Wikis in Higher Education: Collaborative by Nature or Design?

Deborah Kay LaPointe
Claire Conrad


Web 2.0 has shifted attention from the content presented on a Web site to a focus on the contributors of the content and the interactions that lead to the development of the content. One Web 2.0 technology is a wiki. A wiki is commonly defined as a set of related Web 2.0 pages that can be authored and edited collectively. The premise underlying wikis is that the convenience of creating content in easily accessible work areas on the Web provides opportunity for all to collaborate. This qualitative study examined the experiences of two groups of learners who participated in the creation of two graduate course wikis. In addition to learning about students' experiences contributing to the course wikis, the research questions addressed how students decided what wiki content to create, contribute, and edit.