
    • FosWiki
    • XWiki
  • Wikifarm application like:


    • PBWorks
    • Wikidot
    • Referata
    • Wikia

Other ICT applications involvede.g. standard computing programs like

  • spreadsheets
  • graphics software

Infrastructure / equipmente.g.

  • Internet connection
  • microphone
  • camera

Prerequisite competencese.g. to be familiar with

  • English writing
  • linear algebra

Evaluation approache.g.

  • peer-to-peer assessment
  • test (teacher evaluate)
  • revision tracking on the wiki
  • group assessment

Typical learning timee.g.

  • How many sessions?
  • How long sessions?

Temporal mod

  • "Synchronous interaction" and / or "Asynchronous interaction"

Typical learning locatione.g.

  • Classroom with computers
  • Classroom without computers
  • Outside the classroom. Where?
  • At home

2.5. Evaluation strategy

Few courses are implemented without an evaluation in mind. WikiSkills' Pedagogical Framework tries to put teachers and trainers in situation to use wiki tools and wiki culture as an innovative approach in their teaching practices, so to enable them to create learning environments interesting and engaging for their students.
The evaluation framework can focus on the following dimensions:

a. The wiki key competences  : To define aspects to be evaluated for the wiki key competences and the collaborative learning processes, we listed a set of 10 competencies (see table in part I for more details) :

  1. Creativity and innovation
  2. Critical thinking, problem solving, decision making
  3. Learning to learn
  4. Communication
  5. Collaboration
  6. Information literacy :
  7. ICT literacy
  8. Citizenship, local and global
  9. Life and career
  10. Personal and social responsibility

b. The collaborative learning : The wiki-based learning scenarios will provide to students a context for working collaboratively in order to achieve a common learning task. The WikiSkills approach will promote connectivist learning strategies and co-construction behaviours, through which students will learn by connecting with each other and with technology.
This dimension will be evaluated merged with the first one, but as the most important wiki key competences, it worth to be shown separated as dimension.
Figure 2: dimensions to be evaluated

c. The scenario-based approach : wiki-based learning activities should be perceived as embedded in a learning scenario that takes into account the different parameters of the teaching / learning context. While planning their learning activities, teachers should take into account the specific characteristics of the learning audience, the specific learning objectives, the evaluation approach, the time-space resources and the technical requirements.  
c. The virtual community of practices : Close to the previous dimension, the VCoP aspect evaluation aims at analysing from the behaviours of the groups to the relationships of mutual engagement that enable them to learn from each other and to work together.

In the basis of this specification, the learning scenarios create by teachers and trainers will be evaluated by these aspects :

  1. Connection with the curriculum
  2. Adaptation of the pedagogical objectives to the profile of the group of students
  3. Integration of the wiki in the planning of the educational activity
  4. Detailed planning of the pedagogical evaluation of students  
  5. Planning of the necessary resources to conduct the educational activity
  6. Sustainability of the scenario

In order to assess the impact of the WikiSkills training approach and project, the WikiSkills team has prepared some evaluation procedures and tools, to measure the followings aspects:
a) the competences fostered by the project,
b) collaborative learning opportunities,
c) the creation of virtual communities of practices, and
d) project’s impacts on the educational communities.
Participants will be asked to participate in the project evaluation, through the following procedures:  

  • Pre and post questionnaires: at the start and at the end of the training session, participants will fulfil a short questionnaire, in order to self-evaluate regarding their wiki-competences.
  • In-depth interviews: some interviews will be performed with selected teachers and trainers, in order to collect their impressions on the training provided, the competences they could acquire, and the project impacts on the educational communities.

2.6. Getting feedback

Last, any training session implemented with the WikiSkills training approach should aim at improving over time. Specific attention should be given after the training session is over to collect and analyse feedback from all parties. A post-mortem may be done in various ways depending on the situation. For example, feedback may be implemented in a very simple and quick way by finishing the session with a short time allowing students to provide feedback by voice. This is in particular appropriate for short term training sessions (eg, a day), for adults in small groups. Another solution might be to set up a quick questionnaire (online poll), situation suitable when time runs short and when students may feel more comfortable with an anonymous feedback. Yet another option may be to collect feedback... on a wiki, making feedback an actual implementation of the wiki tool. 

Part 3. The WikiSkills training curriculum 

The learning approach will be based on blended learning models. These scenarios will include project-based activities through wikis focus on the collaborative aspect of those projects. 
The aims of this training are:

  • To develop awareness of educational advantages of wikis
  • Capability to use and apply wiki tools in education.

3.1 Introduction

We defined a generic training curriculum aiming at structuring a common base of learning for all partners, target groups and environments. In a first section we will detail the generic curriculum. Even if we would like to define some steps and units for the implementation, the curriculum, and so the trainings, will be oriented to active practice more rather than theories: learning by doing. the second section aims at describing how each trainer may adapt the generic curriculum to its target group and training settings.

3.2. Generic training curriculum

The structure of the training curriculum is :

a) Prerequisites

* Learning objectives

  • Main goal is to insure that motivation of teachers/trainers receiving the training is strong enough to have them reproducing/adapting/enlarging widely the scenarios to their public.

* Wiki-key competencies

  • The 10 wiki-key competencies defined in the pedagogical framework, group the specific skills to acquire from wiki tools. They must be present for the development of the scenario.

* Description of training activities

  • Practical exercises. "Learning by doing"

* Learning resources involved

  • Slides: presentation of wiki competencies

* ICT applications involved:

  • Computer with web browser and Internet connection

* Modality:

  • Depending on each trainer (f2f/online/blended)

* Time involved:

  • Depending on each trainer

* Contents:

  • Gain of time based on their everyday actions they could do differently
  • Learning by doing practically (cognitive transition) instead of learning by receiving theories
  • Quite a few prerequisites, aiming that no one starts the face-to-face training without theories and practices; anyone should see that wikiculture is an entire emerging "sustainable" socio-economical environment, not only a software or an encyclopedia. These prerequisites should take a maximum 45 minutes (ideally 20-30 minutes), so that the participants are already involved when they start the training, but not overcharged of preliminary work either.
  • Answers to a questionnaire to know more about their web2 practical experiences, such as this one etudes.ynternet.org (accounts in Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Googledoc, social bookmarking such as diigo or del.icio.us, a PAD such as openetherpad, )
  • Choose a video in the list here: http://wikiskills.cesga.es/xwiki/bin/view/Wiki-Skills/Wiki+related+videos.
    Notice : If people refuse to share content publicly (not intimate information but information for common good such as manual) they should be able to have a direct contact with the trainer (preliminary talk) to see if they can overpass these fears and start editing in public spaces, for example using a pseudonym.
  • Give them access before the start to a publication that they can read (books) and vision (video) online.

b) Basic Wiki knowledge

Learning objectives

  • To know what a wiki is, and to get acquainted with the different wiki functionalities
  • To be introduced to different examples of wiki environments
  • To be able to edit a wiki page
  • To be introduced to the wiki culture

* Wiki-key competences

  • Introduction to the 10 wiki-key competences explaining how they should be developed using wiki tools.

* Description of training activities

  • Brainstorming: evaluation what participants know about wikis
  • Lecture: presentation of wiki functionalities and examples
  • Hands-on session: create an account on Wikipedia and/or on the course wiki and edit some pages
  • Guided debriefing session: the wiki culture

* Learning resources involved

  • Slides: presentation of wiki functionalities and examples
  • Examples of wiki environments

* ICT applications involved:

  • One computer per participant
  • Projector
  • Internet connection

* Modality:

  • Depending on each partner (f2f/online/blended)

* Time involved

  • Depending on each partner

* Contents:
Florence presentation. Wikis are for:

  • Co-authoring (technical, Q&A, grant request...)
  • Meetings (Defining agenda, Recording participant names, Writing reports,)
  • Brainstorming and community of practice (Gathering and publishing of good practices, Discussions)
  • Project management (Listing tasks, Completion status)

c) Teaching with wikis

* Learning objectives:

  • To be able to introduce students to the wiki functionalities
  • To be able to introduce students to the wiki culture;
  • To be able to introduce students to legal issues;
  • To get familiar to the teacher's role within a wiki based learning scenario;
  • To get familiar with wiki-based evaluation methodologies;
  • To get to know how and in which cases to disseminate wiki projects through social networks;
  • To become aware of the opportunities for collaboration among students from different institutions.

* Wiki-key competences

  • How wiki-key competences affect within the teaching through wikis

* Description of training activities:

  • Lecture: teaching with wikis
  • Good practices: in-depth presentation of examples of use of wikis in the classroom
  • Good practices: example of inter-schools scenarios
  • Good practices: examples of promotion and dissemination of wikis
  • Discussion session

* Learning resources involved

  • Slides: teaching with wikis
  • Examples of wiki-based learning scenarios
  • Example of inter-schools scenarios

* ICT applications involved:

  • Projector
  • One computer per participant
  • Internet connection

* Modality:

  • Depending on each partner (f2f/online/blended)

* Time involved

  • Depending on each partner

* Contents

  • Using the list of good practices developed for the state of the art and for the user needs analysis. There is also a compilation in deliverable 3.1.

d) Going beyond

* Learning objectives:

  • To be introduced to the project next steps, i.e. co-design of wiki-based scenarios and collaboration through the WikiSkills open-space

* Wiki-key competences

  • Realise if wiki competences took place during the project and beyond it.

* Description of training activities:

  • Presentation of teachers' wiki projects
  • Lecture: the project's next steps
  • Discussion

* Learning resources involved

  • Slides: the project's next steps

* ICT applications involved:

  • Projector
  • Computer
  • Internet connection

* Modality:

  • Depending on each partner (f2f/online/blended)

* Time involved

  • Depending on each partner

* Contents

  • Different possibilities and examples on how to continue developing wiki projects or communities.
  • Propositions to improve the sustainability of wiki based tools for educational means

Next schema tries to show graphically the layout proposed by the generic training curriculum


Figure 3 : Generic training curriculum

3.3 Adaptation of the generic training curriculum for each target group

Due to the specificities of each target group, environments, settings, cultures and partners, the generic curriculum described above must be adapted. The curriculum described above aims at define general guidelines for trainers in order to have a global structure to take in account for the development of training scenarios. WikiSkills is focusing on the 4 different target groups (Comenius, Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci and Grundtvig) and even if they have their particularities in order of age and educational background, inside wiki-culture those differences are relative merged because we considered all of them as contributors or users in a same level.
We just make differences between Comenius and the rest (adults), so scenarios addressed to Comenius public, concerning training with children, will be adapted taking in account the approach to new technologies and the game orientated contents.

3.4 Evaluation of the training

The evaluation framework aims first at identifying tools for validating the adequacy of learning scenarios. It will lead to the refinement of the scenarios for trainings in the different targets groups of the Lifelong Learning Programme.
The evaluation framework define the tools needed to assess the trainings, those tools are :

  1. Pre questionnaire : A quantitative analysis based on the indicators for each dimension to be evaluated. This questionnaire will be develop at the WikiSkills e-learning platform based on Chamilo software. It consist in questions and competences to be evaluated (from 1 to 5) from the users expectations.
  2. Post questionnaire : A quantitative analysis based on the indicators for each dimension to be evaluated. This questionnaire will be develop at the WikiSkills e-learning platform based on Chamilo software. It consist in questions to be evaluated (from 5 possibilities) concerning the training.
  3. Expert evaluation: Specially designed for the learning scenario dimension. The tool consist in a likert scale with tick list completed with collected comments on the different aspects to be evaluated.This questionnaire will be develop at the WikiSkills e-learning platform based on Chamilo software.
  4. In-depth interview : the interviews will be performed with selected teachers, based on their interest / involvement in the project. The interview is composed of questions for all dimensions to be evaluated as guidelines, so each partner must adapt, complete and conduct it for each person and case.
  5. Statistics from the on-line platforms (optional) : WikiSkills project bring the opportunity to teachers to use an open space based on MediaWiki software, and an e-learning platform based on Chamilo. These tools bring some statistic data available to admin users. This module could bring valuable information concerning activity and timing of the work in progress, that will complement the results of the others instruments.

Part 4. Training scenarios

Specific learning scenarios may be used during the training. These scenarios are good practices of educational uses of wikis, which were implemented in real teaching contexts and successful. 

As a preliminary remark to the definition of scenarios and curriculum, it is important to clarify the scope covered by the term "wiki" here:  when we use the keyword wiki or wikis, it means "collaborative online web 2.0 tools using wiki or wiki-alike co-editing environments".

It refers to 4 main environments identified :

  1. Wikipedia and sister project of the wikimedia foundation : wikibooks, wiktionary,, wikivoyage, wikispecies...
  2. Other open encyclopedias such as ekopedia for ecology, vikidia for youth 8-13, jurispedia for jurists, solecopedia for social economy, minecraftwiki for Minecraft players...
  3. Wiki specific projects for public or private uses,(e.g.: the netizens book at netizen3.org, the openspace for wikiskills. at wskills.cesga.es,  PBworks for brainstorming, etc.)
  4. Collaborative wiki-alike social webtools, such as : online documents (googledocs, sharepoints, wiki in Moodle...), online PAD (openetherpad, framapad...), social bookmarking (diigo.com, del.icio.us...), todo list management (trello, wunderlist, teuxdeux...).

The more people try to confront on level 1 or 2, the more they can experiment and benefit from the wisdom of crowds in action.


Figure 4 : 4 types of collaborative wiki-alike environments 

As a reminder, there are four main applications of wikis
- Co-authoring (writing technical documentation, writing Q&A, grant requests, creative writing, annotated bibliography)
- Meetings (defining the agenda, recording participant names, writing reports, archiving reports, collaboratively drafting decisions on the go, online voting)
Brainstorming and community of practice (gathering and publishing of good practices, discussions, summaries of thoughts)
Project management (collaboratively listing tasks, resources, prerequisites, deadlines, completion status)

We will give an example of a scenario for each context, then propose a larger list of detailed scenarios to explore and conclude with a list of other scenarios and ideas to explore.

4.1 Four examples of detailed learning scenarios

Notice that these four examples use different format and structure, since they respond to very different needs with different contexts.

a) Example of a scenario to train for “co-authoring” as a wiki use.

Collaborative storytelling with wikis

The SoRuraLL project is a practical example of a scenario implementation.

The SoRuraLL project (LLP Program, KA3, 2009-2010) aimed to investigate the potential for enhanced lifelong learning offered by social networking tools and platforms to those living in geographically and socio-economically disadvantaged rural areas. In this context, several Spanish rural multigrade primary schools, with students aged between 3 and 12, have been conducting common educational activities enhanced by social networking tools. Their participation has been coordinated by  Future Learning research team (www.futurelearning.org), an initiative within the University of Barcelona. One of the main outcomes of the SoRuraLL project was a web-based platform called SoRuraLL Virtual Learning World (VLW). It was co-designed by the project’s partners and consisted of a user friendly web interface to a private environment adapted to the evolving interests of the rural communities. This activity consisted, for two schools (CEIP Rellinars and CEIP Sant Serni – Prats), in co-designing a hypermedia story of the “choose your own adventure” type, by using a Wiki application.


Wiki, Storytelling, Choose Your Own Adventure, co-writing

Targeted educational sector

Primary and secondary education

Learners' special characteristics

Students from rural schools who are used to express themselves in Catalan.

Learning subject/ field

Spanish, reading, writing, digital literacy

Specific educational objectives

- practice creative writing skills, artistic skills 
- practice linguistic communication skills (Spanish)
- practice reading skills
- practice digital skills
- improve social and collaboration skills face-to-face and virtually

Narrative/sequential description of the learning activities

Each participating school participated in the design of the story. Students, guided by their teacher, wrote assigned sessions of the story and illustrated them with pictures, drawings and other types of media (videos, sounds effects, etc.). The story was organised in different nodes (each node represents a place of the story, in which a specific action takes place) and actions (that go from a place to another). Each node corresponds to a wiki page. Thus, the story constitutes an interactive hypertextual environment. 
1) The first school designed the beginning of the story, by asking the following questions (brainstorming among teacher and students): 
- What is the story about?
- When does the story take place? 
- Who is the hero (age, appearance, etc.)? 
- What is the objective of the story? 
On this basis, students wrote the first section of the story (the first node) in a collaborative way in the wiki platform, with texts and other types of media. Moreover, they wrote two possible actions between which the hero will have to choose. 
2) The other participating schools read the story, corrected the eventual errors, and continued it, according to a predefined time scheduler, by writing the following of one of the actions set by the first school. 
3) Repetition of the second phase until the end of the story. 
All along the activity, teachers of the different participating schools communicated, through a dedicated forum topic, in order to plan the details and directions of the story and the collaboration.

Wiki application

The wiki platform of the SoRuraLL Virtual Learning World

Other ICT applications involved

- Dabbleboard, in order to edit the structure of the story visually (mandatory)
- Image editing tools, video editing tools, sound editing tools (optional)

Infrastructure / equipment

- Mandatory: PC with Internet connection 
- Optional: digital/video camera, microphone

Prerequisite competences

- Teacher: knowledge on wikis usage, acquaintance with choose-your-own-adventure type of games/stories/scenarios 
- Students: depending on the grade -> responsibility for concrete activity

Evaluation approach

Indicators of success: 
- at the end of the pilot implementation, to have a complete and consistent Choose Your Own Adventure story 
- equality of the participation level of all schools or at least high participation of several schools 
- quality of the written text (e.g. if the teachers do not correct errors, misprints, malformed sentences, etc. whether the story is readable/contains many errors)

Typical learning time

6 sessions of 2-3 hours per school, organized weekly

Typical learning location

The classroom


A. Familiarization with 2.0 technologies 
The activity provided the schools with a context to use 2.0 technologies in learning settings. Indeed, students could experiment new social software applications, such as Wikis. Moreover, they had the opportunity to practice their previously acquired skills with 2.0 tools (e.g. Youtube), and discover new ways of their possible utilizations in educational settings. Indeed, they could appreciate new possibilities of such tools, such as communication, achievement of a common project, co-construction of knowledge and rapprochement.  
B. Collaboration skills 
As students were aware of the fact that what they wrote would be read and edited by other students, they felt more involved in the activity. Indeed, they realized that they had to adapt their discourse, language and narrative to the other school’s students.  
C. Language learning and narrative skills 
The activity enabled students to practice Spanish reading and writing, which is important as the two participating schools are located in Catalonia, and most of the students do not have the occasion to practice Spanish. Moreover, the narrative aspect of the activity enabled students to develop reading, writing and imagination skills, in reaction to what the other students had written.
D. Motivation 
The collaborative aspect of the activity increased students’ motivation, who were aware of the fact that their contributions would be read by other students. They were very impatient to see the other school’s feedback. Furthermore, the complete story is open for view from external audiences (i.e. the Internet). This represents a motivational element for students and teachers when conducting the activity. Indeed, as students and teachers are aware that they have an audience which goes outside the classroom, they feel more responsible and involved with the content they publish, and adapt this content according to the type of audience, thus increasing the quality of the produced content.  

 It has been observed that schools did not edit the pages posted by others, in order to not offend at each other.
Certain aspects of the activity might further be improved. As an example, the story has evolved in many ramifications, which caused difficulties for students in perceiving it globally. Students sometimes got confused and lost in its structure.

b) Example of a scenario to train for “meeting” as a wiki use.

Co-reporting the content of a meeting with online collaborative note-taking.

This curriculum aims at training adult trainers in developing courses where they coach their audience (students/trainee...) to take actively part in co-report the content of a meeting with online collaborative note-taking.

This content can be : 
- Decisions,
- Minutes, 
- Ideas (brainstorm)

The curriculum will introduce three different types of tools to help audience identify best uses for each : 
PAD, wikis, and googledocs

type of webtool






mediawiki, Xwiki and other GPL-based wiki tools  

asynchronous editing


discussion pages

urls and links


PADs like etherpad

synchronous editing with color tracking




None. KISS

Google "docs"

synchronous editing


chat + annotation system

may link to other googledrive project


Prerequisites and tools

Ideally, the trainer will chose a real topic for the meeting, for example :
* Working group coordination meeting (committee, general assembly, piloting team..)
* Brainstorming on a future action (promotion campaign, planning 
* Online teleconference
Material  required
* Personal computer
* Internet connexion
* Beamer
 The trainer set up the context 

1. Will explain the goal of the session: discovering new tools to facilitate note taking and dissemination of final notes. Meanwhile, also discovering the benefits of co-writing and discussing the merit of collective decision making.
2. It may be a real meeting or simulation of a real meeting
3. Trainer explains which are the goals of the meeting (providing information, making decisions; listing tasks; brainstorming etc.) and the expected outcomes.
4. Trainer attribute roles for participants (facilitator; timekeeper). She may also attribute attitudes to further support the role play (enthusiastic supporter, devil advocate; etc.)

Preparation of the meeting: using google docs

1. Preparation prior to training session.
Prior to the session, the teacher will have prepare a little document posted on google docs to be read by students before the official meeting start. It can typically be a bit of documentation needed to support decision making. 
For example, if the goal of the meeting is to decide between three companies to visit, the googledoc may feature a quick presentation of each of the three companies. 
The teacher send a link to a google doc to all trainees.
2. Study of the google doc alone
The students are asked to do as if they were in their office alone before the meeting. 
The teacher send them a link to the google docs. Each student is asked to (alone) read the document and to annotate it (dropping questions or notes) to prepare the meeting.
Students are invited to answer other students question left on the googledoc.
Students are left to experiment by themselves alone for a while.
3. Debrief
After some 10-15 mn, debriefing session. The teacher ask students questions such as
* how did you feel when using that tool ? (lost, confident, happy, very nervous etc.)
* what happened ? did you find your way ? did you annotate the document ? Did you answer other participants questions ?
* what did you learn ? 
* how does this related to the real world (comparison with their usual practices such as annotation of a word document received by email)
* what if ? (we had used another mean such as an common email to all of you rather than the google doc)
* what is next ? What do you want to learn more ?

4. More training on google docs by demo :
Go back to google doc for a live demo of its features (different types of file, access to the files, sharing options, history of documents)
Points to think of :
- synchronous editing possible but not easy to track
- only one document, but related/groups possible
- annotation feature

5. allow students to experiment further
Individually on the same document. Ask them to create a document, to make a couple of changes, to look at history, and to share it with others.

During the meeting

1. Tools that may be used
* http://etherpad.org/public-sites/
* http://www.framapad.org

2. Using a pad to support the meeting
The trainer send a link to an etherpad session, created for the training
It is used for coaching the participants step by step, to write down minutes of the meeting.
The trainer kickstart the meeting (or rather... ask the chair to do so). 
All the participants are invited to contribute in co-editing the pad, based on the inputs of the participants (they can add links, modify the text, transcript in a written form the guidelines given by the teacher.
They can also start chatting in the chat of the pad.
Make sure that at least one decision be made and recorded. 

3. Debriefing :
In a similar way than above.
* how do you feel ? (lost, confident, happy etc.)
* what happened ? reflect in particular on how notes were taken and on how the vote took place and was recorded on the pad. Are the notes complete ?
* what did you learn ? 
* how does this related to the real world (such as one person taking handwritten notes during the meeting, writing them doing on Word afterwards, sending them by email for approbation one month later)
* what if ? we had used google docs.... differences with the previous tool ? Do you know other tools ?
* what is next ? What do you want to learn more ?

Points to think of :
- synchronous editing great
- only one document
- chat feature
- color feature

4. Voting trends in collaborative environment (optional)
Open discussion on various voting systems
5. Intellectual property and collective production
Open discussion on intellectual property rights within a collective text (in particular outline the benefits the tracking who added what and when in terms of legitimacy, transparency and attribution)
6. more training on etherpad by demo
Go back to etherpad for a live demo by the teacher of its features (login/color, sharing options, history, access rights)
7. allow students to experiment further
Individually on the same document. Or on another pad. Ask them to create a new pad, to make a couple of changes, to look at history, and to share it with others.

At the end of the meeting

1. Tools that may be used
* http://www.mediawiki.org
* http://www.wikispaces.com/
* http://pbworks.com/

2. Open discussion on options for setting up an archive of the minutes
Trainer discuss with trainees on what to do next.. Some examples include
- copy paste and send the minutes by email
- let it there on the pad... (discuss opening own instance of etherpad in the company for more security)
- move it to a knowledge platform such as a wiki. 

3. Discovery of a wiki and demo by the trainer
What is it ? Which uses ? Discovery of wiki-based projects (eg. Wikipedia). Main features (editable, history, recent changes).
4. Training on a wiki
Propose a wiki instance.
Propose to copy paste the notes taken on etherpad.
Each student create an account on the wiki, modify a page and explore.

5. Debriefing
In a similar way than above.
* how do you feel ? (lost, confident, happy etc.)
* what happened ? reflect on how the transfer between etherpad and wiki was managed
* what did you learn ? 
* how does this related to the real world (how do you currently archives meeting notes)
* what if ? we had used google docs to archive ? Or etherpad ?.... differences with the previous tools ?
* what is next ? What do you want to learn more ?
Points to think of
- great for asynchronous editing. Synchronous editing not practical
- many documents, interlinking between documents. Categorizing
- openness & transparency
- key functions : read, edit, see history, comment, revoke, recent changes

6. allow students to experiment further
Individually on the same document. Or on another. Ask them to
* create a wiki page
* to make a couple of changes
* to look at history
* to look at what others are doing, drop them a comment and modify their text

Summary and conclusion
 Participants are divided in groups of 4-5 people maximum. 
They are given a large sheet of paper and asked to draw a visual summary of what they learned and will remember. Words not allowed.
Teacher proposes a roundtable to collect participants final feedback
Students are asked to make personal commitments.

c) Example of a scenario to train for “brainstorming-sharing practices” as a wiki use.

Collecting informal feedbacks after cours

Title of the scenario

Collecting informal feedbacks after cours

Brief introduction

The main idea is to let pupils free to add comments and suggestions at the end of one course.

Teachers prepare a wiki space concerning a course. At the end of the course, they give the possibility to give feedbacks of the session and structure the comments into different categories or subjects.


Collectively writing feedbacks

Application in educational context

This scenario has been used within the eLearning platform CyberLearn of the HES-SO (University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland). The platform is a moodle based one. The access is restricted to students and teachers.

There is a public of more or less 20'000 students.

Targeted educational sector:

All public

Learning subject/ field

Concerns any educational subject

Specific educational objectives

writing skills, complementary information

Narrative/sequential description of the learning activities

This scenario has been applied at the end of ICT courses for engineers of HES-SO (Group of 12-25 people) within the eLearning sessions of CyberLearn platform (moodle)

A wiki page is created for each course. These pages were meant to host feedbacks of each course. The choice of topics is free and there is also place to suggestions, advices or simply comments.

Teachers must encourage students to build a structured information. Usually they give 10-15 min. to this exercise.

Evaluation approach e.g.

  • peer-to-peer assessment

  • test (teacher evaluate)

  • revision tracking

  • group assessment

Global information/feedback an its structure

Typical learning time e.g.

  • How many sessions?

  • How long sessions?

10-15 min after a course.

Temporal mode "Synchronous interaction" and / or "Asynchronous interaction"


Typical learning location e.g.

  • Classroom with computers

  • Classroom without computers

  • Outside the classroom. Where?

  • At home

Classroom with computers or eLearning configuration

d) Example of a scenario to train for “project management” as a wiki use.

Documenting a training course

This scenario is designed to train students/trainee to document a training session.
During the training session, students will collaboratively take notes of what is being said by the teacher. After the session, they will have to complete the notes in adding any relevant information to the notes (such as images, videos, external links of interest, bibliography) as if they were preparing the training notes for the teacher.
They will present the outcome of their work at the following face to face session.
The scenario does not limit itself to note taking but also require from the students to organize the work as a project, with tasks, roles and time management.

Prerequisites and tools
The trainer will chose a regular topic of one of his training session. It will preferably be something totally unrelated to wikis.
The scenario will use two tools, a wiki and a pad (such as etherpad or framapad).
Examples of pads
* http://etherpad.org/public-sites/
* http://www.framapad.org
Examples of wikis
 * http://www.mediawiki.org
* http://www.wikispaces.com/
* http://pbworks.com/
Material  required in the classroom
* Personal computer for all students
* Internet connexion
Part of the work will be done after the face to face session. Students should have a personal computer and internet connexion after class.
Prerequisite: students will preferably already know the basics of the wiki (creating a page, history etc.) and of a pad, taught in a previous course.


The trainer set up the context :

  1. Will explain the goals of the session: a) acquire advanced skills in using a wiki, b) learn how to analyze and report the content of a training course, learn basics about project management
  2. The trainer will present the different steps related to the report making: a) taking notes during the session, b) fixing mistakes and generally improving notes during or after the session c) organizing notes in a relevant way after the session, d) putting additional content after the session (images, videos, links, bibliography), e) reviewing, d) validating and publishing
  3. The trainer will invite students to organize the project themselves: in terms of different steps to implement, in terms of time management and in terms of role attribution (eg, who will take notes, who will put more content, who will review, who will publish etc.)

During the training session

1. Reminder of wiki basics if necessary
2. Reminder of Etherpad basics if necessary
3. Provide the planned training and let the students take notes on the pad real time
4. Provide a little bit of time at the end of the face to face session so that students can improve notes whilst it is still fresh in their minds

After the session

The students co-organize themselves to make sure a complete and satisfactory report is provided. 
The report should include the information provided by the teacher during the training session + additional content as felt best (images, videos, web links, comments, bibliography etc.)
The report should be well organized, reviewed (by one person, or several people. Only once or several times. By section and fully. That's up to the students to decide but they should document the process they will follow) then published in its final stage.

During the second face to face session

1. The students officially present the report available on the wiki to the teacher
2. Debriefing of the students view

  • how did you feel ? during the first session whilst taking notes. after the session when refining the report. during the second session whilst reporting. (lost, confident, happy etc.)
  • what happened ?
  • what did you learn ?
  • how does this related to the real ?
  • what is next ? What do you want to learn more ? suggest more tools that may be helpful (eg, evernote)

3. Debriefing of the teacher view

4.2 Detailed learning scenarios

Here are other scenarios used in similar contexts:

4.3  Other resources

This is a list of "best practices" or interesting examples for the presentation of wiki-based learning scenarios, user needs analysis, and focus groups. These resources may complete some custom learning scenarios or be useful as inspiration for developing specific uses or methodologies. Each example includes the link to the corresponding on-line space. All those scenarios will give added value to the complete list within a perspective of real implementation.

Part 5. The tools we use

The tools to use during the training are basically three:

  • Chamilo
  • MediaWiki
  • BigBlueButton

5.1. Chamilo

chamilo.jpgChamilo is an open-source (under GNU/GPL licensing) e-learning and content management system (LMS), aimed at improving access to education and knowledge globally. It is backed up by the Chamilo Association, which has goals including the promotion of the software, the maintenance of a clear communication channel and the building of a network of services providers and software contributors.

The Chamilo project aims at ensuring the availability and quality of education at a reduced cost, through the distribution of its software free of charge, the improvement of its interface for 3rd world countries devices portability and the provision of a free access public e-learning campus.

Chamilo main features

  • courses, users and training cycles advanced management (including SOAP web services to manage remotely)
  • SCORM 1.2 compatibility and authoring tool
  • multi-institutions mode (with central management portal)
  • time-controlled exams
  • international characters (UTF-8)
  • timezones
  • automated generation of certificates
  • tracking of users progress
  • embedded social learning network

Chamilo is developed mainly in PHP and relies on a LAMP or WAMP system on the server side. On the client side, it only requires a modern web browser (versions younger than 3 years old) and optionally requires the Flash plugin to make use of advanced features.


5.2. MediaWiki

mediawiki.jpgMediaWiki is a free wiki software application. Developed by the Wikimedia Foundation and others, it is used to run all of the projects hosted by the Foundation, including Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Commons. Numerous other wikis around the world also use it to power their websites. It is written in the PHP programming language and uses a backend database. The software's code is structured functionally.

The first version of the software was deployed to serve the needs of the free content Wikipedia encyclopedia in 2002. It has been deployed since then by many companies as a content management system for internal knowledge management. Notably, Novell uses it to operate several of its high-traffic websites. Thousands of websites use MediaWiki. Some educators have also assigned students to use MediaWiki for collaborative group projects.

The software is optimized to correctly and efficiently handle projects of all sizes, including the largest wikis, which can have terabytes of content and hundreds of thousands of hits per second. Because Wikipedia is one of the world's largest websites, achieving scalability through multiple layers of caching and database replication has also been a major concern for developers. Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects continue to define a large part of the requirement set for MediaWiki.

The software is highly customizable, with more than 700 configuration settings and more than 1,800 extensions available for enabling various features to be added or changed. Only on Wikipedia, more than 1000 automated and semi-automated bots and other tools have been developed to assist in editing MediaWiki sites.


5.3. BigBlueButton

bbb.jpgBigBlueButton is an open source web conferencing system developed primarily for distance education.

BigBlueButton supports multiple audio and video sharing, presentations with extended whiteboard capabilities - such as a pointer, zooming and drawing - public and private chat, desktop sharing, integrated VoIP using FreeSWITCH, and support for presentation of PDF documents and Microsoft Office documents. Moreover, users may enter the conference in one of two roles: viewer or moderator.

As a viewer, a user may join the voice conference, share their webcam, raise their hand, and chat with others. As a moderator, a user may mute/unmute others, eject any user from the session, and make any user the current presenter. The presenter may upload slides and control the presentation.

Although its components are open source, the BigBlueButton client depends on a browser plugin for the Adobe Flash platform. The BigBlueButton server runs on Ubuntu 10.04 32-bit or 64-bit and can be installed either from source code or from Ubuntu packages. BigBlueButton is also downloadable as a Virtual Machine (VM) that runs within VMware Player on PC and Unix computers and within VMWare Fusion on Macs. The BigBlueButton server can also run within a cloud environment, such as Amazon EC2, by installing it on an Ubuntu 10.04 32-bit or 64-bit instance.

Similar to Openmeetings, BigBlueButton uses red5, an open source implementation of Adobe's Flash Media Server, to support its real-time collaboration


Part 6. Toolkit of useful resources
This part comes in complement to the curriculum. It brings another angle on the wiki tools and wiki culture in pedagogical approaches. After the mapping of knowledge/skills/competences brought in by the curriculum mapping, the FAQs deal with questioning that end-users may have depending on his/her daily context (in terms of roles and duties and how the wikis and wiki culture can help answering these issues). The FAQs aim at answering on the how-to's and also at removing fears and obstacle that users may have.

6.1 Links of interest

General literature on wikis 
Leuf, B., & Cunningham, W. (2001). The WIKI WAY. Quick Collaboration on the Web: AddisonWesley.
Application of wikis in education

  • Augar, N., Raitman, R. and Zhou, W. (2004). Teaching and learning online with wikis. In R. Atkinson, C. McBeath, D. Jonas-Dwyer & R. Phillips (Eds), Beyond the comfort zone: Proceedings of the 21st ASCILITE Conference (pp. 95-104). Perth, 5-8 December. http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/perth04/procs/augar.html
  • Coutinho, C. M. P., & Bottentuit, J. B., Jr. (2007). Collaborative learning using wiki: A pilot study with master students in educational technology in Portugal. Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia e Telecommunications (ED-MEDIA), pp. 1786-1791. http://repositorium.sdum.uminho.pt/bitstream/1822/6720/1/Edmedia2007.pdf
  • Duffy, P.  and Bruns, A. (2006). The use of blogs, wikis and RSS  in education: A conversation of possibilities. Proceedings of the Online Learning and Teaching Conference 2006, Brisbane: September 26. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/5398/1/5398.pdf
  • Parker, K., Chao, J. (2007). Wiki as a teaching tool, Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects, vol 3, 2007. http://ijklo.org/Volume3/IJKLOv3p057-072Parker284.pdf
  • Pusey, P., Meiselwitz, G. (2011). Assessments in Large- and Small-Scale Wiki Collaborative Learning Environments: Recommendations for Educators and Wiki Designers. LECTURE NOTES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE; (6778):60-68. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-21796-8_7?null
  • Reich, J. (2012). The Wiki Quality Instrument: The Development of the Wiki Quality Instrument and its Protocols. http://ssrn.com/abstract=2078155
  • Tonkin, E. (2005). Making the case for a wiki. Ariadne, Issue 42, January. Retrieved from http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue42/tonkin/


  • Alexander, B. (2006). Web 2.0: A new wave of innovation for teaching and learning? Educause Review, 41(2). http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERM0621.pdf
  • Dillenbourg, P. (1999). What do you mean by collaborative learning? In P. Dillenbourg (Ed.), Collaborative-learning:  Cognitive  and  Computational  Approaches  (pp.  1–19).  Oxford: Elsevier. http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/19/02/40/PDF/Dillenbourg-Pierre-1999.pdf
  • Siemens, G., (2005). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2, 1.   http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_05/article01.htm
  • Wenger, E. (2006) Communities of Practice: A Brief Introduction, Retrieved from http://www.ewenger.com/theory/communities_of_practice_intro.htm

6.2 Instructional video

The WikiSkills project has created a Diigo group, an online space which provides different kinds of helpful resources in relation to the use of wikis in educational settings. On that space, one may find a set of videos which include examples of wiki-based scenarios, good practices and tutorials. One may select topics of interest by using the tagging system.
Please feel free to contribute to the group, by posting your own resources!
› Access the Diigo group at groups.diigo.com/group/e_culture/content/tag/wiki

6.3 Frequently asked questions

a) What are the benefits of using wikis as learning tools ?

Schwartz et al. (2004) highlighted several benefits of using wikis in the educational arena:

  • Cost: most of wikis are open sources;
  • Complexity: wiki writing is easy to learn, and technical support is available online;
  • Control: access can be restricted;
  • Clarity: wiki content and evolution is easy to consult;
  • Portability: wikis can be accessed from any browser;
  • A common set of editing features: WYSIWYG editing image insertion, etc.

Recent literature underlined many other advantages of using wikis for pedagogical uses:

  • Promoting reflective learning: Wikis can increase students’ reflective learning,  by  offering  them  a  context  for  comparing  and  contrasting  information  from  diverse sources,  thus stimulating reflection,  knowledge sharing and critical thinking. Indeed, by participating in a wiki-based activity, students are able to perceive multiple interpretations of the same topic, as well as the natural complexity of interrelations within the realms of knowledge.
  • Involving learners in their own knowledge construction: Wikis can involve students in their own co-construction of knowledge. Furthermore, they promote peer and self-assessment, which is considered one of the keys to self-regulated learning.
  • Improving co-writing processes: Wikis facilitates distributed collaborative writing processes, in which students can master co-writing techniques, which are increasingly being required in the world of work.

b) What are the obstacles of using a wiki in teaching settings ?

In the context of an exploratory study conducted in the WikiSkills project with teachers and trainers from different European countries, some difficulties were identified for implementing feasible and relevant wiki-based learning scenarios. 
1. Technical obstacles

  • Some educators mentioned that they do not have the necessary computer skills so to adequately use wiki functionalities for their teaching practices. Furthermore, some educational institutions lack the necessary equipment to successfully conduct wiki-based learning activities, as Internet connections are sometimes weak, and the number of computers available for students is low.

2. Pedagogical obstacles   

  • Generally, teachers and trainers are not comfortable with giving students the responsibility to publish content online. Furthermore, the diversity of students’ profiles can make effective collaboration difficult. In addition, some teachers mentioned that they have high curricular objectives, which do not allow for activities which involve time consuming planning. Finally, the use of wiki environment should ensure adapted evaluation methodologies, in order to be effectively integrated in their teaching activities.

3. Community aspects

  • Some educators fear that communities of practice among teachers do not last in time, and that contributions are not equal, which would make it difficult to maintain an effective collaboration and ensure successful learning scenarios. In addition, the resistance to change of some institutions and educators may be a barrier to the integration of wiki approaches within the educational communities.

c) What are the typical success factors for teaching with wikis ?


Figure 5 : Success factors for teaching with wikis

This section brings out success factors for the relevant use of wiki environments in educational settings. These success factors emerged from previous previous studies conducted with the WikiSkills project in six EU countries. 

The success factors have been distributed among four different categories, which correspond to the steps necessary for using wikis in educational settings.

Preparing the wiki environment

  • Make clear what and who you want to teach: define your teaching objectives, learning content, and the specific characteristics of the editing community.
  • Make sure that students have sufficient ICT skills: make sure that they will focus on the learning subject, rather than on technical issues.
  • Make ICT resources available: ensure the availability of computers and internet access for each participant.
  • Consider accessibility issues: the wiki environment should be usable by students with special educational needs, as well as provide interfaces that can be adapted according to users' characteristics: font size, use of keyboard, mouse or adaptive external devices, etc.

Setting up the wiki

  • Define essential rules: provide a minimum set of rules necessary for an efficient use of the wiki environment, although limiting the number of rules.
  • Define a clear organizational structure: provide a minimum structure for organizing the wiki environment, while keeping it flexible and open.
  • Define and import initial content: start filling in the wiki environment in order to avoid, from participants, fear of empty spaces or being the one to start.
  • Choose the adapted wiki platform: identify which wiki software is best adapted to your educational objectives and your students. Decision should be made according to the special features of each platform, the technical environment required, the software license, the prior familiarity required to use the interface, the training availability, students' level of skills, languages available, etc.
  • Prefer platform with page locking system and help links: this will avoid having students editing the same page simultaneously.
  • Prefer platforms with statistics tools: this will enable to follow up participants' progress and to extract useful information about the project's spread.

Gardening the wiki

  • Be flexible with rules: keep the rules open and encourage students to participate in their definition. This will foster their sense of ownership.
  • Open the wiki environment to a global audience: when relevant, diffuse the project to external audiences, so students become aware that their work can be seen by others.
  • Track portfolios of edits and updates tied to individual users: this will allow you seeing the amount of time spent online and provide qualitative / quantitative data on students’ contribution to the wiki.

Teaching with the wiki

  • Introduce students to the wiki functionalities: start by showing your students what they can do and how in the wiki environment.
  • Show existing success wiki projects: demonstrate to students the possible benefits from using wikis, in order to motivate them and show them the large range of opportunities they can offer.
  • Introduce students to the wiki culture: familiarise students with the social implications of working in wiki environments. As an example, introduce them to collective ownership issues: make clear that they stay authors of their own contributions, that their texts may undergo revisions and are likely to be modified by others even after publication.
  • Introduce students to legal issues: introduce students to copyright laws that forbid copying and pasting content from other external sources, giving credit for others’ work, copyright laws for collective works, legal responsibilities of host provider and editors.
  • Find a balance between guidance and autonomy: act as a moderator, rather than a supervisor, by encouraging and tracking the participation of students, as well as facilitating communication among them. Provide students with a clear organizational structure for the wiki, while giving them autonomy with regard to its scope and content.
  • Foster a "BeBold" attitude: encourage students to try, fail, try again and finally succeed.
  • Foster students’ collaboration: provide students with opportunities to collaborate outside of the wiki environment.
  • Assume good faith from participants: promote an atmosphere of trust and assume good faith from students. Mistakes may be done non voluntarily and are reversible on a wiki.
  • Foster the use of multimedia formats: images and video can, in some cases, illustrate a topic better than only text does. Their use can also make the environment more dynamic, and promote students’ digital literacy.
  • Encourage the use of internal and external hyperlinks: enable students to get used to the culture of linking contents, from inside and outside of the wiki site.
  • Consider using wiki-based evaluation methodologies: use available functionalities which permit you to obtain qualitative / quantitative data on students’ contribution to the wiki.
  • Diffuse your wiki: disseminate your project through social networks and personal digital communication tools as mailing-lists, feeds, communities, etc.
  • Develop opportunities for collaboration among students from different institutions: consider setting up wiki-based scenarios involving the participation of other educational centres.
  • Create a supportive community of practice: communities among teachers and / or students provide opportunities for continuous collaboration and meaningful learning.

d) What are typical good practices ?


  • Wikipedia, and other multilingual Wikimedia projects, can be used to do translation practices. By translating e.g. an article from one Wikipedia edition to another, the students will most likely have to engage in online discussions not only about appropriate terminology in a certain field, but also about the tonality and form of their translation.
  • The feedback from the community, and the impact if their work, can add motivation to the task.
  • Target groups: All


  • Using a collaborative platform, such as a wiki or a multi-user blog, for creative writing exercises, opens up entirely new possibilities for co-writing. When working with younger children, the possibility to view and comment the works of each other might be just enough. Later on, the students can start finishing each other's texts, or even begin writing together from scratch.
  • The immediate feedback from other students is both demanding and rewarding. Co-writing, and thereby giving up the whole concept of “my text” might be even more challenging, while at the same time offering a unique possibility to train collaborative skills.
  • Target groups: Primarily “Comenius”

Sharing media

  • Whenever working with photography, graphic design, music, video, or some other media, the media repository Wikimedia Commons is a great place to receive feedback and attention. Any media uploaded will have to be original, out of copyright, or available with a Creative Commons Share-Alike license.
  • Proceed to add you uploaded media to Wikipedia, or other public projects, to get even more engagement from the community.
  • Target groups: “Comenius” and “Erasmus”. “Leonardo” and “Grundtvig” depending on field of interest

Project management

  • A local wiki, or a private wiki at a wiki farm, can be used as a project management tool for student during a shorter or longer group assignment. Ideally, towards the end of the projects, the trainer and the trainees can initiate a transition, converting what was at first internal brainstorming pages into a finalized showcase of the students work. This way, the wiki will work as both a project-internal platform and a display window, and students will be trained in iteration as a project management technique.
  • Target groups: All

e) Would you have a comprehensive list of needs for a successful wiki pedagogical application ?

We could list a collection of needs to keep an eye upon

- Need for awareness among management, teachers
- Support from the management needs to be real, i.e. teachers need to be given the time for implementing new tools not be expected to provide immediate results
- There are employment contracts that might conflict with using open licenses.

- The teacher needs to learn how to master the wiki software and platforms through tutorials
- Teaching methodologies that wikis can support; it is important to make carefully the decision of choosing a wiki-based teaching approach, by being aware of what is / is not possible to do with a wiki.
- In-depth study of different practical examples of wiki-based scenarios, and the way they were applied in the classroom step-by-step.
- The teacher needs to provide continuous guidance, support and assessment
- Classroom management training. Teachers need to know how to organize roles among students, how to define the role of the teacher, how to teach students about wikis, how to use the history functionality, how to evaluate students, etc.
- Learn how to deal with intellectual property issues of texts and graphical resources.
- Learn how to teach students to work with wikis under safe, ethical and responsible behaviours.

- Have the possibility to think and debate about the relevant ways to use wikis
- Learn about the possibilities of participating in already exciting projects (eg Eduwiki, vikidia for 8-13 years old, Viquiescoles, Viquilletre, Eduwikilab, etc.)
- Receive help to learn how to work in a team among different teachers and schools in an effective manner
- Need proper meeting places (in real life or online).
- Need gamification, tools to reward those who help build in the commons

f) How to evaluate my students ?

Many evaluations are initially designed to provide individual measurable values: typically, for each student, number of edits made over the training session, number of articles created, page created about the student etc.
This turns about being difficult for a fair estimation of skills learned.
Evaluation may rather be done in small groups of 2-3 students working together rather than individually. Evaluation may also be done with self-evaluation of the student or with evaluation of one group by the other groups based on a questionnaire. Criterias of notation should be planned in advance.

g) How to set up for success in scenarios editing Wikipedia ?

The advantages of using such scenarios is the immediate reward for the students who may experiences his editing the wiki as an improvement of the encyclopedia rather than a short-lived edit on a temporary wiki dedicated to training activities. 
However, one of the difficulties associated with such scenarios is the complexity of the editorial rules developed over time on Wikipedia in particular making it basically essential that the trainer be himself pretty knowledgeable in the way Wikipedia operates. 

Fortunately, several brochures have been developed by the Wikimedia community to help teachers conduct their training. See for example:

A good idea if you wish to use scenarios involving editing Wikipedia is to join the community of educators also doing so to share good practices with them. A good starting point is to join the relevant mailing list (open for all, publicly accessible archives): https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/education
You better keep on eye on http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Education as well.

Short description of Wikipedia

  1. Name of the project : Wikipedia
  2. Brief description of the goal of the project : Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia
  3. Languages available : 270+
  4. Licenses : CC BY SA 3.0 /GFDL
  5. Reference organisation : Wikimedia Foundation
  6. Technology based / developers : MediaWiki
  7. Description and history : Founded in 2001, Wikipedia is a freely licence encyclopedia which seeks to give access to knowledge to all human being on that planet. As of early 2012, over 20 millions articles in over 270 languages. That's THE wiki reference.
  8. Links: http://www.wikipedia.org
  9. Special features matching with wiki-skills project proposal / possibles educational uses : Open for participation to all. Suitable for teenager and adult participation. Broad topics.

Alternatively, it may be just as an exciting experience with less side effects to rather set up the training experiment on one of the other Wikimedia projects.

h) How to set up for success in scenarios editing other Wikimedia projects ?

The training experiment may be set up on one of the other Wikimedia projects rather than on Wikipedia itself. Amongst the best projects to do so : Wikibooks, wiktionary, Wikimedia Commons and the latest born, Wikivoyage. 

Short description of Wikibooks

  1. Name of the project : Wikibooks
  2. Brief description of the goal of the project : Wikibooks is an open-content textbooks collection
  3. Languages available : 50+
  4. Licenses : CC BY SA 3.0 and/or GFDL
  5. Reference organisation : Wikimedia Foundation
  6. Technology based / developers : MediaWiki
  7. Description and history : Created in 2003. While some books are original, others began as text copied over from other sources of free content textbooks found on the Internet. Some books have been co-authored by students and teachers (for example: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Social_and_Cultural_Foundations_of_American_Education
  8. Links: http://www.wikibooks.org/
  9. Special features matching with wiki-skills project proposal / possibles educational uses : Open for participation to all. Suitable for teenager and adult participation. Broad topics. Opportunity for group-based collaboration on a given book

Short description of Wikivoyage

  1. Name of the project : Wikivoyage
  2. Brief description of the goal of the project : Wikivoyage is a project to create a free, complete, up-to-date, and reliable worldwide travel guide.
  3. Languages available : 7
  4. Licenses : cc by sa 3.0
  5. Reference organisation : Technology based / developers : mediawiki
  6. Description and history : Wikivoyage is a Wikimedia Foundation project created in 2012. As of December 2012, it is still in beta mode. This project was inspired by the project Wikitravel, created in 2003 by Evan Prodromou and Michele Ann Jenkins and (as of 2012) owned by Internet Brands (a for profit company). Wikivoyage is the example of a “fork” (the content and part of the community of Wikitravel has migrated to a new project managed by another organization).
  7. Links: http://www.wikivoyage.org/
  8. Special features matching with wiki-skills project proposal / possibles educational uses : very wikipedia-like project with a very specific focus. It is open to editing to the public and its content may be freely reused. Though the English based version is the most developed, it also exists in other languages. It provides an interesting wiki for beginners as most people would have something to write in the area covered by this wiki.

Other interesting projects to consider for a use of a training scenario involve Wiktionary, the free dictionary: http://www.wiktionary.org/ or Wikimedia Commons, the online database of free media: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Created by yves boisselier on 2012/10/31 13:20

This wiki is licensed under a Creative Commons 2.0 license
XWiki Enterprise 3.4 - Documentation