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Re: [seul-edu] wikis in education (was: SEUL/edu wiki test)

On Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 09:23:01AM +0000, Gunnar Stefansson wrote:

> Being rather short-sighted, dim-witted, new to wikis and interested in
> a specific topic (computers in education), I have some concerns about
> this whole wiki- and zope- business in education.

Thank you for expressing your doubts and concerns.  I hope/think/expect
that as a result of the conversation/debate/discussion that follows,
we will deepen our thinking about linux/internet/web based education 
and possibly modify our products to suit.

> For this reason I would have thought that for on-line
> courses/tutorials/quizzes one needs to try to coordinate those around
> some directed line.  In particular, the web concept is a bit
> inappropriate since the student should be discouraged from deviating
> too much from what (s)he is studying at the moment - or rather:
> encouraged to finish what (s)he is doing rather than jump around
> endlessly.

I agree.  I phrase it like this:  students know they can go in any direction
they want on the internet, and some enjoy and learn well that way (I do),
but many of those who are doing courses for credit want to get to the
other side of the course in the most efficient way possible, avoiding
distractions.  Teachers talk of "covering the curriculum".  Let's say we
have a list of 80 outcomes to "cover" for a course.  This could correspond
to 80 eduml-wiki pages which could be lessons ending with a short (even one
question) quiz.  Let's we programmed these pages to be such that a student
could only (easily) move on to the next outcome in a structured sequence if they
mastered the prerequesite quizzes... this turns the course into a sort of
game where they reach levels and eventually make it out (pass the course).

The same open source course material could be used in the above way, as well
as in the wide open, "do your thing", traditional www way.

> * 0 A database-style definition of course information

in fact wiki pages are records in the zope object database and can be
converted to SQL or XML database format quickly since the content is
structured in XML elements (that is where Eduml comes in)

> * 1 transparencies (slides) to be used when introducing a topic in class
> * 2 a natural flow from one slide to the next - easy flip-buttons

by keeping records on the student's progress through mastery quizzes, we can
control the flow (navigation of the pages presented)

> * 6 on-line grading

I am working on that now.  It is not yet functional but I need it therefore
it will be done soon :-)

> * 9 an easy way to print the whole course

that is easy to do and I will be implementing it real soon now

... i've run out of time to answer the other interesting observations, Gunnar

got to run to teach a class for the rest of the day