ITP student Jeff Gutkin (Educational Psychology) reflects on his independent study project


Visit Wagnerpedia


This study explores the impact of a campus-wide wiki named Wagnerpedia on student learning and engagement. Wagnerpedia is a dynamic but static, public, campus-wide wiki workspace which offers community, students, faculty, alumni, and administration a space to create and access ongoing collaborative content. Wagnerpedia was built with the mediawiki source code and is housed on a server administered by the Wagner College Information Technology department. The developer of Wagnerpedia, Jeff Gutkin, is the Director of Academic Computing at Wagner College and a Doctoral Student at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Patricia Shoknecht is the Director of Information Technology at Wagner College and has given substantial support for this project.

There were several issues that created the need for this technological tool at Wagner. The broader problem was the need for faculty and students to maintain continuity in an online setting across semesters and students. This is an inherent problem for Wagner when working with community partners – how do we keep the continuity within our community relationships when new students are involved every semester. In solving this problem (which is a particularly important problem for Wagner College since we have an award-winning curriculum focused on community engagement), we realized that this technology could also help with study abroad students and programs and could even be applied to a different college initiative – building a college historical archive with the help of the alumni. Furthermore, the use of Wagnerpedia as a teaching tool was imagined as well. The narrower focus and development of Wagnerpedia; however, stemmed directly from course work in the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy (ITP) program at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

The concept of Wagnerpedia as a teaching tool was generated during the first semester’s course work which focused on ubiquitous computing and shared spaces. During this semester a historical view of technology was examined within a sociological framework. New media forms were examined and ideas for the development of new technologies were stimulated and discussed between students from diverse majors such as Theatre History, Ecology, Psychology and Education. The class focus was more on the theoretical aspects of computers and society than the technical aspects; therefore, did not place emphasis on complicated computing systems to convey pedagogical ideals. Conversely, the key question taken from this class would be “what is it I want to do in the classroom, and how can I do it better with technology”? This approach can be traced to Instructional Design and Participatory Design concepts. Rather than create a technological tool and then try to find a use for it, the approach is to find a need for the tool, how that tool can fit the situation it is needed for, and then how to design the tool for optimal use.

Wagnerpedia was presented as a project for the first of the two ITP courses and it was decided that it be used for the independent study as well after it was launched and it looked like there would be at least a modicum of success getting people to post. The implementation of Wagnerpedia took place between the first and second semester of course-work and was launched before the second semester. Wagnerpedia became public and was introduced to the Wagner Community during January 2008; the second semester. This study has been conducted during the second and third (final) semester of the ITP program and will be completed for the end of the Fall semester of 2008.

I used simple wiki technology and not complex software or hardware devices as a way to maintain the focus of the project on the pedagogical values and not technological ones. This also alleviated the need for extended amounts of time and money expenditures in software development. One reason for recent success of technology is its ability to be used portably. Computing has become ubiquitous because of technological advancements that overcome the restraints of needing a main-frame computing system to accomplish the same tasks (or less) as a portable lightweight device that can be carried in the pocket. What further aids the wide usage of technology is the Graphic User Interface (GUI). Even as the web delivers more complex media, what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) interfaces simplify the web authoring process by allowing non-programmers and technical experts to create content in a web 2.0 environment.

Because Wagnerpedia is socially constructed and follows very loose guidelines, it was unclear exactly what was going to develop. The following study explores how Wagnerpedia developed and was utilized from the theoretical perspective of Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1986). More specifically, how creating content in a public forum created an interaction between a person and the environment, in this case the environment being a wiki. Bandura (1986) posits that human behavior changes as a result of that persons interaction with the environment, and in this case behavior can be writing, or learning. Therefore, we can ask, does publishing class work to a public wiki enhance learning?

Literature Review


A review of the literature in the psychinfo database revealed 13 citations from a keyword search for the word wiki, and 30 from the Eric database, when limiting them to peer-reviewed journals only. This is not a surprisingly low number considering the recentness of the Wiki as a technological teaching tool; though, most wikis are free to install, use and maintain. Wikipedia, a wiki known world wide, has set the industry standard for the wiki as an encyclopedia (Wikipedia, 2008). The fact that the legitimacy of Wikipedia data has been critiqued by higher education and scholars as lacking peer-review and adhering to a narrow point of view (NPOV) has dampened the wiki’s reputation among institutions of Higher Education. Within the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) literature the wiki is often grouped with the blog and the podcast, but the wiki has the most diverse uses of the three for all areas of a learning institution.

According to Engstrom and Jewett (2005) “Wikis are collaborative environments by design, and can serve a variety of purposes for collaborative online projects.” Some uses for the wiki are social networking, collaborative authorship, hyper linking media, disseminating information, peer-review, institutional archives, and assignment repository – to name a few. Nicol, Littlejohn, & Grierson, (2005) Studied the importance of organizing data within a wiki and found that having students organize data within a wiki also helped them to better conceptualize the knowledge as well improving domain knowledge and information literacy skills. In a review of distance education practices, Beldarrain (2006) also suggests that wikis support knowledge construction by offering learner control of content and organization. Hsu (2007) reviewed several technologies for online learning and found the wiki to be excellent tool to use to foster constructivist teaching and learning strategies.

Social Cognition

According to Bandura (1986), who proposed a social cognitive theory, “most psychological theories were cast long before the advent of enormous advances in the technology of communication. As a result, they give insufficient attention to the increasingly powerful role that the symbolic environment plays in present-day human lives. Indeed, in many aspects of living, televised vicarious influence has dethroned the primacy of direct experience. Whether it be thought patterns, values, attitudes or styles of behavior, life increasingly models the media.” When Bandura wrote this statement it was in reaction to television, or radio, and the symbolic representations that effect viewers as passive or active seekers of information. Bandura drew from Vygotsky (1962) the belief that people learn vicariously from “models” based on their authority, knowledge and similarities. Although many theories have begun to examine learners from a multi-media perspective in the area of education psychology they tend to be from a more natural cognitive perspective such as the multi-media learning theory of Mayer (2001). Social cognition takes into account a more contextualized account of learning (Yang, 2007).


Figure 1: Construct of Triadic Reciprocality

Bandura (1986) proposed that the person, their behavior, and the environment all interact in a triadic reciprocal fashion (figure 1). Behavior is defined as a persons outward action toward the environment, or the effect of their or others behavior on one’s cognition. The Environment is the social environment which one interacts with and it has an effect on behavior and cognition. Reciprocally, one has the ability to effect the environment with behaviors which are or are not spurred by cognitive determinism. Within the Person (cognition, affect and biological) area Zimmerman (1987) expanded on Bandura (1986).

Zimmerman proposed a feedback loop based on self-regulating factors such as self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation. The loop occurs with continued input from both the environment and behaviors. Within this social cognitive, self-regulation manifests itself in three phases, forethought, performance, and self-reflection. Forethought is used to plan one’s learning, and utilizes motivation, self-efficacy, and value. The performance phase is when these strategies are put into action and the learner self-monitors their progress and adjusts their approach. The third phase, self-reflection is the post judgment of one’s performance and their reaction to their success or failure.

Success or failure at this stage can lead to meta-cognitive decisions such as placing renewed effort in the next task, or avoidance of the task altogether. Emotions, defense mechanisms, and confidence are common examples of the self-reflection stage (Zimmerman), and each can work to effect the next forethought stage. Zimmerman and Tsikalas (2005) used a social cognitive perspective, to explore computer-based learning environments (CBLE’s). Specifically they investigated whether a CBLE could be used in the three stages of self-regulation. Quintana, Zhang, and Krajcik discuss a “process visualization” structure in the CBLE, Digital IdeaKeeper (as cited in Zimerman and Tsikalas 2005). This program aided in task analysis, planning, goal setting and motivational processes. In the performance stage, students generate questions and collaborate, adapt their approach as well as practice focusing their attention. In the self-reflection stage students can view their work, view others work, and make judgments on their progress. “According to the social cognitive cyclical phase model” (Cleary, Zimmerman, & Keating, in press) a program that can satisfy all three of these phases is more likely to produce positive learning.

A wide-scale wiki satisfies these goals. In the forethought stage of self-regulation, and specifically goal setting, the wiki can be used to outline a paper. By using “level 2 headings” each page can be partitioned into editable sections, each section editable on its own. In the performance stage, students can edit, view their pages as well as others and adapt their approach or collaborate while building their work. This is different than producing work in isolation or handing in finished product papers. The self-reflection stage comes with feedback and rewards in a wiki, based on page views and “talk” from outside viewers. This wiki for example has national exposure.

Social Contextualization in Design

Learning is done through experience (Dewey, 1939). Therefore, in order to make a technology rich learning environment more conducive to learning, within the design there needs to be aspects that are “situational” (Vygotsky, 1962) to the learner. It is the context or place in which the learning is occurring. Tuan (1977) described place as an organized world of meaning. The personal dimension emerges not a priori, but through peoples interaction with the environment. Tuan (1977) goes on to say that space must be static, that is, it must remain somewhat unchanged in order to become place. Wiki technology does this, but is dynamic at the same time. The content remains as does the look and feel, but the layers of a wiki go beyond the surface and are easily exposed by exploring the “history” behind each page.

Interactive design, which takes into account social, emotional and contextual” (Ciolfi and Bannon, 2005) aspects goes beyond the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) look and feel ideals. HCI uses technology, such as eye tracking, to design technology from a scientific point of view. For instance, if every time a screen loads a persons eye looks toward the upper left hand of the screen, then HCI investigators will validate putting pertinent content in the upper left hand corner of the screen based on the original finding. Therefore, HCI investigators have been thought to be too “cognitive” by contextualist designers of computing spaces. However, Ciolfi and Bannon (2005) explore factors in designing an interactive “place” and outlines the importance of creating a digital environment for both communication and collaboration. Ciolfi (2003) and Ciolfi and Bannon (2005) focus on computers and ubiquity, their idea of place builds on Tuan’s (1971), by adding the personal dimension. This dimension suggests building interfaces that focus on features that effect interactions. Within the wiki there are several problems that arose trying to accomplish this and as we will see, the wiki did not accomplish this task and therefore, lacks as a “place” for learning.

According to Bass (1999) teaching at the college level should be public, open to critical review and evaluation and accessible for exchange and use by “other members of the scholarly community” (Shulman, in Bass 1999). Bass discusses reinventing pedagogy and looks at using technology to critique teaching styles as well as effectiveness. To investigate this aspect of design there are certain questions within the faculty interviewing process that we asked and will discuss later. The wiki does; however, add a public light to the teachers strategies as well as the students.

This dualism allows for a “productive digression” (Ugoretz). Digression allows students to take responsibility and ownership of their work by creating their own content, albeit off topic, but stemming from discussion of the topic. By retaining a history of the page, one can return to the main idea or reclaim thoughts such as in asynchronous discussion boards. Although this study investigated pages that were outlined by the class assignments, leaving little room for digression or creativity, there are other posts that were created where this aspect of creation has been seen. Bass (2000) investigates the use of public technologies in the light of scholarship. This is evident in Wagnerpedia where a few of the student pages have become collaborative efforts between faculty and student. Since the pages created by students are public, the faculty member went back and edited some of the work in order to build a better resource. In turn, the students work is reflective of the pedagogical values and content covered in the class that semester.


There were several groups of people that have contributed to Wagnerpedia so far. Wagner College students engage in community oriented experiential learning though service and research. The introduction of Wagnerpedia allows them to create content online that is accessible to the Wagner community as well as the off-campus community they served during their experiential work. Since the goal of this project is to investigate technology and pedagogy, it is of primary interest to examine whether or not students learned more by using Wagnerpedia than they would have using traditional methods. Over the past two semesters a few faculty members have been giving writing assignments to their students as part of final class projects and instead of submitting hard (printed) copies of final papers, students posted to a class wiki page and then linked from that page to their solo work.

Wagner Alumni have contributed to Wagnerpedia. The most predominant alumni contributors are from the class of 1958. It is hard to imagine that this class would contribute more than, say, the class of 2007 who are much more technically savvy, but not only did they contribute pictures and memorabilia to the site, but they also posted scholarship information and recanted and shared parts of their personal life since graduating Wagner. One reason for this phenomenon is the fact that it is their 50th anniversary year and have been the focus of much attention. Wagnerpedia was also unveiled as part of the 125th anniversary of Wagner College and has served as a posting place for alumni officers, committee members and such.

Wagner faculty have contributed to Wagnerpedia as well. One psychology professor who had previously compiled the history of the Wagner Psychology department, and was a member of the 125th anniversary committee, used this opportunity to expand the history of the college to include all of the 125 years and created pages to represent each year. On the page for “1958” there was an overlap between a current faculty member posting and creating content and an alumni from 1958. This type of link is quite beneficial for sustaining ongoing bonds with alumni, a bond that can eventually pay off financially.

Fraternities and Sororities have contributed to Wagnerpedia and have included historical descriptions of the organizations as well as current pictures. This expanded the interconnectivity by linking a current student fraternity member, a faculty member, and an alumni from the same fraternity.

Administrators have used Wagnerpedia to collaborate on grant writing projects and conference submissions. The ability to track changes and add to a single document from several locations replaced in some circumstances the need to e-mail a single word document from person to person in order to make changes. Instead each person could access a single document. After the document is complete the page is printed and deleted and therefore information stays somewhat private.

Wagnerpedia was examined using quantitative and qualitative methods. A quantitative analysis of wiki usage was performed by examining the volume of edits and page views, as well as the amount of registered users. A qualitative questionnaire was distributed asking students to explain the impact that Wagnerpedia had on their learning and a faculty member who used Wagnerpedia in class projects was interviewed asking how Wagnerpedia changed their teaching style and use of technology in the classroom.


Since January of 2008 Wagnerpedia has been online to the public. There are 244 registered users. There have been 187,000 page views and 34,000 page edits. Wagnerpedia now contains 814 pages. The front page of Wagnerpedia has been viewed 21,974 times. The Current events page which has been active since November of 2008 is the 4th most visited page with 3,270 views. There have been 280 files uploaded, all of which are photographs.

It is unclear which numbers above have the most importance. There were 187,000 page views, many of them came from outside of the Wagner Community. This demonstrates the fact that Wagnerpedia was looked at. Because Wagnerpedia was presented at three different conferences for higher education, many of the page views could have been stimulated by this; however, very few if any of the page edits came from this source suggesting that there was little impact on creating collaborative authorship with the general viewer outside of the Wagner College community. There are several conclusions to draw form this set of numbers. One conclusion is that there was no direct benefit to be had from contributing. For instance, of the page edits and page creations, there were over 500 page deletions of pages that were posted by unregistered users for the purpose of “spamming”. These pages are posted every day are deleted at least one time daily.

The Wiki system can be programmed to block outside users from posting; thereby, alleviating the need to patrol the sight for unwanted posts from spammers, but that would block potential users from contributing. A greater point to be taken from these numbers are that if there is monetary, or personal gain in posting, people will post. Although there is a steady stream of spam coming onto the site, there is a surprisingly low level of vandalism. Very few pages that have existing content have had content altered, or language changed that was not a part of the intended use of the wiki.

Faculty Survey

An interview was conducted with a History Professor regarding the usage of Wagnerpedia in a freshman history class. The assignment the faculty member gave was to post a final paper and accompanying resources to Wagnerpedia. During preliminary discussion with this faculty member there was concern about uploading different file format types to the wiki. Since only digital images formatted with the Joint Photographic Experts Group (.JPG, or .JPEG) file extension can be uploaded to a wiki, it was decided to create a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) location where other types of files such as Adobe Portable Document Format (.PDF), Microsoft Power Point (PPT, PPTX) and Microsoft Word (.DOC, DOCX) files could be stored for contributors. These files are generally large in nature, and can contain potentially harmful content and therefore need to be reviewed for content and size before they can be uploaded. Once uploaded the contributor is given a hyper link that they can insert anywhere on the World Wide Web (WWW).

The interview protocol used was loosely guided and the faculty member was able to lead the questions. The interview led off with the following statement: “What I am most concerned with is the process that took place in the implementation of the wiki technology and how then, it affected the behaviors or cognition of the students. For example, did using the wiki help students learn content better? Or, what were some of the planning and thoughts that went into designing projects for your class to use on the wiki?” A few of the following questions were answered;

  1. When you first saw the wiki what ideas did you have? I created a site and the students created a site, but I first got interested in how student work had been used online. I worked with you with “Moodle” having students create 150 word papers and post them online… This gave me some ideas about using technology to teach. The Park Hill project seemed ideal because there is no reading to assign, no text book, so if each student could take one piece of the question and then pool the research it can help write grants or share information across groups. I also saw this as a good opportunity to save or use student presentations…it helped the students craft an argument into a presentation. Another professor’s class used Wikipedia to dispel beliefs or misunderstandings about a community in which they were working, and it inspired me to use technology to create change within the community.
  2. How did you envision your students work? The Park Hill project is being used as a broader project. It can be used for grants and to benefit the community – students’ complain that their papers get put into a draw after they are submitted and they feel that they should be used to a greater good…students can be engaged because they are creating a project.
  3. How did using the wiki change your approach to assessment? Many students put their names on the secondary pages to identify themselves. The secondary pages are pages that are accessed after clicking on a link from the primary page. In this case, the primary page is a group page which each member contributes to, but does not identify who contributed what part. Some students did a lot more work and not just with collaborative authorship, but within their own secondary pages. Next time I will find a way to have each student document which part they submitted.
  4. What might you do differently? I might have students practice on the technology before giving them a final project at the end of the semester. I would introduce technology earlier in the semester. I found that in one class I introduced the project late in the semester and they were very worried about having to master the technology and do the research for the final project.
  5. Does the design of the wiki help or inhibit what you want to accomplish with your teaching? Your own scholarship? I have also started to build my research pages on Wagnerpedia. I am introducing them to the community next semester and going to invite community members to share the resource and contribute as well.
  6. Did you notice better writing from your students? Students writing was very uneven. Students who wrote the high quality work should have their name on it. Better students should have their name on the work. Others are not going to be up to the task of writing high quality work.
  7. Were your students more engaged? I assigned the wiki project as reading for part of a students assignment. Since there is no textbook to use students can only experience Park Hill through interaction. This creates a resource that can engage them in the community. I assigned reading of the Wagnerpedia pages to one students as a model and a broader vision of the project for an independent study project.

The interview was recorded on a Sony MP3 player which records up to 2 Gigabytes of voice data in Moving Picture Expert Group, MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 (MP3) playable format. Total recording time for the interview was 45 minutes.

Student Surveys

A second form of data collection was developed to survey students that had taken at least one of the history classes that used Wagnerpedia. There were two separate student surveys administered. The surveys sought to capture data which would inform the study as to whether using a socially constructed wiki improved learning. In hindsight there are too many questions in the first survey and this is evident by the lack of responses. Those that did respond used shorter one word answers as they came to the later questions of the survey; thereby, limiting the qualitative value of the survey. Students were sent e-mails soliciting responses to the following questions (appendix B);

  1. When you first saw the wiki what ideas did you have? Did you like the idea or think it was just going to be more work?
  2. How did you envision your work in college being applied to the greater community?
  3. How did using the wiki change your approach to writing a paper for an assignment?
  4. What might you do differently next time?
  5. Did the design of the wiki help or inhibit what you wanted to accomplish with your paper?
  6. Did you notice your writing improve or change?
  7. Was more time spent on the technology than preparing the content for the project?
  8. Were you more or less interested in this project than others where you only handed in a paper?
  9. How might your work change your readers concepts about Staten Island history?
  10. Have you gone back to read your submissions at all? Did you read your classmates submissions?
  11. Did you know that researchers from around the country have been using your wiki to find out about Staten Island history?
  12. Would you watch your page to see what next years students might change?
  13. Would you offer them suggestions on content?
  14. Did the wiki help with your presentation?
  15. Any other comments?

It was determined from the small amount of responses that this survey asked too many questions. Two students responded to this e-mail and the responses are as follows;

In response to question 1; Both students liked the idea of using a wiki. One response was “I like the idea but it did turn out to be a lot more work.” One response to question 2; We used it to redefine the common stereotypes of the park hill community, it will help the perception of the Wagner students who read it since it is less negative and focuses on what is being done in the community…that in the long run helps the community. Two responses to question 6 were; “Yes, definitely”, and another response was, “Yes because I took a greater interest knowing it would be seen by many others.” According to these responses students found that they wrote their final papers with the fact that they were to be published in mind, which in turn, prompted them to put more effort into their writing. Also, the one student that discussed the Park Hill community was aware that there could be some impact on the community, or at least other peoples perception of that community. One key point is that students’ level of engagement was increased and that in turn aided learning. The full responses are attached (see appendix E).

Another shorter survey was created using “Surveymonkey.com”, a web site established to provide a place to create, collect, and analyze survey data. An e-mail soliciting responses from students was sent with a hyperlink leading to a surveymonkey page. The following open-ended questions were asked (appendix C) and there were 12 responses to this survey;

  1. Did posting or reading Wagnerpedia posts help you learn the subject content better?
  2. Does posting online where everyone can see it change your approach to writing?
  3. Has posting on Wagnerpedia helped the way you write? Please explain.
  4. What did you like or dislike about posting on Wagnerpedia?

Although many of the responses were shorter and many were single word answers, the results seem fairly conclusive. For question 1, 10 out of 12 students thought they had learned the content better by using Wagnerpedia. One response was “Yes, because I felt like I had to master the information that I was posting to Wagnerpedia.” Question 2 brought a more mixed response and more qualitative data. Three respondents felt that increased care needed to be taken in order to be correct in the information they provided. Even when they realized that they were writing under the blanket of anonymity, they felt responsible for posting reliable data. It was also clear that some students did not have a full grasp as to the capabilities of the wiki, and had some issue with others editing their work. They answered, “I don’t like how people can change my writing because when I go to see if I posted something, I can’t remember what I wrote because it has been changed.” The wiki does allow people to change others work, but all edits are traceable through the history function. Nevertheless, only half of the respondents felt their approach to writing had changed.

The last question gathered some interesting data. Some comments were directed toward usability, plagiarism, sharing, and content. Because the use of Wagnerpedia in this study was part of an assignment, students were pressured to post original work on a subject, which in turn conflicted with the overall use of Wagnerpedia. Rather than trying to build one shared resource, the students’ concern was to post their own original work that would eventually be a part of a grade. Students noticed that others had copied from the textbook, used others work, or posted their responses first leaving less content for the others to cover. The comparison of Wagnerpedia to Wikipedia on several occasions demonstrated that students held Wikipedia as a model for their entries.

There were a total of 14 responses from students with both the e-mail and the surveymonkey.com surveys. This marks approximately 25-30 % of the students that used Wagnerpedia this past year. Since it is difficult in general to get survey responses from students at Wagner a percentage of this size is usually an acceptable number.


When Wagnerpedia was first launched the concern was how to get people to post on it. The first 10 or 20 pages were created by the developer and people were personally recruited to post. After a very short time posts started appearing on their own. Since its inception in January 2008, Wagnerpedia has since become a permanent part of the Wagner Community. Students, faculty, the president, administrators, alumni and some community members have contributed to this resource. It has been shown to be a very good use of technology for teaching purposes – it is easy to use and accessible, and it engages students. It has served its purpose as a project for the ITP program, but it has also opened the door for future development and study. During the ITP study of Wagnerpedia another faculty member was using Wagnerpedia to study collaborative authorship between two art history classes – freshman and upper classman. A pilot program for ePortfolios has been underway and there over 60 personal pages created and some of them have fairly well edited content.

A community engagement program has begun with help of some grant money. Wagnerpedia was given a laptop and digital projector so that students can visit community locations such as Richmondtown historical center, Project Hospitality and Park Hill to show residents our resource and train them how to access and edit it themselves. This phase of development has been a little slower to develop than locally edited pages, but can prove to be the most fruitful. The plan is to have student liaisons that have worked within specific communities and these liaisons would edit and oversee content editing, working closely with community members online. Two such training sessions are already scheduled for the Spring of 2009 semester.

Wagnerpedia is; however, having a difficult time creating its own atmosphere, or place. Wikis in general are “flat” and are not easily customized. Adding an image to a page, and performing tasks such as changing page background, adding diverse content and arranging page content in a non-linear fashion is very difficult. Wagnerpedia cannot be thought of as a social networking area, or a multi-media learning environment. Its text-based nature and white background makes it difficult for students to feel “at home” in. As a place for information seeking, Wagnerpedia cannot begin to compete with Wikipedia. There are so many more page views than there are page contributions and that leads to the conclusion that people are viewing pages and that pages such as current events are becoming some peoples “places to visit” on a regular basis. In fact, in the Summer of 2008 the admissions office asked us to take an orientation page that had been created off of Wagnerpedia because it was drawing more attention than the official admissions page. We left the page, but included a hyperlink to the official page.

Wagnerpedia will likely find trouble with plagiarism as some students will peruse Wagnerpedia to find content which they will inevitably copy. Although there is a possibility of the content being plagiarized, there are many areas on the web that contain content so students can always find content to plagiarize. However, using a public wiki to post papers can have opposite effects. A student might hand in a printed paper containing plagiarized content because they know only the professor will see it and if that professor known for not checking work closely, the forgery can go undetected. By placing work in the public eye everyone can see it and the chances of plagiarism being detected is greater. Some students expressed fear that their work would be copied by others. In order to combat this they only posted excerpts from the full paper.

Wagnerpedia will remain online indefinitely as a permanent resource of Wagner College. (Copies of the audio taped interview and results of the student surveys are available upon request.)


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Whipp, J., & Chiarelli, S. (2004). Self-Regulation in a Web-Based Course: A Case Study. Educational Technology Research & Development, 52(4), 5-22. Retrieved October 8, 2007, from Academic Search Premier database.

Zimmerman, B., & Tsikalas, K. (2005). Can computer-based learning environments

Appendix B


Long Version Interview Questions

  1. When you first saw the wiki what ideas did you have? Did you like the idea or think it was just going to be more work?
  2. How did you envision your work in college being applied to the greater community?
  3. How did using the wiki change your approach to writing a paper for an assignment?
  4. What might you do differently next time?
  5. Did the design of the wiki help or inhibit what you wanted to accomplish with your paper?
  6. Did you notice your writing improve or change?
  7. Was more time spent on the technology than preparing the content for the project?
  8. Were you more or less interested in this project than others where you only handed in a paper?
  9. How might your work change your readers concepts about Staten Island history?
  10. Have you gone back to read your submissions at all? Did you read your classmates submissions?
  11. Did you know that researchers from around the country have been using your wiki to find out about Staten Island history?
  12. Would you watch your page to see what next years students might change?
  13. Would you offer them suggestions on content?
  14. Did the wiki help with your presentation?
  15. Any other comments?

Appendix C

Dear Student,

Thank you for taking this short survey. The results will provide your me with valuable information for improvements based on your responses. This is an Information Technology survey and will not be shared or seen by your teacher.

I appreciate your time and thank you.

Jeff Gutkin

Director, Academic Computing

  1. Did posting or reading Wagnerpedia posts help you learn the subject content better? [text box]
  2. Does posting online where everyone can see it change your approach to writing? [text box]
  3. Has posting on Wagnerpedia helped the way you write? Please explain. [text box]
  4. What did you like or dislike about posting on Wagnerpedia? [text box]