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Wikispaces Examples

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Columbia Wikispaces can be used in a variety of ways to enhance teaching and learning. The simple, web-based wiki platform makes group activities and course management easy and efficient. Wikispaces is notably different from a course management system because of it's ability for students to contribute multimedia content and to collaborate on assignments. Wikis simplify the process of publishing to a secure course website and they make peer-to-peer learning possible.

Faculty can use Wikispaces to:

• Function as a course management system - with syllabus, reading list, and course materials
• Promote and facilitate group projects or papers
• Facilitate close reading and analysis
• Allow for manual translation of text, video, or audio files
• Build a repository of resources for the course
• Conduct peer reviews of student papers
• Create student project portfolios with images, videos, and text

Examples at Columbia University

Germanic Language Department
Jutta Schmiers-Heller - Lecturer


Lecturer Jutta Schmiers-Heller created two separate wikis (one in the fall semester and one in the spring semester) to help the same set of Intermediate I German language students practice and recycle vocabulary and grammar, and learn culture in a fun, interactive way. Both wikis were embedded in the course curriculum and used for specific projects. The first wiki, which focused on a travel theme, was used primarily during class time, with students meeting in small groups to discuss in German their contributions to the wiki and together adding content to the wiki page. During the second semester the students were more comfortable with the wiki technology, and therefore the wiki was used outside of class to facilitate group work and projects about immigration law in Germany. With each wiki the students were provided with clear instructions about the information they were expected to contribute to the wiki and on how they would be graded on their project.

Watch Jutta Schmiers-Heller discuss her use of wikis at the 2008 New Media in Education conference at Columbia University: Wikis: A Platform for Innovation in the Classroom.

American Language Program
Leila May-Landy - Senior Lecturer in Discipline


Instructor Leila May-Landy used her course wiki to facilitate a collaborative group writing project with her students. The wiki homepage contains step-by-step instructions for the assignment and clearly explains how students are expected to use the wiki for their group project. Each group had their own collection of pages for brainstorming, paper outline development, research, self and teamwork assessment and finally, the writing assignment.

Watch Leila May-Landy discuss her use of wikis at the 2008 New Media in Education conference at Columbia University: Promoting Collaborative Learning Using Wikis.

English at Barnard College
Derrick Higginbotham - Associate Professor


Associate professor of English at Barnard, Derrick Higginbotham, used his course wiki as a presentation space and tool for text analysis for students. His course assignments included a close reading of texts within the wiki followed by student discussion in the discuss section of the wiki page. In the discussion section of each page, students responded to each others thoughts and analysis of the text, thus creating discourse outside of class and fueling the discussion in class.

Watch this video of Professor Higginbotham presenting his wiki at the 2008 New Media in Education Conference to learn how his wiki affected discussion in the classroom. Promoting Collaborative Learning Using Wikis.