Falcon School District 49 is interested in increased stakeholder collaboration. Wikis provide a structure for collaborative document design and editing, and user learning through associations. They allow authorized contributors to introduce revisions to a document, where each version is collaboratively tracked and examined. As ideas and data are edited, prior versions are retained for a later reference. Instead of passing document changes through email or hardcopies, wiki users collaborate simultaneously. District 49’s communications department will engage with the district's community in the wiki, supported by district leadership.
District 49's community wiki is a collaborative solution for an improved enrollment, school and district guide. The goal is to develop a comprehensive review of everything District 49 offers, including school overviews, course descriptions and staff, volunteer and alumni profiles. The wiki is a platform for educating the district's community, and encouraging partnerships in developing a deeper understanding of the district's services. While educators focus on student learning, it's important for school communicators to facilitate powerful ways in which to help their families learn more about their children's opportunities. In many ways, they're educators, too. The more tools a school district uses to help eliminate assumptions and ambiguities, the more its patrons and stakeholders can support its educational services, and feel involved in public education.
Participants in this project are encouraged to consider and define how people, programs and activities fit into a system, a public education system. Wikis use links to make associations between topics. There are various issues related to semantics, such as those who prefer "educator" over "teacher," or "instructor." The wiki compels everyone to consider the difference, and how each might be defined for and by a community also trying to understand the difference.
The wiki allows anyone to add or edit an article, but each version is tracked and examined prior to publishing. Everything is powered by the same software used by Wikipedia. What's more, the Semantic MediaWiki extension creates a framework for a data structure that aligns with what futurists envision for Web 3.0.
While the district routinely takes the opportunity to coordinate collaboration, foster productive discussion and develop meaningful dialogue, there's an expectation of a culture based on respectful interactions within participatory media platforms. Everyone is expected to support guidelines that promote mutual respect when participating on District 49, and all, interactive platforms. Contributions on district platforms that may be challenged or removed include:
- Bully, intimidate or harass.
- Contain content that is hate speech, threatening or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.
- Include anything that is unlawful, misleading, malicious or discriminatory.
Wiki content must be verifiable. Verifiability means that people reading and editing articles can check that the information comes from a reliable source. Content is determined by previously published information or District 49 officials and historians, rather than the beliefs or experiences of one person. Even if you're sure something is true, it must be verifiable. When reliable sources disagree, present what the various sources say, give each side its due weight, and maintain a neutral point of view. All quotations, and any material where verifiability has been challenged or is likely to be challenged, must include an inline citation that directly supports the material. Any material that needs a source but does not have one may be removed. Articles must also avoid copyright violations.
Content producers should refer to District 49's style guide, and editors must. When adopting style guides, organizations commit to ensuring consistency and discipline in writing, while limiting confusion. They offer a way to communicate with a set of standards, which are made available across an organization. District 49 mostly follows the Associated Press Stylebook, along with some localized references.
- Boldness and links
- Uploading and adding images
- Talk pages
- Citing sources (part 1)
- Citing sources (part 2)
In general, there are six key aspects to a usable system, each with unique methods of measurement.
- Easy for new users to learn how to use. Learnability can be measured by observing how quickly a user can complete a task for the first time. If users are unable to complete the task, the system may be considered unlearnable. This aspect is critical for novice users.
- Easy for new users to remember how to use. Memorability can be measured by observing how quickly a user can complete a task for the first and comparing that with how quickly the user can complete the same task afterward. If the time required to complete the task does not decrease after continued use, the system may be considered unmemorable. This aspect is critical for infrequent users.
- Fast to use. Efficiency can be measured by observing how quickly a user can complete a task after learning it. If the time required to complete the task is unacceptable for the user's productivity needs or attention span the system may be considered inefficient. This aspect is critical for expert users.
- Difficult to use improperly. Failure resistance can be measured by observing frequency of user error while performing a task. If user error is observed to be common, the system may be considered prone to failure.
- Easy to recover from improper use. How forgiving a system is can be measured by observing how frequently user errors are recovered from. If unrecoverable user errors are found the system may be considered unforgiving. Users' ability to learn how to recover from an error is also a factor in the perception of the system being unforgiving.
- Enjoyable to use. Satisfaction can be measured by observing a users's willingness to repeat a task. If users are uninterested or unwilling to repeat a task, the system may be considered unsatisfying to use.