Over the last few weeks, I've gone backwards and forwards about WetPaint. The alternative is the Learning Objects wiki add-on for Blackboard. Both of these have advantages and disadvanatges. One of the main ones is lack of RSS output from the Learning Objects/Blackboard wiki, which WetPaint has, making assessment of individual contributions much easier. In fact, without RSS output I'm not sure how I could assess individual contributions to a group Learning Objects/Blackboard wiki. (Sigh, yes, I do have to assess, or students won't engage.) Privacy (which I hate but students like, as I found out in my forays into assessing contributions to Wikipedia) and the much greater range of content which can be embedded into Learning Objects/Blackboard wikis make me lean towards this solution.
In fact, the bigger question for me right now is group versus individual wikis. Previously on this course I have used collaborative writing on Wikipedia as an assessment format, but I was persuaded by a presentation at the HEA conference this summer to try out individual Learning Objects/Blackboard wikis this time around. However, although that might solve some of the problems with the squabbles about credit for contributions to a single group wiki, I've never felt comfortable with abandoning the idea of collaboration where knowledge is individually owned by students but socially constructed.
So right now, I'm stuck in a morass of self-doubt, both on the technology and the pedagogical fronts. Both solutions are flawed. Which is worse? Maybe I should just get the students to write a 3000 word essay and spend a boring afternoon marking them all?
Richard Badge is using the Learning Objects/Blackboard wiki as a place to keep lab notes and record gel photos, and laboratory wikis were originally a component of Small Worlds, although we've backed off promoting wiki use recently.
Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way. Perhaps the question is:
Although I've never found approaching these problems from a learning outcomes perspective any more helpful than Sarah Horrigan.