Wikis and collaborative learning in higher education

Binbin Zheng*, Melissa Niiya, Mark Warschauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


While collaborative learning and collaborative writing can be of great value to student learning, the implementation of a technology-supported collaborative learning environment is a challenge. With their built-in features for supporting collaborative writing and social communication, wikis are a promising platform for collaborative learning; however, wiki-supported collaborative learning cannot function without an effective learning design. This article highlights theory and prior research on wiki use in education and uses a design-based approach to develop strategies for using wikis to support collaborative learning in a classroom environment. In order to explore and refine these strategies, an iterative, design-based research method is used to create wiki-supported collaborative classroom activities. The authors discuss the design approach as it relates to wikis and consider the strategies that develop over four design iterations, including suggestions for learning community management, inquiry-based topic selection, teacher scaffolding, student evaluation and supporting wiki technology with other social media. This study demonstrates that while wikis can be a tool for post-secondary collaborative learning, appropriate pedagogical supports are required for successful implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-374
Number of pages18
JournalTechnology, Pedagogy and Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 27 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • collaborative learning
  • design-based research
  • teaching strategies
  • wiki technology


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