Wikis in the Classroom
Introduction to Topic:
What is a Wiki?
A website that allows collaborative editing of
its content and structure by its users
Use of the word “wiki” over time.
Creating the Wiki:
➢ “WikiWikiWeb,” 1994, 1995 -- Ward
➢ c2.com (Cunningham’s company website): first
➢ “WikiWikiWeb” inspired by “Wiki Wiki Shuttle” at
○ “Wiki” = Hawaiian for “quick”
Top 10 Wiki Sites
4. Zoho Wiki
Why We Distrust(ed) Them:
The Teenage Years
➢Unreliable -- anyone can edit them
○ EX: Wikipedia
➢2005 study by Denning, et al.: Problem
1. Accuracy: Not knowing which content is accurate; often
exacerbated by lack of references.
2. Motives: Not knowing the motives of editors, who may
be biased for various reasons.
3. Expertise: Not knowing the expertise of editors.
4. Stability: Not knowing the stability of an article and how
much it has changed since the last viewing.
5. Coverage: Spotty coverage of topics.
6. Sources: Cited information may come from hidden or non-independent
Why We CAN Trust Them:
➢Fairly strictly monitored
➢Most wikis will tell you when a text was last
➢A lot of the information is fairly accurate
➢Most wikis have privacy settings
○ Blocks outside users
➢ Most popular Wiki
➢ Most often used for quick facts
➢ Not recommended for research.
As a Think Tank...in class
Wiki pages become a powerful tool in the classroom as think tanks.
o This method allows students to take ownership of the wiki and interact
in class with other students.
A teacher will set up a wiki page and allow the students to access the page
and contribute to the wiki.
o Each student can have their own page on the wiki to put material and
allow other students to comment on it.
o There is also a discussion tab available and this allows the teacher (or
a student) to start a discussion.
Material can move from just the
classroom to the web.
It is also a way to make the quiet students
vocal and gather valuable ideas.
o It is easier for some to voice opinions
on the web rather than in the classroom.
In this wiki each student has his/her
website, allowing him/her to post to that page.
As a Website
Websites are expensive to create and maintain; wikis are not!
They are very similar to blogs, but provide a more efficient way to organize
o See a blog example here.
They are easy to update
You can store and organize information easily
You can use them to collaborate with other people on projects
o See a wiki example here.
“Can You Ever Trust a Wiki? ImpactingPerceived Trustworthiness in
Wikipedia” 12 Nov. 2008. Web.
History of Wikis. http://wikis.wikia.com/wiki/History_of_wikis
Kapuler, David. “Top 10 Sites for Creating a Wiki.
“The Teachers’ Guide to Wikipedia in the Classroom.” Teach Thought. 9 Oct.
2013. Nov. 2013. http://www.teachthought.com/technology/teachers-guide-wikipedia-classroom/