In the wake of Zoom fatigue, we’re all looking for fresh ways to engage our learners and break up the endless stream of online meetings and virtual training. The negative impact of the 21st-century on our prehistoric brains is real. Worrying about how we look on camera, the lack of sensory stimulation and physical movement, and the challenge to pay attention to a single subject much longer than is physically possible can leave your learners mentally drained and physically exhauste…….
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In the wake of Zoom fatigue, we’re all looking for fresh ways to engage our learners and break up the endless stream of online meetings and virtual training. The negative impact of the 21st-century on our prehistoric brains is real. Worrying about how we look on camera, the lack of sensory stimulation and physical movement, and the challenge to pay attention to a single subject much longer than is physically possible can leave your learners mentally drained and physically exhausted. In fact, some may argue that it’s an experience closely akin to torture.
Why does this happen? You can blame our wonderful, socially active brains. In any social setting, we humans rely on our ability to read the room, inferring important characteristics of our fellow humans such as social status, intelligence, friendliness, and intent. This survival skill is called group awareness (GA). While we have a wide variety of tools available to do this in a face-to-face encounter, our online toolbox is much smaller and less effective. A recent study suggested one solution to help mitigate the challenges of online learning that you may have overlooked: the wiki.
What Is a Wiki?
According to Wikipedia, a wiki is “a hypertext publication collaboratively edited and managed by its own audience directly using a web browser.” Wikipedia, while not the first wiki ever, is often the one most of us have experienced as users, and it is a great place to start when you are thinking about incorporating a wiki into your own learning programs.
Collaboration Is Engaging and Rewarding
Without having to be in the room together or in a Zoom session, learners can collaborate to develop a shared understanding of the content, help each other clarify meanings, challenge assumptions, and check statements of fact. This asynchronous collaboration has been shown to
increase learning and engagement, either as a standalone effort or as part of a blended solution. This study examined a group of teachers who used a wiki to grow their knowledge. As a result, they learned to design more understandable and lively content, and collaboratively generated, exchanged, and elaborated ideas for new creative instructional strategies for their students.
Writing Wiki Content Encourages Metacognition
Creating and maintaining a wiki forces learners to
think about thinking—to analyze and express how they gather information and arrive at conclusions. The process of generating ideas, content, and considering peers’ ideas lends itself well to
reflection opportunities where learners can assess their own level of mastery and expertise on the subject matter.
Supports a Growth Mindset
A wiki is never finished because any user can add or update content. This practice is a powerful way to stimulate a
growth mindset. The wiki is eternally being improved but will never be perfect. If you are using a wiki as part of your training, you can remind learners that their lives and learning journeys are like the wiki. Things are …….