Title

A 'uses and gratifications' approach to understanding the role of wiki technology in enhancing teaching and learning outcomes

Abstract

The use of the Wikis in both post-graduate and undergraduate teaching is rapidly increasing in popularity. Much of the research into the use of this technology has focused on the practical aspects of how the technology can be used and is yet to address why it is used, or in what way it enhances teaching and learning outcomes. A comparison of the key characteristics of the constructivist learning approach and Wikis suggests that Wikis could provide considerable support of this approach, however research into the motivations for using the technology is required so that good teaching practices may be applied to the use of Wikis when utilized in the higher education context. This study articulates a research design grounded in the Technology Mediated Learning (TML) paradigm that could be used to explore teachers and students’ motivations for using Wiki technology to enhance teaching and learning outcomes. Using the ‘Uses and Gratification’ approach, a popular technique used for understanding user motivation in technology adoption, a two-stage research design is set out. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for both information systems researchers and higher education.

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