Wiki-Talks

Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis

Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis
Elisha Peterson
United States Military Academy (West Point)
MathFest
August 1, 2008
< title ww1 ww2 ww3 ww4 cs1 cs2 cs3 g1 g2 g3 p1 p2 p3 s n >
Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis (Elisha Peterson) MathFest, August 1, 2008

Mathfest08 Wiki 1

What is a Wiki?

A wiki is a website with the following capabilities:

  • Online authoring
  • Collaborative authoring
  • Simplified markup language
  • Mathematical typesetting (LaTeX)
  • Automated linking structure
< title ww1 ww2 ww3 ww4 cs1 cs2 cs3 g1 g2 g3 p1 p2 p3 s n >
Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis (Elisha Peterson) MathFest, August 1, 2008

Mathfest08 Wiki 10

Student Projects I: Setup
  • Created links to empty pages with student names
  • Designed a template to ease the students into the document creation process
< title ww1 ww2 ww3 ww4 cs1 cs2 cs3 g1 g2 g3 p1 p2 p3 s n >
Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis (Elisha Peterson) MathFest, August 1, 2008

Mathfest08 Wiki 11

Student Projects II: Outcome
usma387-project.png
< title ww1 ww2 ww3 ww4 cs1 cs2 cs3 g1 g2 g3 p1 p2 p3 s n >
Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis (Elisha Peterson) MathFest, August 1, 2008

Mathfest08 Wiki 12

Student Projects III: Assessment
  • Instructor can see when/how much students worked
  • Students can see other projects
  • Some projects used web links
  • Students could contribute even if off-campus
  • Students appreciated the power of LaTeX
  • Some students complained about learning wiki markup
< title ww1 ww2 ww3 ww4 cs1 cs2 cs3 g1 g2 g3 p1 p2 p3 s n >
Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis (Elisha Peterson) MathFest, August 1, 2008

Mathfest08 Wiki 13

Summary
  • Glossary was highly successful
    • Encouraged collaboration
    • Encouraged mathematical precision
    • Useful study tool
  • Participation was good (especially when points were on the line)
  • Several students became comfortable using LaTeX
  • Additional student workload was minimal
  • Instructor time
    • Non-trivial time to setup, learn wiki format/features, etc.
    • Time saved "getting the math to the students"
< title ww1 ww2 ww3 ww4 cs1 cs2 cs3 g1 g2 g3 p1 p2 p3 s n >
Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis (Elisha Peterson) MathFest, August 1, 2008

Mathfest08 Wiki 2

Wikis in the Classroom

How can wikis be used to enhance learning?

What can they do for student collaboration?

< title ww1 ww2 ww3 ww4 cs1 cs2 cs3 g1 g2 g3 p1 p2 p3 s n >
Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis (Elisha Peterson) MathFest, August 1, 2008

Mathfest08 Wiki 3

How I Used the Wiki

In a real analysis course with nine students:

  • Course materials posted
    • syllabus, homework assignments, solutions, etc.
  • Discussion board/forum
  • Student projects
  • Student-authored glossaries for use on exams
< title ww1 ww2 ww3 ww4 cs1 cs2 cs3 g1 g2 g3 p1 p2 p3 s n >
Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis (Elisha Peterson) MathFest, August 1, 2008

Mathfest08 Wiki 4

My Goals for the Wiki
  • Improve student collaboration
  • Improve students' ability to communicate mathematics
  • Give students a "gentle" introduction to LaTeX
  • Expose students to collaborative technologies
  • Encourage students to explore more of the "mathematical web"
< title ww1 ww2 ww3 ww4 cs1 cs2 cs3 g1 g2 g3 p1 p2 p3 s n >
Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis (Elisha Peterson) MathFest, August 1, 2008

Mathfest08 Wiki 5

Creating the Site I: Choosing a Wiki Farm

I choose Wikidot (http://www.wikidot.com)

Advantages:

  • Easy to get started
  • Support for LaTeX formatting
  • Excellent documentation

Disadvantages:

  • Requires learning wiki markup language
    • Example: type **Bold** to get Bold or //Italics// to get Italics
< title ww1 ww2 ww3 ww4 cs1 cs2 cs3 g1 g2 g3 p1 p2 p3 s n >
Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis (Elisha Peterson) MathFest, August 1, 2008

Mathfest08 Wiki 5b

Creating the Site II: Initial Setup
< title ww1 ww2 ww3 ww4 cs1 cs2 cs3 g1 g2 g3 p1 p2 p3 s n >
Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis (Elisha Peterson) MathFest, August 1, 2008

Mathfest08 Wiki 6

Creating the Site III: Navigation & Information
usma387wiki.png
  • Added course information and syllabus
  • Set up navigational elements
  • Invite students to join the site
< title ww1 ww2 ww3 ww4 cs1 cs2 cs3 g1 g2 g3 p1 p2 p3 s n >
Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis (Elisha Peterson) MathFest, August 1, 2008

Mathfest08 Wiki 7

Glossary I: Setup
  • Created pages for each glossary
  • Enabled student editing privileges within the "glossary category"
  • Added helpful information on editing for the students
  • Created list of important terms
: **Cartesian product** : def
: **Cauchy Convergence** : def
: **Complete** : def
Cartesian product
def
Cauchy Convergence
def
Complete
def
< title ww1 ww2 ww3 ww4 cs1 cs2 cs3 g1 g2 g3 p1 p2 p3 s n >
Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis (Elisha Peterson) MathFest, August 1, 2008

Mathfest08 Wiki 8

Glossary II: Outcome
< title ww1 ww2 ww3 ww4 cs1 cs2 cs3 g1 g2 g3 p1 p2 p3 s n >
Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis (Elisha Peterson) MathFest, August 1, 2008

Mathfest08 Wiki 9

Glossary III: Assessment

Based on student feedback and my observations:

  • Students found out what I considered important for upcoming exams
  • Students could simultaneously review and organize key terminology prior to the exam
  • Students were able to correct each other's work
  • There was a little effort required for students to learn the wiki markup and LaTeX
< title ww1 ww2 ww3 ww4 cs1 cs2 cs3 g1 g2 g3 p1 p2 p3 s n >
Online Collaboration with a Wiki in Real Analysis (Elisha Peterson) MathFest, August 1, 2008
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License