Using a wiki for learning and assessment on a research methodology module delivered to part-time Level 9 students

Aidan O’Dwyer

Dublin Institute of Technology

This contribution will report on the use of a wiki for learning and assessment, on a 5-ECTS module in Research Methodologies and E-Learning, delivered on a blended learning basis to part-time students taking an MSc programme in Energy Management at the author’s college. The module, whose outcome is the development of an individual research project proposal by students, subsequently leads to a 25-ECTS supervised research project. The module is delivered through three face-to-face workshops and the use of a collaborative website (wiki).
The wiki is used as the main co-ordination tool for the delivery of the module, as a repository for course materials and links to learning resources, as a tool to record individual progress in developing a research proposal, and as a collaborative learning environment by the student cohort. The wiki content is also used as part of the module assessment, with 10% of the module credit allocated to the quality of contributions in personal wiki pages developed, and a further 10% allocated to quality of individual contribution to the wiki pages of peers.
The module delivery method was used with the first student cohort in Semester 2 of the 2008-9 academic year, and is being currently used with the second student cohort. Student and tutor experiences with the blended learning approach will be detailed in the contribution. In outline, the wiki facilitates learner-centered education, motivates independent learning, is compatible with the student profile and background, and through peer learning unlocks previous work and learning experiences to the benefit of all learners.

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