WIKI’D TRANSGRESSIONS: SCAFFOLDING STILL NECESSARY TO SUPPORT ONLINE COLLABORATIVE LEARNING

Joshua DiPasquale

Abstract


This paper is a reflection of my own individualistic participation in the EDUC 5001G: Principles of Learning (PoL) class wiki assignment. Specifically, I investigate the need for increased scaffolding strategies to facilitate direct collaboration among its participants. In order to do this, I first conducted a preliminary examination of the efficacy and suitability of wikis as tools for knowledge construction as well as some of the strategies that have been documented in their implementations. The examination revealed that although wikis have proven to be expedient tools to foster collaborative knowledge construction, the social aspects of the activity need to be reinforced in formal learning environments. Accordingly, an analysis of my own and other students’ behaviour, in different documented cases of wiki application, indicated that predispositions to work independently may be aggravating factors inhibiting the natural occurrence of collaborative events. Finally, my conclusions reiterated the critical role of the facilitator in scaffolding collaborative behaviour to overcome students’ inclinations to complete wiki assignments autonomously. Examples of scaffolding strategies discussed include: structuring wiki activities according to relevant theoretical frameworks, encouraging students to use existing avenues for communication and providing alternatives, and assigning students to specific and differentiated roles. This paper contributes to existing literature which has emphasized the need for an established framework to guide effective wiki implementation in formal education settings.

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ISSN 1925-7147

© CAARE 2014