First, in teaching writing, the trend is completely in the direction of process writing. Process writing involves multiple drafts of a composition including peer-editing, self-editing, and teacher -editing in the process. Until we have group documents, this is almost impossible online.
Now I am puzzled why the wiki features do not use the HTML editor like we have here in the Forum module. It is great. It allows color highlighting which is the best editing tool. Instead of telling students what the mistake is or problem is, you highlight the word or sentence and let them focus on that area and figure out the problem themselves.
Next, we need to make a switch onto the forum module or journal module, to allow multiple individuals or groups to edit. And make editing time non-expiring. For example, couldn't a particular forum be set this way? Why do we need a "wiki" to have group collaboration?
I have also used the wiki module which has been part of the Documentation section (see detailed step by step installation instructions under Apache, PHP, MySQL). I believe it was phpWIKI. It was so clumbersome to operate. I would say it is even terrible. Also it had no highlighting, no way to attach comments, and no indications of who added what.
So my list of essential features to Group Collaborative Document Module is as following, in order of importance...
1. Non-expiring editing
2. Groups can be designated for editing rights
3. Color Highlighting
4. Commenting (boxes, balloons or something that can be attached to point or area of a document)
Other features would be nice, but not essential. Will these be implemented in the current Wiki module we have developed?
Don, for months (years?) I beg for a Modul with the look and feel of D3E and more:
a two column window with the draft on the left and the annotations on the right. In he full-blown D3E version you hang annotation-anchors in the paragraphs of the running text on the left and you can comment on this comment in the forum-threads on the right.
Only one drawback: You cannot do re-sead the forum with an improved draft..
So Moodle should install D3E as a Modul, PLUS:
- one student (or a group!) must have access to the left column
- the modul must support the reworking of the draft on base of the comments
- then a re-sead of the discussion, that leaves on resolved comments open etc..
Wikis are starting from another perspectiv: you are less concerned with the actions of each independent student and more concerned with their collab construct and the collab activities aound that. You trust that working together regulates a lot of teacher-replacing-support. (My old Smalltalk Wiki allows to place a comment box on each page, but I prefer now eWiki inside Moodle!.) OK, i know, groupswork is most of the time: 2 students do the work, two are just sittinh there and the others are nowhere, that's where the discussion is all about... (How can we find trics to handle that..no how can we ways to teach them to cope with that situation, their first job will look the same.)
The new eWiki cab differentate between class-group-personal constructs a great improvement.
Don, if you want to test the D3E concpet, then you can test it on this website:
Put the stuff you want to discuss first on your own website and then follow the guidelines on this website and have fun with your students.
And do not feel guilty about not reading all these forums: we need to find a way to make it less time-consuming. If you would try to read all the messages,you will have to take a week or more free..
Hi Don -
We have just started porting the erfurt wiki solution to Moodle. It doesn't have the HTML editor integrated out of the box, but is something we will be looking at - its kind of a 'non-wiki' solution though. There is a lot of wiki formatting you can do; read the page on editing when you are editing a wiki.
Wiki will have full group implementation.
As to your list:
- Non-expiring editing as built in top wiki, unless I'm not understanding what you mean by that.
- Moodle groups will be implemented. If you use a group wiki, and have 'visible' groups, only members of a group can edit their wiki. All others can read it.
- Color highlighting will happen if we can get the HTML editor integrated.
- Commenting is high on my priority list; as is rating.
If you choose to "allow safe html" I will try to incoorporate the HTML-editor... That would be fun !!!
I will also take a look on how to view changes between two versions. There is a plugin, and I will try to activate it.
Mike: Maybe it is possible to integrate rating and commenting as ewiki-plugin...? Just an idea ...
I don't have strong aversion to integrating the editor (who would care anyway), but perhaps a pause to weigh its relative pros and cons is worthwhile?
I would like to see the "Wiki" ported to Moodle. I have to admit I am not clear as to how to use it and I cannot seem to find a tutorial to break it down to basics with a little history that pulls one through to this point. It seems as though it is a good interactive tool however, and Students seem to know about it so I want to learn about it and how it can be used effectively in the classroom.
I think the use of the HTML editor is to help primarily in highlighting primarily for instructors, but probably for students as well. I wonder if the folllowing features can be added via or not via the HTML editor,
- Ability for the Instructor to turn highlighting on and off for Student Use?
- The addition of the ability to place notes throught out the Wiki?
That is Ok for me,
Steve, when I started with Wiki I liked their idea of easy editing. Now I am moving away from that idea, because:
- every Wiki implementation uses different format rules (HTML is standard, IF you learn it, you can use it elsewhere)
- All Wiki's have different tricks for attaching files, insert in line images etc.
- most users need only a very limited set like bold, italic, bullets, line, NOT USING underline etc...
- The only thing where most Wikis are easier is when it comes to tables..
Wiki formatting is not an educational target on it's own, easy formatting is: "how can I make it more easy for a user to put information on a webpage."
If you combine these thoughts with the alternative of a built-in html-editor, with tables AND A FUNCTIONALITY THAT RESEMBLES WHAT THEY KNOW: WORD... then I think even Ward Cunningham will agree..
I was wondering if you teach writing too. What we are looking for is a way to give feedback to those learning to write. Highlighting is one way. Embedding or attaching comments is another way. The key point is that the writer, several classmates and the teacher all need to comment on the document. So some kind of group collaborative document is needed. It could be a forum with non-expiring editing or it could be a wiki. It is a tool we desperately need. I have been teaching writing for 20 years, so it feels like a "long-term" appeal to me.
Hi again WP,
Yes, definitely the students use the highlighting. For example, I will give them a task to go through a partner's writing and highlight topic sentences in green, supporting examples in yellow, etc. Or give them a grammar task to search and color. They love it. But I don't need to turn on or turn off highlighting. They just use it when I give them a task to do.
Sounds good to me. I am afraid I don't know what "safe HTML" is.
Thanks everyone for your comments!
While I agree that using an HTML editor violates the 'pure' definition of a wiki, I think it still applies to the spirit. The original idea was to make formatting simple, in absence of any easy formatting tools. Tools like HTMLArea allow us to add simple formatting as well.
Many web-based wiki tools now offer more sophicticated formatting; the best example being TikiWiki. I think it makes sense to offer the user the option.
Wiki formatting will still apply. More importantly, the collaborative nature of wikis will be there, as will the 'create a page by naming it' concept.
By the way, pure wikis don't allow for any kind of edit protection either, but we definitely want that.
It seems, however, we are now talking about something other than a wiki. Perhaps I'm just focussing on semantics, but by incorporating the worthwhile features people have asked for, the fundamental tenet of the wiki (a self-evolving, self-correcting, traceable literary free-for-all) is lost. Again, this is not a necessarily bad thing, but we are talking about a different paradigm than the wiki.
Perhaps the system would be something like that used to produce the Zope Book. Take a look at the document and notice how the commentary can be interspersed with the text (be sure the comments are turned on and click on the Preface for a sample. Click on the little bubble to add a comment or turn comments off at top of document to hide commentary)
Another source of ideas is the Silva document management system: http://www.infrae.com/products/silva This is complete overkill for what we're discussing here, but there are some interesting capabilities that could be valuable.
I think Ger found similar shortcomings as I with the straight text markup. Although, the latest specification for structured text (called ReStructured Text in the python camp) provides astounding flexibility in markup and document generation, asking students to learn its nuances would be frustrating.
A quick note to Don in response to his earlier post: I don't teach writing, but rather chemistry. I do have students post answers to questions, both essay and numerical problems (hence my interest in LaTeX markup!). They then critique, annotate, revise each others' answers. It's been an interesting learning experience for all of us as I learn what they buy into and what they don't. I'm getting a bit of on-the-job training in learning psychology!
The core of Wiki is simplicity and beying shared by birds of the same feather, collaborating educational institutes can become such kind of communities...
What I always like is that teachers take a piece of software, put it upside down and then show it me again as an educational tool: We do this now with Wiki, which product will be our next victim?
By the way, Zope has also a more educational Spin-off: Plone (see http://plone.org/ )
Good usable for collab groups in education.
Check the latest version out of CVS. Michael Schneider has integrated the HTML editor into the wiki. It works great!