Wiki-ing Your Way to Collaborative Learning Molly Beestrum Kenneth Orenic Rebecca Crown Library Dominican University River Forest, IL
Background • English 102 includes Information Literacy Foundation Requirement (ILFR). • Librarians are paired with English 102 sections • Teach at least 2 sessions, often more • Prepare students for Annotated Bibliography Assignment • Assessed by instructor and librarian • Successful implementation but… • …Students have consistent difficulty with annotations • Created opportunity for practice
Collaborative Learning • “Most instructors have stood in front of a class only to wonder if their only purpose on that day was to serve as a sedative for the majority of the class.” – Payne, et al (2006) • Collaborative learning can make any topic interesting by actively involving students • Group work is one example of collaborative learning practice. CL can provide: • an opportunity to practice • a safe environment (safety in numbers) • increased communication and improved social skills • and it breaks up time
Encourages collective approaches Enhances information retention ability to analyze, formulate and solve problems Improves teamwork skills critical thinking skills group processing social skills Increases insight on and interest in a particular topic individual accountability Promotes better comprehension active processing positive interdependence Stimulates deeper understanding Collaborative Learning Benefits of collaborative learning as discussed in the literature:
Shared Workspace or Groupware • One aspect of Collaborative Learning is the use of group work. Technology provides in the form of Groupware. • Students’ attitudes toward using a shared workspace • Helps support team work • Facilitates and encourages sharing of resources • Easy and continuous access • Easy to update and share updates • Limits repetition of information • Reduces number of paper copies • Facilitates monitoring of group or individual progress • Resources available even if student doesn’t show up - Nicol, Littlejohn and Grierson (2005)
Wikis as Groupware • Pages can be easily updated in real time PBWiki: WYSIWYG editing available • Pages can be edited collectively • Links to other websites, files, images and "widgets" can be easily added • Track history of changes • View recent changes • Revert content to an earlier iteration • Alert users to any changes to the wiki • Search content by keyword • Access to wiki can be set to public or private
Using Wikis in English 102 • So we gave it a shot… • Designed some simple assignments to acclimate students to wiki use • Focused on creating short group activities to provide students an opportunity to practice • Reinforced learning with examples, mini lectures, review, and demonstrations
Using Wikis in Library Instruction • Answering Specific Questions Using a Database • Brainstorming for Topics and Search Terms • Writing Annotations Using The CRAP Test
Students were grouped by topic, in this case Education, and asked to brainstorm for ways to narrow the topic down In later iterations students were asked to then create search strategies for the brainstormed topics using Or, And, truncation, phrases and nesting. Brainstorming Exercise
Brainstorming Evaluating Sources Sample article provided CRAP criteria Groups of 3-4 students Designate a scribe Asked to read aloud later
The Resulting Annotation: • This article discusses homelessness in later life. It was written in order to find out the causes of homelessness in elderly of in selected urban areas of the United States, England and Australia. It was also written in order to prevent it from happening. It was written for society so that people can be informed.
More Directions, More Options • Groups chose an article to evaluate based on a previous exercise. Mixed results.
Your Turn to Practice • Each table has been provided with an article to evaluate as well as the CRAP test criteria • In your table groups, evaluate the article based on the criteria provided • Collectively write an annotation – 5 or 6 sentences – providing a critical and evaluative description of the article (post top the wiki if possible!) • Spend a few minutes reflecting on the process and considering it from the student perspective • Be prepared to share with the audience – both annotations and thoughts
Your Turn to Practice – Part 2 • Each table has been provided with a sample scenario • As a group, brainstorm for ways to include collaborative learning in the IL session • Design at least one small group activity that could utilize a wiki or other groupware tool • Consider the following: • Time for the activity • Group size • Material provided: resources, instructions, guidelines, examples, etc. • Implementing and setting the tone • Be prepared to share with the audience
Scenario 1 • Psychology 290 Research Methods: Students are assigned a psychological disorder (clinical depression, post traumatic stress disorder, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, etc), and a treatment (drug therapy, behavior therapy, or cognitive-behavior therapy). They are asked to find three scholarly articles on the disorder and the treatment and write a critical synthesis of the three articles. The instructor would like the students to use PsycINFO and to focus on locating clinical trials.
Scenario 2 • History 300 - Historiography: Students are asked to research a topic, event or person in 20th century American history and compare the treatment through texts across three different decades. Eg. Teapot Dome Scandal in 1930s, 1970s and 1990s. Research includes critical reception of the texts which may require use of older review periodicals (on microfilm). The instructors often provide a list of topics selected by students for this project prior to the session.
Scenario 3 • Business 250 - International Business: Students are assigned a research project - the CIRCLE Project (acronym for Company, Issues, Region, Country, Leadership, and Economic environment) in which they choose any international business-related topic. Throughout the semester they explore their topic, develop a research question, and answer that question while considering recommendations and future implications. Some examples from past semesters have included: Wal-Mart and ethics, unemployment in the European Union, Foreign Direct Investment in Iraq.
Scenario 4 • English 274 – Literary Criticism: Students are required to complete a research paper on one of the required texts (e.g. Othello) as examined through the lens of one area of critical theory (e.g. Feminist, Structuralist, Marxist) including at least 30 sources – scholarly articles and books only. The instructor encourages the use of MLA International Bibliography.