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Using a Wiki instead of a Moodle

11 Jul

At the ICT in the Classroom Conference in Johannesburg last week, I was introduced to PBworks, a classroom collaboration tool which operates as a wiki. I have not tried the software out yet, but will be playing with it.

I suppose the big question is whether PBworks could replace a class Moodle. There are clearly advantages to using PBworks instead of Moodle. One of the main objections to Moodle is that it is not a very democratic medium. It works very well for posting content for students to download and read, or view, and works excellently in terms of facilitating the uploading of assignments and even feedback on the assignments, and assigning grades. But it does not score highly in terms of facilitating student writing and collaboration, in other words what a Wiki does best.

PBworks, on the other hand, appears to do student writing, access and collaboration very well, but not submission of assignments. A teacher can post tasks, and keep a timeline of homework, etc, but students cannot upload their work to the site, and would therefore need a Dropbox facility in addition. This could work, but the functionality that Moodle has in this regard is lacking.

One would really wish for a melding of the two, a Moodle with better Wiki functionality, or a PBworks with assignment submission and grading facilities! Ah, such is life! One is constantly in a state of wishing for the best of both worlds!

Thankfully, both Moodle and PBworks allow for hyperlinking, and it seems to me that the extra effort needed to mirror a course on PBworks, as your Wiki site would be well rewarded. You could still use Moodle for your basic course administration, and PBworks as your collaborative workspace.

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