November 19, 2007

Benefits of wikis and blogs in training programs

I'm a firm believer that a curriculum in which you use a lot of cool tools doesn't necessary bring better results than a traditional class. My opinion is that the instructor makes a curriculum. Now with that said, there are a lot of great benefits that blogs and wikis bring to the classroom which are not brought by a traditional class.

Benefits of blogs:
  • Promote critical and analytical thinking.
  • They allow participants to contribute to a wide body of knowledge.
  • Your participants can share ideas online and learning from one another.
  • Blogs can be open to other departments allowing them to contribute to projects.
  • Class assignments are archived and can be used to create a portfolio.
  • Departments can archive meetings minutes, record meeting actions items, share links to project documents and resources.
  • Serve as a means to communicate up coming training events. Are used to share lessons learned with your peers.
Some companies are using blogs for information discovery, dissemination, and evaluation amongst teams across their organization. An article in called Learning and Networking with a Blog by Tony Karrer states: "bloggers continually search for interesting information they can post. When they post information, they must synthesize that information, formulate additional questions, contrast and make sense of differing viewpoints, and identify patterns and trends."

Bloggers are learning more from blogs than from other resources.
You can view this video for a simple explanation of a Blog.

Blogs in Plain English video

Benefits of Wikis:
  • Participants have ownership of the knowledge. They learn to seek it and create it.
  • High-level critical thinking is developed. Participants learn to critique others participant's contributions for accuracy.
  • Participants are required to check their content for accuracy and correct errors discovered by their peers.
  • Create an online curriculum in which participants and trainers can contribute to.
  • You can engage in collaborative projects with a global audience.
  • They can be a center repository for classroom lesson plans, handouts, resources, presentation, and assignments.
  • You can use them to disseminate important classroom learning beyond the classroom.
  • They encourage collaboration of class notes.
  • Encourages peer to peer learning
Wikis are very popular because of the ease of use, they don't require knowledge of HTML to create quality content. Trainers are using these more and more as class portals because participants and trainers can access them from any where.

Have you incorporated blogs and wikis in your training programs? What other benefits have they brought to the table?

You can view this video for a simple explanation of a Wiki.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Cindy,
    I stumbled on your blog and got interested in your focus on looking for new and effective ways of delivering training.

    My team has been developing technology for instant summarization of web pages and documents. The goal is to provide the very essence of the information in the shortest format.

    One of the application is BlinkInfo and it provides instant summaries of hyperlinks. It is embedded in a web page and the user merely mouses over the hyperlink to get instant summaries.

    Here is a very early prototype of BlinkInfo:

    I would love you to have a look at BlinkInfo and let me know if you see it being applicable as educational technology and help in publishing.

    Best regards,