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Differences between Discussion Boards, Blogs and Wikis

Introduction

This tutorial outlines the similarities and differences between Discussion Boards, Blogs and Wikis. If you are not sure what these tools are and how they work then watch the following 'In Plain English' videos to find out.


Similarities

They all provide a place to { Publish to the web
Collaborate with a group
Post thoughts, opinions and ideas
Comment on other peoples contributions


Differences

Discussion Forums are TOPIC centred.

  • discussions are organised into topics by 'threads'
  • anyone in the community can start a thread on a topic of their choosing
  • all participants have an equal voice
  • posts require someone to reply for a discussion to take place
  • you can follow through a thread on a particular topic

Blogs are AUTHOR centred.

  • posts are made by the blog's author only (may be a group)
  • posts are usually opinion pieces and written in the authors voice
  • readers can add comments to the author's post
  • organised in reverse chronological order so the most recent posts show on the entry page
  • reflect the authors identity in the tone, look and feel and content

Wikis are CONTENT/DOCUMENT centred.

  • wikis are for group authoring
  • editable website with a complete version history kept
  • aim is to reach a consensus or compromise on the content of the page
  • the focus is the content produced, not the individual authors
  • usually neutral and objective
  • discussion/comment is separated from the wiki content

Used to DISCUSS and DEBATE

  • class discussion
  • debate
  • q and a
  • role play
  • help forums
  • social forum
  • online icebreakers

Used to REFLECT and REVIEW

  • learning reflections
  • journal writing
  • book reviews
  • resource reviews
  • software reviews
  • editorial style articles
  • personal publishing
  • travel diaries
  • news

Used to COLLABORATE and SYNTHESISE

  • group projects
  • group authoring of academic papers
  • collaborative writing
  • easy to update website
  • knowledge base
  • faq
  • planning events and activities

Links and Examples

Whirlpool Forums, IT Industry, Education

Links and Examples

Sinclair Davidson's article Why Academics Should Blog

Dr Cullen Habel's blog on Marketing and Management and trying to keep it simple

Lee Kraus' Blog on Learning and Technology

Links and Examples

Karanicolas and Snelling's Human Biology Wiki

Why Wikis Work: assessing group work in an on-line environment is an article by Cathy Snelling and Sophie Karanicolas about the above class wiki.

MyUni Tutorials

Tips for Effective Use

Creating a Forum

Creating a Thread

Searching and Collecting Posts

MyUni Tutorials

Creating a Blog

Create or Edit an Entry

MyUni Tutorials

Wikis - Creating a Wiki

Diagrams have been adapted and made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike Creative Commons License from Worsham, D 2007, 'Blogs and discussion boards - What's the difference?', Wisconsin Union Blend, weblog post, 26 June, accessed 26 September 2008, < http://unionblend.uniblogs.org/2007/06/26/blogs-and-a-discussion-boards-whats-the-difference>

 

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