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IBLC11-Abstract-Starting & Sharing: Wiki Glossaries in the curriculum
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16 May 2011
Author: Mr Ollie Jones
Often students find that the terminology involved in a new subject can be a barrier to learning, Some theorists term this 'cognitive load' - a high amount of information that the brain has to process before it can begin to construct new knowledge. Glossaries have been used in many different educational contexts, however traditional glossaries are passive and have less capability to promote student engagement.
This paper outlines four separate pilot studies in a UK business school that used small wikis situated within the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to encourage students to construct their own glossary at the start of a module. Whilst many studies have looked at use of wikis in student work , especially collaborative projects, relatively few have investigated the use of wikis for constructing simple glossary entries,
In all of the studies each set of students were allocated a particular subject related term. The students were instructed to construct a wiki entry describing what the term meant, citing at least two appropriate references. The pilots varied in that for pilot one the task was given a small assessment credit, for pilot two, the wiki entry was a module requirement, and for the third pilot completion was required in order to gain access to additional resources.
The pilots were evaluated by a variety methods including quantitative analysis of the VLE usage and access statistics, alongside qualitative and quantitative survey data, module evaluation comments and focus group discussions. Generally the quality of the entries was appropriate and students found the process of writing a wiki benefical to their learning. Students appeared to have read a number of entries over the course of the module and some chose to reference the wiki in their final written assignment.
Keywords: wiki, glossary, active learning, VLE,
09:37 on 26 May 2011