Web-based tools, like wikis and blogs, have been increasingly adopted in distance learning to extend the interactive aspects of teaching and learning with the opportunity to exchange ideas, unrestricted by classroom space and time.
wiki, the Hawaiian word for “quick,” was firstly created by Ward Cunningham in 1995, and permitted users to create, edit, and organize content in a Web format (Richardson, 2006; Wagner, 2004). Wiki technology pemits group collaboration across the Internet, providing users with both author and editor privileges, with the ability to incorporate sounds, pictures, and movies. Wiki Web pages can be edited, modified, created, and saved using a Web browser by anyone who has access to them, at any time, from anywhere (Desilets, Paquet, & Vinson, 2005; Parker & Chao, 2007; Raman, Ryan, & Olfman, 2005). Wikipedia (2007), an online encyclopedia, is one of the best-known wikis.
Wiki pages are, by default, open, but they can be configured to give selective access, or may even be entirely closed. A wiki’s versioning capability can show the evolution of thought processes as contributors interact with content. Wiki technology can impact knowledge management, and can support knowledge creation and sharing (Boulos et al., 2006; Bower, Woo, Roberts, & Watters, 2006; Lamb, 2004; Leuf & Cunningham, 2001; Raman et al., 2005; Richardson, 2006; Robinson, 2006; Sauer, Bialek, Efimova, Schwartlander, Pless, & Neuhaus, 2005; Wagner, 2004).