WikiSym 2009 Talk: Understanding Learning – the Wiki Way

Authors: Joachim Kimmerle, Johannes Moskaliuk, and Ulrike Cress (University of Tuebingen) (Germany)

Abstract: Learning “the wiki way”, learning through wikis is a form of self-regulated learning that is independent of formal learning settings and takes place in a community of knowledge. Such a community may work jointly on a digital artifact to create new, innovative and emergent knowledge. We regard wikis as a prototype of tools for community-based learning, and point out five relevant features. We will present the co-evolution model, as introduced by Cress and Kimmerle, that may be understood as a framework to describe learning in the wiki way. This model describes collaborative knowledge building as a co-evolution between cognitive and social systems. To investigate learning the wiki way, we have to consider both individual processes and processes within the wiki, which represent the processes that are going on within a community. This paper presents three empirical studies that investigate learning the wiki way in a laboratory setting. We take a look at participants’ contributions to a wiki indicating processes within the wiki community, and measure the extent of individual learning at the end of the experiment. Our conclusion is that the model of co-evolution has a strong impact on understanding learning the wiki way, may be helpful to designers of learning environments, and serve as framework for further research.

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