Just Posting in the Same Place: Confronting the Paucity of Collaborative Behavior in US K-12 Wikis

  • Justin ReichEmail author


This study investigates the distribution of student collaborative behaviors in a sample of 406 US K-12 wikis randomly drawn from a population of 179,851 publicly viewable, education-related wikis. Aided by computational tools, trained human coders conducted a large-scale content analysis examining every revision to every page of each of these 406 wikis. Seven types of student collaborative behavior were found in these wikis: concatenation, copyediting, co-construction, commenting, discussion, scheduling, and planning. These behaviors occurred very infrequently; only 11% of wikis show evidence of even one of these types of behaviors, and the simplest forms of collaboration, concatenation and commenting were most common. These findings suggest that peer-production platforms used in schools primarily support individual work, especially given the emphasis on individual assessment in formal school settings.


Wikis Collaboration K-12 Content analysis Peer production 



This research was supported in part by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Open Education Resources initiative.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MITCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Harvard UniversitiesCambridgeUSA

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