(Editor’s note: This is the third in a series about faculty demonstrations scheduled for the Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference March 4-5 at K-State. See the conference schedule and details at theitl.org.)
In the age of social media, there are a range of tools that enable the social element in online learning. A new tool has been integrated into K-State Online to enable wikis and blogs.
Scott Finkeldei, associate director of mediated education, spoke about the newly integrated Campus Pack tool that enables the uses of wikis and blogs in K-State Online. He will be holding a workshop on this tool 1:30-2:30 Monday, March 4, at the Union Big 12 Room as part of the Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference.
What are wikis? What are some of their uses in online learning?
A wiki (Hawaiian for ‘quick’) is a website that is collaboratively edited and maintained by a community of users. Wikis are great for students collaborating on research, information gathering and sharing, or project planning. Wikis are great ways for students and instructors to collaborate, interact, and work together and share resources for things such as course terminology, new topic ideas or class information.
What are blogs? What are some of their uses in online learning?
Blogs (a portmanteau of web log) are websites where people or groups of users regularly post and update information, opinions, images, etc. Blogs are great for journaling, reaction-type assignments, on-going portfolios of student writing, a place for students to showcase their work or research or just discuss with each other the class topics.
How do wikis and blogs fit in with Web 2.0 and online learning?
Having a wiki or blog makes it easier to incorporate secure, social tools into K-State Online courses. They allow for more dynamic information sharing, online interactions and are familiar to today’s students.
How friendly are wiki and blog technologies in terms of multimedia?
Pretty friendly! Wikis and blogs are both generally both very good ways for students to find and share multimedia with their classmates. Maybe popular blogs on the Internet are basically about sharing multimedia options curated from around the web. The Campus Pack wikis and blogs have a powerful set of tools for embedding or linking to media. It handles Flash, audio, video, image (and even HTML5 stuff).
How were Campus Pack wikis and blogs selected for K-State? What were the compelling features?
One of the main reasons the Campus Pack wiki and blogging tool was selected is because it was the only one out there with a Social Assessment component that allows instructors to create blogs or wikis that are only seen by them and the individual student (with options to open it wider as needed) and tools to help review and assess the students work.
What will you be showing at your workshop, “Campus Pack Wikis and Blogs: A new tool for K-State Online”?
The workshop will be mostly an overview of the tool as it relates to K-State Online. We will discuss how to enable it, create wikis and blogs for individuals or for groups, how the assessment features work, and how you can view statistics and control the tools. We will also discuss best practices, share examples of uses that work, and answer any questions that the audience has about the tools.
What support will faculty and staff have in the uses of Campus Pack?
iTAC trainers and the IT Help Desk have been prepared to support the use of these tools. The instructional designers in iTAC are available to discuss effective uses, assessment options, etc. The K-State Online team is also available to directly support individuals or groups for training and technical support.