Using a Wiki-Based Course Design to Create a Student-Centered Learning Environment: Strategies and Lessons

Qian Hu, Erik Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


As public administration programs increase their proportion of online and hybrid course offerings, online course offerings must provide a unique value to maintain a high-quality education instead of simply repackaging content designed for traditional face-to-face environments. Well-designed online courses can provide unique advantages for student-centered learning. Furthermore, the role of technology and information management in government practice will consistently increase. For pedagogical purposes and for better preparing students to work in collaborative networked environments, public administration programs need to train students to be comfortable with emerging technologies and ideally lead innovation in their applications. Emerging technologies have demonstrated great potential for crowdsourcing a wide variety of socially beneficial activities and for empowering and engaging students in collaboration. This study reflects on 4 years of continuous efforts to design, create, teach, and improve a wiki-based online course, called ePublic Affairs, intended for MPA, MPP, and PhD students. This case study of a wiki-based course in fall semester 2010 discusses in depth how a wiki-based course can use a wide range of emerging information technology tools to create engaging online learning modules and to empower students through various innovative class activities. This wiki-based course shows that a welldesigned online course can encourage equitable and quality participation as well as provide flexibility for students’ learning, addressing many concerns with online courses. This paper also highlights the unique challenges that were unanticipated in the earlier iterations of the wiki-based course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-512
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Public Affairs Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Administration


Dive into the research topics of 'Using a Wiki-Based Course Design to Create a Student-Centered Learning Environment: Strategies and Lessons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this