Wikis??? Wikis…. Wikis!!!!!!!!!
When I heard this name I thought it was the name for individual Wikipedia entries… or… maybe Wikipedia moderators :). So I googled first (as usual), then read an article.
So wikis are webpages mutually connected to each other and easily editable by other users. They give the users browser- based access, that is no software or webmaster is required to operate the pages.
So I tried editing a piece of writing compiled and created by my classmates. This gave me a somewhat distinct view of the concept of wikis. I liked the experience of being able to change the content the way I thought was more appropriate. Though I didn’t feel ablidged to contribute as I saw a big test already there.
Research shows opportunities that wikis give and potential drawbacks they have. The reason to implement wikis for education purposes truly sound solid: they are a great platform for collaborative writing, they may develop critical thinking as editing others’ work is not an easy task, they also provide all the necessary tools for communication such as a massage box.
Using wikis you should know that a number of factors may determine how beneficial the use of this tool will be. These may be the type of the task, the students’ willingness to work in a team, and also the instructor’s attitude towards the process. What is more there seems to be considerable positive correlation between using collaboration scripts (in simple words assigning each group and individuals within the group special roles and imposing certain responsibilities on them) and the quality of final project, as well as the amount and quality of each learner’s contribution.
So my main advice is if you decide to use wikis for collaborative writing in TEFL consider implementing “collaboration scripts”. Give your students a clear outline of what they are expected to do. Leave them space for creativity, but make sure they are not lost.