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What are Blogs and Wikis and how do they help me learn?

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Blogs and wikis are interactive activities which can be used for assessment OF or FOR learning.  They can be used to demonstrate your learning for summative purposes (e.g. an online wiki that is graded) or to enhance your learning for formative purposes (e.g. a blog post that others comment on).  The use of blogs (short for ‘web logs’) and wikis for assessment purposes is becoming more widespread, and can allow for more creativity and engagement than more traditional forms of assessment.   Blogs are more brief and interactive than journal articles, and they should be concise and cogent.  They can be either focused on the author or a topic; they can be private or semi-private, depending on the assessment.  Both blogs and wikis can be collaborative, and are often assigned to help you practise generating, receiving, and implementing meaningful feedback.

In Trinity you may be asked, for example, to:

  • Create a ‘wiki’ (a collaborative online tool where, just like ‘Wikipedia’, anyone can add, delete or edit wiki page content created by another student in the module) on Blackboard. The ultimate goal of a wiki project is to develop your collaborative wiki into a considered, cohesive and unified piece of work.
  • Create a blog on Blackboard to post your view or position on a topic from your module that is shared with classmates.
  • Participate in a discussion board on Blackboard where you post and reply.
Assessment of blogs and wikis allows you to demonstrate your overall knowledge of a topic or your participation in a task. You may also have the opportunity to demonstrate critical thinking skills or the ability to produce quality original work.  Blogs and wikis also help you to develop the digital skills often used in the workplace and in life more broadly.  

wordjumble for blogs and wikis

Which Graduate Attributes will this assessment help me develop?

gradauate attributes developed by online blogs and wikis

Interactive online assessments can help you to develop and improve upon some or all of the Graduate Attributes, depending on your experience and skill level, and the assessment criteria.  Here are some examples:

  • To Think Independently
    • By using critical thinking and self-reflection to answer thoughtfully an online discussion question.
  • To Communicate Effectively
    • For instance, developing effective digital skills and the capabilities you need to live, learn and work in a digital society.
  • To Develop Continuously
    • For instance, being asked to not only read the course material, but continuously reflect on it with a critical lens.
  • To Act Responsibly
      • For example, being an effective participant in a team ‘wiki’ project.

What is expected of me?

In Trinity, most online assessment is offered through the College virtual learning environment, Blackboard.  It is likely that your lecturer will provide you with a rubric, criteria or template to help you to reflect on a particular experience, scenario or form of assessment.  They will provide instructions on how to use and engage with the online assessment or assignment.  You will be expected to create and/or share content as well as interact with others.

screenshot of 'add post here'

Further resources

Introduction to (Blackboard) for Students