Teaching with wikis : addressing the digital divide
conference contributionposted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by Gayani Samarawickrema, R Benson, C Brack
This paper addresses some aspects of the digital divide affecting teachers and learners in higher education. These relate to divisions arising from variable rates of technology adoption by teachers, which may be especially problematic when students’ uptake of technology is much more rapid than those who teach them, and also to divisions within the student body which teachers need to accommodate when they plan the design of learning. To address these divisions, we designed a pilot online workshop to prepare a small group of teaching staff at two Australian universities for using wikis in teaching and assessment. Participants were immersed in the experience of collaborating on a project in a wiki as learners, and then asked to reflect on this experience as teachers. We used a participatory action research approach with a view to developing a community of enquiry to investigate this experience for improving future offerings, and informing the participants’ teaching practice. This paper reports on the professional development effort, reflecting on the successes and limitations of the work, and lessons learned in relation to bridging the above aspects of the digital divide. We then comment on the potential for further development in the context of the evolution of learning technology as a research discipline.