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Assessing Students' Wiki Contributions

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

IT-based Instructional Technologies

Tagged Division

Information Systems

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.230.1 - 13.230.8



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Paper Authors

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Edward Gehringer North Carolina State University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Assessing Students’ Wiki Contributions

Edward F. Gehringer North Carolina State University


Perhaps inspired by the growing attention given to Wikipedia, instructors have increasingly been turning to wikis [1, 2] as an instructional collaborative space. A major advantage of a wiki is that any user can edit it at any time. In a class setting, students may be restricted in what pages they can edit, but usually each page can be edited by multiple students and/or each student can edit multiple pages. This makes assessment a challenge, since it is difficult to keep track of the contributions of each student. Several assessment strategies have been proposed. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to compare them. We study the assessment strategies used in six North Carolina State University classes in Fall 2007, and offer ideas on how they can be improved.

1. Introduction

As an instructional medium, wikis have many advantages. Their collaborative nature enables a class to tackle projects larger than a single individual could attempt. The ability of students to view their colleagues' work allows cross-fertilization of ideas, which can help individuals improve their contributions. The fact that students are posting their work in a public place encourages them to be reserved in what they say, and careful about how it will look to others. This in itself makes it resemble a real-world environment.

The very fluidity of wikis makes assessment difficult. First, there is a question of when assessment is to take place, since pages can be edited at any time. Then there is the difficulty of deciding which contributions should be attributed to which student, because many people may have edited a single page. Finally, students' work may be spread across many Web pages that are not necessarily directly linked to each other, so it is difficult to grasp how much each individual has contributed. Several assessment strategies have been suggested.

• Self-assessment: Students write up summaries of their contributions to the wiki and submit them to the instructor.

• Group-based assessment: Students work in groups, and rate the contributions of each group member, as well as suggesting a grade for the group as a whole.

• Instructor/TA assessment: The instructor or teaching assistant assigns a grade and gives feedback without any outside assistance.

• Expert assessment: Links to the wiki pages are provided to outside experts, who assess the contributions.

Proceedings of the 2008 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition 1 Copyright 1 2008, American Society for Engineering Education

Gehringer, E. (2008, June), Assessing Students' Wiki Contributions Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3892

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