Project ELITE Student Activity #3

Objective
: Work with a full class of students will create wikis to guide their research process. Have each student maintain his or her own wiki. Be involved in the entire process including collaborating with the teacher to create the unit, helping identify resources, teaching students how to create and use wikis, helping students conduct their research, providing instruction in related information literacy skills, and providing assessment feedback to students at their wiki discussion pages on at least three separate occasions. Create a wiki page with links to all the student wikis to aid in collaboration. Plan for this activity to take a least 3 - 5 class sessions to complete.

Background: Wikis are great Web 2.0 tools to allow students to record and share their research processes. They represent an online portfolio of work. The technology supports collaboration and provides an easy forum for formative and summative assessment. By using wikis as part of a carefully designed unit of instruction, students are much less likely to plagiarize. They are guided through the process and assisted in time management. This assignment should not be regarded as an "extra". Instead, it should be a way to integrate technology to learn more deeply and efficiently. The assignment itself should be fully curriculum-based.

Teacher-Librarian activity: To prepare for this assignment and to create a useful website, create a school library wiki to share information about your library program. This activity will take place during the week of 4-12-10 for two weeks.

Support information:

Wikispaces Sites for Teachers
http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers

Wikispaces Teachers FAQ
http://www.wikispaces.com/help+Teachers

50 Ways to Use Wikis
http://www.smartteaching.org/blog/2008/08/50-ways-to-use-wikis-for-a-more-collaborative-and-interactive-classroom

Examples of Educational Wikis
http://educationalwikis.wikispaces.com/Examples+of+educational+wikis

TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through
http://www.teachersfirst.com/content/wiki

Student wikis: At minimum, student wikis should include the following pages: outline, vocabulary, images, essential research question(s), related sub-topic questions, conclusion, and bibliography. See a sample wiki at http://projectelite1.wikispaces.com. As part of the assignment, students should be required to provide feedback on some of their peers' wikis. The librarian should visit each wiki at least three times during the course of the unit to provide feedback at important assessment points. The collaborating teacher should also provide feedback at each student's wiki.

Related skills:

A. Creating an educational wiki
  1. Create the wiki
  2. Setting permissions
  3. Managing wiki > Look and feel
  4. Setting up student accounts [Note: Have students disable the private messaging feature, so they can get no private messages.]

B. Managing wiki
  1. Creating pages
  2. Editing/saving content
  3. Discussion/History
  4. Adding links
  5. Inserting files, widgets, tables
  6. Embedding media (video, audio, RSS, images, files)
  7. Editing navigation

Tips
  1. Frame the research around essential and guiding questions, if possible, rather than topical research.
  2. Remind students to adhere to the Acceptable Use Policy. They should not use last names or identifying information in their wikis.
  3. Remind students to save work often in their wikis. (It is possible to recover drafts, if necessary.)
  4. Design the unit with discreet tasks, assessment the work at interim points, and encourage students to collaborate.
  5. Teach skills at the point of need - not all at once.