Collaborative writing with wikis: An empirical investigation

Helen S. DU, Sam K.W. CHU, Randolph Chun Ho CHAN, Wei HE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the process and interaction among group members using wikis to produce collaborative writing (CW) projects, and to compare their collaborative behavior among students at different levels of education.
Design/methodology/approach: The study investigated the participation and collaboration of Hong Kong primary school, secondary school, and university students in the process of developing their wiki-based CW projects. Both qualitative and quantitative data were obtained from analyzing the revision histories and the content of wiki pages.
Findings: Results indicated that the level of education significantly affected student CW actions, and their interaction and coordination behavior to co-construct the work. Also, the frequency of collaborative activities varied noticeably among the primary, secondary, and university students.
Practical implications: The study enriches our understanding of the complex and dynamic process of CW using wikis. It has practical implications on why and how the pedagogy and technology should be implemented differentially for the students at three different levels of education to facilitate collaborative knowledge construction.
Originality/value: Research to date is still lacking an in-depth knowledge about the processes and activities involved when students write collaboratively on wikis. Also, no study has yet compared the collaborative behavior among students at different levels of education. The results of this study contribute to the development of new and appropriate modes of group-based collaborative learning at all levels of the education system for the twenty-first century. Copyright © 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-399
JournalOnline Information Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


Du, H. S., Chu, S. K. W., Chan, R. C. H., & He, W. (2016). Collaborative writing with wikis: An empirical investigation. Online Information Review, 40(3), 380-399. doi: 10.1108/OIR-06-2015-0173


  • Wiki
  • Collaborative behaviour
  • Collaborative writing
  • Social media adoption


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