Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wikipedia...Group Work

Hi all,
From reading other blogs from my fellow students it was comforting to hear that I was not the only one who considered Wikipedia only useful as an encyclopaedia.

With further navigating around the Wikipedia site I started to realise other possible ways I could incorporate this web site as a meaningful teaching/learning tool.

Students could work in small groups and research different parts of the same lesson topic and add relevant information to Wikipedia. This will challenge students to work together constructively in a group, while contributing new knowledge for the world to read. Students will feeling a sense of belonging (achieving a group task) and actively learn through challenging themselves and achieving a goal (Hendry, 1996, cited in McInerney & McInerney, 2006).

A year 12 class of mine is about to start on a new task on food nutrition. The class could be divided into small specific groups (groups of own interest e.g., sports group, diet group, food taste group, love of cooking group) and each group could work on retrieving accurate facts concerning different aspect on food nutrition. The groups could then present to the rest of the class their findings orally using PowerPoint. After constructive feedback from students/teacher, the groups could upload their facts to Wikipedia to await acceptance.

Learning outcomes achieved are:
· Habits of mind (e.g., “Push the limits of your knowledge and abilities” and “Be accurate and seek accuracy”) (Marzano & Pickering, 2006, p.274-285).

· Challenges and strengthening prior knowledge by acquiring new knowledge (Marzano & Pickering, 2006).

· Important social skills acquired (e.g., Listening, cooperation, accepting responsibility, constructive peer feedback and learning of diverse knowledge) (Ashman & Elkins, 2008).

· Giving students a choice of group, relating to their own interests (Marzano & Pickering, 2006).

I will let you know the results of the learning experience.

Thanks for listening.
Jim Price

Ashman, A., & Elkins, J. (2008). Education for Inclusion and Diversity. Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education Australia.

Marzano, R, J., & Pickering, D, J. (2006). Dimensions of learning: Teacher’s manual. Heatherton, Vic, Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education.

Mclnerney, D. M, & Mclnerney, V. (2006). Educational psychology constructing learning. Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia: Pearsons Education Australia.
Photo: Retrieved August 13, 2009, from


  1. Hi Jim,

    I have never been a huge fan of Wikipedia, but I find now, that's because I was misinformed.The information contained within it is so up to date, there is no other source with these capabilities. i can only see it going from strength to strength.

  2. I agree Mia,
    I believe my negativities about Wikipedia came from being told not to reference from this site due to inaccuracies.
    I understand this thought, however I believe this site has a lot to offer.
    Thanks for your thoughts.