This example demonstrates how a MediaWiki can be used to create an interactive platform of resources.
The UNSW Embryology Wiki was created in 2009 as an interactive platform of embryology resources for Medicine and Science students. It is an online education and research website that houses content for all lectures and practicals for the embryology courses in Medicine and Science. Content includes links to the lectures, videos, audio files, images, PDFs, terminology and suggested textbooks. The wiki is used during lectures and practicals to deliver the content and can be revisited by students outside of class to review information and to enrich their understanding with additional self-directed learning resources and external links. The site also includes practical support pages for Neuroanatomy and Histology classes in the Science program. The content found on these pages is not direct lecture material, but rather provide only background information for student self-directed learning purposes.
The wiki is also used for submitting assessments. For the Embryology course in the Science program, students are required to submit individual assessments and a semester-long group project through the website and feedback is given directly on the page. Submission dates can be locked so students cannot submit or edit after the deadline. Projects remain online so students can look at previous projects to see how they have been submitted and assessed in the past. Projects include a discussion page which allows students to interact and collaborate online throughout the project, in addition to the 10 minutes set aside at the end of each practical for project group discussions. There is also a peer review section which allows each student to review all other projects and provide feedback on the discussion page.
Time-wise using the wiki is no worse than assessing items submitted as hard copies or via other means of submitting written reports. Not only does it minimise the amount of printing, it also provides the opportunity to give lots of feedback.
To view the wiki, please click HERE.
Below are some images demonstrating what the UNSW Embryology Wiki looks like:
1. The main page
2. The 'Science' main page
3. Links to classes available via the Medicine page
4. 'Week 4' of the Embryology course
5. Audio links
6. Video links
This example demonstrates how the OU Wiki inside Moodle can be used in self-directed group projects.
The OU Wiki (Moodle plug-in) is used as a framework in which students conduct a self-directed project which involves working in small teams to identify a media item related to the neuroscience and then analysing the neuroscience context, and the quality of the media item. The project has a peer-review at the draft stage. It is effectively an easy way for students to build a web-site which enables them to link in a media item that might be audio, video or article. The OU wiki was chosen as it is integrated into Moodle. Several similar tools have been used in the past and Wikispaces is actually a better platform as it is more flexible and friendly with a better history feature, but the Moodle integration of the OU wiki means that the students are not required to create new accounts, and it also reduces issues around copywrite violations by students posting material in their wiki.
The advantages of using a Wiki for project work are that it provides a nice way for students to work together and to show off their work to other student teams. Some take great pride in creating a good-looking and easily navigable wiki page. It allows monitoring of the contributions of individual group members to completing to the final product, which can then be used as a component of their team-work mark. To set up a wiki and do the basics is fairly simple as it resides inside Moodle. Fancy formatting is tricky, but it not necessary.
Although the wiki has an annotation function which in theory is a nice way to comment on the wiki by linking comments to words, in practice, as the wiki gets edited, many of the annotations become orphans and lose even the name of their originator. In future projects, students will be asked to create a linked page in the wiki where they can have their discussions and where feedback from peer reviewers and assessors can be placed.
To view an example of a self-directed group project (html only - no images), please click HERE.
Below are some images taken from this example (with images):
1. The wiki
2. Student content
3. Peer reviews
4. Markers comments
5. Collaboration between group members