Monday, 3 June 2013

WikiZine Updated

WikiZine updated

This is an updated project from the one I did a few months ago and can be accessed below
Class magazine part 1:  Click here
Class magazine part 2:  Click here

In WikiZine updated I wanted to push the use of the Wiki even further. The previous project asked students from one class to write an article. This time, I wanted the students from two separate classes to write two articles each, as well as provide accompanying media.

The learning objectives of the project were:
- Create two written articles on a topic of your choosing;
- Provide accompanying videos or audio for the article;
- Research to provide your story with more information;
- Interview your classmates and friends for the audio and video content;
- Peer-review classmates articles;
- Become competent at using the Wiki, uploaded videos to Youtube and sound cloud.

Step 1: I got all the students into one classroom and told they that they would create an online magazine. I then asked them to give me themes for the magazine; they came up with:

- Fashion
- Culture
- News
- Human interest
- Sport
- Entertainment 

Step 2: The students will create two articles for the magazine. 

Article 1 - This article will be around 300-400 words in total and will contain a video interview to accompany the article.

Article 2 - This will also be around 300-400 words and will contain video/audio with only the writer of the article speaking. 

The aim of article 1 was to get the students to explore interviews and talk to their fellow classmates or friends in English. I encourage the students to try and speak to 3-4 students in the interview. In article 2, I wanted the students to focus on their own speaking, so all the attention would be on them. 

Step 3: For my particular course the students had 2 weeks to complete the whole project. I offered advice in the way of ideas to help make their stories interesting. However, if they wanted someone to check their writing, they had to ask a classmate or friend. I really wanted the students to take responsibility for their one writing and become more familiar with proof reading and editing. 

Step 4: At the end of the project, the students were asked to write a reflective essay about the whole experience. They were encouraged to write about:
- what they learned;
- what went well;
- what went badly;
- what they would differently if they did the project again.

Step 5: For this project the students were assessed for their writing and speaking. To view the writing rubrics, please click here.

Summing up
The project was really easy to set up and administer as I could just click on the Wiki to monitor progress. Whereas many of the students worked hard to create their own content, as expected, there were a few who did plagiarize their work. This disappointed me as I thought the WikiZine project would be fun and motivating for them. However, I also realise that writing something that will go publicly online can cause some anxiety and confidence issues with the student. This was fortunately an isolated incident and for the most part I felt the students got a lot out of the whole process. I especially liked how the students were using English in a natural setting. Also, I was impressed to see how well they all worked together by helping one another to make the videos, upload them and even edit them.

I purposely took a back seat to the whole process and watched from the comfort of my Wiki screen. I really believe that setting up projects are a really powerful way to get our students engaged in meaningful language learning, as well as skills learning. They not only learned language, but they learned interpersonal skills, collaborative skills and technology skills which they can take with them to their degree course. 

To check out the WikiZine. click here.


  1. Hi Simon,

    Just to let you know that we’ve shortlisted this blog post for this month’s TeachingEnglish blog award and I’ll be making a post about it on today’s TeachingEnglish facebook page, if you’d like to check there for likes and comments.


  2. Thanks for that Ann, much appreciated!!!!!

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