Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Where Wikis fit in

Wikis can work as reference repositories (not as training courses), but
the following is needed:
1. A writing style that everyone must adhere to.
2. A librarian person who can review and delete content that is
3. Discipline by ALL people involved to ensure that content is not
inadvertently deleted or changed to follow one person's opinions.

If the above conditions are not met, the wiki will suffer from:
1. Material will become obsolete from lack of care
2. One or two people will dominate the content
3. A mischievous (or disgruntled) employee can undo or sabotage all the
work done by the others

Where Wikis will not work is as training material. There is no real
flow or instructional organization. A wiki can soon become an
umanageable jumble of random articles and opinions, just like many
collaborative web sites have become.

Additionally, there is no requirement that the trainers create/maintain
the wikis. If the trainers hand off all wiki creation to the subject
matter experts, they will soon find themselves obsoleted, unless they
make a good case for the need for instructional design.

In my opinion, wikis can be useful as an adjunct to training courses.
Similarly, the training courses (if produced as web content rather than
as face-to-face content ported to the web) can become the material for
just-in-time training. A good course building tool will allow a simple
search engine to index the content in the courses. Once you have
searchable material (and a search engine), web courses become true
"just-in-time" training.

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