saudixpat’s Weblog

September 16, 2008

Blackboard and Wikis

Filed under: Uncategorized — Expat in Saudi @ 12:52 am

So one of my goals this year is to have my classes use Wikis – interactive sharing, editing, and learning of knowledge – to enhance their learning. My school uses Blackboard for this, as it is secure and all students are pre-registered, have log ins and passwords for it, and are familiar with the Blackboard environment.

But…what I found out after creating groups and enrolling them in the Wiki, is that only ONE person at a time can be logged in and modifying or creating a Wiki thread. Come on – ONE person? All of my students had assigned topics and were keen to post to the Wiki. However, what I had to do was get my class to create their Wiki entry in Word and then email it to me. I am going to post it on the Wiki. I don’t like this for several reasons. Mainly, it deprives students of their authorship voice. Part of their joy in working with their Wiki is that they have a voice. I wonder if I am taking over their voice by having the process work the way it is. I think I will have to find some workaround to it. If you have any ideas, please feel free to post a comment for me!

I suspect that next semester I will go with an online ed wiki site that allows multiple users to post and edit simultaneously. A bit more work to set up in some ways, but much more enjoyable for the students. If I get too frustrated with the Blackboard Wiki process, I might even port the class wiki out of Blackboard and into the new (yet to be determined) site earlier. <sigh – technology is great  — WHEN IT WORKS!

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9 Comments »

  1. Hi Bruce,
    You sure have many tech projects on the go this year! I appreciate all of the information you have posted on your blog.

    What grade levels or subject areas will create wikis with you this year?

    carol t

    Comment by carol t — September 17, 2008 @ 6:58 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks for the compliments Carol. I will be using blogs with my HS students and wikis with my grade 7/8 tech classes. Wikis will also be used with my Web Design and Management class, which is made up of grades 10-12 students.

    Comment by sibertiger — September 17, 2008 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

  3. Are your wikis subject specific for grade 7-8 students?

    carol t

    Comment by carol t — September 18, 2008 @ 3:44 am | Reply

  4. Yep. My wikis for my tech students, for instance, deal with HTML and CSS at this point, and allow them to explore how they workand are formatted for themselves, with specific students in other classes appointed to review and revise wiki entries on a specific topic (say, how to use HTML to format a table and an example of code). At the least, each reviewer needs to add a new example.

    When we get into photo editing using Fireworks and Photoshop, the same process will take place, except more free-form. So far my students are enjoying it. The only problem is only one student can be on at a time.

    Comment by saudixpat — September 18, 2008 @ 4:47 am | Reply

  5. Bruce,
    When I had my science students creating and using their own wikis, I had each of them create their own page and then all of them could add their information, ideas and reflections at the same time. When they were working in a group, they created a group page and then had to work together to create a response.

    Would this work for you?

    JO-Anne

    Comment by Jo-Anne — September 18, 2008 @ 9:40 pm | Reply

  6. Bruce,
    I just read my response and I think I might not have been clear. Each of my science classes created their own wikis (one per class) and then within their class wiki, they create their own personal pages.

    Jo-Anne

    Comment by Jo-Anne — September 18, 2008 @ 9:42 pm | Reply

  7. The problem is not with the students, but rather that I am using Blackboard for them. The system, as it is set up, allows ONE person on the wiki at a time. I am in the process of moving the wiki to another site; however I have to sit down and research the sites. I personally am involved in a few wikispaces sites and manage one of them, so that might be the best. I will post an update to our wiki adventures when I get there!

    Thanks for the comments though! Now, what site did you host you class wiki on?

    Comment by saudixpat — September 19, 2008 @ 2:37 am | Reply

  8. Does “pb wiki” only allow one user at a time? I am using that one right now as a part of my program at U of A and really like it. I had plans on using it when the opportunity arises but not if only one person goes on at once!

    Important discovery!
    Andrea

    Comment by Andrea — September 22, 2008 @ 2:31 am | Reply

  9. Hi Andrea,

    I actually went with wikispaces. They have 250,000 FREE private wikispaces for educators (regular cost, 50 dollars a year). As administrator, you can control what stays up. I decided to give that a try – my students will post today 🙂

    Comment by sibertiger — September 22, 2008 @ 3:14 am | Reply


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