Cooperative Learning At A Distance: An Experiment With Wikis

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Katherine Campbell
Dee Ann Ellingson


Wiki, group learning, distance education, online class


The merits of incorporating group work into learning environments are well established.  Online classes and other distance learning settings, however, can make it challenging to introduce traditional group projects.  Wikis use technology to facilitate group work in distance learning settings.  Wikis allow individuals in different locations to asynchronously post and edit content on a website to iteratively and cooperatively work toward a solution.  We describe wikis and their use in an online MBA managerial accounting class.  Student feedback on their experiences using wikis as well as instructor observations were mostly positive while negative comments were primarily administrative in nature and easily addressed.  In general wikis can be implemented in any business course using group assignments.  When using wikis for cooperative learning, the obstacles are minimal, but the potential benefits for students may be substantial.  These benefits include developing a sense of community, participating in peer-to-peer learning and using critical thinking and communication skills while still enjoying the convenience of working asynchronously in disparate locations.


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