Wikibook Transformations and Disruptions: Looking Back Twenty Years to Today

Wikibook Transformations and Disruptions: Looking Back Twenty Years to Today

Curtis J. Bonk (Indiana University, USA), Mimi Miyoung Lee (University of Houston, USA), Nari Kim (The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, USA) and Meng-Fen Grace Lin (University of Hawaii, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-729-4.ch008
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A Wikibook is a transformative and disruptive technology that is finding increasing use in schools and higher education institutions. This new form of technology is inexpensive, accessible, and fairly responsive to the user. When engaged in a Wikibook project in an academic setting, learners are granted power to control the content and process of learning. Wikibooks are part of the Web 2.0 which can provide a powerful force in changing, and improving education. However, the authors’ multiple attempts to build Wikibooks in their own classes reveal that creating a successful Wikibook is not particularly easy. It is even more difficult when it entails more than one institution or class. Cross-institutional and internationally designed Wikibooks present many instructional challenges and dilemmas to learners and instructors. In addition, there are collaboration issues, technology issues, knowledge construction and sense of community issues, and general issues related to the Wikibook technology and the Wikibook design process itself. In response, in this chapter, the authors provide dozens of Wikibook collaboration ideas and suggestions based on our experiences.
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Imagine a Web page that anyone with access to the Internet can edit, not just read (Evans, 2006). Now imagine if that editing process extended well beyond that page to an entire chapter or book. If successful, you have envisioned the birth of the wikibook. A wikibook is one of many so-called Web 2.0 technologies that are now finding their ways into K-12 and college classrooms. Wikis are collaborative writing spaces wherein a learner can perpetually tinker with ideas as well as remold and share them.

Clearly Wikibooks are empowering tools for education. With such devices at their fingertips, learners take control over their own learning situations. They might develop the theme or title of the wikibook and coordinate the entire process of assembling one. They might take on the role of writer who collaborates with others in building a product that is shareable. When done, they might decide to take on roles of editors or proofreaders of the wikibook. At the same time, they might provide help or resources as needed, including assistance with references, copyright clearance, page layout, and cover design.

A central aspect of the wikibook is that anyone can determine where, what, when, and how much to contribute. During writing, the learner is no longer just finding a perspective for a teacher or for herself, but for an unknown and potentially gigantic audience. There is a sense of contributing to the greater good of humankind. Along these same lines, there is a generative spirit and process that is exhibited in a wikibook project. Learners participate in their own learning as opposed to be given a preset learning agenda or set of learning items to review and practice until perfection. When individuals can contribute to the knowledge building process instead of passively consuming prepackaged knowledge and information, they engage more deeply with the content and assume control over their own learning. In a word, learners are empowered. It is in such situations that passion-based learning is possible (Brown, 2006). When passion is present, depth in learning often occurs as one seeks more knowledge that is later shared in the wikibook.

And that may be the most important factor of all--the wikibook is shared. If made public, a wikibook is an open educational resource for reading, discussing, and still further sharing among any member of this planet. Suppose it is a book on introductory algebra. Such a text could be translated into other languages and shared further still. Given that most introductory concepts in algebra do not change much, once created, that book could be reused for years or even decades. A student in Cameroon could enjoy and learn from it as much, if not more, than one in Canada, Korea, or Chile. Of course, the examples and problems should be localized for each culture and setting.

As indicated, a wikibook is part of the Web 2.0 where learners contribute to learning rather than being handed it in a textbook or a set of lecture notes. As opposed to the casual browsing that typified the initial incarnation of the Web, the Web 2.0 or “read-write Web” is no longer a device to be used for passive reception of information or for accessing and perusing content. When learners are put in charge of their own learning, it is nothing less than a revolution in human learning. Revolutions, however, are rarely won easily.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
George Siemens
Harrison Hao Yang, Steve Chi-Yin Yuen
Chapter 1
Stephen Downes
The purpose of this chapter is to outline some of the thinking behind new e-learning technology, including e-portfolios and personal learning... Sample PDF
Learning Networks and Connective Knowledge
Chapter 2
Ann Dutton Ewbank, Adam G. Kay, Teresa S. Foulger, Heather L. Carter
This chapter reviews the capabilities of social networking tools and links those capabilities to recent legal and ethical controversies involving... Sample PDF
Conceptualizing Codes of Conduct in Social Networking Communities
Chapter 3
Judi Repman, Cordelia Zinskie, Elizabeth Downs
As online learning continues to expand and evolve, new challenges emerge regarding the implementation of Web 2.0 tools and technologies in online... Sample PDF
Fulfilling the Promise: Addressing Institutional Factors that Impede the Implementation of E-Learning 2.0
Chapter 4
Robert Z. Zheng
The growth of online resources and the advancement of Web 2.0 technology are changing the instructional landscape and have significantly impacted... Sample PDF
Designing Dynamic Learning Environment for Web 2.0 Application
Chapter 5
Marshall G. Jones, Stephen W. Harmon
This chapter deals centrally with one emerging aspect of Web 2.0 for education, that of the increasing demand for real time and near real-time... Sample PDF
Instructional Strategies for Teaching in Synchronous Online Learning Environments (SOLE)
Chapter 6
Daniel W. Surry, David C. Ensminger
Higher education is changing in important and profound ways. New technologies are enabling universities to reach new students and create innovative... Sample PDF
University 2.0: Human, Social, and Societal Issues
Chapter 7
Jay Alden
The emergence of Web 2.0 technologies with its emphasis on social networking has presented an opportunity for academic institutions to take... Sample PDF
Use of Wikis to Support Collaboration among Online Students
Chapter 8
Curtis J. Bonk, Mimi Miyoung Lee, Nari Kim, Meng-Fen Grace Lin
A Wikibook is a transformative and disruptive technology that is finding increasing use in schools and higher education institutions. This new form... Sample PDF
Wikibook Transformations and Disruptions: Looking Back Twenty Years to Today
Chapter 9
Chareen Snelson
The recent explosive growth of Web-based video has expanded the repository of free content that can be tapped into for e-learning. Millions of video... Sample PDF
Web-Based Video for e-Learning: Tapping into the YouTubeTM Phenomenon
Chapter 10
Deborah Everhart, Kaye Shelton
Collaborative research teaches students critical knowledge management skills, whether they are undergraduates learning the basics of Web research or... Sample PDF
From Information Literacy to Scholarly Identity: Effective Pedagogical Strategies for Social Bookmarking
Chapter 11
Morris S.Y. Jong, Junjie Shang, Fong-Lok Lee, Jimmy H.M. Lee
VISOLE (Virtual Interactive Student-Oriented Learning Environment) is a constructivist pedagogical approach to empower computer game-based learning.... Sample PDF
VISOLE: A Constructivist Pedagogical Approach to Game-Based Learning
Chapter 12
Patricia Edwards, Mercedes Rico, Eva Dominguez, J. Enrique Agudo
Web 2.0 technologies are described as new and emerging for all fields of knowledge, including academia. Innovative e-learning formats like on-demand... Sample PDF
Second Language E-Learning and Professional Training with Second Life®
Chapter 13
Hyung Sung Park, Young Kyun Baek
The purpose of this chapter is to offer practical ideas and cases for educational use of the Second Life® virtual world with Web 2.0 based... Sample PDF
Empirical Evidence and Practical Cases for Using Virtual Worlds in Educational Contexts
Chapter 14
Sharon Stoerger
Schools based in the United States are trapped in a Henry Ford factory model of education that is focused on high-stakes testing. This model was... Sample PDF
A Pedagogical Odyssey in Three-Dimensional Virtual Worlds: The SECOND LIFE® Model
Chapter 15
Youmei Liu, Shawn McCombs
E-Learning has undergone an amazing metamorphosis: it has changed from the delivery of individualized, static curricular information to the... Sample PDF
Podcasting: A Flexible E-Learning Tool
Chapter 16
Steve Chi-Yin Yuen, Harrison Hao Yang
This chapter provides an overview and development of sense of community and social networking; discusses the potential uses of social networking in... Sample PDF
Using Social Networking to Enhance Sense of Community in E-Learning Courses
About the Contributors