[iDC] "All our wiki are belong to you"

Alex Halavais halavais at gmail.com
Sun Apr 30 12:17:48 EDT 2006

Just a quick comment on class-based wikis. I want to believe, but in
using wikis in graduate classes over the last few years, I've had only
marginal successes.

Generally, they only seem to work if you use them in very traditional
ways. Getting students up to speed and willing to edit each others'
work is like pulling teeth--even when you directly assign them to the

I've been trying to find a model. This fall, my grad students worked
on building a Communication Theory textbook:


But frankly, there was little added value in doing on a wiki. I have
spoken a bit with a colleague about a scholarly wiki on Habermas.
Unfortunately, I have a feeling that the model that works may be
opening to anyone to read, but limiting edits to a smaller group. This
runs against my instincts, but I've yet to see a practical template
for implementation that works consistently.

In some ways Wikipedia seems to be the perfect mating of software and
social task, but this may be the bias of retrospective.

- Alex

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