Sunday, April 23, 2006

Building an OSU Wiki as a class activity

In March 2006, I asked Oregon State University's Central Web Services to create an OSU Wiki. I think students have lots of wisdom about OSU and Corvallis, so I wanted a place where students could coorperatively post ideas and share insights.

This term (Spring 2006) I am teaching four sections of BA271, Information Technology in Business with 190 students total. I decided to ask my BA271 students flesh out initial content for the OSU Wiki.

I've found students know little about wikis or how to edit and work collaboratively on-line. So I wrote a series of exercises and explanations about what to do. You can find this material in the Wiki Activities portion of the BA271 website.

So far this experiment seems to be going well. Students have created their "Wiki Plans"; that is, a description of the articles and contributions they plan on making to the OSU Wiki, and they are well underway with implementing their plans.

It is too soon to know whether the OSU Wiki will be of lasting value, but I feel confident my students will learn a lot about writing and working coopertively regardless of how successful the OSU Wiki becomes.

I'm interested in working with other people to promote the use of wikis -- both with respect to student instruction and for capturing university knowledge in general. So if anyone would like to work with me, I can be reached at


At 6:26 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

Hi David,
Thanks so much for posting this information to the New Research Summit blog. When I found out about your exciting class project, I felt sure that others involved in the Summit would be interested.

Too bad that other commitments prevent you from attending the Summit, but I'll be glad to share information once I get back to campus.


At 9:59 PM, Blogger Andrew said...


Interesting... just last week, one of the tech support people in Journalism & Communication launched a UO wiki:

These projects raise many interesting questions about authority, organizational responsibility, and sustainability. For example, while collective wisdom is great, should the University Archivist and UO Planning Office also play a role in maintaining content on sites like this? Should there be any university-wide endorsement of these efforts, and if so, should it be moved from a school/college server to a central server in the library or computing center?

Taking it up another notch, in the follow up discussion, someone asked, "why not use the same energy updateing the wikipedia entry for UO?:


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