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Wikis and Constructivism in Secondary Social Studies: Fostering a Deeper Understanding


Computers in the Schools Volume 25, Number 3, ISSN 0738-0569


Web 2.0 software, in particular wikis, have the potential to allow students to become active contributors to the Internet and, as a result, restructure traditional learning environments. In this study, the effects of student-created wikis were evaluated through measures of student engagement, cognitive benefits, and student learning in both the short and long term. Data suggest that the use of wikis facilitated a pedagogical shift from traditional teacher-centered instructional approaches to student-oriented, constructivist learning, which resulted in increased student self-efficacy and motivation. Additionally, in interviews eight months following the project implementation, students who had created wikis demonstrated greater content retention and understanding than peers who had learned the same content through teacher-directed instruction. The long-term cognitive value of the wikis positively impacted student understanding by helping students to link content, both literally and figuratively, and develop a deeper understanding of content through visualization of the chronology of events as well as cause and effect relationships.


Heafner, T.L. & Friedman, A.M. (2008). Wikis and Constructivism in Secondary Social Studies: Fostering a Deeper Understanding. Computers in the Schools, 25(3), 288-302. Retrieved October 22, 2019 from .

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