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  5. Evaluation of assessed collaborative wiki activity and comparison with similar collaborative online activities in other contexts

Evaluation of assessed collaborative wiki activity and comparison with similar collaborative online activities in other contexts

Project leader(s): 
Janet Haresnape
Faculty: 
STEM
Status: 
Archived

This project centres around an online collaborative activity which was adapted from a face-to-face tutorial activity developed for students on S366 (Evolution).  In the activity, students each provided data, and suggestions about its interpretation, by contributing to a series of wiki pages.  They undertook an assessment question in S366 based on interpretation and implications of their findings. 

The activity involved probing questions inviting students to add comments about the interpretation and long-term implications of their results.  It enabled weaker and less confident students, who reported finding the topic challenging, to build on comments from others and add their own valuable contributions. Nine participating students were asked in telephone interviews about their perceptions of the activity, and their comments were categorised. Categories included the visual, practical/authentic and collaborative nature of the activity, feeling of responsibility to the group, and deeper understanding of the topic. The relative importance of the aspects of the activity represented by these categories for more and less able S366 students (categorised according to grade obtained on completing the module) was explored using an optional online questionnaire. 

S366 was being presented for the last time in 2014 and the collaborative wiki model was used for a different activity in a new module S295 (The Biology of Survival) which was first presented to OU students in 2014.  As in the S366 activity, a complex question was posed on a wiki, enabling students to build on each other's responses to gain a deeper understanding, with the intention of helping weaker or less confident students to understand particularly challenging concepts.

Related resources

Haresnape, J. (2017) Evaluation of assessed collaborative wiki activity and comparison with similar collaborative online activities in other contexts. eSTEeM Final Report (PDF)

Haresnape poster (PDF)