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WikiVet: building a community of practice to support a self-sustaining wiki for veterinary education
by Gillian Brown, Megan Quentin-Baxter, Zoe Belshaw
International Journal of Web Based Communities (IJWBC), Vol. 6, No. 2, 2010


Abstract: A collaborative 'community of practice' has been established between all seven UK veterinary schools to establish 'WikiVet', an online, content-and activity-rich wiki to support veterinary education (facilitated by the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine and funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee). There were strong pedagogic and financial reasons to develop a self-sustaining, shared wiki for supporting undergraduate and post-registration veterinary education in the UK. Students have developed and maintained the wiki with the support of subject specialists who reviewed the accuracy and quality of the materials. The community of practice relied on communication through face-to-face meetings, Web 2.0 tools and online chat to decide how and when to update the content. The initial focus on establishing educational content in pathology has now been extended to most areas of the veterinary curriculum. There has been significant interest across the international veterinary community as the wiki has the potential to engender international participation which could substantially increase the user base, breadth and depth of content. Dissemination will continue to raise awareness and uptake of the wiki.


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