What to do with Wikis – an ELT perspective

I read an article called “What to do with Wikis – an ELT perspective“. I would like to share some comments on Wikis with you.

Firstly I understand a wiki as a website – tool for colaboration, helpful for work in teams when you, from some reason, want to work online and you don’t want to bother with IT, coding and programming. You can simply write a text. If something more is needed, you just click on the easy to comprehend icons and check what it really does.

Actually this is one point of view. If we look at the most complex wiki site “Wikipedia.org” we can imagine how powerful wikis can be. It is edited by huge number of people who want to share their knowledge mostly based on some research and reading. Also it is easily accesible and serves to others as an encyclopedia.

According to Wikipedia, the world largest wiki site:

“A Wiki ([ˈwiː.kiː] <wee-kee> or [ˈwɪ.kiː] <wick-ey>) is a type of website that allows users to add, remove, or otherwise edit and change most content very quickly and easily via website.”

This corresponds with my definition in the second paragraph in a way. So let’s get back to wikis for ELT.

Wikis for ELT can be used in many ways, one thing from the article I’d like to point out is wikis should serve as a support for the work of the learners so the content and the role of the wiki must be negotiated by them. By different options we should be able to achieve a perfect fit for our purpose. The article dealed with different use of wikis which, of course, can be combined.

Administrative use of wiki means that some content of the wiki is preserved for administration of the group – tasks, attendance, schedulling, events, organization. Referential use stands for additional materials and resources generated either by the students or a teacher. Developmental use involves development of abilities of the students – writing, reading, listening, speaking.

My comments on wikis for ELT

  • It is a very good way to go when there are special conditions and all the course or its part takes place online.
  • Students should be motivated and probably rated during the process of generation of some content.
  • We should consider whether the real life experience doesn’t make better sense before we decide to stick to digital technologies.
  • The students’ progress can be well followed during the process.

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