Use of the Wiki for Cross-Institutional Collaborations

Use of the Wiki for Cross-Institutional Collaborations

Carolin Fuchs (Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/ijopcd.2015010101
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Abstract

This article discusses how groups of student teachers use the wiki to collaborate cross-institutionally in order to design tasks for English language learners. Participants in this case study involved student teachers at a private graduate institution on the East Coast in the U.S. and students at a public graduate institution in Luxembourg. In this action research approach, data triangulation involved gathering information through a combination of different instruments such as computer-mediated communication data, needs analyses, journal entries, and post-course questionnaires. Findings showed that in addition to writing collaboratively, groups used the wiki as a discussion tool. This subsequently led to an exploration of the interactions through computer-mediated discourse analysis and a discussion of methodological implications.
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Introduction

Goal and Rationale of the Study

This exploratory case study1 aims to contribute to prior research on online and blended learning formats in telecollaborative teacher education settings (e.g., Arnold, Ducate, & Lomicka, 2007; Dooly, 2010; Develotte, Guichon, & Kern, 2008; Develotte, Guichon, & Vincent, 2010; Fuchs, 2006; Hauck & Lewis, 2007; Lord & Lomicka, 2007, 2008; Müller-Hartmann, 2005; Scherff & Paulus, 2006; Shaughnessy, Purves, & Jackson, 2008). The study explores how groups of student teachers in the U.S. collaborated with partner groups in Luxembourg on a wiki to design tasks for English language learners.

The goal was for groups of student teachers to explore technology tools such as podcasts, wikis, blogs, and discussion forums through model learning (Willis, 2001). Participants included one class of student teachers at a private graduate institution on the East Coast in the U.S., and one class of students enrolled in a public graduate institution in Luxembourg. Cross-institutional groups used a class wiki for collaborative writing and discussion, and they created their own group wiki as a platform for English language learning tasks.

In the next section, the author first presents research on the wiki’s potential for language teaching. She then outlines how participants used the wiki for the purpose of task negotiation and design, and how she used a computer-mediated discourse analysis (CMDA) approach for exploring the computer-mediated communication (CMC) data.

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