Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Groups, wikis and Big Brother

Paul writes...

It's obviously not just the trailblazing Exec MBA course that is using social computing on University programs. Here's a story from the Beeb about UEA students editing and building Wikipedia pages, as well as being assessed on their efforts.

I've thought for a while that the technical competencies of the wiki lend themselves extremely well to supporting academic assessment. The 'view history' feature alone is, it seems to me, a good way to start to combat the 'freeloader' syndrome that often happens in group projects.

Is that too much like Big Brother, or would it be valuable in your group work?



Trudi said...

Interesting comments - you could go either way on this one - especially when I think of the comments in class on the subject of Wikipedia... however in the good (?) days then we would rely on printed book sources - I believe on-line has the potential to be far more inclusive than earlier documents.

Peter said...

Dr Pratt should be invited here to present to ITLF, methinks.

Peter said...

Thinking more about this, I wonder if UEA have stumbled on a new model for on-line encyclopedia. As Wikipedia becomes increasingly organised, university contributions must be a beguiling way of combining the open-spirit of Wikipedia with a quality standard/certification. Universities bring the quality standards for free. Hooking them into the generation of a worldwide encyclopedia, might be very interesting ...

Unipedia, anyone?

Acapedia? Academia?

hmatt said...

Aside from group work, it does have an interesting implication on academic referencing.

How do you reference your work, when the sources are dynamic? The source the tutor sees could easily have changed beyond recognition from the source you used!

Or morphed to mirror your work, leading to a fun argument about who plagiarised who.

MTB said...

As an alumni of UEA I can confirm two things: firstly, it is not ‘a former poly’ (I have to do this a lot, so best get it out the way now); secondly, its motto is “Do Differently”, and this would be another example of how they live up to it.

I also have to say I like the idea of ‘Unipedia’ or some such site, as it would somehow carry more gravitas than a site with no guarantor.

But perhaps this is my own risk aversion demonstrating a need for stronger evidence that a bunch of people think this is the way it is.

Perhaps I need to find religion! (or fairytales & myths, as my Irish housemate would say)