After a couple of years of teaching you will probably find that your VLE course space is done, tidy and complete and needs only occasional updating by you….. I am afraid that this means it is time to let go, give up control and let the students drive the learning – worse this will mean lots of hard work for you.
So how do we do it? First lets get the tools out of the way, it doesn’t particularly matter what you use or how it works (although it should work fairly reliably! – see Gliddon’s Heiracy of TEL) but here are some categories
Sharing information – rss feeds, twitter hashtags, social bookmarking etc. These are ways in which your students can say “Hey I found this” and share it with the group. This is entry level co-creation.
Sharing thoughts – twitter, social networks, blogs, video blogs. This is the next level up students can share not just things they have found but their thoughts and reflections on them and the course/topics
Co-creating – wikis, google docs, any online tool that allows multiple editors. At this point the students are making things together, each persons thoughts and edits, adding to/changing/refining/building on the thoughts of each other
So there are lots of these tools available, your vle will have some and you should be able to link out to more. The question is not particularly about the tools, what you need to do is look over your course and think of places where students could contribute, think about what kind of contributions they might be, think about how that enhances their learning. Then select a tool that is a good fit for what you want to achieve.
Start with just one or two areas – a small project or a small defined goal are good starting points. If it works well start opening up more of your course to student contributions.
Research – I always try to tie what I say to research, but in this case I am going to open up the blog post to contributions from others – if you can find any research that covers the benefits (or lack of benefits) of letting the students be co-creators of knowledge then please post below.
To get you started here are the results of a search I did on google scholar.