Wikis

What is It?

Wikis are simple-to-create web pages that can be viewed and modified by anyone, or by a designated group of users. Wikipedia is the largest example of a wiki in action. Wikis can be used for almost any type of collaborative work. Wikis allow users to see changes made over time so that earlier versions can indicate how individual students participated in creating content or how content evolved over time. Wiki software does not require any knowledge of HTML, and it supports a variety of permissions for faculty, students, and staff to edit the structure and content of wiki pages. Users can edit wikis through the Rich Text formatting window or learn simple wiki tags for the Wiki Markup editing window.

Wikis are used frequently in teaching and learning activities because they are simple to create and use, and they are built to support collaborative learning activities and shared online workspace.

How Can I Use it in Teaching?

  • Collaborative writing, including peer editing
  • Group project management
  • Documentation of research activities
  • Collaborative knowledge base
  • Group presentation tool
  • Collaborative lab or lecture notes

Recommended Products

SparkWikis

SparkWikis are based on the Confluence wiki system. SparkWikis provide members of the Tufts community with an easy-to-use tool that is supported by Academic Technology. Wikis are housed on Tufts servers and privacy settings allow faculty to set up wikis for specific students or the entire Tufts community.

Links:
How to create your own wiki at Tufts
FAQs for SparkWikis
Official User Documentation

PBWiki

PBWiki is extremely easy to use web-based Wiki software. Basic Wiki hosting is available for free and any user can set up a Wiki within minutes with a basic account. PBWiki allows plug-ins such as inserting videos, calendars, photos, or even shared voice chat. PBWikis can be limited to a specific group of users or open to everyone.

Links:
PBWiki Getting Started

Comparative Matrix of Products

Technology Tufts Supported Learning Curve Costs Associated Requirements to Run
SparkWiki Y Easy 0 for Tufts affiliated users Computer with Internet Access, Tufts UTLN
PBWiki N Easy 0 for basic membership Computer with Internet Access
 
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