Collaborative Wikis Better Than a Final Exam?

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Troy Troftgruben


 In most courses, by the end learners lose sight of material covered at the start. A final exam is a conventional way to enforce review, but few students find it rewarding and fostering of deep learning. Collaborative wikis hold more promise for more integrative and more significant learning, especially in online and hybrid courses, when used as a cumulative major assignment or as end-of-course activities.

Wikis have several advantages over exams: they foster more integrative and deeper forms of learning; they foster constructive collaboration with peers; they tap into digital resources that are inexpensive and readily available; they work well for both synchronous and asynchronous learners; and they engage different kinds of learners in more dynamic ways, provoking less stress than traditional exams. Without neglecting the needs of formative assessment, collaborative wikis are constructive tools for reviewing course material and fostering deeper forms of learning.

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