Wiki as a tool for Microbiology teaching, learning and assessment

Authors


Abstract

Introduction

Evidence suggests that cooperative learning and peer-assessment fosters students' ability to work with others and may lead to better cognitive outcomes and higher achievement. This work aimed to assess the use of an online collaborative tool for the teaching/learning and assessment of Microbiology.

Materials and methods

A total of 144 students were grouped and assigned to create wiki entries as well as to peer review wikis created by colleagues (peer-assessment process) using the Wiki module from Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (MVLE). MVLE actions log was used for tracking students' activity.

Results

The number of student's actions within wiki did not present a strong correlation with wiki scores, so it should not be used as a heavy evaluation parameter. The amount of work developed between members of the same group differed significantly, suggesting that final scores should be attributed individually. When peer-assessment process was implemented, the number of editing actions increased, suggesting that the peer-assessment strategy encourages the development of a better work. The vast majority of students execute the work in the last 10% of the period assigned for task development, which can be counter-productive for a truly collaborative work.

Conclusions

Wiki revealed to be a useful tool for Microbiology teaching/learning and assessment, promoting collaborative work, promoting virtual mobility and facilitating the real-time monitoring of the students' work. This pedagogical project promoted also the involvement of students in their assessment process, encouraging their critical sense and quest for Excellency.

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