collaborative wiki book review

Due in stages:

Part 1: First draft of Chapter review on course wiki due Week 8

Part 2: Revision of Chapter and review on course wiki due Week 10

Part 3: Reflection on your blog due Week 11


In this assignment, we will work as a class to review Citizen Designer, a text that addresses the cultural implications of interaction design. There’s one catch: we will produce the review on a wiki and draw on the dynamic collaborative possibilities that wiki writing offers. So, your process for completing the web review will require you to think about collaborative editing of complex texts.

Theory Behind the Assignment:

Wikis are collaborative digital writing environments with dynamic content open to ongoing editing. Wikipedia is a common wiki that many of us come into contact with. This assignment will prepare you to practice effective rhetorical strategies while writing and editing for a wiki, write critically about design, and reflect on the experience of this relatively new form of collaborative writing.


Contributors-Content Producers are each responsible for four additional reviews or revisions (A mix of reviews and revisions is acceptable).

Content Editors are responsible for ensuring that Wikipedia’s manual of style is followed for all entries and content in the project.

Wiki Editors – are responsible for finding a wikispace, creating the basic structure for the book review and each chapter entry, ensuring that collaborators can access the space, and preventing vandalism, as well as reading and linking to chapter entries or texts we have read in class.

The Practical Stuff: How to Complete the Wiki Review Challenge

Step One: Reading and Preparing

Wiki Editors will be doing the most work at this stage

You will be assigned three chapters from Citizen Designer by Steven Heller and Veronique Vienne to focus on in completing this assignment. Three will be your “first draft” chapters, and three will be your “revision” chapters. Once you’ve received your assigned chapters, you should read and prepare to review them. Effective work in this stage of the assignment will likely include checking out online book reviews to see what kind of information you should pay particular attention to. Effective work will also likely include doing a bit of context gathering (try doing Google searches for contributors whose work appears) to help understand some of the discussions in the book. You may need to draw on new strategies to make sense of the arguments of each piece.

Step Two: Draft First Assigned Chapter Review

Contributor-Content Producers will be doing the most work at this stage

In this stage of the assignment, you will paste a review of the first chapters you were assigned into the appropriate place on the class wiki. Effective reviews will contain a summary of the main thesis of the chapter, as well as a description of the key arguments that lead to the main thesis, and a discussion of relevant examples and evidence. Effective reviews will follow up this summary work with an analysis of why (or why not) the information in this chapter might be useful for contemporary digital writers. Effective reviews will also take into account the practices of web readers in making content as easy to read and understand as possible.

Step Three: Revise Assigned Chapters Review

Content Editors will be doing the most work at this stage

In this stage of the assignment, you should find the already drafted review for the chapters you were assigned as your “revision” chapter. Now, you should revise these pieces directly on the wiki to improve it. (That’s right, you are collaborating with the original writer by editing his or her work). You are free to do any kind of revision you want including adding details, changing content or descriptions, making the piece more user friendly for effective web reading by changing word choice, adding headings, chunking language, and so forth.

Step Four: Reflect

After revising the review of the second chapter you were assigned, you will write a short reflection about this process as a reflective blog post on your course blog. Effective reflections will analyze what you learned from the process of wiki writing and will address how you feel our final product turned out. I recommend this process and set of questions as a way to approach the reflection:

  1. Skim the entire wiki and book review. How do you think our review experiment turned out overall?
  2. Now, go back to your “first draft” chapter. What did the second author (editor) change about your original piece? What did he or she keep intact? What do you think about this?
  3. Think about your revision of the second chapter you were assigned: What did you change overall about the piece that you interacted with? What did you take into account as you revised the piece?
  4. Reflect overall: What makes good writing in a wiki? Should you write differently when writing is to be revised and reused? Does this change the way you think about Wikipedia as a tool? What would have strengthened our final product?

Grading Rubric:

First Drafts: 25 points

Revisions: 25 points

Reflections: 25 points

Class Overall: 25 points