Educating the Net Generation

Implementation 3: University of Melbourne – Psychology

Teacher Provocateur and collaborative publishing through wikis

This case study involved using a wiki to support both informal online discussion and a collaborative writing exercise among first year psychology students at the University of Melbourne.

In the online discussion activity, the course convenor posted to the wiki additional ideas and perspectives on the concepts that students were encountering in their lectures. Commentary topics were provocative, contemporary and not obviously relevant to the subject of lectures (e.g. dreams, hallucination, metal illness, homelessness). Students were simply asked to read the commentary and comment on it when they felt the urge, or comment on other students' comments.

The collaborative writing exercise involved asking lab groups (consisting of between 20 and 30 students) to produce a wikipaedia style webpage on Motion Detection, a key topic of two lectures in the course. Students were provided with a guide of the basic concepts that should be covered in the wiki entry, as well tips on how to collaboratively put a wiki site together.

top of page