It started with simple instructions on wiki-ing posted on Feb 27th. A week later, we reviewed that we got for our mid-term exam. The COM125 Study Guide was a way to see if Singaporeans students get the hang of collaborating on effective study notes and predicting exam questions (which I alluded to).
What did we end up with?
Out of 75 students, 17 students registered themselves, while only 9 students actually contributed by changing the document one way or another. Being a publicly editable wiki, there was one anonymous guest user who went straight in to make edits. Besides copying and pasting relevant portions of the handouts and personal study notes, some took a more organizational roles by creating clear topical sections, even though it is by no means perfect in terms of a clean professional page. This is perfectly understandable, since unlike Wikipedia, this first serves their own need. If it is for the public good, it would come about as a side-effect of an immediate personal need of the students.
The resulting wiki-fied study guide looked pretty usable to me. I did see students studying from a condensed version of their class presentations, rather than printing from the wiki. Perhaps they might have felt that a second-generation aggregation of notes would be prone to errors. I’d need to ask them directly for their impression of the whole wiki experience.
Finally, as an incentive for using the wiki, I carried out my promise of editing some of the content closer towards the deadline, as a hint to what would appear in the exam. Let me know if you have better ideas of doing this, or if you’ve learnt anything from my experience.
You can see the COM125 Study Guide here (now protected to prevent spamming).