Exploiting the Use of Wikis to Support Collaborative Writing: A Case Study of an Undergraduate Computer Science Class
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Use of wikis in education reflects a shift in the education paradigm from lecture and individual homework-based to a paradigm emphasizing student engagement and the construction of knowledge through collaboration and peer-help. Existing research work on the use of wiki in collaborative writing had given mixed results. The goals of this research are to investigate whether wiki supports learning of writing and argumentation skills, and whether the students are motivated to use it and see it as a useful learning tool. Our participants comprise ten senior undergraduate students of a Computer Science class, who engaged in collaborative writing using wiki for four weeks. Their contributions were graded by a designated TA. The grades assigned to both their final articles and individual contributions, and the wiki logs were analyzed to determine the quality and volume of their weekly contributions, while feedback was taken from them using questionnaire to sample their perception of the use of wiki in writing. Our results showed that the use of wiki is helpful in improving their writing skill. However, participants are not happy with the further use of wiki in their course work. Also, we found that they require extrinsic motivation, in form of feedback (grades) from the TA and acceptance of their contribution by their peers, to increase their participation in wiki writing.