This seminar presents findings from a series of studies that investigate whether the use of Web 2.0 technologies (wiki-like tools and blogs) can facilitate students’ learning in group projects and summer internships.
Regarding wiki-like tools, the author has used TWiki, MediaWiki and Google Docs to set up an online environment for undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) students to co-construct their group project work. They include undergraduate final year projects and other projects required by their UG and PG curriculum. The UG students were enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Information Management (BSc [IM]) programme and the PG students were either doing a Master of Science in IT in Education or Master of Science in Library and Information Management. In general, students found these wiki-like tools helpful in improving the levels of collaboration among the group members and enhancing the quality of their group work. In the first part of the seminar, the author will discuss the comparative effectiveness of these three kinds of wiki tools in supporting students’ group project work.
The second part of the seminar will center on the use of blogs. In an effort to enhance the communication among BSc [IM] students who had summer internship placements in various geographical areas, the author suggested the use of three kinds of blogging systems in three consecutive years to examine the effects of these tools on students’ learning. The tools include global commercial blogging systems (Xanga or Blogger), an open source content management system named Drupal which contains a blogging tool, and a locally grown commercial blogging system called YouBlog. In addition to BSc [IM] students, the author has also studied the use of YouBlog by Bachelor of Nursing students. Overall speaking, the students evaluated the blogging tools positively in terms of facilitating their information and knowledge sharing, and improving emotional support among the interns. The author will present a comparison of the use of three kinds of blogging systems by students from two different programmes of study.
Dr. Samuel Chu is an Assistant Professor (Division of Information & Technology Studies) and the Deputy Director (Centre for Information Technology in Education) in the Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong. His research interests include Web 2.0 for teaching and learning, inquiry-based learning, information literacy, and knowledge management.