Saturday, 17 May 2008

Dissertation Wiki

Karyn is asking for help via a post on her blog - So, how did you get started... and what difference has it made? Basically, it's about the use of Social Media by learning professionals. She is looking for first had experiences. I hope she's successful in finding them and publishing about them.

She also made one comment that was very interesting:
To the consternation of my rather conservative university, I am submitting the dissertation in the form of a wiki (although - strictly speaking - is it really a wiki if I don't open it up to the community to co-author, which of course I can't do in this instance).
First, I can't imagine trying to do a dissertation wiki. The issues with getting it into a format ready for print publication would be daunting. But that aside ...

You can't open it up? What's the dividing line? You are certainly allowed to get comments, suggestions, etc. on it. After all, that's what advisors are for (other than causing you grief with their agendas). So, if they provide comments via the Wiki doesn't that make a lot of sense. The alternative is emailing around a document. Why is that so different?

In fact, wouldn't it be safer to have it as a Wiki where you could see what each person did? And isn't it the notion of ONLY having your faculty committee / advisors a fairly antiquated notion? After all, the dissertation is certainly much too specific for them to really be experts on the topic. You quickly blow by their knowledge and then you can't get as much help. Opening it up to the world seems to make much more sense.

I've not really paid much attention to this topic. BTW, my experience writing my dissertation was not good. If I could have done it via a combination of blog posts and a wiki, that would have been a completely different experience. And, I truly believe I would have learned more.

I imagine there's lots out there going on around this, I just hadn't thought about it.

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