Wikis, Blogs and Podcasts: Emerging Tools for Virtual Collaboration and Learning in the Health...

of 65/65
Wikis, Blogs and Podcasts: Emerging Tools for Virtual Collaboration and Learning in the Health Sciences Joanne Hamilton Faculty Developer
  • date post

  • Category


  • view

  • download


Embed Size (px)

Transcript of Wikis, Blogs and Podcasts: Emerging Tools for Virtual Collaboration and Learning in the Health...

  • Wikis, Blogs and Podcasts: Emerging Tools for Virtual Collaboration and Learning in the Health SciencesJoanne HamiltonFaculty Developer

  • AgendaIntroductionWikisBlogsPodcasts (m-learning)Ten Best PracticesAdvantages and disadvantagesRemediesDiscussion

  • IntroductionWhy Bother?Collaboration toolsTechnical SkillMany usesResearchEducationCPDContent development

  • A Growing Interest: Articles

  • A Growing Interest: Books

  • WikisA Wiki is a web page that can be viewed and modified by anybody with a web browser.Wiki: from a Hawaiian word for quickAsynchronous Group collaborationCan be multi-mediaDynamic knowledge bases

  • Why use wikis?Enables collaborationEngages students in learningQuick & easy to set upAdvanced features: RSS feeds, page history

  • WikisUses:A whole course site Ongoing resource for students and teachersDevelop student writingBring in outside resourcesA workspace for students to plan and develop a final product. (or researchers or teachers!)Project development with peer reviewTrack a group projectCollaborative curriculum developmentGroup authoring

  • WikisWikis may work best for knowledge building over timeprogressive problem-solvingexplaining increasingly diverse and contrary ideas, as well as examining the relatedness of ideas from diverse contextscombining, synthesizing and evaluating definitions and terminology across disciplines questioning underlying causes and principlescritically reading, and responding in a constructive and public way, to others work

  • Health/Medical Wiki Examples

  • Health/Medical Wiki Examples

  • Health/Medical Wiki ExamplesRosacea Wiki

  • Health/Medical Wiki Examples

  • Wikis, blogs and podcasts all use RSS*, which is now natively supported by/built into Windows Internet Explorer 7. Users can easily set up 'feeds' to automatically receive updates from their favourite services. * RSS = Really Simple SyndicationRSS Feeds

  • Health Informatics Entry in Wikipedia

  • Wikis: Easy Editing

  • Wikis: Versioning Capability

  • Wikis: Versioning CapabilityTip: Citing a wiki page in your work can be very tricky (unless one uses the new permanent link feature in MediaWiki to point to a specific revision of that page). Because of the dynamic editable nature of wikis, a page might significantly change and become a totally different article than the one you were originally referring to (while still maintaining the same URL).

  • Wikis: Comparing Versions

  • BlogsShort for Web Log Chronological in natureDifferent types:Personal commentary and linksReflective journalingEditorialsUsually Discussion / two way communicationExample: Dean of Arts (UofM)

  • Blogs in EducationInstructors:Content related (professional practice)NetworkingInstructional tips for studentsCourse announcements and readingsAnnotated linksKnowledge managements

  • Blogs in EducationStudents:Reflective or writing journalsKnowledge managementAssignment submission and reviewDialogue for group workE-portfoliosShare course related resourcesFrom

  • Blog Examples

  • Health/Medical Blog Examples

  • Health/Medical Blog Examples

  • Health/Medical Blog ExamplesAutomatic Feed Detection in Internet Explorer 7

  • Health/Medical Blog Examples

  • Each post to the blog is also a standalone Web page with a unique URL. This facilitates linking to and organising content within the same blog and from external sites.Blog Features

  • Blog Features: Easy Posting

  • Blog Features: Easy PostingPosting a clinical photo from your digital camera directly to your blog after optimisation and adding your comments can also be made at the touch of a button using a free Google product called Picasa.

  • Features: Posting PhotosAlso these days mobile phones with 2+ megapixel cameras can instantly post high resolution clinical photos to photoblogs/ moblogs on the Web.

  • More Info blogs engage people in knowledge sharing, reflection, and debate, they often attract a large and dedicated readership.

  • Podcasts (and vodcasts)Podcastings essence is about creating content (audio or videovodcasts) for an audience that wants to listen when they want, where they want, and how they want.*Can use RSS to push content to subscribers


  • Podcasts and m-Learning (Mobile Learning)Advantages:Listen on your computer or download to portable MP3 players and listen on the move/anywhere

    Support for auditory learners (it is claimed that the primary learning style in at least 30% of learners is auditory).

  • Source: Meng P. Podcasting and Vodcasting: A White Paper. University of Missouri, 2005 .

  • Pedagogical Podcasting (podagogy)Avoid complex or dense content material.People often are engaged in other activities while listeningNarrow focusAvoid using classroom lectures recordings

  • Requirements for successful podagogy!Appropriate lengthInformal tone and high energyClear contextEnd with a reviewConsider different learning styles (transcripts?)

  • Health/Medical Podcast Examples New York University ophthalmology CME programs via podcast. Displayed here as an RSS feed in Windows Internet Explorer 7. Users can subscribe to the feed to automatically receive updates. They can use Windows Media Player to listen to the MP3 files.

  • Health/Medical Podcast Examples

  • Health/Medical Podcast Examples

  • You dont need a dedicated podcatcher program if you are running the latest Internet Explorer 7 (IE7)/Windows Vista.Podcasts use RSS, which is now natively supported by/built into IE7.

  • Health/Medical Podcast ExamplesThe Arizona Heart Institute and the Cleveland Clinic offer video podcasts for healthcare professionals as well as for patients.

  • Health/Medical Podcast ExamplesPodcasts are already being used in medical school curricula.

  • Health/Medical Podcast Directory

  • More Info Podcasting for health professionals University vodcast experiment

  • AdvantagesTwo main big advantages: Ease of useLow Cost

  • Advantages:Ease of Use:WYSIWYGSimple to use

  • Advantages:Low Cost:Free wareShare ware

    Examples include MediaWiki (Open Sourcethe same software package that runs Wikipedia) and Google Blogger (free)

  • DisadvantagesWikis and blogs:VandalismQuality IssuesCopyrightPodcasts:Access (bandwidth)Access (hearing impaired)One way communicationNo audience participationNeed technical help

  • Lack of vital article meta-information:Quality Issues Contd

  • Remedies: Open Wikis and BlogsMonitoring and moderatingCan be very time-consuming/human resource intensive.Of interest:

  • Remedies: Closed Environment ScenarioLimit who can use blogs and wikis.Everyone else read only or post limited (moderated) comments (to build a community).

  • Remedies: Closed Environment ScenarioIf desired: add others (eg. From the practice community) as they are identified and deemed trustworthy

  • A wiki on gene function, which utilizes the collective brain power of biologists around the world, would be an invaluable tool for biological sciences.

  • Ten Best PracticesCreate a culture of trust among participants.Set up conventions and require students to abide by these.Have a common goal for all participants.

  • Ten Best Practices (cont)Assign meaningful, authentic activities.Include explicit instructions and provide time for practice. Remind students of course deadlines and schedules.

  • Ten Best Practices (cont)Define and identify roles for collaborative activities.Provide clear and explicit course expectations.Model examples of collaborative activities.Be patient with students and realize they may need help.

  • Whats Next?Careful thinking is needed in order to find the best ways to use these emerging tools to boost our productivity, provide valuable educational experiences, foster better communities of practice, and support our continuing professional development (CPD).

  • Whats Next?Stakeholders/prospective users representatives (healthcare professionals and students) must be adequately involved in this process.

  • An Online Journal Club Users can rate and discuss medical literature, and share their thoughts on any paper instantly online. This has the potential of improving communication amongst physicians and leading to better understanding and interpretation of medical literature.

  • New InitiativeOpen Access 2.0Interactive papers that authors can edit after publication and more (PLoS ONE -

  • Inspired by the successful Yahoo! 360 model, the resultant use scenarios should also be designed to provide the binding glue for the different technologies on offer (wikis, blogs/ photoblogs and podcasts/ vodcasts) and existing online medical/health information services, integrating them synergistically into one coherent, whole and unique user experience.

    The latest generation of collaborative Web-based tools, namely wikis, blogs/photoblogs and podcasts/vodcasts, offer many unique and powerful information sharing and collaboration features.They also have the added advantage of taking the technical skill out of these features; allowing users to focus on the information and collaborative tasks themselvesminus delivery obstacles Wikis, blogs/photoblogs and podcasts/vodcasts carry the potential of complementing, improving and adding new collaborative dimensions to the many Web-based medical/health education, CPD*, and research services we have today. * CPD = Continuing Professional Development

    A wiki (from Hawaiian wiki, to hurry, swift) is a collaborative Web site whose content can be edited by anyone who has access to it.*Perhaps the best example of a wiki in action today is Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia, and in particular Wikipedia, represent a promising principle that can significantly transform the Internet information age; they have grown very popular in recent months and years.**Special conferences have been and are being organized to discuss this interesting Web phenomenon of wikis; for example, Wikimania 2005, the First International Wikimedia Conference, 48 August 2005, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery)-sponsored WikiSym 2005, the 2005 International Symposium on Wikis, 1718 October 2005, San Diego, California, USA (next 2006 event: * ** Connor A: Rewriting the rule books (15 August 2005)

    Wikismay work best for knowledge building over time (through versions and groups) problem-solving (particularly open-ended problems) and even problem redefinition. For example, Wikiscould work well for COP (communities of practice) whose goal is to develop solutions to common problems over time in order to improve practice

    ...explaining increasingly diverse and contrary ideas, as well as examining the relatedness of ideas from diverse contexts

    ...combining, synthesizing and evaluating definitions and terminology across disciplines

    ...questioning underlying causes and principles

    ...critically reading, and responding in a constructive and public way, to others work

    learning how to add both nuance and complexity to concepts in a given field, through systematic engagement and analysis with work produced by more advanced students, specialists and experts

    ...learning to observe deeply, stereotype less, and avoid premature judgment

    A related Web information sharing technology is the blog. A blog (WeBLOG) is a Web site that contains dated entries in reverse chronological order (most recent first) about a particular topic.*Functioning as an online journal, blogs can be written by one person or a group of contributors.Entries contain commentary and links to other Web sites, and images as well as a search facility may also be included. The above white paper by Peter Meng of the University of Missouri contains excellent How to Podcast and How to VODcast sections. Meng also describes many educational applications of podcasting and videocasting, including:Recordings of lectures for those students unable to attend the lecture in person;Audio recordings of textbook text by chapter, would allow students to read or review texts while walking or driving to class (significant aid to auditory learners); andDownloadable libraries of high resolution heart and respiratory sounds for medical students are sometimes prone to vandalism and, as a result, serious quality issues, because of their free form nature and the (relative/potential) lack of control over their content (though this can be the very strength of wikis and blogssee an open collaborative Web environment, anyone can very easily post copyrighted material without the permission of copyright holders, post otherwise unsuitable or misleading content, edit existing content in a way that reduces its quality/accuracy, or even delete/blank a good wiki entryAll what one finds in wikis are IP addresses and nicknames. The lack of clear and complete authorship/ editorship information attached to each wiki entry, including authors/editors affiliations and credentials, is a very serious quality issue encountered in most wiki-based encyclopaedias these days.

    Monitoring and moderating posts, and deleting/ reverting (rollback) edits as necessary; protecting (rendering read-only) key/stable content; controlling who can post; blocking specific (problematic) users/IP addresses.Wiki and blog software packages have built-in Administrators functionalities to support these tasks.Can be very time-consuming/human resource intensive.Of interest:

    Enforce, check, and limit wiki and blog registration and editing privileges to selected, well-defined, and verifiable special interest groups or communities of users.Posting/editing articles on these wikis and blogs will thus be limited to select, well-known and trustworthy people.Everyone else will still be able to access/read the wiki or blog and, if desirable/ required, also post limited (moderated) comments (to build a community). (Read-only access and posting limited moderated comments/discussion topics can also be blocked by the Administrator, if deemed necessary.)

    Once a trustworthy expert is identified among external readers (based on the quality of his/her posted comments and further private communication with them), they can also be granted posting/editing privileges (and in this way the (closed) pool of editors will keep growing).You will need to help your students feel comfortable within the wiki, bycreating a culture of trust among all participants. You may want to includesome ice-breaker activities, to get students to know each other better beforethey start their real activities. You may want to more closely monitor activityat first to encourage shy students to interact and to intervene when needed if apotentially explosive or harmful interaction is about to occur. In other words,you need to set up and continue to maintain a culture of trust so that studentsfeel safe in the environment while also encouraging them to experiment andtake risks. This is not entirely easy to do, but your attitude and leadership canplay a huge role in how students perceive their roles and responsibilitiestoward each other.

    Conventions are a huge part of a wikis success. If all students abide by therules, the wiki community is strong and vibrant. If some are not abiding by therules, it can become a disruptive and less attractive learning environment. Tellstudents up front what the expectations are for the wiki and put it on thehome page. You may want them to acknowledge and sign a web form, forinstance.You might look at some of the People Anti-Patterns on the wikipatterns.comsite to see if any of your contributors fit these patterns and ways you mightrevolve these anti-patterns.

    Usually wikis work best in a problem-solving environment or something thatrequires common goals and collaboration. You should have some sort oflearning outcome or goal that requires the participation of all students. This isthe power of the wiki.Wikis demand authentic, relevant learning and o!er an easy way to accomplishthis through a public arena for reading, writing, and learning. This ties in wellwith problem-based learning and should really be a part of any learningexperience.

    Most students have never used a wiki before and will need instructions andpractice on how to actually use the software. By providing time andinstructions for how to use the wiki, students will feel more comfortable in thisenvironment. You might provide a sand-box or a practice wiki before yourstudents actually use the real wiki.

    The very nature of a wiki allows and encourages a lot of freedom and selfdirection.However, sometimes students need to be directed back on task andreminded of course requirements and deadlines. Staying on top of studentactivities within the wiki is important.Defining roles and clearly defining the activity, along with assessments arecrucial to the success of collaborative learning.

    Again, this is an essential part of good pedagogy, but is an important part ofworking within a wiki. Students should have a clear understanding of courseexpectations and how they are to use the wiki to achieve the course goals.Since many students have never worked in a collaborative environment before,you will need to model these behaviors and show them what they look like.Remember, not all students are technologically-savvy and may need someinitial help with the wiki. However, once they get going and see how easy andquick a wiki is, they should start feeling more comfortable and eager to usethe wiki for its powerful collaborative features.We will now open the discussion for comments and questions from theaudience. We have also included a slide that lists some questions you mightwant answers to as well. Start talking!