PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to present a case study investigating students’ patterns of collaborative content creation in a wiki project that was designed to promote self-directed and collaborative learning in the context of a university course. In addition, it proposes a new organizational and analysis framework of students’ constructive and collaborative activities in wiki-authoring projects.Design/methodology/approachThe key notion, around which the present conceptual and research framework was built, is that a wiki integrates a content space and a social (discussion) space both considered in collaborative manner. The analysis of student contributions to their wiki was organized along two dimensions: interaction and refection posts were analyzed using the framework of Community of Inquiry; content contributions to the wiki pages were classified into five categories: creating a new page, content expansion, content reorganization, content enrichment (with video, images or hyperlinks) and editing and grammatical corrections.FindingsThe analysis of the research data revealed important information that could help to depict an overall representation of individual interactions and contributions, students’ collaborative performance within wiki groups as well as the overall evolution of the wiki content. The findings showed that properly designed wiki projects can be effectively introduced in higher education with the aim to support students to improve their authoring and collaborative skills through critical thinking, peer interaction and reflection.Research limitations/implicationsThe findings of this study are limited by the specific sample and the context of implementation. Future research will be directed to various educational contexts and to include in the analysis students’ experiences and learning outcomes of wiki-authoring activities.Practical implicationsThe results provided supportive evidence that successful wiki-based projects in higher education depend on the way students’ individual and collaborative authoring contributions are interwoven. Effective wiki-based interventions should consider students’ learning as the outcome of both, individual and collaborative work, determined by self and peer reflection in wiki groups.Originality/valueThe originality and the significance of the present study are justified by the conceptual framework proposed which can guide both aspects of students’ learning presence within self-directed wiki-authoring projects, i.e. research and educational practice (design and monitoring).
Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 6, 2017