Learning the Wiki way
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The Department of Information Systems has introduced an innovative web-based learning platform enabling students to learn beyond the classroom, which has contributed to better learning outcomes of students.
Based on Wikipedia, students in our class can contribute their ideas to the IS 4632 Wiki open platform (Wiki). Wiki is written collaboratively by all the students in the IS Strategy and Tactical Management course and it represents the collective wisdom of all classmates. Each week, the instructors write a short lesson summary that we are asked to enrich with more content.
At the end of the course, our contributions are consolidated and printed as the "Wikibook". The 12 chapters in the book cover 12 weeks of course materials and provide an introduction to a subject matter for which few comprehensive texts exist. The "Wikibook" also promotes cross-departmental collaboration as students from other disciplines within CityU have been invited to do some editing to ensure consistency of style, formatting and language.
“What more can I contribute to the Wiki? It seems the content is more than enough!” This is the situation we face whenever we are late contributing to Wiki, as our classmates have invariably been working very hard. In order to be the first to contribute, some of our classmates even bring their notebook computers so they can finish the Wiki task immediately after class! We have made use of the internet, reference books and in-class discussions to complete our missions.
As a student, by refreshing what we have learned and discussed during classes, learning has become an ongoing process. We can capture the latest theories and updated examples on the Wiki, so we effectively have a better course “textbook”. Moreover, the system allows us to modify classmates’ work. This fosters a good atmosphere and enhances friendships among classmates. We understand that education is not limited to knowledge, but also incorporates social interaction and interpersonal skills.
Examinations are of concern to every student. Wiki can help us reduce stress by eliminating the traditional spoon-fed teaching that requires students to memorise vast tracts of information. The course focuses on analytical skills and understanding of the subject. We are allowed to bring the Wikibook into the examination hall, which reduces the need to memorise so much but allows us to instead focus on applying the principles learned in the subject.
This open platform has improved the project management skills of new graduates. We will be completing similar projects in the workplace and the Wiki process at CityU has definitely equipped us well in advance. We have also learnt better time and knowledge management skills. Extracting useful and related information within a limited time span is not easy but our Wiki experience has imbued us with greater confidence in both these respects.
Last but not least, we are very grateful to course instructors Professor Christian Wagner and Ms Rachael Ip Kwai-fun, for their help in making the book a reality. As all of us are the author, we are proud of the "Wikibook".