After wrestling with the content of my World War I Wiki project and then the Wiki engine, I am finally in the implementation stage. We have started with a research phase today, so the students will not actually be posting to the Wiki for a couple days.
The final form of the project actually looks a lot like a WebQuest I made a couple years ago call Strategies of World War I. Students will research the tactics and weaponry used during the First World War and then they will be given scenarios where they have to try and implement their acquired knowledge against one another. When I did the WebQuest the first time, I did some quick calculating to determine who “won” the battle. This time around, I’m putting that burden on the students. The competition element actually comes in the attempt to determine the most realistic results. I’m excited to see how the classes do with this part. This was a departure from the original idea that had the students progress through the war and make decisions that lead to the next step. Unfortunately, the information available and the limits of the history made that particular idea unworkable for this content. I will try that idea next semester.
The Wiki engine I finally decided upon is TikiWiki – which actually is more like a content management system with a Wiki core. I like a couple of the other engines a bit more, but TikiWiki has a login feature that the others do not have – a must with high school students! I even have a couple of my better “techie” students looking for ways to easier hack the system. Hopefully it is secure enough.