Wiki information sheet


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This is a preliminary document I've prepared as a support reference for an upcoming forum on assessment. Its intended audience is academic staff who are highly unfamiliar with wiki technology and what they can be used for in an educational context.

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Wiki information sheet

  1. 1. Wiki Information Sheet Overview Wikis are collaborative websites designed to support development of common pages or articles by multiple people. Wikis frequently incorporate text editors comparable to simplified word processors and track all site changes via page “histories”. These histories record the identity or “IP address” of the person performing the edit, the date and time it occurred, and the exact nature of the change. This allows for recovery of older versions of page content as well as the option to completely revert to a previous date. Wikis can range in size from small group spaces of just a few pages to massive sites like Wikipedia that contain millions of articles and thousands of editors. Wikis are primarily text- based mediums, however many wiki programs also allow the incorporation of mixed media, such as embedded video and images. Access procedures to edit a wiki vary, and depend on the wiki software being used and the administrative policies of the user community. However generally speaking most wikis require approved membership to make changes. Wikis are most commonly publicly visible, however many wiki programs do support private wikis, visible only to approved users. Educational Use Cases Group Work Space During Session 2, 2010, EMPA course ARTS1091 (Media, Society, Politics) incorporated a wiki to facilitate a group assessment task. This required groups of 5 students to research the media ownership of a specific country and document their findings in the course wiki. The wiki was used to support the student’s group work, establish a public resource on global media ownership, and assess the participation of each individual group member using the information retained by the page histories. Location: Dissemination of Course Materials In contrast, in 2009 the same course (ARTS1091) used the same wiki platform in an entirely different manner; this time as a substitute for a learning management system. The wiki featured the course curriculum, required readings, assessment tasks, online course events, lecture notes and other recordings. Location: Planning & Sharing of Educational Projects or Resources
  2. 2. Wikiversity and Wikieducator are examples of larger collaborative environments established to support the ongoing planning and sharing of educational projects for many different levels and contexts. Both sites feature a range of disciples, subjects and project scopes, ranging from single learning objects through to entire online courses Locations: ● Wikieducator: ● Wikiversity: Readings and Resources ● Australian Flexible Learning Framework article on wikis - http:// ● UNSW Wikispaces - ● “Wikis in Plain English” (Video): ● Wikis in University Learning & Teaching (Richard Buckland from CSE, UNSW): http://