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Studiolab # 3 Reflection

March 11, 2010

Using wetpaint.com as a platform to create a collective document presented many challenges. Using a wiki for a large group project with a tight time frame has many drawbacks. Communication was an issue and I personally blame the wetpaint platform. The site should have provided us with live communication tools. Although it is good that everyone can contribute we ran into the problem of having too many people trying to do the same thing at the same time. In general, a wiki could be helpful for long-term projects with many contributors but not for short-term deadline focused work. While I was in the same room as other wiki users were able to collaborate more effectively. We could ask each other questions and focus on the same task. I think this proves that technology can never fully replace face-to-face contact and communication. Everything was much easier in person. This experiment was successful in teaching us about how wikis work but was unsuccessful at helping us to achieve the goal as a group. That said, had the project been more ambiguous and not specified the wiki medium, even more chaos could of resulted. This task was fundamentally flawed in that it does not take an entire class of people to write one paper. Had I written my own paper if would have been structured much differently. For example, I would not have included images. It would not of been spread out across so many pages but instead centralized. If I were to attempt this task again I would chose a different platform and allow students time to familiarize themselves with the system. I feel that many people got confused and caught up in the logistics of the task instead of focusing on pooling out collective knowledge.

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