[Working notes, with cloned or borrowed materials that still need to be organized]
Interactions of the students
Grudzial et al. (2002) describe situations where students refused to participate, or only participated to the minimum extent required. Teachers and teaching assistants ignore the Wiki or actively fight against it.
As one of our participants quite eloquently explained, â€śI am unduly worried about how I am viewed by others. This leads to me being less than honest, less productive and less assertive than what I can be."
Students can feel disoriented in the absence of firm goals to aim for.
Projects are open-ended and lack fixed solutions. â€śThis project had the least defined rules of any projects Iâ€™ve been involved with before. This was good because we could work on what we wanted but difficult because we had to define our own project.â€ť
Lack of confidence, sense of learned helplessness
(Cut/paste from ???)
Research by Mick & Fournier (cited in Rudestam & Schoenholtz-Read, 2002) indicates that while successful operation of new technology can lead to a greater sense of intelligence and efficacy, failure can evoke feelings of stupidity and ineptitude for both staff and students. Fear and a lack of self-confidence have a real impact on the student learning experience, and affect that learning.
(Cut/paste from paper coweb)
The literature on educational psychology has pointed out a paradox in students behaviors when choosing to seek help: If a student is confused, he may not want to seek help, perhaps to avoid admitting the confusion, a condition called learned helplessness (Bruer, 1993). Seeking and receiving help does lead to achievement, but students have to seek the help (Webb & Palincsar, 1996). Quotes from the targeted questionnaire support the belief that the students may have felt that they were so confused that they could not ask for help. (Cut/paste from coweb)
"I haven't posted about questions because I am confident that my answers are wrong"
"I thought, I was the only one having problem understanding what was asked in the exam."
"who am I to post answers? "
Or, they may have felt that if they asked questions, they would be punished.
"What was I suppose to do with it. Those who answered questions were severely criticized by [the teacher]."
"The overall environment for [this class] isn't a very help-oriented environment"
Learning Curve: As with any new technology, Tiki has a learning curve, both for instructor and student. The instructor must learn at least how to administer it and use it, if not also to download and install it. Students must learn how to use it as well, though my experience is that the vast majority of students are sufficiently web-savvy that their learning curve has a slope approaching zero. Tiki has documentation, both built-in and online, and the community of developers behind the application are helpful and respond quickly to inquiries. The benefits of teaching with Tiki easily repay the investment of time and other resources to implement it in the philosophy classroom.
A significant proportion of the students explored the sites, but left no visible trail. These students can be classified as lurkers. According to Denning & Davis (2001), lurking is a term used to describe less active participation in a computer-mediated activity: in other words reading not writing. Traditionally lurking had been viewed in a negative way, conjuring up images of voyeurism. However, in depth interviews had shown that this was not the case, and often uncertainty or shyness were more often factors. Students in the Denning and Davis study, whether participating or not all agreed that lurking should not be viewed as non-participation. In terms of our professional practice approach, lurking equates to legitimate peripheral participation.
Studentsâ€™ resistance to correct somebody else's writing
"What I learned through my little, unscientific experiment reinforced what I read in The Wiki Way and elsewhere: You can lead just about anyone to a wiki, but no one who's not sufficiently bold or has had previous wiki experience will take that first tentative step at changing someone else's creation. So group dynamics in a wiki require a dedicated group to start and keep the wiki alive as long as it's needed. Group or community wikis are first and foremost about collaboration: That's the whole point of the radical (and still controversial), open editing solution devised by Ward Cunningham." [Copy/Paste from: http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/apr03/mattison.shtml]
"It's the same as with open source software development: You're expected, if able, to contribute a part to the whole and to make that part available to the community. You'll find long expostulations on the collaborative, mutable aspect of wiki in Ward's WikiWikiWeb under such WikiWords as PerpetualNow, TheWikiDiscontinuity, WikiIsNoSandCastle, and WikiNature. Elements of mysticism and religion also arise in many WikiWords as some individuals attempt to grapple with the philosophical/metaphysical overtones and existential "meaning" of wiki: for example, NooSphere, WabiSabi, and ZenSlap. Some plain-talking folks just admit their ignorance through a WikiWord BoyThisStuffMakesMeFeelStupid and let their wiki neighborhood take over. In describing in a short, final paragraph the experimental nature of wiki, The Wiki Way concludes with these wise words: "People adapt. Wiki adapts."" Copy/Paste from:
Students' needs to identify individually with their own work
Students did not take up collective authoring of nodes. Instead, they tended to use nodes as owned spaces. They would post, then ask for comments on the writing, but not invite revision or in-text annotation.
It was particularly difficult to get the teachers to take advantage of the collaborative properties of the wiki philosophy. For example, on the second afternoon of project work, the teachersâ€™ assignment was to go onto each otherâ€™s wiki pages and make suggestions for changes. But–with various degrees of politeness–the participants refused to alter one another's work. Many of them were plainly uncomfortable doing so. While scientists and social scientists frequently collaborate in such ways at the collegiate level, such activities are not part of the pre-college education culture. Some teachers, clearly intimidated by others in the group, were particularly reluctant to touch othersâ€™ work for fear of rebuke.
Most of the teachers really did not want to have their work played with by others. This reluctance seemed largely to have to do with the public nature of the wiki documents: because the pages were so easily accessible to others, and because we had identified their pages with their names, participants wanted to control the public face of their creations. (We had a similar experience as we wrote this paper: One of us was quite eager to use wiki as the site for crafting multiple drafts of the essay; another was equally reluctant to have the thinking-aloud of others attributed to him and accessible to others for alteration in a public forum, before he had reviewed and approved the draft.)
Concerns that others will take advantage of them, or hurt them (what one participant called "cutting off the legs" of another)?
Resistance to collaboration: when students of one option have to collaborate with students of another.
In one application of the CoWeb, the interaction of junior and senior students was the explicit goal. Two classes in Chemical Engineering were paired using the CoWeb. The Senior level course had students designing a chemical system then constructing a simulation of the system. The Sophomore level course was on analyzing exactly that kind of simulation. Because of curriculum paths, it was possible for the Seniors never to have taken the Sophomore level course. The two Chemical Engineering faculty teaching the classes decided to require a cross-class project where Seniors would create the simulation, pass the data to the Sophomores who would analyze the simulation and return the results to the Seniors, who would use the results to complete the simulation. The CoWeb provided an open forum for sharing data, deciding on formats and other issues for such a technical collaboration, and working together on the solution.
Students view the class or the field as intensely competitive
(Cut/paste from paper coweb)
Students in the classes where there was little collaboration tended to view the class or the field as competitive and demanding a lot of time and effort. Quotes from the targeted questionnaire on why students did not participate in the Midterm.
Studentâ€™s quote: "Since it is a curved class most people don't want others to do well"