Week 6 Task - Collaboration:
I really enjoyed listening to the lecture and Hailey's views on collaboration and enabling technology. One thing that did interest me is her talk on Wikipedia as an open source. I remember doing this for one of my units last semester, for Global Communications in a Digital Age. I thought it was very interesting and completely agree about its use for collaboration. Especially when doing group assignments where users can edit and change the source.
I remember having problems using Wiki last semester. Especially when we're unable to see history edits whenever a team member changes something. So we helped change it to putting dates at the top of the document with our name and what we edited exactly. Unlike Google Docs (which show you who edited what in different colours), we've had to do it manually for Wiki.
Web 2.0 services such as blogs, social networking sites and wikis are social and personal due to the digital content that individuals produce. “An affordance is an action that an individual can potentially perform in their environment by using a particular tool” (McLoughlin & Lee 2007). When it comes to learning management systems, such as Blackboard’s wiki, typing content and editing posts are not affordances, but they encourage the affordances of participation, collaboration and learning experiences (McLoughlin & Lee 2007). It supported the function of collaborative working practices amongst groups, despite its limitation of reviewing content.
An example of Blackboard’s wiki is the ability to create and change content with other users, yet a limitation with changing content is the inability to view edit history so users are unable to see what was changed. In an Assessment task while using Blackboard’s wiki, the group collaborated and decided to date, name and write what they changed at the top of the page instead. This affordance of content creation shaped the relationship between the participants and communication technology (McLoughlin & Lee 2007).
“Learning is situated in relations and networks of distributed individuals engaging in activities” (McLoughlin & Lee 2007). This allowed users to overcome the limitations of the existing model, and encouraged them to exploit their knowledge for potential connectivity enabled by Blackboard. This also facilitated them to add value for those who participate on
the platform, therefore allowing users to mix and exchange content, while generating revision and editing configurations at the same time.
“Technological Determinism states that media technology shapes how we as individuals in a society think, feel, act, and how societies operate as we move from one technological age to another” (McLuhan 1962).
While technology has had a considerable impact on the growth of society throughout the ages, with the rise of social media platforms and the adaptation from Web 1.0 to 2.0, society ended up influencing how users communicate with each other and how technology grows and develops.
“Web 2.0 innovations like blogs, podcasts, and wikis can have an important role in the composition instruction in the next decade and may resonate with many of the digital natives in our charge, but the motivation behind the desire to include them in a curriculum must be in the right place” (Morain 2008).
An example of this via Blackboard’s wiki are lecturers integrating new technologies that encourages students’ learnings over time, yet the social aspect of the wikis aren’t defined by the wiki itself, but of each participant in collaboration of group tasks. This is why in relation to Blackboard, the social aspect, instead of the technological aspect, are greatly influenced when it comes to the wiki functionality of working practices.
“Many of the definitions of multiliteracies outside of rhetoric and composition studies describe literacy at the functional level” (Morain 2008). This refers to the functional level of individuals with the basic skills and knowledge needed to operate a tool or system for it to be at a functional capacity.
For example on Blackboard’s wiki, the tools are simplified to use, but they would still need to know how to navigate through the wiki. Since most University students interact online with computers, it would be safe to conclude that there will not be too much of a hindrance when it comes to collaborating on wiki.
McLoughlin, C, Lee, Mark J, W 2007, “Social software and participatory learning: Pedagogical choices with technology affordances in the Web 2.0 era,” ACT, pp 1.
McLuhan, M 1962, “The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of the Typographic Man”, University of Toronto Press, pp 25.
Morain, M. E 2008, “Composition 2.0: Rethinking Web Literacy for the Twenty-First Century Classroom”, Iowa, pp 102.