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About wikis

NOTE: This pilot has now ended and Wikispaces is being transitioned to the Central Web Unit for University wide rollout. Therefore please direct all support / account enquires to the UNSW IT Service Centre.

"Wiki" (/wiːkiː/) is a Hawaiian word for "fast".
A wiki is a page or collection of Web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language.Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites. The collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia is one of the best-known wikis."

Commoncraft wiki overview


Why use a wiki?

We often need to develop documents, plan events, create lists and produce resources in collaboration with others.
Traditionally this was often achieved via email. I'm sure you have personally experienced the maze of overlapping emails and the version control nightmare that ensues.
With a wiki groups are able to both achieve the goal and share the result with a minimum of effort via a central, easily editable, online space.

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[image from : webilus.com]

Other benefits:
  • Ease of use - non-web developers can quickly and easily establish and maintain a web presence
  • Integration - wikis integrate well with other online tools and applications to provide a rich, interactive communication medium
  • Openness - friends and colleagues anywhere in the world can work with you on the site
  • Notifications - receive notifications when others make changes - you do not have to watch the site
  • History - the history functionality allows you to view or revert to previous page versions if needed

What do I use - a blog or a wiki?

Click here for a comparison between wiki and blog functionality and potential uses
Click here for a mindmap of functionality within an educational context

Sites of interest

How we use wikis in class (using Wetpaint)
Wikis in the world language classroom
The wiki as knowledge repository: Using a wiki in a community of practice to strengthen K-12 education
Wiki Pedagogy

Pilot project participants!

Since one of our goals as a TELT group is to enhance your experience with Wikispaces and this pilot, please, watch the following step-by-step wikispaces editing tutorial and learn how to use Wikispaces in your classroom. Consider it a PILOT BOOT CAMP.

UNSW wiki pilot

During 2009 and 2010 we conducted a pilot and evaluation of a range of wiki platforms: MoinMoin (computing), Premium Private Label Wikispaces (other courses), and Mediawiki for Units and Project teams.
Find out more on the Learning & Teaching Portfolio wiki

Feb 2010 wikispaces workshops

Wikispaces help site


Wikis in university learning and teaching

In early 2009 Richard Buckland recorded a one hour session introducing the use of wikis to a group of academics.

6 wiki uses in research, teaching and projects

useful video of Stewart Mader from 'Grow Your Wiki'

Teaching with Technology - Wiki from slmader on Vimeo

Free independent wikispaces for student use

Students are able to quickly and easily set up wikis for a) short term group work, or b) personal portfolios
There are a HUGE number of options/platforms - mediawiki, pbwiki, wetpaint etc etc
Given that students will be using a wikispaces platform at UNSW there are instructions here for setting up a free wikispaces wiki