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Wikis allow course members to contribute and modify one or more pages of course related materials, providing a means of sharing and collaboration. Users can create and edit pages quickly, while tracking changes and additions, allowing for effective collaboration between multiple writers. You can create one or more wikis for all course members to contribute to and wikis for specific groups to use to collaborate.

All course members can use the wikis tool to record information and serve as a repository for course information and knowledge. A course wiki is a vast source of information compiled by course members. Wikis can help build a community of collaboration and learning by increasing social interaction during the exchange of information.

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Students use a wiki to collaborate on shared content from different times and locations. They can view previous changes, comment on content or changes, include new content, and revise existing content. Similar to the discussion board, you act as a facilitator instead of the provider of all course content. Unlike a blog, which can be quite personal, wikis require intense collaboration, where information is linked to and built upon.

Use Wikis to Assess Student Engagement

You can grade student contributions to a wiki or use it solely for course content review. In either instance, a student can contribute multiple pages to a single wiki and make unlimited revisions to pages submitted by any course member. You can also enable the group wiki tool to help groups share and interact.

You can view all changes to all pages in a wiki. You can view the changes at a high level, and you can drill down to see information about contributions by any individual.

Wikis in Action

A primary goal of using a wiki is to build a shared repository of knowledge. As the knowledge base grows over time, you can expect the wiki to have some degree of seriousness and permanence.

With dedicated use, you can use wikis to:

  • Provide an easy to use environment for communication.
  • Promote collaboration rather than competition.
  • Foster a social and interactive approach to learning.
  • Build partnerships where you can benefit from the strengths of others.
  • Increase network building, trust, and negotiation skills.
  • Provide support and prompt feedback.
  • Provide a one-stop area where information is searched, updated, and accessed easily and quickly.
  • Increase and enhance the possibility of creativity, spontaneity, and innovation through the application of reflective thinking.

You can use wikis as course content or graded assignments, such as:

  • A glossary.
  • A white paper.
  • Class summaries and outlines.
  • Connecting student writing to form a book.
  • A resources repository.
  • Lab experiments.
  • Student solutions for scenarios and case studies.
  • A research notebook.
  • Group project presentations.