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Teachers and students used to meet face to face without communicating through computers. This topic presents aspects of using online wikis as a method for students to assist in their educational purposes such as research. A wiki is a collection of any kind of online information which can be modified, added or removed by any individual. This essay will investigate whether or not wikis enhance collaboration between students. Do the use of wikis and their ability to be edited by multiple users enhance collaborative learning skills for students to discuss, negotiate, and solve problems in their studies? I will argue that wikis can be used as learning tools for students to collaborate and benefit them in formal regular teaching and workshops which develop the interaction in learner to learner and learner to instructor situations, and prepare students for exams.
The preferences of having collaborative works on online weekly teaching, workshop and seminars can be beneficial to students. From the survey taken from students in Oxford Brookes University, about 87% of students said their group work was organized because of the use of wikis (Witney, and Smallbone, 2011). Students use wikis because it has benefits for their studies such as “flexible time, direct information, easy to store information” ( Witney, and Smallbone, 2011). According to survey data collected from 300,000 in the speak up national research project, 85% of college students responding to a nationalwide survey reported that they use Wikipedia as an information source (Ertmer, Newby, Liu, Tomory, &Lee, 2011). Although some students have not used wikis as a tool for group work and they preferred face to face meetings, it does not mean that wikis is not beneficial in their studies; they might have not learned how to communicate by using wikis. Thus wikis cannot be judged by those reasons (Witney, and Smallbone, 2011). Statistic shows that there were about 70% of students of first year and above in the Brookes University have experiences of some wiki tools with Wiki tools such as email, facebook, and Skype which improves students group work (Witney, and Smallbone, 2011).
Moreover, wikis have an impact on learning activities; the authors explore what kinds of activities most individuals use have wiki tools for and evaluated how the participants’ level of interaction between learners and instructor and how the instructor was affected by wikis learning (Hung, and Nakazawa, 2010). After using wikis and synthesis activities, the result of these surveys is that learners interact effectively by using wikis (Hung, and Nakazawa, 2010). The other result of the surveys addressed was about the level if interaction between learners and other learners and between learners and instructors for assigned weekly readying synthesis activities. In this survey, after making 8 weeks of ANOVA measurements which is a collection of statistical module, it shows that learners more likely to interact with their peers than did with instructors (Hung, and Nakazawa, 2010). In this survey, we conclude that wikis enhance collaborative learning for students; however, instructors need to encourage learner’ wikis activities without any assistant from other communication tools such as email and online chatting (Hung, and Nakazawa, 2010).
Furthermore, studies were done on undergraduate students’ psychology major to clrify if wikis benefit students in their learning. These studies show that students might not desire to use wikis in collaborative learning (judd, kennedy, &Cropper, 2010). One of these studies is used the task of writing a wiki based on the amount and time of students contributions to find whether or not students use of collaborative wikis in their learning style (judd, kennedy, &Cropper, 2010). Although the result of this study showed that student’s collaboration was because the use of wikis, students might not have enough experience to use wikis. Also, students might not have prepared themselves for the task (judd, kennedy, &Cropper, 2010). The other task is of two lectures of motion detection was done on students to investigate if the students can have collaborative acivity by using wikis. In this task, 90 % of the students were participating in the task (judd, kennedy, &Cropper, 2010).
Moreover, the students confidence and perceived value can be enhanced when using wikis. Perceived value relates to both the current value of the project as well as its anticipated future value (Ertmer, newby, Liu, Tomory, & Lee, 2011). A project was conducted with students in an introductory educational technology course. Also, assistive method called international partners was used with students to resist the challenge of collaborative work (Ertmer, newby, Liu, Tomory, & Lee, 2011). The findings of this project and international partners method, is that confidence and perceived value of students has increased. For example, there were about 34% increased of students reported using wikis 2-3 times and some students use wikis more than 5 time but less percentage than students who se wikis 2-3 times per week.