Wiki as an Instructional Tool: A Case Study of Students’ Learning Difficulties

By Pai-Lu Wu, Hui-Ju Wu, Sih-Han Huang, Mei-Yao Chang and Pai-Shih Yang.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The potential of wiki technology is demonstrated by Wikipedia, one of the best-known information and communication technologies in the new information society. The characteristic design principles of wikis are widely believed to offer numerous benefits and new opportunities in education. However, the effectiveness of wikis in the educational context remains controversial. Thus, the successful integration of wiki technology into the educational setting requires more discussion and further consideration. The aim of the present study is to investigate the obstacles confronting students in learning and using wiki technology in a general education course, “Information Technology and Society.” Qualitative data on the students’ perceptions, particularly their difficulties in learning the new medium, are compiled from semi-structured interviews. We found that the students’ experiences with the wiki class were negative. Difficulty with system usability appeared to contribute the students’ resistance to learning and using the wiki. However, we found that the students’ poor uptake of the wiki technology revealed a more fundamental and prevalent problem, particularly in higher education in Taiwan, namely that students basically had a passive attitude toward learning. We discuss possible solutions for better use of wikis in the classroom from a practical perspective using the six domains of the National Educational Technology Standards for Students standards: technology operations and concepts, digital citizenship, creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration, research and information fluency, critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making.

Keywords: Learning Difficulties, Wiki-enhanced Learning, Information Technology and Society Technical and Vocational Education

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 7, pp.141-152. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 798.815KB).

Prof. Pai-Lu Wu

Professor, Department of Early Childhood Care and Education, Cheng Shiu University, Niaosong, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Hui-Ju Wu

PhD Student, Secondary Education Department, College of Education, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

Hui-Ju Wu has taught English in a junior high school in Taiwan. She received her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Salem International University, WV, U.S.A. Currently, she is in the doctoral program in Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology at University of South Florida, U.S.A. She is interested in teaching English as a foreign language, and computer-assisted language teaching and learning.

Sih-Han Huang

Research Assistant, Department of Information Management, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Lecturer Mei-Yao Chang

Lecturer, Center for General Education, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Taiwan

Associate Professor Pai-Shih Yang

Associate Professor, Graduate Institute of Hospitality Education, National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism, Taiwan


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