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Faculty Story

Wiki Usage in Three English Courses


Chris Penna
Associate Professor, Department of English
University of Delaware


Since 2006, Professor Penna used wikis in three different courses (Composition, Survey Literature and Business Writing). In addition to face to face, two of these courses were also offered online to distance learners. The wiki provided a space for teammates to write their project collaboratively. He noticed that the use of a wiki gets students to be more self-aware of the writing processes (vision and revision). Students in his classes developed their own handbook in the wiki, which is open to public eyes, but reserved to his students to edit it. His students are proud of the fact that what they wrote in the wiki pops up on Google.

Audio Interview

Download MP3 file

Interview recorded on November 21, 2007, as a part of Mathieu Plourde's wiki report.

Attachments and Links

Type Name Comments
Screenshot (188 KB) Penna1.jpg This was his first wiki. The class was a freshmen English course. It was a face-to-face course. He used the "discussion" tabs on each group's page to give them extensive feedback on their papers, including his final comments on the paper.
URL URL to the SEP Research Project wiki (2006).
Screenshot (228 KB) Penna2.jpg English 312 course--Business Writing. This class mostly used the wiki for drafting and revising. When they turned in their final projects, they cut and pasted material from the wiki and sent it as a Word document.
URL URL to the first English 312 course (2007).
Screenshot (244 KB) Penna3.jpg Fall 2007 freshmen English course again, but in Wikispaces instead of Mediawiki.
URL URL to the SEP Research Project wiki (2007).
Screenshot (365 KB) Penna4.jpg British Literature survey course. Three sections (two face-to-face, one online) were contributing to this site.
URL URL to the British Literature Wiki (2007).
PDF document (143 KB) PennaInstructions.pdf A sample of the kind of handouts prepared for these students to help them use the wiki.
Screenshot (223 KB) Penna5.jpg English 312 course--Business Writing. This more recent one is in the wiki tool in Sakai (2007).


Languages, English, Composition, Literature, In-class, Distance, Collaboration, Wiki, Teamwork, Template, Handbook, Sakai, Wikispaces, MediaWiki, Graded, Public