WikiSkills context and content
This handbook has been developed in the context of the WikiSkills European project, and completed by the Wikinomics European project, both aiming to apply the benefits of wikis to promote educational lifelong learning and entrepreneurship opportunities. It consists of a practical guide for educators (trainer/teacher) at all levels interested in designing and implementing their own customized wiki-based learning scenarios.
The WikiSkills project
Wikis are web-based collaborative hypertext authoring systems. Mostly for asynchronous editing, possibly synchronous ones. These webtools are quite simple to use, after understanding the basic features you can count on : view page, edit page, view history, discuss, revoke, and see recent changes on the site. Recently, Wikis have been widely used in various sectors and levels of education, as they can enhance collaborative learning. In a wiki-based learning scenario, participants co-edit web pages. During such processes, peer interaction can motivate participants, who construct synergically shared knowledge. It’s more than just dialogue or peer review, it’s everybody on the same document.
The WikiSkills project aimed to analyze and apply benefits of adopting a wiki-culture to education. Within common learning scenarios, participants from different educational sectors, cultures and ages (schools, universities, professional and adult training) learn how to use wikis for their socio-professional development. The project develops, implements and evaluates an innovative training curriculum focusing on how to make the best use of wiki environments in educational settings, so as to reach high learning objectives and foster a community of learners among Europe.
The project's goals are the following:
- Provide opportunities for meaningful collaborative learning activities;
- Promote digital literacy, as well as social skills, writing skills and critical thinking;
- Develop a sustainable virtual community of practice among the different project countries;
- Enable educational communities to contribute to the actual information society;
- Empower civic behaviours, social inclusion, employability and cultural understanding.
- WikiSkills promotes innovative pedagogical approaches that foster creativity, competitiveness, employability and entrepreneurial spirit, equity, social cohesion and active citizenship.
This handbook tries to be a practical guide to help educators of all type (teachers, trainers) bring their public in using wiki for their learning activities, independently from their domain of learning. It provides generic scenarios and may be used in various contexts, for example :
- by professors of architecture sharing documentations of building planification within a private wiki space,
- for lifelong learning trainers of immigrants for social inclusion on how to understand cultural differences using wikipedia,
- for secondary teachers of languages on how to use wikis to develop translation skills
- for trainers of trainers on how to adopt innovative pedagogical methods using synergetic collaboration wiki-based or wiki-alike tools and applying socio-constructivist scenarios.
These teachers or educators may wish to be trained in WikiSkills for the following reasons:
- they are teachers or educators at a school, university or other training / vocational education institution
- they are considering using wikis as a learning resources with / for their students
- they want to increase creativity in their classroom
- they would be interested in creating an educational wiki, but need initial support
The Wikinomics project
The Wikinomics project was launched, in order to improve, reuse and disseminate Wikiskills results, with a focus on the area of economy and employment. The Wikinomics project aims to foster key competences required for employability in the constantly changing environments of the world of work. It sets free-culture and wiki methodologies as the basis for an innovative pedagogical methodology.
Wikinomics has a particular focus on vocational education (also known as vocational education and training or VET) is education that prepares people for specific trades, crafts and careers at various levels from a trade, a craft, technician, or a professional position in engineering, accountancy, nursing, medicine, architecture, pharmacy, law etc. Craft vocations are usually based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non- academic related to a specific trade, occupation or vocation. It is sometimes referred to as technical education as the trainee directly develops expertise in a particular group of techniques.
The specific objectives of the Wikinomics project are the following:
- To shape a transversal, multi-sectorial key-competences model, compliant with the ECVET (European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training) framework, and provide concrete tools and methodologies for its implementation; See for more the Wikinomics toolbox
- To develop, implement and evaluate a training module specially designed to match VET specificities and different sectors, which integrates free culture and wiki-based methodologies for enhancing the development of key-competences for employability; See for more the Wikinomics training scenarios
- To conduct a series of collaborative wiki-based learning scenarios in which VET trainees will conduct meaningful activities in order to achieve shared results and learning outcomes; See for more the Wikinomics training scenarios
- To create a sustainable community of practices among VET actors among Europe, helping each other to adopt new socio-economical and pedagogical models in phase with the digital age. See for more the WikiAngels network