Chapt 11: Institutional Implementation of Wikis in Higher Education: The Case of the Open University of Israel (OUI)

September 21, 2010

Hagit Meishar-Tal, Yoav Yair and Edna Tal-Elhasid are the authors of Chapter 11, “Institutional Implementation of Wikis in Higher Education: The Case of the Open University of Israel (OUI)” in the Veletsianos (ed.) book.

This chapter outlines a process for implementing a new technology (wikis – used for collaborative writing) into an existing program. It’s a case study worth reviewing to inform planning models in many institutions and with a range of innovations. It’s also a very interesting companion/comparison to the Moodle implementations described in Chapter 10, where one of the examples was a centralized model. Chapter 11 gives a very explicit account of OUI’s planning steps within their version of a centralized model.

OUI started their wiki project with a conscious knowledge of their historical background and emerging needs. They did a feasibility study/pilot, carefully considered technology requirements for broader implementation, looked at the financial aspects of the project, provided training and support, and were conscious of how the new technology added a collaborative element that had not been present in the traditional model that the institution had followed up to this point. Finally, evaluation/assessment was built-in at all points of the project with adoption being one of the key measures along with measures of student satisfaction.

The authors state that “dramatic change” was required at OUI to move the institution towards collaborative learning (p. 216). It appears that this change was achieved through careful planning and monitoring, and although not everyone in the institution has adopted the change yet, the project is viewed as a success.

This is from the “Elizabeth Tweets” series of chapter-by-chapter blog posts related to the new book “Emerging Technologies in Distance Education“, edited by George Veletsianos and published by Athabasca University Press (including a freely available e-book version).