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Using pbworks in Class

Page history last edited by ElizabethA 7 years, 5 months ago

back to the week1 live session page


Margaret asked a question about how much time was spent in class on the wiki and how much was left for work at home. Obviously,  teaching situations are very different, but here's how it worked in my Higher Ed classes. (my students were Physics and Biology students)


After an initial icebreaker to get everyone speaking as on any new course, I would spend the second half of the first class setting up the wikis. Each student created their own wiki, which remained private and was used for assessment. This private wiki they linked to the class workspace where we could work together.


I would create the class workspace in front of their eyes using the video projector, and then invite all the students (via their email) to join this wiki, so that - step one: they all had had a realtime example of creating a pbworks wiki. 

On this class wiki, they had seen me add a link to this instructions wiki called make your own  and I would also give them a small piece of paper with a list of the essential steps to be carried out before the next class. for them to tick off (theoretically) on the slip of paper before they left the first lesson, because at this point the class desends into total mess with everyone at different stages, people waiting for their turn to add their name to the class page, since only one person at a time can edit the same page on a wiki, and above all, everyone helping each other. (well, lots of people helping other people spontaneously to start with - then the teacher kicks in to amplify this effect :)


I don't know who said that by definition, a wiki is always unfinished, since it is always in evolution... but the page linked above (and here) on the "make your own" wiki used to be the front page. - and elsewhere on that wiki there are more uptodate examples, using a thinglink - and some explanations in images and some in short videos, to trying to hook all the various preferences of the students.


After this "setting up" lesson, the students work on the wikis out of class, but I found it is very important to bring comments/contents from the wikis into the classroom to see together - otherwise, they can become disconnected from the work in class so:

a). before the second lesson, I will have checked out their individual wikis and then bring in the class list and make a comment on each so that they "get the message" for the term (we only have our students for one term :-(

Discussing what was "good" and what was less interesting, in their private wikis, with permission to bring up a good example onto the screen for everyone to see, helps them to get their head around this "new" way of working for their marks! This discussion (together with the rapid "thanks" to those who have done nothing! "because then I have no work to do and I just have to put a zero next to you name) actually enabled the students to move on to working on their English and not working for marks..... 

On the shared class wiki, two people are assigned each week to write "what went on in class" - this is available to be added to or corrected by anyone in the group - so then on their private wiki for assessment purposes, they have to write one paragraph a week saying why did we do that, and what did they (personally) learn or had been reminded of . (plus their lists of new vocabulary)


b). all the grammar seen in class would be (anonymous) examples from their wikis - but that's another story together with questions of time management and not correcting everything all the time etc. etc.etc.

I'm very sad I missed the live session, because I have always been so enthousiastic about the way working with wikis transformed my teaching practice - once the wiki is set up, the sky's the limit to what you can add to it - and the students nowadays find it very easy to add an image with audio etc. Unfortunately I have been disqualified from teaching... put out to grass... started my indefinite leave of absence...great final holiday ..... i.e. I have retired  and there is one thing which I have very little patience with, a role I cannot assume, and that is pedagogical advisors who are not fighting with the kids every day LOL


back to the week1 live session page

Comments (1)

ElizabethA said

at 3:00 am on Jan 17, 2017

and today is Nickey Hockley session which will be very interesting, since the pbworks free version is only available in a browser (their VERY expensive paying version has an app) However, it is interesting to know that pbworks systematically advises you when your workspace has been inactive for 12 months, and if you do not reply to that warning, then the workspace is deleted.
I think I would be tempted to change from pbworks to Google sites to become mobile, but so far, google sites does not have all the potential which pbworks offers (though you can have several editors and keep your site private if you wish.

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