10a) Enabling engagement: collaborative and supportive learning using a wiki

Paul Jinks (School of Clinical Dentistry), Dr Jan Owens (School of Clinical Dentistry)

Second Session (12:20 – 13:20) 
Inox Conference Suite 2

What is this about?
This session deals with the experience of learning and teaching using a collaborative wiki activity and reflective journal as part of the assessment for a large cohort online distance learning Masters Module. We describe the benefits to learners we anticipated from setting this kind of task, the design of the assessment, the use of a journal to both encourage reflection on learning of skills, their value, and eliciting student voices. We outline how we sought to overcome the problem of ‘lurking’ students in group work, the structure and support we set around the task, tweaks and interventions we made as we went along. We give examples of student reflections and feedback. Finally we discuss lessons we’ve learned for the future. We will address themes in assessed online collaborative group work such as: addressing issues of fairness, overcoming the isolation of distance learners, encouraging reflection and managing technology.

How will colleagues benefit?
Colleagues will have the opportunity to hear a first hand transparent account of an assessed online group work activity using the MOLE wiki tool. The benefits will enable colleagues to critically consider undertaking this kind of activity, and think about ways of approaching online collaborative learning and its assessment. We offer practical tips for practitioners based on our experiences. Colleagues teaching large cohorts and considering group work as a way of encouraging peer support may also benefit.

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