Jon Messer and I were on Skype trying to figure out how we could make studying for our doctoral research exam less painful. Some would argue this is the toughest exam given in the School of Education at W&M. Solution-- we created a wiki. We took the study guide for the course (objectives driven) and pasted it into pages on wiki. I contacted the class and invited each to come put their name by a chapter(s) they would be willing to complete in the study guide. Now this was revolutionary in and of itself in that many of the students are educational leaders and by their own admission not tech savvy. My thinking was if they bit, the experience would carry over into their K-12 schools.
Much to my surprise and delight 11 out of 16 accepted the offer. I thought it would be wise to get the professor's blessing (secretly hoping to influence his use of Web 2.0 in his future revisions of his course) Each individual completed the work on their assigned chapter, then all of us went through the entire document adding our thoughts and cleaning up the content.
The most exciting part is that we created a web resource that could be used as a teaching tool for those who are interested in learning more about quantitative and qualitative research.
Jon set-up a text-based chat tool for us to meet online to study as well.The chat included one person who did not work on the project but used it to study for the exam--which is really the real benefit of the Web-- sharing what we know and have created with others--who then can benefit and learn too.
I was struck by how "open source" like the project was. Many working together to created a useful tool that one working alone couldnt have produced.
At any rate... the value added goes beyond the outcomes on the exam-- (although I am interested to see comparatively if our cohort does better than cohorts taking this exam in the past have done) the real value for me was in watching those who hadnt used a wiki before, become so comfortable-- so quickly. See -- even higher education can use this medium if they will stop letting the pursuit of their degree get in the way of their creativity.