Derived from the Hawaiian word for “fast”, wikis can be used as a source for gathering information quickly to assist in the brainstorming process when a student needs comprehensive background knowledge of a topic (Clyde, 2005). Wikis should not be formally cited in written material, but rather used during the brainstorming process to become familiar with key words and find reliable sources.
Research by Ducate, Anderson and Moreno (2011) concluded that Wikipedia (a very common wiki) was a valid learning tool that was comprehensive and easy to use for students completing a language project. Students reported a positive attitude towards its use in providing a comprehensive understanding of material, grammar, and vocabulary; which in turn can be used as an English as a Second Language tool (Ducate, Anderson, & Moreno, 2011; Arnold, Ducate, & Kost, 2009). Kimmerle, Moskaliuk and Cress (2011) concluded that using Wikipedia as a learning tool to build on prior knowledge was a valid educational method. Educators need to specify their learning goals when using wikis and keep in mind that each individual begins the brainstorming process with a different level of prior knowledge that may impact future knowledge building (Kimmerle, Moskaliuk, & Cress, 2011).
Research Rating: Due to the experimental nature of the information cited in this description this information is to be trusted as valid and reliable.
User-friendly, easily accessed, low-cost
Photos and videos are included with information
Some Wikis have built in scalable language technology
Information can be translated in different languages
Not all information may be peer-reviewed
Students may become distracted when searching material
Requires internet access
Students must be trained
Special Consideration: Workflow
Exact prices change frequently, which is why only approximate ranges are listed.
$ - Under $5
$$ - Between $6 and $50
$$$ - Between $51 and $250
$$$$ - Over $250
Clyde, L.A. (2005). Wikis. Emergency Librarian, 32(4), 54.
Ducate, L. C., Anderson, L. L., & Moreno, N. (2011). Wading through the world of wikis: An analysis of three wiki projects. Foreign Language Annals, 44(3), 495-524.
Kimmerle, J., Moskaliuk, J., & Cress, U. (2011). Using Wikis for Learning and Knowledge Building: Results of an Experimental Study. Educational Technology & Society, 14 (4), 138–148.
Written by Tresa Jules, Last Revision April 2018