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Guy Bennett: 2006 TLC Technology Grant Report


Report:

Hyperliterature Wiki

I received a technology grant to set up and manage a wiki for a course that I taught in Fall 2006. The class - "Hyperliterature" - focused on electronic literary works featuring hypertext and/or hypermedia technologies. The use of a wiki seemed desirable for a number of reasons, not least among them the fact that, unlike the term papers I generally assign, the wiki would not disappear at the end of the semester, and thus the student work would not be lost; it would remain on-line and consultable by the school community and the public, and could be expanded in future classes I teach. It also seemed to me that the students might be excited about exploring this relatively new technology, and could be stimulated by the opportunity to do scholarly work collaboratively. Finally, a wiki seemed an appropriate forum for the discussion of the digital, web-based literature we were studying.

After discussing the project with Sue, Matt, Heather, and Kathleen, I opted to adopt the Mediawiki software (the same one used by Wikipedia). Matt downloaded and installed the software for me, and I created a suitable structure for it; learning to do so was easy, using the "Help" and FAQ pages that came with the software. I presented the wiki project to my students on the first day of class, and gave a demonstration the week before the first of my two assignments was due. In both cases, I asked students to contribute as much or as little as they liked to any of a number of pages, provided they reached the required word count. There were a few snags - a couple of students had problems adding their contributions, and in one case a page disappeared - but these were easy to resolve. For the most part students had no trouble inputting their information and formatting it correctly.

Main page of wiki

Main page of wiki

Screenshot of webliography page

Screenshot of webliography page

Screenshot of Recent Changes page

Screenshot of Recent Changes page

Screenshot of Shelley Jackson page

Screenshot of Shelley Jackson page