Featured Wiki: Collaborative Research @ University College Dublin

This is a guest post written by Niall Watts of the University College Dublin. Niall describes a great use of Wikispaces by Dr. Niamh Flanagan of the UCD School of Applied Social Science. He describes how Wikispaces was flexible enough to provide students a simple structure to organize their research, share and analyze surveys, and then present their findings.


Dr. Niamh Flanagan of the UCD School of Applied Social Science wanted students in the first and second years of their Masters in Social Science (Social Work) to work together on the Student-2-Student Dialogue Project. The aim of this project was to investigate learning opportunities while on fieldwork placement. The first year students designed a survey for the second year students to complete on their experiences of field work. The first year students were divided into 10 research teams of about 5 members to analyze and discuss the survey findings. Each team was responsible for researching one topic. Topics included guidance and learning on placement, student preparedness for field work placements and practice supervision while on placement among others. The second year students were to comment on the findings of the first year students. It was hoped that the research would help to prepare the first year students for their own fieldwork placements.

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Blackboard could not be used for the project, as it involved students from two years who were not all registered in the same module. Media Services identified Wikispaces as a suitable platform for such a collaborative project. Wikispaces allows a lecturer to organize students into project teams where they can collaboratively write documents. Permissions can be set so that teams can read but not write on each other’s team pages and reviewers (in this case the second year students) can read and comment on all the team pages. Wikispaces has a simple editor which allows the addition of pictures, tables, links and other media elements. It is free for use in education.

Niamh Flanagan considers the project to be a success and would repeat it. All the first year teams created a team page or pages with a detailed analysis of their findings. Most were illustrated with graphics and tables. The only downside was the small number of comments by second year students perhaps due to other study commitments. Niamh Flanagan spent no more than a day or two familiarizing herself with Wikispaces. Niall Watts from Media Services, UCD IT Services, supported the project, including a brief demonstration of Wikispaces to the students which helped them to get started. No major technical hitches were encountered during the project.

For further information on this project, please contact Niamh Flanagan or Niall Watts.

Original link: http://www.ucdblogs.org/ucdblogs/collaborative-online-project-years/

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We’ve Made Adding Members Easy

Adding Members to Your Wiki
Wikispaces offers easy ways to add new Members to your Classroom wikis.

First, let’s start with a quick refresher on some terminology.
A User is defined as anyone with a username and password for wikispaces.com. When you go to wikispaces.com and log in, you are signing into your User account. Anyone can create a User account for free.
When a User joins a wiki using one of the methods below, they become a Member of that wiki.
A single User can be a Member of any number of wikis on wikispaces.com.

Membership for your wiki can mean different things. If your wiki is Protected, all Users can view its content, but only Members will be able to edit. If your wiki is Private, only Members will be able to view and edit content. More information about permission settings can be found here.

Now let’s have a look at how to add new Members.

The Invitation Tool
A Wikispaces classic. Just use the + button next to the Members link and paste in the username or email address of the Users you would like to make Members of this wiki. It’s the perfect way to announce to a specific audience that your new wiki is up and running.

Invitation_screenshot

The Invite Code

A new tool for Organizers to add a group of new Members into their wiki in one swoop. Organizers can activate a temporary join code from their wiki’s settings area, pass out the code during their class or meeting so Users can navigate to the wiki and enter this code to become a Member of the wiki. More info can be found here.

Join_Code_Screenshot

The User Creator
If your students do not have Wikispaces User accounts, this tool will allow you to create them in bulk. The new accounts will already have a membership to your wiki when they sign in!

First, create a spreadsheet or list of the unique usernames, passwords and email addresses (the latter is optional) that you would like to use for your student roster and then:

Go to your wiki and click the Settings link.
Click the User Creator link
Select the appropriate wiki from the Which wikis do you want to add users to? drop down menu and click the +Add Another Wiki button for updating members on multiple spaces.

User_Creator_screenshot_1

Paste in the usernames or upload the spreadsheet containing these usernames and click Continue.
Select the column containing users names. Do not worry about email addresses or passwords – there will be no changes made to existing accounts.
Click Continue
You will be notified about any errors (existing usernames, unaccepted characters, etc.). Make any appropriate changes, if needed.
Click Create Users


And for our Private Label and Campus users, you can automatically add memberships to existing Users from the Site Administration area and bypass the invitation process entirely.

The Wiki Details page
Go to Site Administration.
Click the Search link under the Wikis heading.
Search for the wiki you would like to add this user to.
Hover your mouse over the wiki name and click the Details link that appears.
Scroll down to Add a New Member. Type or paste in the username and click Add.

Wiki_Details_screenshot_1

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Introducing TES Labs!

TES Labs is a new platform that engages the most important people in education – teachers – to share their ideas and expertise with entrepreneurs. The result will be better products and services for the classroom. On the site, start-ups ask teachers from all over the world for feedback on their products, which are automatically matched up to registered teachers based on their profiles, through short weekly surveys. The start-ups will then be able to act on the advice they are given, while teachers will be entered into regular prize draws.

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TES Labs Example: Propagate (www.mypropagate.com)

TES Labs is hosting Propagate, (www.mypropagate.com) a startup keen to hear from teachers about how it can better hone its products to suit their needs. The technology Propagate has developed allows teachers to set up word lists for pupils to memorize that are designed to be more intuitive than flash cards or normal workbooks. The system highlights specific words that a teacher wants students to learn as they read a piece of text online.

It can provide real-time explanations of what words mean, and sets quizzes to strengthen students’ understanding by placing words in context. Emily Schu, co-founder of Propagate, said the digital tool was currently at beta-testing stage, and she hoped that input from teachers on TES Labs would allow her team to better tailor the concept.

“Getting ongoing feedback from teachers will allow us to develop our product and tweak certain functionality,” Ms Schu said. “We can launch it, but then iterate it and customize it to help teachers get the most out of our product.”

Teachers, Please Try It Out!

Please visit www.tes.co.uk/labs and sign up, then give us feedback on this new platform! Tell us what you think about the site and the questionnaires in the comments section below!

Posted in Wikispaces | 1 Response

Wikispaces is no longer offering free non-education wikis

Today we are announcing that Wikispaces is no longer offering a free option for non-education wikis.

We are even more committed than ever to offering our free services for anyone in education, and we are building more and more great free functionality for teachers and others in education every day, but for anyone outside of education, Wikispaces is no longer offering a free option.

Existing wikis on Wikispaces that are not categorized as being used in education, have started displaying a banner that shows three options:

  1. If the wiki is being used in Pre-K, K-12, or Higher Education, you can choose the option to categorize your wiki as an education wiki. Once we verify that your wiki is being used in education, it will remain active and will be free going forward.
  2. If the wiki is not being used in education and you want to keep it, you may choose to upgrade your wiki to our Plus plan ($50 per year, or $5 per month) or our Super plan ($200 per year, or $20 per month). If you have several wikis you want to upgrade you may want to consider our Private Label service which gives you unlimited wikis with more integration and administrative options starting at $1,000 per year for 100 users.
  3. If you no longer wish to keep your wiki active, you may allow your wiki to expire and it will be deleted. If you would like to export the contents of your wiki you can download the contents of your wiki in wikitext, HTML, or PDF format.

We know this may come as frustrating news to many long term non-education users of Wikispaces but its an important decision for us as we move forward with our core mission of serving teachers and the broader education community. We hope that our $50 per year option is a good one for most people who would like to keep their non-education wiki on Wikispaces and we will of course do our best to help everyone through this transition.

If you have any questions or need our help please don’t hesitate to contact us at help@wikispaces.com

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Share Your #teaching Moment LIVE – Today!

#teachingmoment

Join a LIVE Global Teaching Experiment today at 11am Mountain Time Zone!

We have a lot of excellent teachers around the world using Wikispaces in their classrooms RIGHT NOW and we’d love to hear how you’re using it .TES is asking teachers to share their #teachingmoment from their teaching day at 11am. Read more here and join in now!

There are 5 iPads to be won and it should paint an awesome picture of a day in the life of a teacher– we hope you’ll share and we’ll retweet your your teaching moment as well! Read the hashtag and join the global community of educators about their #teachingmoments.

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