Abstract Edit

This article argues that wikis can be used to enhance and challenge the traditional composition methods used in classrooms. Rebecca Wilson-Lundin argues that using wikis can enhance the composition process by four different ways. These ways include: new media composition, collaborative writing, critical interaction, and online authority. By using wikis, she argues that this will bring about a more social writing process that will connect more people when they are writing.

Key Concepts Edit

1) New Media Composition- Wilson-Lundin argues that wikis are beneficial because they require little specialized knowledge to create. She also argues that the lack of structure in a wiki page can add to the composition process. This lack of structure allows users to choose what to include, and this becomes a rhetorical choice. Wikis can be easliy created and used by most people, and this increase of access makes it a more convenient way to complete the writing process.

2) Collaborative Writing- Wikis also offer a chance for students to use collaborative writing. Wikis reject the single author model, and instead create an area where multiple writers can become co-authors. The form of wikis allow students to engage in composition methods with one another. Students can become both the writers and the editors, they are no longer limited to being either a teacher or a student. Through allowing students to become both writers and editors, students can interact with other students more through the process of a peer review.

3) Critical Interaction-Through the collaborative writing process, students also get to engage in a process where they can peer review other student's work. They can be both the authors and the audience. Wikis provide a space where students can provide criticism and advice, just like a teacher would in the traditional rhetorical composition process.The blend of the teacher/student dichotomy gives students a chance to improve their writing even more, by allowing them to both give and obtain writing critiques and engage with writing more.

4) Online Authority-Wilson-Lundin writes,"Since each visitor to a wiki space has equal privileges to add, modify, or even erase content, the authority in that space can be more equally distributed between teacher and students than it would be in a traditional classroom" (443). By creating a space where students can critically interact with one another, this also creates a shift in the traditional teacher/ student dichotomy, by allowing students to take on more responsibility.

Overall, a common theme that has run throughout Wilson-Lundin's main points is that Wikis allow students to take greater responsibility. Students can move beyond the teacher/student dichotmoy that is typically found in most classrooms, and students can begin to take on more of a role of authority with one another. By engaging in this peer review process, students can engage in more critical thinking about the writing process.

Resources and Further Reading Edit

"Uses and Potentials of Wikis in the Classroom" by S. Pixy Ferris and Hilary Wilder. This article argues that students are "digital natives" and can engage in the "fluid and flexible" to meet the needs of the community. They argue that wikis can contribute to print and oral culture in the classroom.

"Wikis in the Classroom: Opportunities and Challenges" by John P. Workman Jr. This article looks at the use and development of a wiki in a Marketing class. They argue that using wikis can increase student engagement and help with collaborative learning as well.

Wikis in the Classroom: Faculty and Student Perspective by Dana Michael Harsall. This book examines the benefits and concerns of using wikis in the classroom. It examines: training, applicability of assignments, setting clear guidelines, expectation, and grading.

Writing with Wikis: A Cautionary Tale of Technology in the Classroom by Debra A. Allwardt. This book examines students' wiki use in the classroom. Their responses are explored through an examination of their activity on the wiki, discussion group feedback, comments in the course evaluation, and unsolicited remarks made by students.

Technologies Such as Wikis in the Classroom by Poppy Steele. This article encourages its readers to use wikis in the classroom. The research in this article was obtained through interviews, and found that wikis allowed students to communicate more with one another.

“Integrating Wikis in the Support and Practice of Historical Analysis Skills” by Catherine Cabiness, Loretta Donovan, and Tim Green. This article examines a case study which explores the benefits of integrating wikis into a World History curriculum through six middle school students.

“Wikis and Student Writing” by Keith McPherson. This article discusses the benefits and drawbacks of using wikis to develop student writing while offering advice on how to develop student-created wikis.

“The Making of a History Standards Wiki” by Robert W Maloy, Michelle Poirier, and Hilary K Smith. This article discusses the use of a wiki to teach the Massachusetts K-12 History and Social Science curriculum framework while exploring the difference between a wiki and Wikipedia and the affordances of wikis.

“Wikis, Workshops and Writing” by Robert W Maloy, Sharon A Edwards, and Allison Evans. This article talks about using wiki technology in order to improve engagement in a college community. The classroom structure that the article describes replaces in-class lectures and presentations with assignments in a wiki featuring multimodal resources that students hear, view or read and write about weekly.

“Using Wikis for Online Group Projects” by Karen Kear, Helen Donelan, and Judith Williams. This article discusses a study of the use of wikis in online group projects aimed at investigating the effectiveness of a wiki to support student collaboration. 

Key Words Edit


new media composition

collaborative writing

critical interaction

online authority

Citations Edit

Allwardt, D. (2011). Writing with Wikis: A Cautionary Tale of Technology in the Classroom, Journal of Social Work Education, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2015, from

Cabiness, C. (2013, November 1). Integrating Wikis in the Support and Practice of Historical Analysis Skills. Retrieved December 21, 2015, from

Ferris, S., & Wilder, H. (2006). Uses and Potentials of Wikis in the Classroom. Retrieved December 21, 2015, from,134940,en.pdf

Harsell, D. (2010, March 29). Wikis in the Classroom: Faculty and Student Perspective. Retrieved December 21, 2015, from

Kear, K., Donelan, H., & Williams, J. (2014). Using wikis for online group projects: Student and tutor perspectives. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distributed Learning, 15(4). Retrieved from

Maloy, R. W., Poirier, M., Smith, H. K., & Edwards, S. A.. (2010). The Making of A History Standards Wiki: "Covering, Uncovering", and "Discovering" Curriculum Frameworks Using a Highly Interactive Technology. The History Teacher44(1), 67–81. Retrieved from

Maloy, R., Edwards, S., & Evans, A. (2014). Wikis, Workshops and Writing: Strategies for Flipping a College Community Engagement Course, Journal of Educators Online, 2014-Jan. Retrieved December 21, 2015, from

McPherson, K. (2006, December 1). Wikis and Student Writing. Retrieved December 21, 2015, from

Steele, P. (2008, April 7). Technologies such as Wikis in the Classroom. Retrieved December 21, 2015, from

Wilson, Lundin, Rebecca. "Teaching with Wikis:Toward a Networked Pedagogy". Computers and Composition 25 (2008) 432-448.

Workman, J. (2008). Wikis in the Classroom: Opportunities and Challenges. Retrieved December 21, 2015, from