Advantages And Disadvantages Blog Wiki Tools in LMS

Advantages And Disadvantages Blog Wiki Tools

Advantages And Disadvantages Blog Wiki Tools in LMS

The following analysis explains differences found in collaborative tools within Blackboard Learning and PBW.com.  Advantages And Disadvantages Blog Wiki Tools in LMS. This response was developed by my own personal experiences with the tools.

Advantages And Disadvantages Blog Wiki Tools in LMS

Advantages And Disadvantages Blog Wiki Tools in LMS




You will find these three questions on the blog. Feel free to comment there.

1.  Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using the blog and wiki collaboration tools, which are available within Blackboard (BB), vs. using these tools as a URL/Link within THE BB that takes the learner to an external blog or wiki outside of Blackboard.  

Advantages And Disadvantages Blog Wiki Tools

In response to the above question Blackboard (BB) has the following collaborative tools already set up for use. All these comments are based on the premise that these tools are used in an educational environment. The BB offers a discussion board, with a common use description for online discussions that are organized hierarchically with forums, threads, and replies.

Another tool is a Blog, which in common use terms is a shared online diary for use in education coursework. Next, is called a Wiki, which is a collaborative space where students can view, contribute and edit content. An advantage is all these tools are available to all registered students for learning. All working collaboratively to share ideas, documents, video in a cloud-based classroom environment.

On the other hand, PBW.com (PBW) provides an educational environment similar to Blackboard. The main collaborative tool offered is like The BB a Wiki. This collaborative space has similar advantages to The BB in its function ability and access through a computer, smartphone or tablet.

One aspect of PBW is that all posts are not private as in the case of The BB. PWB posts can be searched over the internet via Google.com and the content is open reading. Privacy settings are available on PWB, but the server owner may grant all work open access for searches.

In general, the BB appears to be all one package specifically, a discussion board, Blog, Wiki, Journal is set up for the student. PBW relies on the wiki and an administrator’s/ owner’s ability to manipulate the wiki in the settings.

Also, access online using multiple devices revealed several differences in presentation. In my opinion, PWB was not user-friendly on smaller devices like tablets, and smartphones. The viewable area was poor.

While The BB was slightly better both seem to best suited to computer size screens. Overall The BB won my comparison of collaborative tools because of familiarity and the elements are already laid out for a student.

Advantages And Disadvantages Blog Wiki Tools 

2.  In your discussion, address the advantages and disadvantages of using these two collaboration tools from the User Perspective and the Developer perspective. (5 pts for advantages, 5 points for disadvantages)

In Blackboard (BB), as a user, one advantage was that the workspace was somewhat familiar. I have been an undergraduate student since 2008 and have used it in two universities. On the other hand, as a user, one tool not used to date has been the BB collaborative tool. (See my additional response to question 2).

Additionally, PBWorks (PBW) has required an additional learning experience due to an unfamiliar layout environment and tools. An example was the collaborative assignment earlier this semester, which included correctly using the edit tools, especially the locking out mechanism requiring a steal option if the wiki page was either operative or dormant.

Advantages And Disadvantages Blog Wiki Tools

Both as a user and a new developer under the BB, the blog, and wiki collaboration tools are contained within the University of Alabama .edu domain server. All student publications are held within that domain and the use of these tools is limited to what product and services were purchased from Blackboard.

However, all these publications are subject to the University’s privacy policies. On the other hand, PBW.com publications and tools are commercially based, even though the class site tools are offered in their Educational Edition.

From a user’s perspective Class Blog in BB to post the article review, the advantages to using it versus a linked blog. An instructor can manage student access as well as manage the content of the blog.  You can also score the bloggers’ input using the grading function.

From a developer’s perspective, you can contact UA Support for technical issues or extra features you might want to invoke.  The disadvantages of using the BB Blog (from a user’s perspective) were it was not at all intuitive and there was minimal help function.  Developers and instructors can view help here.

 

The advantages and disadvantages of the BB Wiki follow a similar pattern in respect of both user and developer.  An instructor should teach the fundamentals of the tool, manage the input of students, assess their understanding and progress.

However, features are limited.  The BB Wiki was also not altogether intuitive. View help summary here. Entries of the other students were visible to all which helped understand the process from a user’s point of view.

An external link to PBW Wiki, on the other hand, created new advantages for both users and developers.  There was a strong editing tool.  A user had the option to save what had been completed on a wiki page and continue versus having to “submit” to save in the BB.

A student must then re-open to edit again.  For users, a comment field exists in PBW for collaborating while working on a single document.  There was also a notification feature which emailed all who were associated with the wiki.

The navigator and sidebar where also features offered in PBW which were not offered in the BB.  Both prove advantageous for users and developers.  Both BB and PBW wikis offer an ability to upload documents and link to images. These were two other advantages to developers and users.

 

The BB Journal tool advantages and disadvantages of from either user or developer standpoints.  By common use terms, journals are a personal writing space for self-reflection and private communication with the instructor.

One advantage appeared to be taking notes and making comments (if allowed) on them. Collaborating with other users or developers poses a challenge in the BB using this tool. Several editing tools are included such as edit and delete entries, periodical settings, and permits for other course members to view journals.

Users and developers may benefit from releasing this information at a beneficial time. Grading can be initiated or left null.

 

The BB Collaborate (discussion forum) seemed to not be advantageous at all in either respect.  A developer has several tools which include setting a time for a session to be open/close, repeated on weekly or other alternatives. Several room options provide the developer settings to fine tune each session, so the user will benefit from the experience.

Examples include a type of session, teleconference options, room attributes, grade center integration, roles, and access. I know through time, and direct family, three universities who do not use this tool because of technical issues. All have used alternative third-party collaborative tools such as GoToMeeting or Facebook.

 

If an instructor or developer decided to use collaborative tools linked outside of their LMS, some issues include:

Cost of use of linked collaborative tools.

Training for non-technical users of linked collaborative tools.

Ease of use and effectiveness of linked collaborative tools.

A number of users that can access the linked collaborative tools simultaneously.

Bandwidth of external site (slow/no response could be costly for certain types of businesses/projects)

Storage and sharing of sensitive and proprietary information on an external site

Your company’s policies for storing proprietary data on external sites.

The external site’s ability to protect your company’s data from improper access/disclosure.

Ability to enforce data share/protection agreements with an external site.

Data storage limits for the external site.

Authorized access to data when needed.

Advantages And Disadvantages Blog Wiki Tools

3. What are some of the organizational issues that would need to be addressed if you used a collaboration tool(s) linked outside of a THE BB (an LMS)? (5 pts)

 

In terms of organizational tools that would need to be addressed, the developer or instructor, if deciding to use blogs, wiki, journal and discussion forum collaboration tools outside the BB, would have to add a folder, section, or tab within the BB that housed all of the outside tools with hyperlinks that open in a new window. This would avoid the student having to search for each individual link every time a new assignment is due.

 

In terms of when and whether an instructor or developer chooses to use outside tools will depend on the needs of the class, the course, and the goals of learning. If outside tools are utilized, it is possible that the instructor will need to find and provide additional training modules so that a student unfamiliar with the external tool (i.e. PBWorks.com, etc.) would be able to easily learn the new system.

An instructor would also have to try and ensure that his or her students had the technology available to use the outside tools chosen for the course. Requiring an outside tool that a student cannot access or decipher would definitely hinder the learning process.

 

An instructor would have to be extremely organized, as well, to keep up with assignments and grading in several different locations. For a new instructor wishing to use outside tools, it would probably be best to try one new blog/wiki/journaling collaborative tool at a time, thus avoiding undue frustration and work.

As the goal of encompassing digital learning is to enhance and make effective the learning experience, the instructor must first master any and all outside systems/LMS products being used before tasking students to use those same tools.

Advantages And Disadvantages Blog Wiki Tools