Wikis - from the Hawaiian word for fast, wikis enable students and staff to collaborate online

What are wikis?
"Wikis are Web pages that can be viewed and modified by anyone with a Web browser and Internet access. Described as a composition system, a discussion medium, and a repository, wikis support asynchronous communication and group collaboration online. Their inherent simplicity gives students direct access to their content, which is crucial in group editing or other collaborative activities. Their versioning capability allows them to illustrate the evolution of thought processes as students interact with a site and its contents. Wikis are also being used as e-portfolios, highlighting their utility as a tool for collection and reflection. They may be the easiest, most effective Web-based collaboration tool in any instructional portfolio." (Educause)
Read a two-page overview from an educational perspective: 7 Things You Should Know About Wikis (Educause article).

Short Video: Wikis in Plain English (by The Common Craft Show)

(If above video does not play, here is a direct link)

Examples

  • MicrobeWiki - a free wiki resource on microbes and microbiology, edited by students and monitored by microbiologists at Kenyon College
  • Use of Wikis in a Business School - case studies from the University of Hertfordshire's Blended Learning Unit
  • Wikipedia - the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit (see Educause article 7 Things You Should Know About Wikipedia)
  • Educause resources - comprehensive list of references and resources

    Another short Video: Wetpaint Wikis in Plain English (by The Common Craft Show)

    (If above video does not play, here is a direct link)

    Software
    A multitude of software options exist, including PBWiki and wetpaint. Wikis are also built into some VLEs and Google Docs can also be used as a form of wiki (more info on Google Docs).

    How can we use wikis with students?

  • Writing space for students
  • Collaborative writing space for a class
  • A place for a researcher to record data
  • Record data from a lab session
  • Build a knowledge base
    Source: Tim Horgan's Classroom 2.0 - see SlideShare presentation below:
    Classroom 2.0
    View more presentations from Tim Horgan.

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    If you have any suggestions or questions, please contact Damien Raftery, eLearning Development Officer