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Using wikis to support students doing media production-based projects

Date posted: 14/06/2010

Title: Using wikis to support students doing Media production-based projects

Abstract:  There is an increasing emphasis on the use of ‘web 2.0’ tools to deliver learning materials.  One of those tools is a ‘wiki’.  A wiki is essentially a very basic website with attributable editing privileges and simple page structure.  In return for a basic and relatively robust content management system, it has fairly limited features.  Pages are created and material can be uploaded to them.  The visual layout is functional rather than aesthetically pleasing.  A key feature, from a teaching point of view, is that edits can be tracked, attributed and changes reversed.  Could wikis be used to deliver course materials and present students’ work in a simpler way than the traditional collection of mixed media, folders and essays?

In September 2009 I set up 24 wikis for 3 year-long modules delivered to 72 students.   The modules were ‘Sound & Vision’ and ‘Project Production’, two first- year modules that form part of the BA in Creative Media Practice, and ‘Planning and Making a Film’ a second- year module for BA students taking Creative Writing, Film Studies or Media Communication.  The majority of the students had not used wikis before, the exception being a few of the Media Communication students.  Few students showed any previous engagement in web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis, RSS, Twitter, etc, the exception being Facebook.  The wide use of Facebook had, to some extent, prepared them for using wikis.  All of the modules had the development of skill in the use of web 2.0 technology as a learning outcome. 

Keywords: media production, assessment, feedback, wiki, embed, multi-media, portfolios, workflow, production folders.

Author information: Mike Johnston is Senior Lecturer in Creative Media Practice in the Department of Film and Media Practice at Bath Spa University

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Date: June 2010

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