Day 4 - Wiki Review Sheets Published 2006-12-17 under , ,

I have tried a number of approaches to preparing students for an exam. I have created review sheets, chapter outlines, and practice exams. But it always struck me that I was doing all of the work. The students should be the ones creating these review documents.

I ran into logistical problems whenever I asked students to come up with practice problems or review material. By the time I had put all of their work together, there was little time for the students to review their cumulative work.

Wikis to the rescue. If you have never used a wiki, it is a type of website where viewers (with permission) can edit the content on each page and even create their own pages. Wikopedida is, perhaps, the most famous wiki in production.

I use PBWiki to create a wiki site for a class, and have students record the concepts presented in class. As an example, each chapter might be placed on a separate page with an overall description or summary of the topics/concepts discussed during that chapter. Subsequent pages are developed from this chapter page detailing each of the topics/concepts. Each chapter in the wiki is created while that chapter is being discussed so that its content can not only be used for a final exam but also for a chapter test.

The class as a whole is responsible for ensuring that all material is accurately covered. Because you as the teacher can review individual edits to the wiki, it is possible to assess each students contribution to the project. Furthermore, this wiki comes to represent the class' knowledge and is a good tool for you to assess any areas of confusion or weakness PRIOR to a test or exam.

Another example of using wikis for review can be seen from the work of Darren Kuropatwa's classes that create solutions manuals. As will be seen in a later "12 Days..." post, Darren's classes are doing some excellent work in collaboration. You can check out some of their wiki examples:

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Diane Quirk said...

I've been looking forward to each of your 12 days! I really like your example of using a wiki. This puts the responsibility for learning in the students' hands but also gives them the opportunity to edit to refine their work as they go along. Excellent way to assess student learning.