Assessment and Web 2.0

assessment11I don’t like assessment in general, because I don’t think students should learn for external rewards and the grades shouldn’t be used for sorting kids. However, this seems the “one of the necessary evils” in education.

When we try to push Web 2.0 for education or for k-12, how should we respond to the issues like assessment? The idea of Web 2.0 is the freedom of contribution. Using Web 2.0 to empower students and giving them more power to express their opinions is such a wonderful thing. However, how to encourage this type of behavior? Would the traditional grading methods work?

Having students construct knowledge online (on wikis) is such a good idea. But are students ready to construct knowledge online and editing others work? Are teachers ready to grade collaborative work like this? Similar to the traditional collaborative projects, things happened beyond screens when students collaborate on wikis. The difference is, for wikis, students and instructors have opportunity to go back and review the contributions. But how do we use the information like this? If some students do more conceptual work or coordination, how would this show up on the screen (in the history)?

Another issue is about community of practice — if in the future, students can work with experts or experienced people outside class through the uses of Web 2.0 for a period of time, they gradually learn people in the community, develop skills and knowledge used in the context, and even be able to identify oneself’s role in the community, how do instructors provide assessment in the complex learning system like this?

The concept of assessment becomes vague. The boundary of assessing individuals becomes vague. However, learning becomes more unique and individualized, which is very close to my hope. The quality of education sometimes require more carefully planning for the instructor. So maybe this is perfect time for teachers (1) to focus on creating an active, fun, authentic learning environment or bradging the practicing with Web 2.0 communities, rather than focusing on grading (2) to make the changes from standardized assessment to individualized assessment – to understand individual interests, differences, needs, and futures.


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wikis for k-12 uses (and for preservice teachers)

Recently, Dr. Bonk, Dr. Lena, and I, we just started a new project about K-12 wikis. This is an unexpected project for the busiest semester but many it is the most interesting thing. 🙂

Why is this research important?

1. Technology integration in teacher education needs more modeling from in service teachers or case studies. I felt frustrated when my undergraduate students said they didn’t see teachers use wikis at school (in Indiana).

2. Similar to reason #1, most of my students heard of wikipedia before but never used a wiki. The concept of wikis – ability to edit others and collaborate with someone else online seem overwhelm some of them. The issues include – (1) they can accidentally delete someone else entry when they try to edit right before class at the same time (2) they complain withing meeting face to face, they don’t feel like colloaborating enough. However, when the opportunity of onlien collaboration was offered, I didn’t say they should only rely on it. I knew some groups met f2f and online, whereas some groups delayed the assignment because online took the initiatives online (lack of leadership or more self-regulatory learning skills needed).

Then, some of preservice teachers developed a very positive attitude of using wikis and believed they would be using wikis in their future teaching. On the other hand, some of them just disliked wikis and said “it may be just too complicated for kids.” I don’t know if this is true. And I think there may be strategies to overcome it if it is too complicated for kids regarding the uses of wikis and the concept of collaboration online, if any. I totally respect their perception. But sometimes I think it is very dangerous for them to make the judgement since most of them haven’t taught and haven’t been amazed by how much kids could master things like this. (From my experience, kids are amazing!)  If there are a number of class wikis, that would be extremely helpful for them to observe!

computer_kids-710435What do I want to know?

1. how do teachers use wikis/ why do they want to use wikis/ what wikis do they choose to use and why?

2. to what extend are kids involved in the wikis as well as parents?

3. how much support these teachers have in terms of pschylogical support from school, parents, and others?

What do I expect to learn from this experience?

1. Collaboration with Dr. Bonk and Dr. Lena.

2. Learn more about k-6 wikis

3. Provide wiki cases for preservice teachers

4. Understand the values of wikis in k-6 or k-12 schools

5. Process of writing the paper as well as preparing manuscript for publication.

Extended reading

Wetpaint wikis in education <> They have examples and projects linked on the page. Also build an educator community there.

Wikis (for  k-12) comparison: <>

Which wiki is right for you (for k-12, librarians I guess)? They compare Wikispaces, PB wiki, and Wetpaint.

Examples of a k-6 wiki

1.  (Wikispaces) <> this is a wiki created by a 4th grade teacher. This is also the richest class wiki I’ve seen. He updated the wiki often. Some interesting posts there. For instance, in a sub-page: I guess kids created the interview questions, and the teacher’s friend answered those (kind of interaction) and then posted the wiki. Very interesting. They used  many photos compared to Wikipedia/ wikibooks.

2. (Wetpaints) <> “This will be the site used for a holiday collaborative project with 2nd and 3rd grade classes across the nation. We will complete 3 collaborative projects during the 2008-2009 school year.” They have about 3-4 teachers with 20 students each. So far, I didn’t see much complete projects on the wiki. But I think it will be interesting to talk to them and know how they came up with these ideas.

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About this blog

I just changed my blog theme. Pretty enjoyed talking to myself here. I started to keep my diary since I was a fifth grader. (Our teacher forced us to do so. She asked us to keep our diaries but also gave us options – whether giving the diary for her to read or not. Sometimes I wanted her to read, and most times I didn’t want others to know what I was thinking. 🙂 )

For this blog assignment, I have the similar dilemma here. I know educational blogs can have lots of different beneficial outcomes for students. Since I did my first blog assignment of R685 in Fall 2005 as weekly reflections, I decided to do something differently for this semester, I just took random notes and collected my thoughts or readings from my daily life regarding Web 2.0, which was not hard to do and interesting to see how my thoughts flow with the in class discussions/ readings and other things in research or teaching. I don’t have a blog partner except Jessica, who was making cool videos ! So this is more like talking to myself. And I love this! Sometimes I went back to previous posts and added things I learned recently to keep the conversation (with myself) flow~

I didn’t have a lot of opportunities talking to myself in the graduate program, in fact. (compared to my elementary school life, maybe) : )

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social networking for more

Three Tips For Integrating Marketing Into Social Networking

(link to the article)

This is interesting. “Facebook” “Twitter” and “Linkedln”

I am thinking for my one creadit hour course, if we can use Twitter, mabye we can build a more strong sense of community by “following” and feel that you know more about a person? Just a thought.Below are the paragraphs about how to integrate marketing in Twitter (since I am not a big fan of Facebook and Linkedln yet.)

Add Relevant Content On A Consistent Basis

Before social media marketing articles were the powerhouse of internet marketing. They still have their place and can bring a tremendous amount of traffic to a website, but the power lies in what the article is all about. Information. Or more to the point… relevant content.

When piecing together your online marketing with social networking it is a big mistake to overlook the power of providing relevant content. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are integral to this and provide great ways to do it.

Twitter is just twitter. You have 140 characters to use. You wouldn’t think that would be enough to add relevant content, but it is. The thing I like is that there isn’t any room for fluff. You say what you have to say and no more. You can provide content to Twitter by;

  • Posting one sentence thoughts pertaining to your niche.
  • Posting links to other relevant websites and articles.
  • Answering questions asked by other Twitter users.
  • Having your blog posts automatically updated to Twitter as you post them.
  • Relevant content can be done in Twitter.

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    online learnig communities and design of collaborative learning tools (II)

    Okay. Start from here, I am going to organize these exciting class notes. 🙂

    1. Paul Kim from Stanford (SoE)- mobile learning

    Chun-Yi’s Questions after class: how do you perceive these mobile technologies impact on kids’ learning in a long term (especially in a low SES area)? How to sustain the efforts? To what extend do you see the cost of these mobile devices as a barrier to benefit more kids?

    2. Hulu -Sharon’s presentation

    Hulu seems an interesting video site with high quality videos. They have a chanel on YouTube so they can market their site as well, although they see YouTube as an immature video site.

    3. Dr. Bonk’s YouTube video research

    young people create YouTube videos for fun, whereas 25 yrs old and above create YouTube videos to make differences of the world.

    Copyright and Remix issues

    YouTube takes out videos when anyone complain about violations of copyright. If “remix” will become popular in the future, what would be the copyright issues involved? Does YouTube or other video sites claim they own the uploaded materials? Some open software or websites allow you do download videos from those video sites.

    4. Bonk’s presentation on Wiki projects

    I like the slide that he lists Tensions in one column and Ideas/Suggestions in the other column. I think we all learn from exploring and experimenting in the initial stage and this is important to establish the knowledge and practical experiences.

    About my assessment question in class: See if Johnson & Johnson have insights on assessment of group works on wikis recently or email them to find out. methods of grading?

    5. Google Groups and Google Docs – from Bob

    Creating pages on Google Groups is similar to editing wiki pages. It is not very helpful because when you have more than one person edit the page, it falls apart. However, Google Docs allows at most 4 people on it and edit it at the same time (wow! How can they do that?)

    6. More cool google apps from Jessica

    (1) Twine: Seems an interesting collaborative website. It combines social networks and google ads (looks like it for me). It will automatically suggest extended reading from a list of authors based on articles you read/ posted.

    (2) Google Student chanel on YouTube Jessica said in the video that instructors and students can use google chat so that they don’t need to go out in a very cold winter. sounds a great idea!

    7. Discussions: ( group discussion and 7 words game)

    (1) What is an online learning community? what are the features? how can you recognize one?

    people, common interests, learning goals, an online space, connections, contributions.. A protoal is different from a community because on a protoal, people consume information passively but on a learning community, people take and give. Sustained commitment. Rovai (2002) sense of community.

    Slide I saw on Twine about community of practices (User experience design as communities of practice. Andrew Hinton, 2007. link )- I like his graphic representations


    (2) What is a collaborative technology? what would you build and design one?

    communication, sychronous or asychronous tools, planning tools – i think this one is important to facilitate collaboration….

    My design: Collaboration Phone

    Since based on reading #5 this week, email and phone seem the most popular tools no matter how many different new technologies we invent for collaborative learning. The changes happen so slow because there are too many things to learn, too many things to focus. So my idea is to combine the new technology with the old technology, which is also the technology people feel most comfortable.

    I want to design a phone with camera, mini projector, and video conferencing software. When people want to collaborate, they can turn on the mini projector and project the screen on the wall, and then make a call to a group of people from your group list in your phone book (just like sending an email to a group of people). It’s easier to collaborate.Video on Mini Projector:

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    online learning communities and design of collaborative tools

    Yesterday we had a very interesting class. I learned a lot from the collaborative sites shared in class. I am listing some main points I gained from readings.

    questions before class:

    1. how is the a yahoo group/ google group different from a discussion forum/ an electronic bulletin board? It seems that google/ yahoo group offer more collaborative featuers for collaboration, such as uploading and donwloading files, photos, and chat rooms. I have one student try to build a learning community by using discussion forums. It does support images but not video/ audio/ other files. For me, it looks like ancient technology but I know lots people are still using it.

    2. How does an instructor motivate people to learn on these online groups? Can teachers really motivate their students to learn? or they can “create a learning environment” but hard to “give people instrinsic motivation”? it may be even harder online if students don’t have their intrinsic motivations to learn..?

    Readings #1

    Chen, P., R. Gonyea, and G. Kuh (2008). Learning at a distance: Engaged or not?. Innovate 4 (3). Retrieved August 18, 2008, from

    It’s a National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) study to investigate online students and campus-based students’ engagement. MANCOVA was used for data analysis. From the results, we know that the student bodies are very different. 44% students who took online courses were part-time students and had full-time jobs, whereas 4% first year on-campus students were part-time students and 13% fourth year on-campus students were part-time students. Their ages are different. The online students were older and 27% online students took the course because they would like to take courses with people at the same age.

    The results show that overall online students are more engaged in activities than campus-based students. However, they are less engaged in the activities related to collaboration with other students online or group assignments that require them to meet in person. They are less satisfied when the collaborative learning is used and more satisfied when courses involve practical competence” This is not surprising because online students have more exerienced and look for education for specific purposes. The interesting part is that what cuases collaborative learning less appealing to them. Is it becuase lack of communication online?

    Reading #5

    Lee, S. H., Magjuka, R. J., Liu, X., Bonk, C. J. (2006, June). Interactive technologies for effective collaborative learning. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning. See

    After reading #1, when I started to read #5, I found it more interesting because I can see there are many different kinds of technolgoies developed for online collaborative learning. For instane, tools for communication, cooperation, collaboration – synchronous, and asychronous tools. However, people still use PHONE and EMAIL most often. I am thinking maybe this is because the are more RELIABLE technologies to reach people (you can almost assure that all your group members know how to use them). Discussion forums or wikis can be a place where people produce or manage their work. Chat and some online collaboration tools require to be organized and planned ahead of time.

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    Messages you sent out to the world everyday

    This is a video I found on Daniel Pink’s blog. In this digital era, everyone sends tons of messages everyday. Just think about how many emails, posts, and edits you’ve done a day. How many of them did make an influence of the world? It seems hard to deal with a lot of messages and still be careful about choosing words (be aware of it). Great mini movie below (5 mins).

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