The use of a Wiki to promote online collaborative learning at a Thai university

Waemusa, Zainee
Gibbons, Andrew
Billot, Jennie
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Doctor of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

This thesis reports on the collaborative learning processes of students at Prince of Songkla University in Thailand engaged in a group English-writing project on selected topics in intercultural communication using Web 2.0 technology, specifically a wiki. The study employed social constructivism to explore and understand online collaborative learning in a designed technology-supported learning environment. Previous studies have shown that teacher involvement throughout curriculum design is vital for collaborative learning processes using wikis. However, such collaborative processes among learners in Thai higher education and how to support such learning in the Thai context remain unexplored. Little is understood of how some Web 2.0 technologies in wikis shape interactive ways of online collaborative learning. Developing such an understanding could improve knowledge on online collaborative learning in the Thai higher education context and establish how to provide learning support with wiki use. Guided by a qualitative research design, I adopted a case study approach to understand in depth the ways in which learning through collaboration was experienced by the wiki writing groups as well as their social relationships within the learning context. The case study was supplemented by design-based research which enriched my understanding of group learning experience through designing the wiki learning environment and implementing interventions. Data were collected from multiple online and offline sources and analysed through a thematic analysis, which resulted in identification of five key collaborative process themes as the study findings. These themes explained how learning through collaboration was experienced by learners within the wiki space and how their social relationships were reported as learning relationships through the use of wiki technologies. Discussion of the findings sheds light on the complex interplay of different elements in the local context of wiki-supported collaborative learning. The significance and pedagogical implications of the findings are examined, the study?s limitations identified, and recommendations for future research made.

Online collaborative learning , Wiki , Web 2.0 , Curriculum design , Thai higher education
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