Title: WikiVet: building a community of practice to support a self-sustaining wiki for veterinary education

Authors: Gillian Brown, Megan Quentin-Baxter, Zoe Belshaw

Addresses: School of Medical Sciences Education Development, Newcastle University, 16-17 Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HH, UK. ' School of Medical Sciences Education Development, Newcastle University, 16-17 Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HH, UK. ' Queens' Veterinary School Hospital, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ES, UK

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.

Keywords: veterinary education; curriculum development; self-sustainability; student authorship; pathology; Web 2.0; WikiVet; communities of practice; collaboration; e-learning; electronic learning; content-rich wikis; activity-rich wikis; UK; United Kingdom; Joint Information Systems Committee; JISC; Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Medicine Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine; MEDEV; universities; pedagogy; undergraduates; post-registration education; subject specialists; communication; face-to-face meetings; online chat; internet; world wide web; content updates; international participation; user base; student-led education; virtual communities; web based communities; online communities; learning communities; web based research networks.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2010.032234

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2010 Vol.6 No.2, pp.183 - 196

Published online: 17 Mar 2010 *

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