Wikinomics is a term that describes the effects of extensive collaboration and user-participation on the marketplace and corporate world. It is characterized by openness, which includes not only open standards and content but also financial transparency and an open attitude towards external ideas and resources; peering, which replaces hierarchical models with a more collaborative forum; sharing, which is a less proprietary approach to products, intellectual property, bandwidth, scientific knowledge, and acting globally, which involves embracing globalization and ignoring physical and geographical boundaries at both the corporate and individual level.
The logic of wikinomics will affect education by making Wikis and collaborative writing spaces more prevalent applications in many writing-intensive courses, with some instructors finding wikis to be useful for peer editing. The popularity of professors’ lectures uploaded to YouTube will increase and there will be a hunger for educational content that will be made freely and widely available to everyone.
The educational materials will be organized into “portals” or “faculties” that will include any number of “schools,” and each school will have “departments.” “Courses” organized in such a way that all of the courses and learning materials wil be created by “Wikiversity” participants. There will be no admissions criteria; there will be no “professors” Just as with an article in Wikipedia, anyone will be able to contribute course materials, anyone will create a faculty or a school, anyone will lead a course.
Students will be invited to work together, to engage in discussion, to solve problems, and to otherwise “construct their knowledge.” The classroom space itself will be transformed into a kind of platform where students will be invited to explore, create, and construct knowledge.
The role of the teacher will transform from containing and controlling all of the knowledge to managing the platform by setting up and enforcing the rules and procedures that will guide student learning. In this setting, the teacher will serve as the “choice architect” of the learning experience or the one who will establish the context in which students will exercise a fair degree of choice. Teachers and students will come together to form voluntary associations around areas of common interests, but they will be even more self-governed and autonomous. Teachers with an interest in a subject and a desire to share their knowledge with others will enter the platform in order to locate and attract students with a desire to learn. When enough teachers and students coalesce around a particular topic of interest, they will form their own school or department.
The curriculum and the course of study will be more fluid and dynamic than any that has existed before. In a “wiki-ized curriculum”, the courses of study will be “open” to both faculty and students: students not only will be able to choose which courses to take but also will be able to design their own courses.