XWiki is a developing collaborative platform that is a web application using the wiki paradigm (XWiki, 2015). This provides the ability to customize the collaborative learning environment to meet the needs of the users and this makes the XWiki a perfect platform with many learning management systems (LMS) to host the criminal justice student’s group assignment project. The XWiki has the following capabilities required for criminal justice student’s group assignment project: page editing, import files by attachment, version control, export, integrated statistics, user right management, RSS feeds and notifications (Kelly, Baxter, & Anderson, 2010). With the customization and additional features that are available in XWiki, this makes it a second-generation wiki (XWiki, 2015).
When evaluating the XWiki technology the first step is to ensure that the learning theories and teaching strategies selected for the class would align with the wiki technology capability to enhance the learning opportunities. The second step was to evaluate current literature on learning theories and teaching strategies that have been successful with criminal justice students and to determine if the wiki technology enhances the learning (Golay, Bice, & Thompson, 2014; O’Bannon & Britt, 2012). Using constructivism concepts and teaching strategies with the criminal justice student’s group works well by providing active professor engagement along with cognitive presence to support student development (Golay, Bice, & Thompson, 2014; O’Bannon & Britt, 2012).
The XWiki technology allows the customization to maximize different functions of the Wiki that provide professor management and active observation of the group activity and to keep the project objectives moving forward to completion while building student confidence working in a collaborative group assignment (XWiki, 2015; Kelly et al., 2010). The classroom professor assigns members of the class to a particular group giving the learner access to only the assigned group (XWiki, 2015).
One of the benefits of using the XWiki is that it allows the professor to introduce new apps into the wiki so that first-year students are not overwhelmed managing the wiki technology and producing required group work (XWiki, 2015; Golay, Bice, & Thompson, 2014; O’Bannon & Britt, 2012). XWiki technology also provides user-friendly and easy to follow e-manuals as a side bar that helps the learner quickly feel comfortable with the functions of the XWiki. For these reasons, the XWiki technology within the LMS is a perfect fit to support the learning theories and teaching strategies that provides the best opportunity for a meaningful and rewarding learning experience for the criminal justice collaborative group assignment project (Golay, Bice, & Thompson, 2014; O’Bannon & Britt, 2012).
Golay, M. E. G., Bice, P. M., & Thompson, J. R. (2014). Collaborative learning about forest understory restoration and management: Identifying goals and sharing knowledge. Journal of Forestry, 112(4), 327-336.
Kelly, D., Baxter, J. S., & Anderson, A. (2010). Engaging first-year students through online collaborative assessments. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(6), 535-548. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2010.00361.x
O’Bannon, B. W., & Britt, V. G. (2012). Creating/developing/using a wiki study guide: Effects on student achievement. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 44(4), 293-312.
XWiki. (2015). XWiki platform. Retrieved from http://platform.xwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Main/
About the Author
Mark Bond has worked in law enforcement and has been a firearms instructor for more than 33 years. His law enforcement experience includes the military, local, state and federal levels as a police officer and criminal investigator. Mark obtained a BS and MS in criminal justice, and M.Ed in educational leadership with Summa Cum Laude honors. As a lifelong learner, he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in education (EdD) with a concentration in college teaching and learning. Mark is currently an assistant professor of criminal justice at a university and adjunct professor of administration of justice studies at a community college.